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KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe: Cloud native goes mainstream

Cheryl Hung Vice President of Ecosystem, Cloud Native Computing Foundation

Cloud-native deployments are getting larger as adoption becomes mainstream, and businesses are reaping the benefits.

More than three quarters of companies use Kubernetes in production, up from 58% last year, according to a recent survey from the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. Also, 84% of survey respondents use containers in production, up more than 15% from 2018.

That momentum will be on full display at the upcoming KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe Virtual, which runs August 17-20. KubeCon conferences are the perfect place to track big trends, learn best practices, and share knowledge and inspiration.

Here are the key topics you can expect to see highlighted in the conference sessions and hallway conversations.

Cloud-native goes deeper

Cloud-native is getting bigger and is burrowing deeper into the workflows of companies and organizations worldwide. Conference participants will address application development, workflow automation, data challenges, rapid deployment, and more.

In "Security Is Not a Unicorn," panelists from Intel, Microsoft, and several other firms will discuss whether current Kubernetes security best practices are at odds with the architectural requirements of heavy computational workloads such as those in machine learning or high-performance computing.

Another panel, comprised of experts from Mastercard, Spotify, Conde Nast, and others, will discuss the journey their respective companies have undergone in their transformation to cloud-native principles and lessons learned. Experts from Monzo Bank will discuss deploying and operating Kubernetes at scale.

Service mesh hasn't yet caught on

This technology shows promise but hasn't yet crossed the chasm into wide-scale adoption. People don't know the best way to use service meshes.

Several sessions will focus on how companies are succeeding, including how Pinterest built a service mesh from scratch, and another will highlight the experiences of Bol.com, the largest online retailer in the Netherlands.

Service mesh has certainly captivated attention: The CNCF survey showed that 20% of respondents use service meshes in production, but a far higher number, 50%, are evaluating its use in their organizations. The day before the conference, CNCF will host ServiceMeshCon to kick off the conversation.

Storage needs remain underserved

Everything generates data, and companies have to know where to store it and how to keep it safe. Yet storage remains an underserved market. Look for conference updates about exciting storage projects, including Rook, an open-source storage orchestrator, and how to migrate to Vitess, a database clustering system for scaling MySQL. 

Change is creating cultural challenges

Change is always hard, even in software development and technology. The CNCF survey pointed to cultural challenges as a top focus, especially given that it can take months to get educated on new platforms and technologies.

Sessions sprinkled throughout the conference will address such issues as effective Kubernetes onboarding and workflow automation.

CI/CD automation tools for Kubernetes workflows lagging

A big payoff of cloud native is the ability to automate more and more things so you can pull off more frequent deployments. But most common tools were not built for Kubernetes workflow, and migrating an existing architecture from a monolith to microservices can be challenging.

At the conference, you can hear about a real-life journey and lessons learned from CloudBees and others as they migrated monolithic open-source projects to microservices while adding in CI/CD best practices.

Machine learning and artificial intelligence

Taming data challenges is critical for machine-learning applications. The session "Taming Data/State Challenges for ML Applications and Kubeflow" will discuss what it took to create AI/ML environments running thousands of pods and that request petabytes of training data.  

An expert from CERN will show how complex physics analysis workflows that are written and scheduled using Kubernetes can make use of classical batch systems.

Where are the security best practices?

The industry still lacks widespread adoption of best practices, but KubeCon is a great place to find out what people are doing. Google will discuss why cloud natives should think about security differently. Shopify will share tips and tricks about how to detect and stop attacks before infrastructure and information is compromised.

Get good information—and inspiration

Cloud native and open source are all about sharing knowledge, how-tos, and best practices. The KubeCon conference is a great way to do that. Kubernetes Community Days, community-organized versions of KubeCon, are now happening all over the world, and they, too, are great sources of information, and inspiration.

Want to know more? Come to KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe Virtual, which runs August 17-20. 

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