3 Trends to Watch at KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe

Every year, as we settle comfortably into the new year and the seasons shift once more, we look forward to the fresh perspective that KubeCon + CloudNativeCon Europe brings. In five weeks, we’ll gather for the Cloud Native Computing Foundation’s conference to discuss the latest in open source and cloud-native technology.

When we gather in Paris, we’ll be watching out for the topics we expect to come up over and over again, demonstrating what this space will look like for 2024 and beyond. Here are the trends to watch:

1. AI/ML-driven Applications

As we predicted before KubeCon NA last November, AI and machine learning will continue to heavily influence the direction of cloud-native technology – and vice versa. Incorporating AI/ML into infrastructure will empower developers to gain new insights and optimize and streamline applications, but they will also necessitate support as platforms adapt to accommodate them. Check out the co-located Cloud Native AI Day for even more AI discussions.

We’re looking forward to attending the panel Beyond the Clouds: Charting the Course for AI in the CloudNative World, which promises to be a fascinating discussion about the present and future of this space. Combining our top two trends, this keynote about optimizing performance and sustainability for AI should also generate lots of discussion.

2. Sustainability and Green Computing

The cloud-native industry is only getting greener. Organizations around the globe are focused on how to optimize their work to reduce resource consumption and reimagine the world of computing in the face of climate change – whether that’s encouraging employees to work from home, or managing applications in an innovative way. Explore this topic further at the session
Saving the Planet One Cluster at a Time: Operationalising Sustainability in Kubernetes.

Istio Ambient Mesh and Kubernetes Gateway API offer ways to simplify service processes and reduce software carbon intensity, which measures carbon emissions per unit of computation, while still providing the critical computational power for life today. Delve into the details in our recent blog post, and don’t miss our talk Empowering Istio Ambient with Any Kubernetes CNIs about our continuous improvement and innovations in the Ambient Mesh space.

CNCF also created a technical advisory group for environmental sustainability. One of the goals of the TAG is to define environmental sustainability factors for cloud-native technologies and help observe and measure the infrastructure’s carbon footprint. Attend the session that focuses on their efforts: Cloud Native Sustainability Efforts in the Community.

3. Security

Sure, this one isn’t so much a trend as an imperative. Securing Kubernetes environments remains a challenge, particularly in multi-tenant settings. While multi-tenancy offers scalability and resource efficiency, the risk of data breaches, theft, and unauthorized access is heightened.

A significant number of organizations delay Kubernetes deployments due to security concerns, highlighting the need for rigorous security measures from the initial stages of development to deployment. This necessitates a shift-left approach, integrating security early in the software development life cycle (SDLC) to catch vulnerabilities and malware before they reach production. The session Shift-Left: Past, Present, and Future of Validation in CI for GitOps Workflows will tackle that approach in more detail.

Using a service mesh like Istio helps secure connections and implement mutual TLS (mTLS) for enhanced data encryption. Tools such as Cilium, Chainguard Images, OPA Gatekeeper, and Argo CD, in conjunction with security scanners like Kubescape, help with preventing misconfigurations, reducing vulnerabilities, and ensuring that container images are secure before deployment. The session Securing Kubernetes Multi-Tenancy: Navigating Challenges Through DevSecOps Control and Visibility will explore those topics in more depth.

To effectively implement these security measures, gaining detailed insights into the architecture of security implementations and learning best practices help tremendously. Sessions like those from our own Christian Posta’s Comparing Sidecar-Less Service Mesh from Cilium and Istio and Eduardo Bonilla’s and Samuel Veloso’s Next-Level Security: Implementing MTLS in Istio Multi-Cluster Environments Using SPIRE are instrumental in raising awareness and educating on implementation details and security best practices.

See You Soon

We hope to see you in Paris March 19 to 22. Please stop by and see us at booth E3 in the Solutions Showcase to learn from and connect with the team to talk or schedule a meeting. All our sessions are highlighted here.