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Kubernetes / Open Source

What I Look Forward To: The Cloud Foundry Summit 2021

Liberating engineering teams from having to build platforms to make Kubernetes more usable is the big theme at the Cloud Foundry Summit 2021.
Jul 13th, 2021 7:20am by
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Our Kube Roots

Ram Iyengar
Ram is an engineer by practice and an educator at heart. He was (cf) pushed into technology evangelism along his journey as a developer and hasn’t looked back since! He enjoys helping engineering teams around the world discover new and creative ways to work.

Let’s start by talking about our Kube roots. Kubernetes has fundamentally changed the way software engineering teams think about cloud infrastructure. Kube-readiness dominates the conversations in all social spaces. Teams of all sizes and shapes are scrambling to find a good way to apply container orchestration to their software lifecycle. Large enterprise teams are finding ways to manage their container strategies better and prepare for scaling gracefully. Smaller teams and startups are looking to develop a future-proof strategy and begin with a technology choice that has a long runway. Both kinds of teams are looking to Kubernetes for their pressing needs.

While Kubernetes does have answers to the most pertinent questions for both these kinds of teams, the tool becomes usable if, and only if, a larger platform is built around it. Several teams are spending valuable engineering resources in building custom platforms to make Kubernetes usable and functional for their organizations. Whether these are large teams or small, this utilization pattern means less time available to work on the core product, not to mention additional maintenance and update work in the future.

The Cloud Foundry Summit 2021

Liberating engineering teams from having to build platforms to make Kubernetes more usable is, in my opinion, the big win from Cloud Foundry. This is the big theme at the Cloud Foundry Summit 2021. In particular, several talks at the conference are focused on improving the operational experience with Kubernetes, which I will highlight in this article.

What, Why and How of Cloud Foundry with Kubernetes

The first session I’d like to mention is “Better Together, Cloud Foundry Improves Kubernetes,” by Kevin Rutten, cloud engineer from Stark & Wayne. This talk will review the migration journey that many teams are going through right now and provide context on how Cloud Foundry can ease a lot of the pains that teams are experiencing. A wonderful complement to this talk is “When to Choose CloudFoundry Over Kubernetes?” by Julian Fischer from anynines GMBH. He will provide background and context into making technology choices around Cloud Foundry and Kubernetes.

“The proof is in the pudding” goes the old adage. In the talk titled “Deep Dive: Making a Molehill Out of a Mountain,” Ian Bush of Comcast and Neville George, an independent consultant, discuss all the aspects of operating an application composed of microservices on Kubernetes clusters that is deployed and operated using Cloud Foundry. The contents of this talk are derived from real-world experience in operating Cloud Foundry and Kubernetes. It is expected to be full of lessons picked up in the wild.

Handling Day 2 Issues with Cloud Foundry

The next set of talks deal with pertinent Day 2 issues concerning platform operations. Cloud Foundry can greatly simplify the workflows that engineering teams have in debugging, log aggregation, ingesting metrics, incident response and RBACs. In no particular order, here’s a list of the talks that will help engineers learn more about how Cloud Foundry simplifies handling of Day 2 issues:

  • “Collecting App Container Metrics with Sidecar Buildpacks,” Patrick Hartz from anynines GmbH
  • “Remote Debugging Java Applications in Cloud Foundry,” Subhankar Chattopadhyay and Shashank Mohan Jain, both from SAP
  • “Updating Roles: Premiering the New Space Application Supporter Role,” Mona Mohebbi and Merric de Launey of the VMware Tanzu team
  • “Building Rapid CVE Responses into CF for K8s,” Dr. Dave Walter and Andrew Wittrock, VMware
  • “Deep Dive: Full Speed Ahead: Tales of Running Loggregator at its Scaling Limits with High Log Throughput and Minimal Log Loss,” Jovan Kostovski, SAP

Paketo Buildpacks: A Special Ingredient

A big role in simplifying the developer experience is made possible by the use of Paketo Buildpacks, an open source project run by the Cloud Foundry Foundation. It’s a tool that provides a homogenous build experience across different languages and frameworks. As a follow-up to talks from previous years that introduced Paketo Buildpacks, this year there is a deep dive by two engineers from VMware, Sophie Wigmore and Forest Eckhardt, contributors to the Paketo project. Their talk will focus on a specific aspect of Paketo Buildpacks, namely Bill of Materials, and will generally revolve around security and utility.

Extensibility and Agility of CF

The areas of extensibility and migrations are of importance to any engineering team looking to adopt new technologies. A few talks at the summit should provide insight into how Cloud Foundry PaaS, its associated service offerings and the CF API support migrations and can accommodate new offerings. The following talks provide insight into the world of the CF API, migrations and new ways to extend the core CF functionality in a brave new cloud native world:

  • “Deep Dive: Moving is Hard – Migrations without Impact (or Back Pain),” Stacy Kirkland, Liberty Mutual Insurance and Tom Mitchell, Stark & Wayne
  • “How to Migrate Data Between Services using Cloud Foundry Tasks,” Heitor Meira de Melo, anynines GmbH
  • “The Odd Couple – Cross-platform Services with Examples in Blacksmith and Tweed,” Kevin Rutten, Stark & Wayne

Training and Learning

One of the most unserved and underserved areas of adopting new technologies is around team culture. This has always been an area of significant difficulty for technology, Cloud Foundry being no exception. For those who believe non-technical challenges can be just as interesting as technical ones, please don’t miss the talk by Martín Valencia Flores of anynines GmbH titled “The Challenges of Onboarding People With Zero Cloud Foundry Experience: A Newcomer’s POV.” This talk contains anecdotes gathered from bringing hundreds of developers onboard the Cloud Foundry ecosystem, often for the first time.

Registering for the Summit

The Cloud Foundry Foundation is inviting folks to join us at the Cloud Foundry Virtual Summit 2021. It is a fully online event that you can join from the comfort of your couch. We believe that the summit has a lot to offer this year for small, medium and enterprise teams alike. Here’s a link to the event page and a link to the registration page. The event is being held on July 21-22.  There is also an Unconference happening on the day preceding the event (July 20). Keynotes by Chip Childers, executive director of the Cloud Foundry Foundation, the newly-elected  Technical Oversight Committee chairperson, plus interesting events around inclusivity and diversity are all included in the schedule for the Summit.

For further information, feel free to reach out to us at

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