KubeCon 2023, Amsterdam: 10K Strong and Sold Out

Catalogic 04/24/2023 0 Comments
With over 10,000 in-person attendees, 58% of whom were new to the conference, and 2,000 on the waitlist to attend in person, KubeCon Europe 2023 reflects the rising importance of this new platform. It is not just about development, but rather all about the drive to adapt to the digital age of applications. It also means adapting IT infrastructure to support the new apps and new development. Call it containers, container-native, or Kubernetes – it is the next platform.

Last summer, our analyst team reported on the upcoming interest by IT operations in our report: Unlocking the Gate to Digital Transformation. Taking a slightly contrarian view on the hype around containers, we sought out IT operations professionals to get their take on the impact of this new platform. Was adoption really in the 80-90% range as some of the reports were claiming? What we found was a decided inflection in production deployments, with 51% stating they were in full production. For those living and breathing in the container world, this is decidedly less than what we were seeing in reports from CNCF or others, and I believe due in large part to the panel we surveyed: IT operations versus developers.

So where are we? IT Operations teams are now engaging with their traditional responsibilities but with new techniques or approaches. So far Kubernetes has been the domain of DevOps – for some this means Development and Operations are run by the same team. In reality, as the clusters expand and multiply, Development and Operations are dividing up the labor, yet intricately executing. Development wants to move fast, and manage all the code to rapidly deploy or make sure the environment is compliant, secure, and reliable, which takes away from their core job of coding with agility.

This is the reality in which we play, and in which KubeCon is serving the community. It will take a very large, active community to pull off a world that is able to deliver highly reliable, secure environments that are able to migrate between locations. This will become more important as containers move into stateful applications.

One example is the efforts behind security. A new project “KeyCloak” was highlighted at KubeCon 2023, driven by Red Hat and Hitachi. Hitachi, long known for its systems of high reliability, is one of the newest members of CNCF. KeyCloak will be addressing user federation, strong authentication, user management, and fine-grained authorization across applications. CNCF also rolled out a new certification badge for Cloud Native Security Associate.

Over the last two years, we have been covering the movement of data protection for containers, but the uptick has been slow. Two years ago, we often heard “data protection is not needed.” The switch this year was a big shift. KubeCon attendees were seeking out vendors for education (Kasten’s KubeCampus) and advice from the show floor (Catalogic, Portworx, and NetApp Astra were a constant throng, and then we saw the newcomer to the show – Veritas). Unfortunately, my attempt to attend some of the high availability or “how we recovered” sessions were for naught, as there was standing room only and no room for those who came to the room a few minutes late.

Will we see an explosion of IT Operations running these platforms and performing their magic? Maybe. But I can predict with certainty that KubeCon in Paris next year will be very well attended.