#kubernetes #conference #recap

KubeCon - Day 1 Recap

Published Mar 28, 2017 by Lee Briggs

I was lucky enough to be able to attend CloudNativeCon/Kubecon in Berlin, Germany. This is my recap of the first half day of lightning talks, panels and project updates.

Note - this is not an exhaustive recap. The stuff here is mainly what caught my eye during the first evening. Things are definitely missing

Fluentd update

First up, we had an update from Eduardo Silva from TreasureData about the fantastic FluentD project. The main highlight I can remember is that Fluentd now supports Windows logging. Eduardo’s made a joke about “Windows being a serious system” and got a great laugh. There was a brief discussion of how fluentd solves the logging pipeline problem, and it’s definitely something I’ll be investigating as we try and better ship logs in our Kubernetes implementation.

OpenTracing update

Next, we had Priyanka Sharma on stage to talk about OpenTracing. This is something I was aware of, but hadn’t fully investigated, and Priyanka made it much clearer by demoing a custom “donut order” application she’d written with OpenTracing built in. She did a demo of the app (as a side note, she also asked everyone in the conference room to open a website, which I thought was crazy given the traditional state of conference wifi, but it worked!) and then drilled down into performance problems using OpenTracing. It was a fantastic visualization of how OpenTracing can solve problems, and I got a lot of value out of it!

Linkerd update

Next up was Oliver Gould with an update about Linkerd and the big news here is that Linkerd now has TCP Support!. This is a massive step forward, and judging by reaction to my tweet the community agrees!

Additionally, something that caught me eye is that linkerd now supports kubernetes ingress in its config. I found a great blog post about this on the bouyant blog, and this has me really excited.

CoreDNS update

The next thing I really paid attention to was the CoreDNS update by Miek Gieben and this really stuck in my mind because I’ve really had some trouble and concerns around the kube-dns/skyDNS implementation currently being used in Kube. For some reason, a go shim coupled with dnsmasq and a sidecar container just doesn’t feel like the right way to do something that’s a critical component of the kubernetes stack.

With that in mind, Miek provided an update on CoreDNS, what it can do and why it’s “better” than kube-dns. This slide stood out to me, and after reading some of the available middleware plugins I’m looking to replace kube-dns with CoreDNS as soon as I can!


The panel was a real disappointment for me. It consisted of 3 senior/executive level employees of TicketMaster, Amadeus and Haufe-Lexware discussiong their transition to Kubernetes. I would have loved to have my bosses, and their bosses watch this panel, because there was some good conversation around how to transition organisations to new ways of thinking, but it was nothing I hadn’t already heard. I would have loved to have had maybe 5/10 operators on stage talking war stories of Kubernetes in production, with a little less “media training” feel to it. I understand there’s a wide range of attendees at this conference though, and I’m sure more people got value out of it than I did.

As a side note, I was very disappointed at the lack of diversity in the panel. I’m sure we could have found someone from a more diverse background/gender to be involved in the discussions.

Helm with AppController

There was a nice short talk about the capabilities of the Mirantis Appcontroller and this seems like a really interesting project. Essentially, this brings orchestration to your kubernetes cluster, and allows staged deployments (ie, don’t deploy the web app until your database is initialized) - I can see this getting heavy usage once it’s in Beta/ready to test, but as it stands it seems fairly new.

BGP Routing in Kubernetes

This talk confused me, because it basically described what Calico already does, unless I’m missing something? Would love someone to fill in the gaps here.

Fluentd Logging Pipelines

The last talk I really tuned in on was one that really stuck with me. Jakob Karalus talked about how he’d built a flexible logging service inside Kubernetes, using annotations and fluentd. This tweet should give you an idea of how it works. This is a really interesting solution to a problem that is definitely on my mind at the moment - with Docker you can simple set the logging driver per container but this is currently not possible in kubernetes (see this issue for more details. Jakob’s solution provides an interesting mechanism for developers to be able to decide where they want their logs to go, and I think flexibility is always key. Check out his github repo to see how it works.

Wrap Up

I’m hoping to write one of these for each day, but the amount of content may make that difficult! Let me know if you think I missed anything important!


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