Key Points from KubeCon & CloudNativeCon 2023



Posted on

April 28, 2023

As the curtain closed on another community-centric iteration of KubeCon, we were left with lasting impressions, interesting insights, and the sense that we are a part of something special when it comes to cloud-native solutions and all things Azure. The future is looking bright. Let’s take a look at some of our favorite parts of KubeCon 2023.

Cost Management for Multi-Tenant Kubernetes Clusters on Azure with OpenCost

Azure offers robust Cost Management with in-depth cost analysis capabilities. However, for those managing a multi-tenant Kubernetes Cluster, it can be challenging to pinpoint which tenant, team, or user has consumed specific resources, making accurate billing a complex task. Typically, costs have been divided among all parties. To overcome these hurdles, the OpenCost project, an insightful and interesting vendor-neutral open-source initiative, was launched.

The OpenCost Webpage hero

OpenCost, developed by KubeCost, is designed to measure and allocate infrastructure and container costs in real time. It has the capacity to break down Kubernetes concepts to the container level, provide dynamic asset pricing, and even offer support for on-prem clusters. Additionally, OpenCost can integrate with other open-source tools to enhance its capabilities.

Recognizing the immense value of this project, Microsoft announced its participation in the OpenCost community, aiming to bring this industry standard for cost monitoring to AKS customers. This exciting development included Microsoft's contributions towards enabling Azure cost integration and customer-specific Azure pricing. This collaboration signifies a promising stride towards more precise and comprehensive cost management for multi-tenant Kubernetes Clusters.

Microsoft's Launch of LTS for Kubernetes 1.27+ on AKS

Not precisely tied to KubeCon, but tied to Kubernetes is that Microsoft has unveiled the Long Term Support (LTS) for Kubernetes 1.27 and, later on, Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS). This LTS lets users plan upgrades over an extended period while staying on a supported Kubernetes version. Furthermore, it allows AKS users to run unsupported versions without security risks or breaching SLAs, thanks to Microsoft's commitment to maintaining these versions post-community support.

Kubernetes Scaling for a Greener Azure with Keda Operator

We discovered something as thrilling as needed for cloud computing at the conference. The Carbon Aware Kubernetes Event-Driven Autoscaling (KEDA) Operator is an open-source solution developed to reduce carbon emissions by scaling Kubernetes workloads based on carbon intensity, which measures the amount of CO2 emitted per unit of energy consumed.  

KEDA Operator offers significant benefits for Azure users. Its alignment with Microsoft's sustainability goals, potential for cost savings by running workloads during low carbon intensity periods, easy integration with Azure Kubernetes Service, and contribution to carbon emission tracking and reporting make it a valuable tool.

The Carbon Aware KEDA Operator and how it works.

Strengthened Kubernetes Security with kyverno and kubeaudit

KubeCon 2023 offered a deep dive into Kubernetes' policy and security capabilities, underlining the platform's potential to create highly secure environments while highlighting that its default settings aren't security stringent. The need to enable basic security features for Kubernetes systems exposed to end users was discussed. The Pod Security Admission mechanism and the usage of Secret resources via CSI and RBAC integration took center stage. A key takeaway was the potential of kyverno and kubeaudit tools to enhance Kubernetes' sustainability by replacing custom admission controllers.

AI, kubectl-ai & The Future of Kubernetes

A lot of understandable chatter about AI at the event and its current and eventual impact on cloud-native development. With an explosion of innovation, including from the AKS team that developed the kubectl-ai plugin that embeds generative YAML into the kubectl command line itself, it’s exciting to see the Kubernetes community contribute to the future of AI.

KubeCon Europe 2023 was filled with a ton of great talks and tech, interesting sessions by Microsoft experts, and innovative ideas for an exciting cloud-native future. If you were in attendance, we would love to know what you enjoyed the most!

Written by

Lars Åkerlund