Take Five With Tom Fenton

Take Five: 5 Must-See KubeCon 2021 Sessions

Tom Fenton sneakily works around his 5-item limit to showcase even more goodies you need to check out in what might be the first big post-pandemic tech show allowing the option of in-person attendance.

KubeCon 2021, presented by Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), will be held at the Los Angeles Convention Center and virtually Oct. 13-15, 2021 (with a pre-event on Oct. 11-12), and will be the first large-scale tech conference that I am aware of to be held live since the pandemic started.

I did a deep dive into the content catalog to hand-pick a list of must-see KubeCon 2021 sessions. Yes, many are around Kubernetes (K8s), but other technologies will also be covered. It looks like the sessions are limited compared to previous years, but I couldn't find a count of how many sessions there are. Even with a limited number of sessions, however, there are a dozen events that made my personal list for me to attend. But, as my editor reminded me, this article is a Take Five with Tom Fenton, so I am forced to whittle it down -- and here are the top five sessions at KubeCon 2021 that I am looking forward to.

  • TAKE1
    What's New with Sig-Windows: HostProcess and Developer Environments

    Windows and K8s? This is an interesting prospect and one, I believe, that Microsoft has invested a fair amount of resources into. The presenters will give an update on their efforts and then a demo the new HostProcess feature which enables "privileged" containers on Windows. However, I think the real interesting part will be the Q&A session at the end. Interestingly, and to be expected, this one is from Microsoft but the other is from VMware.

  • TAKE 2
    Intro to KubeEdge: Kubernetes Native Edge Computing Framework

    KubeEdge is in the incubation stage at CNCF. Its goal is to extend K8s to the edge. In this session, the presenters will give an overview of where the project came from and where it is headed.

  • TAKE 3
    How We Built a Cloud on K3s: The Learnings of Growing Up Fast

    I always enjoy hearing stories about how people implement technology, and I find this one doubly attractive as it talks about the challenges around implementing K3s, a very lightweight K8s release with Rancher roots that I find very interesting and could have notable implications for K8s on the edge. In tandem with this session, I will be sitting in on Edge Computing using K3s on Raspberry Pi. I am curious to hear about edge implementation of K3s on an inexpensive compute platform.

  • TAKE 4
    Cloud-Agnostic Design for Fun and Profit

    Most those who are uninitiated see the cloud as an agnostic provider of compute, storage, and networking resources that compete for your business based on price. The reality is that each cloud vendor has a slightly different way of doing business and offer services to differentiate them from their competition. This is good as it really drives innovation, but it also is bad because it makes their cloud very "sticky" and hard for companies to transfer their workflow from one cloud provider to another. The presenters in this session will discuss how they implemented a truly cloud-agnostic solution.

  • TAKE 5
    Intro and Deep Dive Series

    To get around my limit of five must-see sessions I am going to take a Kobayashi Maru. I like intro and deep-dive sessions as they cover the whole gamut regarding a technology. Some of sessions that caught my eye include: containerd as it is the most popular K8s runtime and manages the complete container lifecycle of its host system; Jaeger, a very popular tracing backend; and Rook, a storage operator for K8s that provides a level of abstraction for many different storage solutions.

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 previously worked as a Technical Marketing Manager for ControlUp. He also 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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