Kubernetes This Month

Kubernetes Year in Review 2021

Episode description

In this final episode of the year, Nigel Poulton discusses his top 5 stories of the year. He takes a look at stateful apps and workloads on Kubernetes, and the CSI framework; the idea of Kubernetes being the OS of the cloud; the Docker changes through the year that drew some community outrage; the return of in-person events with KubeCon 2021 North America; and finally all the Kubernetes certification news. What a year! Thanks for being with us throughout, and hello to our new viewers!

0:00​ Introduction
0:37​ Stateful apps on K8s
1:53​ K8s: The OS of the cloud
3:13 Docker changes
4:18 In-person events
4:51​ K8s certifications

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Series description

Kubernetes This Month is the show that keeps you up-to-speed with everything going on in the Kubernetes world.In each episode, join host Nigel Poulton as he goes through quick-fire updates on the major announcements in our Kubernetes Catch-up section. We'll then run a Deeper Dive section where we'll cover the bigger announcement in more detail. Lastly, we'll end off with our Kubernetes Guru of the Month section, where you can answer a question in our forums each month for a chance to win a monthly prize!

Hello, Cloud Gurus. I'm Nigel, the author of the Kubernetes Book, and Quick Start Kubernetes. And welcome to this, the final episode of Kubernetes This Month for 2021. How is it that time of year already? Well, anyway, for this episode, I'll be sharing my top five picks that have shaped Kubernetes for 2021. And you know what? While you’re here, be sure to subscribe to the show, so you’re always up-to-date with everything that's going on in the world of containers and Kubernetes.

So for me, 2021 has been a massive year for stateful workloads on Kubernetes. In fact, I'd go so far as to say that data-driven apps now have a true home on Kubernetes. And you know what? This is massive, especially considering it only seems like yesterday where we were saying Kubernetes, yeah, brilliant, but it's only for stateless. So at the heart of this change is the maturity of the container storage interface, the CSI. Like it's default now on all the latest versions of Kubernetes and it even went GA for Windows.

So that low level plumbing for proper grown up storage and data management, it's there and it's production ready. But we also saw the growth and maturity of third party tools from the community. Like it's one thing for the Kubernetes project itself to build the CSI framework, but the wider community has properly stepped up with extensive support through their own CSI plugins. Plus ecosystem projects like KubeDirector and a bunch of others, they're just making it so much easier to run complex and stateful apps on Kubernetes. So, yeah.

Thanks, 2021. Kubernetes is now a safe harbor for data-driven apps. Something else I've noticed as 2021 draws to an end. I've been presenting to organizations all year about Kubernetes, and I've been more and more dealing with the idea that Kubernetes is the OS of the cloud. So the same way that operating systems like Windows and Linux, how they abstract server and storage and other hardware, yeah? Like you write your apps to run on Windows or Linux and you don't massively care what the hardware is that it's running on, or at least your customers certainly don't.

Well, Kubernetes abstracts underlying cloud infrastructure in pretty much the same way you write your apps to run on Kubernetes and you don't have to massively care which vendors cloud or whatever it's running on. And not only that, it makes migrations way easier. And on top of all of that, the maturity of projects like Kubevirt, Knative and OpenFaaS, and a bunch more. Well these let us run virtual machine and serverless workloads through Kubernetes as well, all basically making Kubernetes more and more the platform of choice for modern cloud native apps. Like I say, the OS of the cloud, and I expect it to be very much more of the same in 2022 with pretty much everything new running on Kubernetes.

And why wouldn't it? Now, another thing that left an impression on 2021 were changes made to the way Docker did some things. I think the first one was the rate limiting place on Docker Hub downloads for free tier user accounts. I mean, honestly, the community practically went into meltdown. Now that was partly due to poor messaging, but also there was some intentional misinformation from so-called ecosystem partners. But as well, it was similar with changes made to the Docker Desktop license agreement.

I mean, people lost the plot and the changes were minimal. And at least in my opinion, they were perfectly reasonable and low impact. Either way though, the point is Docker Hub rate limits brought other container registries into the forefront and into play for a lot of people. And then the Docker Desktop licensing stuff gave similar tools and opportunity for their time in the light and to make their case. Now throughout all of this Docker has remained an important part of the community while evolving to remain relevant and solvent as a company.

Number four on my list for 2021 was the slow and steady return of in-person events with the big one being KubeCon in the US. Now, of course it wasn't an instant return to the heady days of, I don't know, 15,000 people in the same venue. But it did show the resiliency of the community and a desire to get back to face-to-face, which for me is huge, cos I think the community massively benefits from getting together. So I really hope it's a trend that's able to continue well into 2022. Well, rounding out my top picks for 2021 is Kubernetes certifications.

Now there's a couple of angles to this. First and foremost, I've seen a massive increase in the value of Kubernetes certifications. So not only are people interested in taking them, but employers are looking for them. And I do suppose it's to be expected with something that is as relatively new as Kubernetes. I mean not many people have 20 years of experience for obvious reasons.

So a way to show proficiency is through passing exams and tests. But you know what, the other angle to certs for 2021 has been the increase in the number of them offered. So we went from the CKAD and the CKA and we added Certified Kubernetes Security Specialist. And then just in the last few weeks, the new entry level Kubernetes and Cloud Native Associate. So if you like your certs, and I know a bunch of you do, Kubernetes has a growing number to choose from and they're getting more and more desirable.

And on the topic of certs, if you want to get a head start on some of the Kubernetes fundamentals, you can try the always free course on A Cloud Guru, EKS Basics. I've added the link in the description. And that guys wraps my Kubernetes review of 2021. If you liked this episode, you can check out more of our original series with an ACG free plan. You’ll also get access to our learning paths, and new courses and quizzes every month.

But the best thing is, you don’t even need a credit card to sign up - check out the link below. Well stay safe and I'll see you again...well next year. Same Kube time, same Kube place.

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