Docker Birmingham March 2020

Last night was Docker Birmingham March 2020. It clashed with the Midlands Microsoft 365 and Azure User Group for the second time, so it was Docker Birmingham’s turn this time. ๐Ÿ™‚

These events start with food and I was looking longingly at the pizzas, but I know enough about myself to know it would make me sleepy, so I distanced myself from them until later.

First up was Richard Horridge with “A Brief History of Containers”. As the name suggests this was a history lesson, but it started much further back than most do when discussing this subject. With punched cards in fact. Fortunately I never had the “pleasure” of those, but I did find myself thinking, “Oh yeah, I’ve used that!”, about a bunch of stuff mentioned. That’s it. I’m now part of ancient history. I think it’s good for some of the younger folks to understand about the history of some of this stuff, and the difference in focus from the system administration focus of the past, to the application focus of the present.

Next up was Matt Todd with “Say Yes! To K8s and Docker”. Let me start by saying I like Swarm. It feels almost like a dirty statement these days, but I do. Matt started in pretty much the same way. He gave a quick pros vs. cons between Swarm and Kubernetes, then launched into the main body of the talk, which was trying to find a convenient way to learn about Kubernetes on your laptop without needing to install a separate hypervisor. So basically how to run Kubernetes in Docker. He did a comparison between the following.

He picked K3s as his preferred solution.

Along the way he also mentioned these tools to help visualize what’s going on inside a Kubernetes cluster, which helped him as he was learning.

  • Octant. Kind of like Portainer for Kubernetes.
  • K9s. He described as looking like htop for Kubernetes. 

Of course, the obvious question was, “Why not Minikube?”, and that came down to his preference of not having to install another hypervisor. It was an interesting take on the subject, and mentioning Octant certainly got my attention.

So once again, I noobed my way through another event. Thanks to the speakers for taking their time to come and educate us, and to the sponsor Black Cat Technology Solutions for the venue, food and drinks. See you all soon!

Cheers

Tim…

Birmingham Digital & DevOps Meetup – March 2020

On Tuesday evening I was at the Birmingham Digital & DevOps Meetup – March 2020 event, which had four speakers this time.

First up was Mike Bookham from Rancher Labs with “Rancher Labs – Kubernetes”. The session demonstrated how to set up a Kubernetes cluster using RKE (Ranchers Kubernetes Engine). The tool looked pretty straight forward, and Rancher got referenced a few times during this event and the one the next day, so there seems to be some love for them as a company out there.

Next up was Dave Whyte from Auto Trader with “Under the bonnet at Auto Trader”. He did a talk about how Auto Trader use Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) and Istio for a bunch of their microservices. They do the hundreds of production deployments a day that you come to expect from microservice folks, but the main “Wow!” moment for me was the diagnostics and observability they’ve got. It was amazing. I was just sitting there thinking, there is no way on earth we could do this! Very… Wow! Many of the points are cover in this video.

After the break it was Patricia McMahon from Generation with “AWS re/Start – Resourcing Cloud Teams”. The session was about the work they are doing re-skilling long term unemployed young people as AWS Cloud Engineers, and of course getting them into jobs. I love this sort of stuff. My background was a bit different, but I entered the technology industry via a retraining course after my PhD in cabbage sex. The course I did was available for all age groups, not just young people, but it was a similar thing. I hope they continue to do great work. If you are looking for fresh, enthusiastic and diverse talent, I’m sure Patricia and Generation would love to hear from you!

Last up was Toby Pettit from CapGemini with “Multilingual, Multi-Cloud Apps – A Reality Check”. His abstract said, “All I wanted to do is run any language on any cloud with state and with no servers to maintain. Of course it also needs to be highly available, observable, maintainable, recoverable and all of the other โ€œablesโ€. How hard can it be?” Well it turns out the answer is bloody hard! I don’t even know where to begin with this. It was Alpha this product and Beta that product. Of course Kubernetes and Istio were in there along with OpenFaaS and loads of other stuff. He showed a demo of a workload being split between AWS, Azure and Google Public Cloud, so it “worked”, but by his own admissions this was a POC, not something you could go to production with. Interesting, but crazy mind blowing. ๐Ÿ™‚

Thanks to all the speakers for coming along and making it a great event. Thanks also to CapGemini for sponsoring the event!

Cheers

Tim…