KubeCon Europe 2019: How We First Visited Kubernetes Main Event

    Last week, May 19-23, Barcelona hosted the main European conference on Kubernetes and related technologies, one of the largest Open Source events in the world - KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2019 . We took part in it for the first time, becoming the silver sponsor of the event and the first Russian company on KubeCon with our stand. A delegation of six Flant employees was sent to him, and this is what we saw ...

    General event

    KubeCon is a global event that is being held in three regions: the USA (since 2015), Europe (since 2016) and China (since 2018). The scale of such events is immediately impressive. If the first European KubeCon (2016 in London) had about 400 visitors, then last year (2018 in Copenhagen) - already 4,300, and now - 7,700. (At the last American conference - even more.) The

    total duration of KubeCon is 5 days, the first two of which can be considered preparatory (stands still not functioning). On the first day (Sunday), a specialized Ceph event was held - Cephalocon. The next day until 17:00 - other seminars and meetings on specific technologies, after which - the first events for all visitors to the conference. And as soon as the doors officially opened, it became clear that there would be not a lot of people, but a lot. Many (about 200) stands of sponsors and partners

    were also placed in the room : from small with modest racks to huge lounge zones at SAP, Microsoft, Google ... However, everything was matched to such a scale: a wonderful ventilation and cooling system (there was no sense of stuffiness, always it was nice and cool), spacious walkways between the stands.

    Near our booth

    In the stand area, Flant was the only company from Russia, and this fact in itself attracted the Russian-speaking audience. Many of them already knew about us, and then conversations began with the phrases: “Oh, they did not expect to see you! What are you doing here?"

    Found on Twitter.

    With other participants in the event, the discussion usually began with questions about who we are and what we are doing. The phrase “DevOps as a service” at our booth touched many more: “How can this be? DevOps is a culture. How can culture be made a service? .. ”Which was an excellent occasion to talk about what we do and how we bring the notorious culture to customers.

    There were a lot of solo DevOps among visitors to the booth: freelancers and members of small teams. They were interested in our Open Source Arsenal.and a no-bullshit approach. The received response suggests that our tools are well integrated into a variety of work processes and are able to solve pressing problems. Most attention was paid to the werf and kubedog projects , all kinds of deployment features in Kubernetes. Also, people were clearly worried about the issue of managing many clusters: the solution, which we are only soon announcing, turned out to be relevant even for freelancers. About the accumulated Open Source-development enthusiastically listened and engineers of large IT companies such as Google, SAP, IBM ...

    Representatives of companies from Eastern Europe, as well as Germany and England, were most interested in direct services. A separate story - several Japanese who admitted that our approach is radically different from what they offer there. Potential customers were interested in the turnkey infrastructure support approach, experience and willingness to flexibly adapt to customer requirements.

    We also got acquainted with companies of a similar profile of activity from different countries: some came up to us, and some came up to us. While exchanging our experience, with two of them we discussed the two sides' contribution to Open Source and the possibilities for further interaction - time will tell what will come of it.

    If we talk about the discussions at the stand as a whole, then I personally was very interested to listen to new projects and ideas. In particular, I recommend paying attention to garden (development orchestrator for Kubernetes) and conprof (continuous profiling, working with Prometheus and not only): their demos looked promising, and the authors create with considerable enthusiasm.

    Finally, I note that there were no language problems: everyone had a decent level of English. If any nuances surfaced, then phones, facial expressions and gestures were easily connected. Obviously, cloud native administrators do not work from the basements of the parent houses .

    Other stands and interesting people

    KubeCon participants played more expensive toys at their booths than we used to see at Russian conferences. Not to mention the main sponsors, who could boast of huge TVs and other buzzing buzzers ... On Tuesday evening, special 2 hours were allocated for the drawing of numerous prizes - then there were especially many people, and the holiday atmosphere was clearly felt.

    More interesting, however, seemed to me the very movement of the largest companies towards the Open Source community. Even understanding their commercial motives (among other things), five years ago it was impossible to imagine that everything that was said at the stand and in reports from companies like Microsoft and Oracle would concern Open Source products.

    Among recognizable celebrities was met, for example, Mark Shuttleworth:

    Our CTO Dmitry Stolyarov and Canonical founder Mark Shuttleworth.

    When I thanked him for Ubuntu because it was my first distro and started exploring Linux, he replied that you should thank not “those guys in orange t-shirts”, hinting at all Canonical employees.

    I also chatted with pleasure:

    I brought Beluga to the latter, because it helped me a lot in CNCF Slack with questions about the Kubernetes API. Here he is trying to open it (in the end, the three of them opened ...):

    James Munnelly examines his gift.

    We communicate with Brian Brazil - the main maintainer of Prometheus.

    Reports, meetings and other activities

    Monday at KubeCon is officially dedicated to the so-called pre-conference events and the solution of other pressing issues (such as preparing stands). It turned out to be more free for us, and therefore we decided to visit the Continuous Delivery Summit , organized by the recently created CDF (we already wrote about it here ).

    It was interesting to hear about the unification of the various forces involved in the development of products and approaches to the organization of continuous delivery. I happened to see the creator of Jenkins, as well as listen to a report about Jenkins X (we wrote about it too ).

    Personally, I was even more fascinated by the story with another project of this fund - Tekton. The attempt to standardize CD approaches in Kubernetes clearly deserves our attention. In particular, they bribe the flexibility of inserting Tekton into their pipelines and werf connections through the API. Promoting Tekton as a standard, its authors (Google) want to reduce fragmentation of utilities for CI / CD, and we agree with them.

    The total number of event reports, among which were both “ordinary” (half-hour) speeches, and key (keynote), and short sessions (lightning talks), and numerous events for communities (updates from projects, meetings of developers and users, presentations of new ones) Maintainers), measured in hundreds . The extent of what is happening (or rather, what has already happened) can be estimated on the conference website .

    Report in the main hall of KubeCon Europe 2019. Photos from the organizers

    Since we were all constantly involved in the booth area, there was practically no time to visit the main streams with reports. However, you should not be upset: the CNCF organization has already published video reports of the event for everyone who wants to . They can be found on YouTube .

    On the last day, KubeCon was expected to have a final party lasting about 3 hours. Everyone was taken to it at Poble Espanyol, a Spanish castle that was made for the 1988 Olympics. Within its walls 7 thousand IT people watered, fed and entertained - it became clear how many people came from all over the world. Perhaps even too much:

    But the view is amazing:


    European KubeCon is an event that was remembered for its scale, high level of organization, focus on supporting and developing a huge Open Source-community of people who are truly passionate about their work. We have yet to listen to the main reports from the conference, but from the experience of the records available from previous KubeCons, their level and relevance is unlikely to raise questions.

    We made for ourselves a number of conclusions on our own participation. The mini-presentations of our Open Source projects are a great occasion to “start a conversation” with the wider community. The fact that the presentation with a full report (by the way, the competition for reports for KubeConEU'19 amounted to 7 applications for one available place) did not become a discovery either. We also understood which presentations would be useful and what should be written on the stand itself in order to remove some of the questions and quickly move on to a more detailed discussion. Organizer

    photos from KubeCon can be found on this Flickr album .

    UPDATE (June 4): CNCF sent official event statistics. Here she is:

    PS For help in preparing the material, I thank my colleague Vladimir Kramarenko ( kramarama ).


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