This is a report and a personal experience while visiting the Cloud Native Compute Foundation Conference taking place from 28.03-30.03.2017 in Berlin.
What is cloud native
Cloud native applications are build for modern cloud infrastructures. They embrace continuous deployment of components are easy to scale. There is an increasingly huge ecosystem of tools, considering themselves as cloud native. The cloud native landscape  illustrates an incomplete overview of that ecosystem, build by the Cloud Native Compute Foundation (CNCF)
One keynote made an interesting analogy :
|Broom||hand crafted servers with lots of scripts operated by a wizard sysadmin|
|Vacuum Cleaner||semi automated server management with configuration management tools like puppet or chef|
|Roomba||cloud native tools driven by the collaboration of developers and operator utilizing container infrastructure|
The CNCF is a non-profit organisation cooperating with the Linux Foundation. They support their members in terms of marketing, infrastructure, documentation and more. They aim to provide a neutral home for crucial cloud native components. Current members of the CNCF are:
an open-source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications
metric aggregation and alterting solution
request tracing across distributed applications
unified logging layer
transparent proxy with service discovery, routing and failure handling
a remote procedure call framework
service discovery and fully functional DNS server
industry standard container runtime
simple standard embracing container engine
The foundation is supported by many leading IT companies.
This conference - the Cloud Native Compute Foundation Conference - was co-located with the Kubecon. Since Kubernetes powers lots of cloud native applications, both conferences integrated very well.
Besides companies and organisations pushing their tools the user stories of cloud native adopting companies were the most interesting. Most of them argued that in order to keep up with speed to market they had to embrace certain DevOps strategies. The cloud native tools provide possible solutions to enable the shift to a DevOps culture.
The CNCF specifically gives companies a certain grade of confidence and trust, since the tools supported by them increase the chance for them being around for a while.
Of course adopting these new tools and strategies, they introduced a lot of technical and personal challenges like:
- How to convice dev and ops?
- How to deploy the infrastructure?
- How to scale the infrastructure?
- What to do with legacy software?
- How to monitor?
They could not provide a generic solution besides: "Just try it in small steps and do not try to go 'full-stack' at once". There are a lot of challenges which are not solved yet and best practices are still to find.
The closing keynote summarized quite well, what most people would conclude after the 3 days.
Cloud native is still hard
The cloud native landscape is huge and constantly changing. The biggest challenge is to find a set of tools and a strategy that fits your use-case, but still enables you to adapt. One of the goals of the CNCF and Kubernetes is to make development and deployment of cloud native apps as clear as the development and deployment of a smartphone app.
Feel free to contact me, if you would like to discuss more details in that scope:
If you are looking for jobs at cloud native companies have a look at