Looking back at KubeCon Europe 2023

KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2023 occurred in the RAI in Amsterdam. During this tech conference, around 10,000 visitors visited supplier booths and attended talks by Keynote speakers about cloud native computing.

For this article, we interviewed our Cyso Group DevOps colleague Jochem, who had also joined us at KubeCon and asked him to share his experiences and insights.

Jochem, what was your overall impression of KubeCon Europe 2023?

My general impression is that the cloud native community is growing. Even KubeCon struggled to accommodate the number of visitors. And I see that the number of booths is growing. More and more people seem to notice that the cloud-native way is the way forward. Many new community members were present this time; over 58% indicated it was their first visit to KubeCon. Where in the previous edition – in Valencia – the public had been around for some time and therefore already has quite a bit of knowledge, you now noticed that the knowledge level of the visitors is also lower (which is not necessarily a bad thing), but it, therefore, indicates that Kubernetes and open source is alive. The number of visitors is growing, although the technical level was partially lower this edition.

Three days of KubeCon, is that not too short?

Yes and no. Preferably I would like to exchange thoughts with peers and colleagues in this way every day, but at the same time, it is intensive. You get a lot of impressions during the day. And after the official event, everyone goes somewhere to have a drink and visit side events. It is impossible to keep that up for more than a few days. Not me, at least. I regret it was in Amsterdam, so the Dutch participants left on time and did not linger. On the other hand, it was nice that it was in Amsterdam so that many interested people from the Netherlands could go. In Valencia, we had a lot of conversations with visitors outside of KubeCon during supplier parties or in the pub, and that was a lot less now.

Which trends do you find striking?

There was a talk from ING in which they talked about how to roll out an immutable cluster. That talk was about how you can adequately ensure that you no longer have to log in to production servers because everything goes through pipelines. And that you can monitor everything via the observability stack. I found that very interesting because that is a security model that we do not yet recognize at home and, at the same time, is very powerful.

The developers I know don’t develop the old way anymore.
They are now all working in containers.

It was also noticeable that stateful workloads are becoming increasingly a thing. A few years ago, nobody was talking about running databases in Kubernetes. They were a bit hesitant about that. Since then, persistent volumes and databases in Kubernetes have matured with different operators. A separate stateful community is emerging that is specifically concerned with this. We find that so interesting that we were quietly working on this at Cyso because we had complete confidence in it. But also because we had enough backups running around it.

And finally, eBPF is a technique to look into the kernel. This technique is becoming very popular. Many open-source methods are already using it, such as Cilium and Falco. Nowadays, there are many more tools to respond to this. It is good to see.

What do you want to give your customers from KubeCon?

If I may put our customers in one box and give some advice: this cloud-native train is moving. And it is moving fast. There is a reason why more than 10,000 visitors were present, and there was a huge queue. The developers I know aren’t developing separate virtual machines. They are now all working in containers. What I want to say: get on this train. It all benefits you, from configuration management to observability. You get control in all sorts of places where you didn’t have it before. And if they need help with that, I’m happy to help them.

Were you able to network during side events?

Sure, we spoke with some eastern neighbours during side events and talked to people from CNCF (Cloud Native Community Foundation). At KubeCon itself, we talked a lot with suppliers about the solutions they are making. And we also talked about potential solutions that our customers might need.

Are you going to KubeCon in Paris next year?

Please! First, take up a French course, and if it’s up to me, Ruben from Securely will come along. It would be nice if the Cyso Group could rent a pub, for example, where we can create a Dutch-German island to continue talking to the community.

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