KubeCon Trip Report

15 Mar 2016

KubeCon is the Kubernetes community conference, in its second year of running now. I had the pleasure of attending KubeCon in London last week, and I came away from it an even bigger fan of Kubernetes than I already was.

I was impressed to find out that less than two years after the first Kubernetes release, there are already over 1,200 new GitHub projects using Kubernetes. What’s even more exciting is the news that Kubernetes has moved to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation.

In this post, I’ll share my experience of the event and cover the stuff I learned.


Kelsey Hightower set the tone of the conference as soon he stepped onto the stage. He commanded the crowd: "When I say Kube, you say Con!" In a matter of seconds, we went from a room full of silent, anticipatory engineers and systems admins to an impressively synchronized group of cheerleaders. Kelsey then gave an overview of Kubernetes, as well as going over important announcements, and the details of the Kubernetes 1.2 release.

For those of you who are not familiar: Kubernetes is a framework for distributed systems. The project was originally created by Google to share their vast experience running containers, giving all of us the ability to run agile, reliable, distributed systems at scale.

In his intro, Kelsey Hightower emphasized that Kubernetes is not a PaaS. You can look at Deis or Red Hat for that. Instead, Kubernetes provides primitives to orchestrate, manage, and schedule containers so we no longer have to rely on long init scripts.

Kubernetes 1.2 and Beyond

Kelsey went into some detail about Kubernetes 1.2.

Perhaps the most widely talked about change is the the Deployments API. A deployment is a declarative configuration describing the desired target state of your app. The big win here is that when you scale your app using deployments, changes are carried out server-side—not client-side. This also means replication controllers will eventually no longer be a thing. Instead, replication controllers will be replaced with replica sets.

Kubernetes 1.2 also makes it much easier to manage cluster-wide configurations with the ConfigMap API.

And, Kubernetes now ships with a dashboard user interface!

David Aronchick, Product Manager at Google, spoke a bit about the future around Kubernetes 1.3 and what’s in store.

He emphasized a focus on:

  • Legacy application support (via PetSets)
  • Cluster federation with Ubernetes
  • Scaling
  • In-cluster IAM
  • Cluster autoscaling,
  • and much more!

They’re making big promises, and I’m pretty excited about all of them!

Cloud Native Compute Foundation

Alexis Richardson, CEO of Weaveworks, spoke about the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), a multi-vendor initiative to standardise a common set of cloud technologies. He oversees the Technical Oversight Committee (TOC) responsible for admitting new open source projects into the foundation.

Richardson announced that Google has donated the entire Kubernetes codebase to the CNCF.

The CNCF will now provide a legal and organisational home for the project. Check out the CNCF governance documentation for more information on what they do. One of the core values is being open, so feel free to get in on the action.

Better Docs

Friday was the launch of the new Kubernetes.io website, including revamped docs.

John Mulhausen, Kubernetes technical writer, did an impromptu session near the end of day two that took a look at what changed. Specifically, John’s goal is to increase the velocity of document changes.

Here's the gist of how he’s approaching that problem.

John has been allocated $10,000 in Google Cloud Platform credits to make the docs better. These credits are now available as a bounty for contributions to the docs. Just look for the little blue pencil and make your suggestions inline.

I’ve always been a sucker for instant gratification, so I’m pretty excited about this feature!

However, getting diagram contributions is John’s highest priority at the moment. So, if you fancy helping out with that, you can receive $100 (in credits) for each diagram that gets accepted!

It’s not just KubeCon where this topic has come up. The community as a whole has been discussing how to improve the docs for a while now. I’m glad the Kubernetes team at Google is trying hard to make changes here, making it easier to attract new users to the project.


Overall, KubeCon was an amazing event. There were plenty of great conversations in the halls as well as at the end of the sessions. Kudos to the whole KubeCon team for putting together a fantastic schedule. It looks like we have lots to look forward to in the near future.

Posted in Trip Report, Kubernetes, KubeCon

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