Take Five With Tom Fenton

5 Interesting Things to Check Out at KubeCon North America 2019

Just when I thought the hype and excitement around Kubernetes (K8s) hit a plateau I was proven wrong as at the major IT conferences (VMworld, NetApp Insight, MS Ignite, etc.) this year K8s took front stage. By all accounts the enthusiasm for K8s will continue unabashed in the foreseeable future as developers love it and enterprises are trying out how to incorporate and tame it.

Cloud Native Computing Foundation's flagship K8s conference KubeCon and CloudNativeCon will be held in San Diego Nov. 18-21, 2019, and I am excited to be going. KubeCon has grown dramatically over the past couple years and even though all of the heavy hitters in IT will be there it still has very much a developer vibe to it. At most other IT other conferences dress shirts and slacks are de rigueur but at KubeCon, and especially as this one as it will be held in San Diego, vintage t-shirts, cargo shorts and huaraches sandals will NOT be out of place. Below is what I will be investigating at KubeCon this year.

Management and Governance. As K8s starts to get deployed in large enterprise the IT professionals in those enterprises need to figure out how to balance K8s freedom and flexibility with an enterprise's need to control, govern and manage it. I will be looking for products that allow metering and monitoring the consumption of on and off-premises resource. I also see the need for role-based access control (RBAC) to make sure that that the right people have access to the right resources.

Big IT Vendors Offering. VMware, Microsoft, Oracle, NetApp have all released products to help their customers embrace K8s. All of these products are still quite young (K8s has only been around for 5 years) but Big IT senses the trend that K8s is the hot new technology in town and they all want to help their customers embrace it.

Small Innovators. Big IT is trying to help enterprises with K8s planning and implementation but most cutting-edge innovations are coming from smaller firms. I fully expect that the show floor will be littered with these innovators demonstrating and explaining their K8s related products. I would like to say that I am looking for a specific technology but that is the beauty of KubeCon's show floor is that you don't know what you will be looking for until you see it.

Storage. Much discussion last year centered around Container Storage Interface (CSI) for Kubernetes which became available about a year and a half ago but the further development and refinement of CSI is proceeding at breakneck speed and vendors, big and small, are trying to make CSI enterprise ready. I will be checking in to see how the development of CSI is coming along.

Edge. Edge computing is really starting to become interesting and I am starting to see software companies such as Canonical (the Ubuntu people) start to develop K8s distributions for the edge and hardware companies such as Lenovo and Dell develop Edge specific servers and storage systems to handle the unique challenges of edge computing.

About the Author

Tom Fenton has a wealth of hands-on IT experience gained over the past 30 years in a variety of technologies, with the past 20 years focusing on virtualization and storage. He currently works as a Technical Marketing Manager for ControlUp. He previously worked at VMware in Staff and Senior level positions. He has also worked as a Senior Validation Engineer with The Taneja Group, where he headed the Validation Service Lab and was instrumental in starting up its vSphere Virtual Volumes practice. He's on X @vDoppler.


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