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KubeCon 2020 preview: Session guide for fine-tuning Kubernetes

Hosted as a low-cost virtual event, KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America 2020 offers a broad array of technical sessions that can help you scale and improve Kubernetes deployments.

While Kubernetes is a relatively young technology, reaching version 1.0 in 2015, many IT organizations run large production workloads with mature Kubernetes and container deployments. For these advanced adopters, the information shared at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon can expand their usage and improve processes.

The Cloud Native Computing Foundation hosts KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America, taking place online November 17-20. CNCF manages the open source Kubernetes project, and offers Kubernetes training and certifications, in addition to KubeCon.

Expert Kubernetes users should strive for continuous improvement. Additionally, many IT organizations are ready to extend Kubernetes from one successful implementation to use across multiple teams and applications. The sessions highlighted below were selected for their focus on scaling Kubernetes and adopting everything-as-code.

Editor's note: If you're new to Kubernetes, or not quite at the expert level yet, check out our KubeCon session roundups for Kubernetes beginners and intermediate users.

Managing Developer Workflows with the Kubernetes API

How do you get hundreds of application developers to follow the same conventions? That's a difficult task in any scenario, but Kubernetes' flexibility and extensibility make it especially arduous. This session walks through how the Adobe Document Cloud team imposed architectural standards across their large organization with an in-house Kubernetes client.

Presenter Colin Murphy is an engineering manager at Adobe working on infrastructure engineering of Adobe Document Cloud microservices, including Adobe Sign and Acrobat Web. Learn more about the session here.

DevOps Performance From a Different Dataset: What 30M Workflows Reveal

IT organizations that run Kubernetes have probably established a set of best practices along the way. A conference is a great place to compare your performance with peers, and adjust or add to those best practices. This session presents DevOps best practices derived from research on 900,000 developers who use a SaaS tool, across 25,000 organizations, totaling more than 30 million builds a month. What common threads emerge from this large and diverse group, and how can they improve your team's performance?

Presenter Michael Stahnke is VP of platform at CircleCI, covering site reliability engineering, security and tooling. Learn more about the session here.

The Building Blocks of DX: K8s Evolution From CLI to GitOps

DX -- developer experience -- is a crucial factor in Kubernetes adoption across an organization with varied teams and apps. This session introduces attendees to the cluster CLI and kubectl plugins and wrappers, as well as other tools behind consistent developer experiences with Kubernetes. It also delves into trending terms such as GitOps, ClickOps and SheetOps.

Presenter Katie Gamanji is a cloud platform engineer at financial company American Express, and a representative on the Technical Oversight Committee of the CNCF. Learn more about the session here.

Open up to open source

Developers and Kubernetes operators often create complementary technologies during the containerization journey, so we've called out a couple of sessions on how to contribute in the open source world.

If you need to push leadership to embrace open source, attend "Making the Business Case for Contributing to Open Source." This session highlights real open source strategies at different types of companies, and the benefits they derive from contributing to open source projects. Presenter Tobie Langel is the principal at UnlockOpen, a consulting firm that specializes in open source at large organizations. Learn more about the session here.

If you're contributing to and relying upon open source projects in your line of work, check out "Giving and Getting Technical Help in Open Source Without Being Scared!" The session covers contributor management and the ways it contributes to project success. First, get ideas for how to answer questions in a way that helps and encourages developers. Then, pick up strategies that lead to better technical questions and requests. Presenter Sonia Singla is an intern and mentee at CNCF, working in the Thanos project. Learn more about the session here.

Static Analysis of Kubernetes Manifests

Infrastructure as code -- at scale -- is a goal for many Kubernetes users. This session covers best practices to write, test and maintain infrastructure as code. Operate at large scale with policy-as-code implementation in the CI/CD pipeline and deployed Kubernetes cluster. The session includes two code-based methods with use cases, as well as real-world examples of Kubernetes manifests.

Presenter Barak Schoster is CTO at Bridgecrew, a cloud security vendor, and contributes to open source projects such as Checkov and Prowler. Learn more about the session here.

Cluster Reconciliation: Managing Resources Across Multiple Clusters

Organizations growing their use of Kubernetes might have multiple clusters, and need to manage services across one, several or all of those clusters. This session covers cluster management, from how to add and remove clusters in a group to service deployment to rolling updates and state management. Learn about the challenges and tradeoffs involved when you run multiple Kubernetes clusters, as well as helpful tools and techniques for the task.

Presenter Vallery Lancey is a senior site reliability engineer at tech giant Apple, within the company's cloud infrastructure organization. Learn more about the session here.

Prescriptively Benchmarking Kubernetes System and Application Using K-Bench

Organizations converting to containerized, Kubernetes-managed deployments need benchmarks for performance. Latency, API responsiveness, infrastructure elasticity, resource efficiency and other metrics matter, especially as Kubernetes deployments scale up. This session focuses on K-Bench, a framework to benchmark Kubernetes infrastructure. Learn how to use the framework and the kinds of metrics that it tracks, and how. The presenters cover how to import existing benchmarks, pre-integrated benchmarks and blueprints in K-Bench.

The session is co-presented by Yong Li and Karthik Ganesan. Li is a staff engineer at social media company Facebook. Ganesan is an R&D performance staff engineer, level 2, at virtualization vendor VMware. Learn more about the session here.

In addition to these sessions, the KubeCon schedule is packed with specialized sessions on the tools and technologies that advanced Kubernetes users encounter regularly, whether that's edge or service mesh or auto scaling. A full list of KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America talks and tutorials, with times and hosting platform, is available on the conference website. All sessions offer live speaker Q&A, but will also be recorded, so you can view them at a later date.

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