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Insights from KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2019

Last month I was fortunate to attend KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2019 in beautiful Barcelona. On the long (~36 hour) journey home to Australia I had a lot of time to reflect on the experience and thought I’d share my insights and recommended watch list for those who weren’t there. I’m particularly interested in the needs of traditional IT Operations teams and general enterprise organizations who are looking to understand how they adopt these new technologies and practices alongside their extensive legacy systems and traditional applications.

One of my favorite tracks at KubeCon Europe was the customer case studies. These are really worthwhile watching to get an understanding of how a wide range of organizations have gone about adoption of microservices and the related technologies like Kubernetes. Some of these are about successes while others share horror stories but all of them are an excellent way to inform your own planning, testing and adoption phases.

My recommended watch list is:

How Spotify Accidentally Deleted All its Kube Clusters with No User Impact 

by David Xia, Infrastructure Engineer, Spotify

In this keynote session David shared his team’s experience during Spotify’s migration to Kubernetes which is a mix of human error, toolchain chaos and brutal validation of their disaster recovery planning. David is very open about his personal errors and experiences during the process and shares the factors that allowed them to recover from this incident and protect their organization and customers from any significant impact. This is an excellent talk to understand how to manage your risk and exposure during early stages of adoption.

From COBOL to Kubernetes: A 250 Year Old Banks Cloud-Native Journey

by Laura Rehorst, Product Owner, ABN AMRO Bank N.V.  & Mike Ryan, DevOps Consultant, backtothelab.io

Laura and Mike’s keynote session shares how they’ve adopted GitOps and microservices in the context of a highly regulated and compliance driven organization like ABN AMRO Bank N.V. This session is a great way to understand how modern IT practices and technologies can be combined to provide compliance alongside agility and resilience.



A Journey to a Centralized, Globally Distributed Platform

by Katie Gamanji, Cloud Platform Engineer, Conde Naste International

Conde Naste operates a globally distributed organization that provides a wide range of global and regional publications. Katie discusses how they’ve approached creating a shared global platform for centrally serving their diverse organizational and customer base as well as some of the challenges they face in various geographic locations. This session is perfect for understanding some of the challenges you may face in operating in diverse geographical environments.

Kubernetes Failure Stories and How to Crash Your Clusters

by Henning Jacobs, Head of Developer Productivity, Zalando SE

In this session Henning reviews a number of his team’s incident postmortems and discusses lessons learned from each. This talk will give you a feel for what operating these kinds of platforms looks like on a day-to-day basis as well as highlights the types of common scenarios you’ll need to be able to handle in Production. Henning also maintains a public list of links to other Kubernetes Failure Stories which is well organized and documents the components involved and the impact of the incident for each.

These next sessions, I didn’t personally attend but heard good feedback from others.


Migrating South East Asia’s Biggest Payments Company to Kubernetes

by Akashdeep Singh, GO-JEK & Abhishek Sangwan, MavenHive Technologies

10 Ways to Shoot Yourself in the Foot with Kubernetes, #9 Will Surprise You 

by Laurent Bernaille & Robert Boll, Datadog

For over 300 recorded session from KubeCon + CloudNativeCon EU check out their YouTube playlist here.

I’d like to thank all of the speakers, organizers and contributors for a great event and for sharing their time and knowledge with the community. I’m looking forward to next year!


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