KubeCon 2023: My Experience

Adefemi Afuwpe
4 min readJun 1, 2023


KubeCon (Kubernetes Conference) + CloudNaticeCon EU is a conference that’s focused on open-source tools for Kubernetes and revolves around CNCF. The event took place in Amsterdam from 17–21 of April and had quite a lot of technical tracks and in this blog post, I will be sharing some insights on the talks I attended.

The first day of the event started with attendees getting their badges against the week and also allowed people to meet up and network as well. Although there were some sponsor events on day one as well.

On the second day of the event, there were “lightning talks” (very fast 15-minute presentations) that focused on Kubernetes like “Debugging K8s E2E TEst with Delve by Maurico Poppe” and I particularly enjoyed the talk by Joe Betz from Google on “Enforcing Conventions for Kubernetes Cluster using Only YAML” (with a specific focus on CEL).

  • Container Runtime
  • State of Service Mesh: Istio
  • GitOps
  • (Down)scaling ElasticSearch
  • TelePresence
  • Cloud Custodian

Container Runtime

COntainer is the new VM

This was a talk given by Rodrigo Campos Catelin (Microsoft) and Marga Manterola (Isovalent). Their talk was based on containers being the new VM. They talked about configuring cloud load balancers to forward traffic to VMs and how to limit connectivity between two apps if there’s a firewall limit on the VM and they also spoke on user namespace in Kubernetes

State of Service Mesh — Istio

istio — state of service mesh

I was opportune to sit in the front row in the talk given by Lin Sun (Solo.io) and Faseela (Ericsson) on Operating Multi-Tenancy Service Mesh with ArgoCD in Production. The whole concept of a service mesh is to add security, observability, and reliability features to applications at the platform layer instead of the application layer. Since the talk was focused on Istio Service Mesh, they referenced three multi-tenancy Istio service mesh with their advantages and disadvantages:

  1. Single Mesh with multiple teams
  2. Multiple mesh with single cluster
  3. Multiple mesh with multiple clusters

I also got a free book on this that I will be reading in the coming weeks


tips from the trenches — gitops

One of the buzzing topics at KubeCon EU 2023 was GitOps. I asked what this meant from one of the folks at the ArgoCD stand and he explained to me that it's a process where you have a single source of truth using a Git repository, and it all makes sense to me why ArgoCD uses configuration from GitHub to manage deployment. I was at a talk given by folks from Adobe titled Tips from the Trenches: GitOps at Adobe, and they explained and showed how they were using ArgoCD to manage synchronization, check desired states, and use Argo Workflows to solve their issue with synchronization and wait time.

(Down)scaling ElasticSearch

down(scaling) elastic search

This was a talk given by Leila Vayghan from Shopify on how they scaled up their storage for ElasticSearch clusters and explained the limitations for scaling down and how they used a Kubernetes custom resource for their ElasticSearch storage autoscaling that is performing a shallow delete of the statefulset and not the pod managing it, then they recreate the stateful set with a new configuration. The main talk focused much more on how you can use custom resources to implement some custom logic.


Telepresence — faster feedback

This was a talk based on testing changes to be deployed to a remote Kubernetes cluster locally, This was a very interesting concept and tool by Ambassador Labs.

The talk was given by Edidiong Asikpo, she also mentioned three different organizations using this tool and how they have reduced their development iteration times when coding locally and testing against services running in a remote Kubernetes cluster.

Cloud Custodian

State of OPA

This was a speech given by the founder of this tool (Kapil Thangavelu), Cloud Custodian is a policy tool or rule engine where one writes policy definitions in YAML. You can easily write rules for cost savings, tagging, compliance, security, and resource inventory. The talk was based on the future of Cloud Custodian and how Cloud Custodian is focusing on shifting cloud governance left.

The event, which ended on Friday (April 21, 2022), was really informative and remarkable, and I, as a participant, really enjoyed the conference. I also got to connect with some other Nigerians that came to the conference.

KubeCon + Cloudnative Europe 2023 was a great organized event, and thanks to everyone who contributed to the success of this event.