The Kampnagel area, formerly an important production facility for harbor cranes, today an international center for contemporary performing arts, is located near the Alster directly on the Osterbek Canal.
The former factory offers a venue for events and presentations, where the unmistakable charm of a Hanseatic industrial company from the 19th century is combined with the liveliness and professionalism of a modern cultural establishment.
The location offers six different halls with space for 150 to 2,500 guests, but the talks have been held in four of them in parallel.
I can tell you; it was a truly charming location. And most important - there was a supreme local coffee roastery on-site which offered a variety of tasty coffee types. ☕
The talks were certainly the core element of the event, but the sponsors were creative when it came to represent their booth in an extravagant fashion.
At the Kubermatic booth you did not only find a super cute dog with an own conference pass, but you could also challenge others to a game of air hockey. Depending on the player who scored it deployed a K8s cluster either in AWS or GCP.
We could feel how it must be to be one of the big players competing against each other 😂.
If you didn't like air hockey, you could play mini golf, sign-up for all the lotteries or just simply grab some of the available swags.
Now let's talk about the core part of the journey - the conference itself. I must admit it was one of the most interesting conferences I've been to.
The main focus of the event was security and observability within K8s. This time I often felt like I made the right choice when sitting in a talk. Either the topic was interesting, the speaker was outstanding, or both combined.
So let me highlight a few of them.
eBPF for Runtime Security - Liz Rice, Isovalent
eBPF seems to be THE thing when it comes to security and observability within Kubernetes.
eBPF is a framework that allows users to load and run custom programs within the kernel of the operating system. That means it can extend or even modify the way the kernel behaves.
As an eBPF program is loaded into the kernel, a verifier ensures that it is safe to run, and rejects it if not. Once loaded, an eBPF program needs to be attached to an event, so that whenever the event happens, the program is triggered.
You might already be using eBPF in your deployments, in the form of CNCF projects like Cilium or Falco, lower-level tools like bpftrace or even in the form of seccomp profiles.
eBPF-based tools like these can connect, observe and secure applications without having to make any changes at all to those applications - you don't even have to restart them or to have different tools on the different layers of the stack. It's an all-in-one solution.
As eBPF is a complex and huge topic, I can only recommend watching the talk from Liz Rice:
The next talk I want to highlight is from Michal Brygidyn, PGS Software, Part of Xebia and it’s called “Cloud Hacking Scenarios”. From my point of view, he deserves an award for the funniest but still very interesting and important talk.
With a lot of dry humor, he talked about the common mistakes we make in our DevOps life to open big security holes.
As I don't want to spoil it too much, this talk should be watched by EVERYONE working in the IT area, but even better everyone should be aware of this.
Another talk I want to highlight is from Matthias Hauessler, Novatec - What's going on in my cluster?
This talk gives you a great and easy to understand overview about the Kubernetes ecosystem. I can recommend it if you are about to start with Kubernetes or if you have issues understanding certain concepts.
This talk also intends to look at the various aspects of Kubernetes observability and to introduce and compare multiple Open Source tools to achieve that. The range of tools covers different observability levels and requirements of different user groups.
It starts with tools simply querying the Kubernetes API and delivering the outputs in an easy-to-understand UI, goes over the possibilities of service meshes and ends with application-side logging and monitoring.
All the conference talks are already available on youtube: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLHhKcdBlprMdIMzUZX6ho0OPTikTamLwa
In summary the conference was a big success. We connected to a lot of different people and heard great talks about very interesting topics like eBPF.
Some of the talks were super interesting but overall, the deep dive into a certain topic was not really possible as the time slot for talks was limited to 35 minutes.
Nevertheless, I often got a good overview of the topics to then later dig in further myself. An example for that: I heard about NeuVector in a talk from Bastian Hofmann from SUSE and now I deployed it on my K8s cluster on DCS+ to test it out 😀.
I'm already looking forward to the next conference!
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