I’m pretty sure I could not give you a succinct definition of ‘cloud-native’ but as a gross oversimplification for the masses then it boils down to ‘using Kubernetes’. Next year it will be different – it’s a very nebulous space. Here’s my snapshot of what I learnt about how the cloud native tech and community is shaping up as of Copenhagen 2018.
Go Kube or go home
Kubernetes is the calling card of modern cloud technology. It is hard to believe the impact that this technology with a 4-syllable-greek-mouthful-of-a-name has made in such a short space of time. Other container orchestration technologies like Docker Swarm and Mesos have fallen to the wayside as Kubernetes domination is complete. Every technology that wants to stay modern and relevant, whether it’s a CI/CD tool or a Cloud IDE or whatever, must now absolutely have a Kubernetes narrative.
Cloud led us to DevOps. But DevOps was declared the new legacy in Simon Wardley’s keynote. Fortunately in his 2020 vision keynote, Alexis Richardson proposed that in turn cloud native leads us to GitOps. GitOpswill be the new community of practice where we push code not containers and perform operations by pull request. So configuration as code. This was reflected in many track talks such as JenkinsX as well as GitOps & Istio.
Cloud was supposed to be that one magic place where all different components could connect and interact so users wouldn’t really have to care about ‘stuff in the cloud’. But there are different clouds just like there are different sizes of infinity. So even though all major cloud providers have standardized on Kubernetes, this doesn’t mean you can easily interoperate between them and their storage. Hence the need for ridiculous terms like multicloud and hybrid cloud. Nevertheless there are some great initiatives emerging to work towards a true universal cloud, in the form of cloud events.
The community has grown fast and everybody is hiring. There are still diversity imbalances but lots of great initiatives pushing things in the right direction; an EmpowHer reception, diversity luncheon and sponsorship not to mention terrific representation on the keynote stage. The event was also very well organized with the highlight of an all attendee party at Tivoli gardens (pop quiz: how many coaches do you need to shift 4000+ attendees to a funfair?). Somehow 5g-force rides and fast moving rollercoasters that turn your world upside down seem like a fitting metaphor for the entire cloud native space.