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This Week in Programming: What’s the Takeaway of KubeCon EU 2021?

This Week in Programming gathers together the hottes development news for the cloud native computing community.
May 8th, 2021 6:00am by
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Big conferences always lead people to ask questions like “what is the key takeaway?” and this week’s KubeCon+CloudNativeCon Europe is no exception. Of course, it’s not necessarily true that there is one answer to this sort of question, and it certainly depends on who you ask. That guy you know who works for a storage vendor will inevitably quip that persistent storage, or some such thing, is still the biggest issue to tackle with Kubernetes, while the service mesh maintainer will talk to you about the great panel on proxies.

In the lead up to the event, Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) vice president of ecosystem Cheryl Hung penned an article in Tech Beacon that offered readers a look at four cloud native trends to watch at the conference: Internet of Things and edge computing, AI, GitOps, and system resilience. “A need to master the development and delivery process […] became a pressing issue,” Hung wrote, noting the increasing adoption of containers and Kubernetes alongside the similarly increasing pace of software delivery.

Obviously, Hung would have an insider’s edge at predicting the themes of a conference that her organization puts on, but do attendees and presenters agree?

The New Stack contributing author Bruce Gain was one such observer in attendance this past week, and his takeaway indeed had to do with helping ease software delivery pains, as he wrote in his wrap-up of the conference, titled “KubeCon + CloudNativeCon EU Confronts the Great App-Delivery Challenge.”

“Today, most Sandbox projects of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation fall under the broad categories of runtime and application delivery, reflecting how DevOps teams continue to seek ways to improve the developer and operations experience when building and deploying applications on cloud native environments, especially for those built on Kubernetes,” writes Gain, pointing to a keynote by CNCF Technical Oversight Committee Chair Liz Rice. “In other words, most activity around CNCF Sandbox projects has been associated with improving the developer experience for cloud native production pipelines,” he later continues.

Indeed, Gain continues on in his analysis with some discussion of GitOps, service mesh, and proxies, but what else could be expected? The view, however, is different depending on who you ask, and Aeva Black, open source program manager with Azure Confidential Computing at Microsoft, offers a Twitter thread that comes to a distinctly different conclusion:

Rather than application delivery or GitOps, the synopsis they offer is that the most important panels of the event were focused on cybersecurity and things that impact privacy and safety, noting that “#diversity is a #security issue, too!”

All that said, what was your takeaway from KubeCon this time around?

This Week in Programming

  • AWS Intros CloudFront Functions: Delivering functions on the edge seems all the rage these days, and this week Amazon Web Services is getting in on the fun with the introduction of CloudFront Functions. Already, AWS offered Lambda@Edge, which it launched in 2017 for serverless edge computing to address complex use cases. Now, the company is launching CloudFront Functions to address a different set of use cases: “simple HTTP(s) request/response manipulations that can be executed by very short-lived functions.” CloudFront Functions gives you the ability to run lightweight JavaScript code at the 218+ CloudFront edge locations at approximately 1/6th the price of Lambda@Edge, for quick processing requests such as rewriting URLs for A/B testing, manipulating HTTP headers, and so forth. And if CloudFront Functions isn’t enough, worry not, as Lambda@Edge can be triggered both before and after to handle the extra work, as needed. For a table on how the two distinctly differed, head on over to the blog post and check out the docs on how you can start using CloudFront Functions to add custom logic at the edge for your applications.

  • Amazon Tackles Financial Services Data: Not all data is created equal, and that is certainly true when it comes to financial data, which, like other forms of sensitive data, is subject to regulation and often relegated to live in organizational silos. For those of you working with financial data, then, you might be excited to hear of Amazon’s entrance into the space with Amazon FinSpace, a data management and analytics solution that it says “reduces the time it takes to find and prepare data from months to minutes so analysts can spend more time on analysis.” As you likely know, it’s that data prep that often falls to you, and Amazon FinSpace proposes to help by removing “the undifferentiated heavy lifting required to store, prepare, manage, and audit access to data” by automating the steps involved in finding data and preparing it for analysis. FinSpace offers a built-in library of 100+ functions for time series data, provides integrated Jupyter notebooks, and offers a framework for managing data access to audit who is accessing what data and when.

  • Kotlin 1.5.0 Arrives On Schedule: Or rather, should we say, the first big Kotlin release of 2021 has arrived according to the new release schedule announced October 2020, which dictates that new Kotlin releases come every six months, rather than when new features are ready. While that is true, Kotlin 1.5.0 also comes with a bunch of stable language features such as JVM records, sealed interfaces, inline classes, and includes the new default JVM IR compiler, bringing a number of features previewed in Kotlin 1.4.30 to stable. For more details, check out the deep dive on what’s new in Kotlin 1.5.0 or, if you have questions, there will be a live Q&A on May 25 during the Kotlin 1.5 Online Event.
  • Rust Offers An Update: The Rust Core Team has offered an update on where things stand with the language, beyond that whole Rust Foundation that you’ve heard so much about lately. First up, the core team adopted the 2021 Roadmap earlier this year, which set the goals for the core team for this year. The roadmap focuses on “project health, specifically as it relates to Rust’s governance structure,” and part of that is for each team to create a formal charter, which appears to be well underway. Another project the Core Team has undertaken is performing an audit of packages on, “making sure that they’re things that should be owned by the project, making sure that they have appropriate permissions, making sure that they have people taking care of them, all of that kind of thing.” This particular effort, clarifies an RFC, is part of “an endeavor to categorize these crates and introduce a policy for consistently messaging their raison d’être and guarantees.” And if reading about Rust is something you’re into, some further reading for you this week takes a look at Rust’s most unrecognized contributor: Dave Herman.

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