KubeCon 2018 Seattle and Azure

KubeCon 2018 was in Seattle this week and I attended as media for the Microsoft Cloud Show. KubeCon is a conference dedicated to the Kubernetes, it’s community and it’s thriving ecosystem of partners and vendors. This year saw 8,000 people attending so it definitely isn’t some small time event.

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I was really interested in this event for a few reasons, not least of which was seeing what Microsoft was up to there. Like other events my primary interest was walking the expo floor and seeing what vendors and partners were there and what they were doing. It’s a great way to measure the pulse of an ecosystem. You can see who is investing in an ecosystem, get a feel for the excitement, see who is no longer participating and talk to people to get a sense of what is new and interesting.

Microsoft have been investing in Kubernetes for a while now and their presence at this conference was no exception. It was actually pretty incredible to see their booth buzzing at the show with plenty of people at it asking questions and seeing what Azure was all about. I commented on twitter that it almost brought a tear to my eye seeing the Microsoft booth that busy at a confernce about a technology that could certainly historically be classified “non-microsoft” developer friendly. Seeing Microsoft stand alongside AWS and Google Cloud with a solid offering and being taken seriously was awesome!

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Microsoft have been doing really innovative things in the containers space recently, for example the public preview of the virtual kubelet. Virtual Kubelet brings the world of serverless together with kubernetes. You can take advantage of Azure Container Instances with Kubernetes so that you don’t need to worry about compute capacity on your worker nodes. Run as many containers as you like and Microsoft will take care of the compute behind the scenes. It also works for other serverless container platforms like AWS Fargate too.

I checked out some interesting vendors in the expo like Atomist who make a platform that helps you build the software delivery process you want. Sysdig that does interesting things around monitoring and securing containers. And Rookout that lets you debug running applications in Kubernetes. It was really interesting to see these vendors providing similar solutions to offerings in the MS dev space that we have grown used to over the years with VS and Azure over the years. It really makes you realize how behind the rest of the industry are when it comes to developer tooling. MS is of course catching up in the Kubernetes space, but .Net tooling is incredible vs. whats available for non-MS developers.

Finally, something i really noticed was how different a conference that was not run by a big vendor. like Microsoft, was. It had a very different feel having the big players as just partners and not running the show. It really rippled across everything from session content not being massaged by the big corporate organizer, the keynotes not being all about one vendor and through to things like child care on site that just seemed so logical.
It was a really great show and I hope I get the opportunity to go again!

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