KubeCon North America 2019 — Conference Recap

Hard to believe it’s already been two weeks since we all departed San Diego after a week full of 12,000 of our fellow cloud-native friends. Whether you attended the conference or followed along remotely, there was so much happening that week in terms of announcements, buzz and more for the community, end users and the ecosystem.

Here’s a quick summary of our impressions from the show, links to announcements and talks.

  • Kubernetes Goes Mainstream: Of the 12K attendees, more than half of them raised their hands in general session when asked if this was their first KubeCon. This and the article in Barron’s is a milestone for a project to reach in just 5 years and signals the important role of open source software going forward.
  • Growing Ecosystem: The expo hall in two separate ballrooms to accommodate the growing number of projects, ecosystem vendors and end users. The buzz in these areas was notable for the sponsors and attendees alike.
  • Technology Specialization: One interesting aspect is to see the growth in the Day 0 (pre-conference) events that specialize in specific technology areas. While the core of Kubernetes is starting to reach mainstream awareness and thousands of people will type their first kubectl commands, specialized innovation continues to move at a rapid pace. In this area, our team sponsored and gave talks at EnvoyCon and the first ever ServiceMeshCon — lots of really cool things happening in the proxy and mesh ecosystem.

Announcing Autopilot — an operator framework for Service Mesh

At KubeCon we announced a new open source project named, Autopilot — an operator framework for service mesh workflows. This vision for this project is the notion of an adaptive mesh — a service mesh that adapts to the changes in the environment. Below is an excerpt from the announcement.

The many benefits of service mesh come from it taking full control of the communication network within a cluster. However, this increases your vulnerability to misconfiguration and human errors. There are fantastic tools to simplify service mesh configuration and improve resilience, but they all depend on continuous actions from a human operator. We believe that these tasks should be automated, and propose the notion of an adaptive mesh, a mesh that continuously senses changes within its environment and automatically adjusts to them. Today we are announcing Autopilot, an open-source project that turns your service mesh into an adaptive service mesh by building and deploying Service Mesh Operators.

We’re looking forward to having you learn more, try it out and contribute an operator for the community:

Gloo 1.0 — Production Ready API Gateway

The week before KubeCon, we released the 1.0 of our cloud-native API Gateway which also can serve as a Kubernetes Ingress Controller and Knative Serving.

For teams looking to start deploying new applications in Kubernetes either self-hosted or managed on-prem or in the cloud, an ingress controller is a critical part of the application infrastructure. Going from monolith to microservices means having to rethink how to manage and route the incoming request from your clients to now potentially hundreds of backend services.

On-Demand Talks and Interviews

Here are the videos of all the talks and interviews by the Solo.io team at KubeCon on the latest announcements, open source, Envoy, service mesh and more.

Onsite at KubeCon, there were a few different “live from the show” type of video interviews. This year, our founder and CEO Idit Levine was interviewed by vmBlog and Digital Anarchist.


Our engineer Mitch Kelley gave a lightning talk at EnvoyCon on using the Envoy Tap Filter — you can read the blog here and watch the replay below

ServiceMeshCon Talks — coming soon

The ServiceMeshCon videos are not yet posted — so we’ll update this blog once they’re up! At the inaugural ServiceMeshCon, Idit Levine launched the Autopilot open source project in her talk and Christian Posta did a breakout talk on The Truth About the Service Mesh Data Plane.


Christian Posta co-presented a tutorial with Nic Jackson at HashiCorp on Service Mesh for the Developer Workflow — they’ve posted the content and environment online so you can try it yourself.

I joined a panel with folks from Microsoft and Alibaba open source teams to share our experiences on What’s Essential in an OSS Launch Playbook. With representation across many functional departments, we talked about all the other things you need to plan for beyond the code.

With the CFP deadline for KubeCon EU having just closed this week — it’s just a few short months before we do this all again — see you in Amsterdam! Until then, hop into our slack community to join in the discussion around Kubernetes, Envoy proxy and service mesh.