The Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) hosted the European edition of CloudNativeCon last week in Berlin. The threads of interoperability and freedom of choice wove through the keynotes and most of the sessions.

This event had one optional “101”-level training session, but was dominated by sessions presented by developers, and for developers. At this early stage of the evolution of Kubernetes, and the associated tool stack, this is perhaps no surprise. As a developer myself, I was stoked by this content mix. But during the keynote segments, speakers offered the observation that Kubernetes is at the point where it needs to pivot and grow in the operations direction to build a broader audience.

The conference keynote kicked off with the announcement of the Platinum Sponsorship of CNCF by Dell Technologies. If you missed this, read more about it from Josh Bernstein here.


Over the last 2 years, Kubernetes has emerged as one of the leading open source projects in terms of momentum. It is undoubtedly the star horse in the CNCF stable, which also features a large and growing arsenal of supplemental tools that work with Kubernetes or alternate container schedulers. As a fitting homage, CloudNativeCon was co-located with KubeCon.

Key elements of the 1.6 release:

  • Better support for Enterprise deployments through Role Based Access Control
    • described as moving Kubernetes from something like single user DOS, to multi-user Unix
  • Better support for running stateful applications in Kubernetes managed pods and containers.
  • Natively supports Dell EMC ScaleIO

I attended these sessions and highly recommend taking the time to watch:

Other CNCF sponsored projects – tools you can trust

In addition to the Kubernetes container scheduler, the CNCF hosts a broad suite of compatible tools designed to interoperate and deliver modern distributed systems. These combined create capabilities that scale to tens of thousands of self healing multi-tenant capable nodes, while fulfilling operational gaps.

A key aspect of this tool suite effort is to allow continued innovation by developing compatibility standards, while allowing some duplication in the form of multiple standards compliant implementations. Choice = freedom = competition = innovation.

Freedom of Choice: containerd and rkt

Both the containerd and the rkt container execution engines were added as CNCF projects that support the OCI container image standard.

If you want to check out these container execution engines, I recommend watching these sessions to shop and compare the choices:

A Breakdown of Projects in the Tool and Service Sessions

There were too many sessions on tools and services to catch them all live, but some important projects stand out in terms of growing adoption and community contribution.


Prometheus is a metrics monitoring system designed to deliver a cloud native approach to monitoring services. It is designed to allow a human to monitor a huge installation effectively.

CloudNativeCon Keynote: Prometheus video slides


Fluentd is an open source logging solution that unifies data collection and consumption. You should watch Eduardo Silva’s keynote speech on updates to Fluentd here, and there’s a longer presentation on Fluentd from the recent SCALE conference here.


gRPC is a tool designed for interservice communication when building connected systems. It is based on Google Protocol Buffers using HTTP/2 and a transport. It supports interop across a huge number of languages and platforms. As a developer, I found the gRPC roadmap session by Jayant Kolhe and Varun Talwar of Google exciting. It was so oversubscribed that even the floor tiles held sitting bodies. No published recording, but the keynote session is online and a recent deck on gRPC is here.

This CloudNativeCon was full of individuals invested in solving common problems within the cloud native computing space. The road map revealed at the conference confirms that this domain will continue to advance at a rapid pace. Mark your calendars to attend December’s CloudNativeCon + KubeCon in Los Angeles!

If you didn’t get a chance to make it to Berlin and want to see what all the buzz is about, many of the sessions are available on CNCF’s YouTube playlist.