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KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2024: Day 1 Highlights

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Stefan Tsankov
DevOps and Cloud Engineer
20.03.2024
Reading time: 3 mins.
Last Updated: 20.03.2024

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KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2024 is currently being held in Paris! If you couldn’t join the event in person, don’t worry; I’m here to bring you the highlights and key takeaways from a day packed with insights, innovations, and forward-looking discussions. From Cloud Native AI to platform engineering and beyond, let’s dive into the future of cloud-native technologies.

The synergy between AI and cloud-native technologies took center stage at the “Beyond the Clouds: Charting the Course for AI in the Cloud Native World” panel. Ricardo Aravena from TruEra highlighted the potential for OCI specs and large language models (LLMs) to revolutionize the distribution of models across various cloud-native projects. A critical question was posed: “How can we use AI technology to improve cloud-native environments?” This reflects the broader industry’s exploration of integrating AI more seamlessly into our cloud-native futures.

Marvin Beckers, a key figure behind kcp, enlightened attendees on “Building a Platform Engineering API Layer with kcp.” Beckers advocated for Kubernetes at the API layer for its consistency, despite the challenges of CRDs being cluster-scoped. Kcp offers a solution, facilitating a global control plane that bridges infrastructure and service providers with developers, thereby easing the reconstruction of organizational hierarchies with Kubernetes-style APIs at scale.

A panel discussion, “Platform Rock-Paper-Scissors: Build, Adopt, Buy,” unraveled the complexities of platform engineering decisions. It stressed the importance of understanding organizational needs, the role of platform engineers, and the considerations for buying or building platforms—highlighting cost, scalability, operational implications, and the commitment to long-term maintenance.

George Hantzaras from MongoDB took the stage to discuss “Application Modernization From Concept to Kubernetes.” He emphasized the trifecta of refactor, replatform, and rehost, leveraging cloud-native tools such as Dapr, Backstage, and the vibrant CNCF operational excellence efforts. Hantzaras introduced the BACK Stack, advocating for internal developer platforms to streamline modernization efforts.

A panel discussed what makes startups attractive for investment, focusing on large addressable markets, solving real problems, and the critical role of founders in scaling and building their companies. Mentorship and operational advice emerged as invaluable beyond mere financial support.

Real-world applications of Jenkins and Argo for Cloud Native CI/CD were showcased by Caelan Urquhart of Pipekit and Bertrand Quenin of Intuit. They demonstrated overcoming Jenkins limitations by integrating Argo for better resource utilization, unified control planes, and enhanced deployment strategies. Urquhart provided a compelling demo, offering insights into the benefits of Argo, including dynamic pod provisioning, parallelism, and seamless Argo CD integration.

Rufaida Mugalli’s presentation on leveraging OpenTofu and Infracost highlighted the importance of managing cloud expenses smartly. By utilizing infrastructure as code, teams can optimize their cloud spending efficiently, underscoring the event’s theme of leveraging technology for better resource management.

Exciting announcements from CNCF included the beta release of Istio’s ambient mode, support for profiling in OpenTelemetry, a new whitepaper on AI and cloud-native, the momentum behind FluxCD, the introduction of the Green Reviews Working Group, the incubating project Notary, LitmusChaos for chaos engineering, and the release of Fluent Bit v3.

Day 1 of KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2024 set a high bar for the rest of the event, with invaluable insights into the future of cloud-native technologies. Stay tuned for more updates as we continue to cover this landmark event in the world of cloud computing and AI.

Speakers from esteemed organizations shared their experiences and lessons learned from deploying OpenShift in challenging and innovative environments. The Gathering illuminated the practical applications and advantages of OpenShift across various sectors, including telecommunications, aerospace, and industrial transformation.

Highlights included Peter De Cleyn’s keynote on STE iDirect’s journey towards cloud-native teleports, Taylor Dolezal debunking cloud-native myths, and in-depth case studies from Airbus Helicopters and ABB on leveraging OpenShift AI for cutting-edge applications. The session on deploying text generation inference on Kubernetes by Guillaume Salou from Hugging Face demonstrated the flexibility and power of Kubernetes for AI applications. Michael St-Jean from Red Hat discussed validated patterns for distributed architectures, offering a blueprint for scalable, repeatable cloud deployments.

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