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Published on 04/15/2024
Last updated on 06/18/2024

KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2024 wrap up: Two key themes and special editions of Cloud Unfiltered


Au revoir, Europe! KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2024 concluded last month in Paris. The conference focuses on discussions around Kubernetes and cloud native technologies and is attended by developers, IT professionals, and business leaders in the microservices and containerization space. 

The Cloud Unfiltered podcast was there to capture the energy and thirst for knowledge. With over 12,000 attendees, this conference was one of the most well-attended in its 10-year history 

Two key themes from KubeCon 2024: Platform engineering and AI

Through the four days of the conference, two themes repeatedly rose to the top: platform engineering and AI.

Platform engineering had its own Day 0 track called Platform Engineering Day Europe. The attendance for this track was strong. Over the years, technologists have always disagreed on what DevOps practices were best practices and who should perform them. Platform engineering is better defined and agreed upon, allowing people to understand the common elements needed for success on their DevOps journey. Among the many presentations of the day was an excellent presentation on platform engineering maturity by Nicki Watt, CEO/CTO at OpenCredo, that aligned with the CNCF Platform Engineering Maturity Model

Of course, the theme of AI was everywhere. There was a strong focus on how to integrate cloud native technologies with AI pipelines. The sentiment seemed to be that these technologies were meant for one another. On this topic, two open-source solutions were frequently brought up:

  1. Ollama is a cloud native solution used for running open-source LLMs locally.
  2. GPTScript, created by the folks at Acorn, is an open-source solution that lets you use natural language to define and piece together tools to interact with LLMs.

Conversations around AI at the conference were inescapable. AI has penetrated our daily lives, and it’s here to stay.

Cloud Unfiltered interviews: Talking to the people moving the cloud forward

Throughout the conference, I had the opportunity to interview several wonderful people for the Cloud Unfiltered podcast, and we covered a range of different topics.

Exploring the fascinating world of eBPF with Liz Rice

Liz Rice (Chief Open Source Officer at Isovalent) joined the podcast to discuss the history of her open-source solutions, like Cilium and eBPF. Liz is a prominent figure in the cloud native community and shared about her journey and Isovalent’s recent acquisition by Cisco. She gave us insight into the fascinating world of eBPF, a revolutionary technology that allows for custom programs to run inside the kernel, enhancing security, observability, and networking capabilities in containerized environments.

Taking a holistic approach to securing applications with Matt Johnson

Matt Johnson (Cloud Security Advocate at Palo Alto Networks) shared his insights on the current state of cloud security. We talked about the importance of a holistic approach to securing applications across multiple layers and the role of developers in the security ecosystem.

Throughout the conversation, Matt emphasized the need for simplification in the IT industry, particularly in security practices, and he also discussed the impact of AI and machine learning on security, the significance of platform engineering, and the buzz around "shift left" in the security world.

Platform engineering insights with Rachel Wonnacott

Rachael Wonnacott (Head of Platform for Fidelity) discussed the technical—and social— complexity of designing, implementing, and encouraging the adoption of a platform. Rachael gave us an illuminating real-world peek into the key considerations when implementing a platform that drives business value into a company.

The evolution of IaC with Sebastian Stadil

Sebastian Stadil (Co-Founder and CEO of Scalr) reflected on the broader implications of DevOps practices in today's cloud-centric environment. His conversation on the podcast shed light on the future of software development and deployment, including his perspectives on the evolution of infrastructure as code. We also discussed Sebastian’s role in the formation of OpenTofu, the open-source community’s answer to licensing changes from Terraform by HashiCorp.

Choose your own cloud security adventure with Viktor Farcic and Whitney Lee

We also interviewed Viktor Farcic (Developer Advocate at Upbound) and Whitney Lee (Staff Technical Advocate at VMWare), discussing their conference session: Choose Your Own Adventure: The Struggle for Security. During their session, they discussed cloud native security tools and the audience voted on which tool would win out. The “Choose Your Own Adventure” mindset brought a unique approach to educating individuals about security tools and encouraged the audience to choose the ones that best fit their specific context and needs.

That’s a wrap!

That wraps up KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe 2024. We had four days of compelling presentations and insightful discussions, with several opportunities to interview experts for Cloud Unfiltered along the way. Expect to see us in Salt Lake City, Utah, as we make our rounds during KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America in November.

In the meantime, subscribe to the Cloud Unfiltered podcast (on YouTube, Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Substack) for more conversations with the people who are working to move cloud technology and implementation forward.

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