Tour of KubeCon NA 2018

All aboard the KubeCon bus!

I went to KubeCon and all I got was… a brain bursting with exciting technology news!

If you want to drink from the firehose, check out the full playlist of KubeCon 2018 Videos.

If you’d rather have a more curated tour, checkout these talks I found interesting, grouped by topic.


Kelsey Hightower, of Google and Kubernetes community fame, gives a playful demo of bootstrapping a Fortran app into AWS Lambda, triggering it with Google Cloud Pub/Sub, and storing its output in Google Cloud Storage (GCS) (Video)

Google hosted a workshop on Knative, which I found an excellent introduction to Knative Build and Knative Serving, two of the three main Knative components. Knative on GKE is in alpha, on top of Istio on GKE, which is in beta. There’s no published video for the workshops, but the Knative Intro Code Lab is online if you want to check it out.

Doug Davis, of IBM, and Clemens Vasters, of Microsoft, discuss the CNCF serverless working group, the Serverless Landscape, and the CloudEvents specification. (Video)

Service Mesh

Aparna Sinha, from Google, gives a keynote on the latest GCP stack that includes Kubernetes container orchestration, Istio service mesh, and Knative serverless on GKE. (Video)

John Morello, CTO of Twistlock, talks about using Istio service mesh, ServiceRoles, and ServiceRoleBindings for infrastructure-independent micro-segmentation and service-based firewalls. (Video)

Oliver Gould, co-founder of Buoyant, dives into the architecture and design of Linkerd v2 (formerly Conduit), a performance-first service mesh replacement for Linkerd v1, written in Rust. (Video)

Machine Learning

Animesh Singh and Tommy Li, from IBM, talk about Knative’s latest component, Knative Pipeline, an operator for CI/CD pipelines and how it can be used to build machine learning pipelines. (Video)

Jason Smith, from Google, and David Aronchick, from Microsoft, talk about using Kubeflow to achieve machine learning as code. Also mentions integrations with Katib hyperparameter tuning, NVIDIA TensorRT Inference Server, Argo CD, Jupyter Notebook Spawner, Seldon model serving, Kubebench job benchmarks, Tensorflow Operator, PyTorch Operator, Pyflow, and Kubebench, as well as a demo of the new one-click installer ( (Video)


Marko Mudrinić, CNCF Google Summer of Code Participant, talks about how he wrote Kubernetes in Docker (kind) to enable testing Kubernetes workloads in CI. (Video)

Billy Yuen and Parin Shah, from Intuit, talk about how they wrote Argo CD to replace their usage of Spinnaker in order to provide a Kubernetes-native continuous deployment solution optimized for DevOps use cases that abstracts away infrastructure concerns without hiding platform functionality. (Video)

Operators & Custom Resources

Tim Hockin, Principal SWE on Kubernetes at Google, describes how the API Machinery and Architecture SIGs are planning to use Custom Resource Definitions (CRDs) for all new resources and eventually maybe rewrite existing APIs to use them too, leveling the playing field for extensions and operators. (Video)

Stefan Schimanski, (a former colleague of mine) from Red Hat, and Mehdy Bohlool (Google) give an update from the API Machinery SIG, talking about how to version Custom Resource Definitions (CRDs) and use mutating webhooks to migrate between versions at runtime. (Video)

Beata Skiba, from Google, explains Vertical Pod Autoscaling and how to use it to adjust workload resource allocation over time to better match utilization. (Video)

Loc Nguyen, from VMware, and Kris Nova, from Heptio (now VMware), talk about the new Kubernetes Cluster API and how to use it to deploy and manage upgrades and scaling of Kubernetes components. (Video)

Multi-Cluster & Multi-Tenancy

Alex Robinson, of Cockroach Labs, describes how they have managed Cockroach DB, a distributed relational database, across multiple K8s clusters, in order to span regions. (Video)

Daneyon Hansen, from Cisco, and Quinton Hoole and Irfan Ur Rehman, from Huawei, discuss the state of the three multi-cluster projects: Federation v2, Cluster Registry API, and Multicluster Ingress (kubemci). There’s also proof of concept demo of Federated Istio spanning multiple regional K8s clusters on top of Federation v2. (Video)

Mike Arpaia, creator of osquery and co-founder of Kolide, gives an overview of how they wrote a “Tenant Operator” to manage what he calls “Application Tenancy” in order to provide a hosted SaaS where each customer gets their own full application stack on top of multiple shared Kubernetes clusters. (Video)

Tips & Tricks

Melanie Cebula, from Airbnb, gives a keynote about scaling continuous delivery of Kubernetes services using custom tooling to automate best practices. (Video)

Stefan Schimanski (who had like 4 talks scheduled) and Maciej Szulik, both from Red Hat, talk about the functionality of Kubernetes audit logging from alpha in v1.7 through general availability in v1.12. (Video)

Yang Guan, from Google, demos the new cost metering beta in GKE that allows tracking fine grained networking and resource utilization and allocation and translating it into GCE costs. (Video)

Yuri Shkuro, of Uber, and Pavol Loffay, of Red Hat, demo Jaeger, an open source distributed tracing framework for debugging distributed systems using call graphs, transaction monitoring, performance measurement, and service dependency analysis. (Video)



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Karl Isenberg

Cloud Guy. Anthos Solutions Architect at Google (opinions my own). X-Cruise, X-Mesosphere, & X-Pivotal.