DataStax Enterprise Kubernetes Operator Release

Recently KubeCon 2019 was held in San Diego. I was intending to go but things came up and I had to alter my plans. Even without attending I still was able to accrue a lot of the details from people attending and just kind of watching the Twittersphere. Twitter is, contrary to a lot of conversations, very useful sometimes. At DataStax where I work we had our own release at KubeCon for our DataStax Enterprise – AKA ‘DSE’ – Kubernetes – AKA ‘K8s’ Operator. Continue reading “DataStax Enterprise Kubernetes Operator Release”

A Really Quick Introduction to Minikube

There’s likely a million introductions to Minikube, but I wanted one of my own. Thus, here you go!  Minikube is basically Kubernetes light that runs on your own machine. Albeit, it does this similarly to how Docker used to do it, via a virtual machine. Thus, you can do some things with it but if you want to get serious you’ll still need to spool up a proper cluster somewhere as it will start to bog down your machine with any heavy workloads.

1: Minikube – Installing

Linux Direct:

 curl -LO \
   && sudo install minikube-linux-amd64 /usr/local/bin/minikube

Linux Debian:

 curl -LO \
   && sudo install minikube-linux-amd64 /usr/local/bin/minikube

Linux Red Hat:

curl -LO \
 && sudo rpm -ivh minikube-1.4.0.rpm

2: Starting Minikube

minikube start will start a minikube instance, pulling images, resources, kubelets, kubeadm, dashboard, and all those resources.


3: Stopping Minikube

minikube stop brings the minikube service to a stop, allowing for restart later.


4. Deleting Minikube

minikube delete will delete the minikube. This will delete any of the content or related collateral that was running in the minikube.


5. Restarting after Delete

minikube start this is the way to restart a minikube instance after you’ve stopped the instance. It’s also the way start a minikube, as shown above.


6. Starting a Named Minikube

If you want a named minikube instance, use the -p switch, with a command like minikube start -p adrons-minikube.


7. Starting & Using the Dashboard

To check out the dashboard, that pretty Google dashboard for Kubernetes, run minikube dashboard to bring that up.



8. Status!

To get a quick update on the current state of the minikube instance just run minikube status.


9. Starting Minikube sans a Virtual Machine

This is, albeit I may be mistaken, this is a Linux only feature. Run minikube start --vm-driver=none and it’ll kick off a minikube right there on your local machine.



KubeCon 2018 Mission Objectives: Is the developer story any better?

This is my second year at KubeCon. This year I had a very different mission than I did last year. Last year I wanted to learn more about services meshes, what the status of various features around Kubernetes like stateful sets, and overall get a better idea of what the overall shape of the product was and where the project was headed.

This year, I wanted to find out two specific things.

  1. Developer Story: Has the developer story gotten any better?
  2. Database Story: Do any databases, and their respective need for storage, have a good story on Kubernetes yet?

Well, I took my trusty GoPro Camera, mounted it up like the canon the Predator uses on my should and departed. I was going to attend this conference with a slightly different plan of attack. I wanted to have video and not only take a few notes, attend some sessions, and generally try to grok the information I collected that way. My thinking went along the lines, with additional resources, I’d be able to recall and use even more of the information available. With that, here’s the video I shot while perusing the showroom floor and some general observations. Below the fold and video I’ll have additional commentary, links, and updates along with more debunking the cruft from the garbage from the good news!

Gloo-01Gloo – Ok, this looks kind of interesting. I stopped to look just because it had interesting characters. When I strolled up to the booth I listened for a few minutes, but eventually realized I needed to just dig into what docs and collateral existed on the web. Here’s what’s out there, with some quick summaries.

Gloo exists as an application gateway. Kind of a mesh of meshes or something, it wasn’t immediately clear. But I RTFMed the Github Repo here and snagged this high level architecture diagram. Makes it interesting and prospectively offers insight to its use.


Gloo has some, I suppose they’re “sub” projects too. Here’s a screenshot of the set of em’. Click it to navigate to which appears to be the parent organization. Some pretty cool software there, lots of open source goodness. It also leads me to think that maybe this is part of that first point above that I’m looking for, which is where is the improved developer story?


More on that later, for now, I want to touch on one more thing before moving on to next blog posts about the KubeCon details I’m keen to tell you about.


Ballerina – Ok, when I approached the booth I wasn’t 100% sure this was going to be what I was wanting it to be. Upon getting a demo (in video too) and then returning to the web – as ya do – then digging into the details and RTFMing a bit I have become hopeful. This stack of technology looks good. Let’s review!

The description on the website describes Ballerina as,

A compiled, transactional, statically and strongly typed programming language with textual and graphical syntaxes. Ballerina incorporates fundamental concepts of distributed system integration and offers a type safe, concurrent environment to implement microservices with distributed transactions, reliable messaging, stream processing, and workflows.

which sounds like something pretty solid, that could really help developers build on – let’s say Kubernetes – in a very meaningful way. However it could also expand far beyond just Kubernetes, which is something I’ve wanted to see, and help developers expand and expedite their processes and development around line of business applications. Which currently, is still the same old schtick with the now ancient RAD tools all the way to today’s React and web tools without a good way to develop those with understanding or integrations with modern tooling like Kubernetes. It’s always, jam it on top, config a bunch of yaml, and toss it over the wall still.

A few more key points of how Ballerina is described on the website. Here’s the stated philosophy goal,

Ballerina makes it easy to write cloud native applications while maintaining reliability, scalability, observability, and security.

Observability and security eh? Ok, I’ll be checking into this further, along with finally diving into Rust in the coming weeks. It looks like 2019 is going to be the year I delve into more than one new language! Yikes, that’s gonna be intense!

TiDB – Clearly the team at PingCap didn’t listen to the repeated advice of “don’t write your own database, it’ll…” from Charity Majors and a zillion other people who have written their own databases! But hey, this one, regardless of the advice being unheeded, looks kind of interesting. Right in the TiDB repo they’ve got an architecture diagram which is…  well, check out the diagram first.


So it has a mySQL app protocol, that connects with the TiDB cluster, which then has a DistSQL API (??) and KV API connecting to the TiKV (which stands for Ti Key Value) which is a cluster, that then uses a DistSQL API to connect the other direction to a Spark Cluster. The Spark SQL can then be used. It appears the running theme is SQL all the things.

Above this, to manage the clusters and such there’s a “PD Cluster” which I also need to read about. If you watched the video above, you’ll notice the reference to it being the ZooKeeper of the system. This “PD Cluster ZooKeeper” thing manages the metadata, TSO Data Location and data location pertinent to the Spark Cluster. Overall, 4 clusters to manage the system.

Just for good measure (also in the video) the TiDB is built in Go, while the TiKV is built in Rust, and some of the data location or part of the Spark comms are handled with some Java Virtual Machine – I think – I might have misunderstood some of the explanation. So how does all this work? I’ve no idea at this point, but I’m curious to find out. But before that in the next few weeks and months I’m going to be delving into building applications in Node.js, Java, and C# against Cassandra and DataStax Enterprise, so I might add some cross-comparisons against TiDB.

Also, even though I didn’t get to have a conversation with anybody from Foundation DB I’m interested in how it’s working these days too, especially considering it’s somewhat storied history. But hey, what project doesn’t have a storied history these days right! Stay tuned, subscribe here on the blog, and I’ll have updates when that work and other videos, twitch streams, and the like are published.

After all those conversations and running around the floor, at this point I had to take a coffee break. So with that, enjoy this video on how to appropriately grab good coffee real quick and an amazing cookie treat. Cheers!

Yes, I mispelled “dummy” it’s ok I don’t want to re-render it. I also know that the cookie name is kind of vulgar LOLz but you know what, welcome to Seattle we love ya even when you’re mind is in the gutter!

Kubernetes 101 Workshop

Today I TA’d (Teacher’s Assistant) a course with Bridget at GOTO Chicago Conference. There were a number of workshops besides just the Kubernetes 101 like; Working Effectively with Legacy Code with Michael Feathers (@mfeathers), Estimates or NoEstimates with Woody Zuill (@WoodyZuill), Testing Faster with Dan North (@tastapod), Data Science and Analytics for Developers (Machine Learning) with Phil Winder (@DrPhilWinder), and so many others that I’d love to have multi-processed all at the same time! Digging through Kubernetes from a 101 course level was interesting, as I’ve never formally tried to educate myself about Kubernetes, just dove in. My own knowledge is very random about what I do or don’t know about, and a 101 course fills out some of the gaps for me.

The conference is located in a cool and sort of strange place for a conference, out kind of in the lake, called the Navy Pier. Honestly, I dig it, it’s a cool place for a conference. I enjoyed the ~15 minute walk from the hotel to the location too, because it’s right there on the tip of the pier, as shown in the fancy map below.


The workshop is going well. Bridget is filling up student’s brains and I’m going to dork around Kuberneting some Cassandra and Node.js for my talk. I’m pretty stoked as the talk has given me a good excuse to delve into some Node.js again, from a nodal systemic viewpoint, “Node Systems for Node.js Services on Nodes of Systemic Nodal Systems” this Thursday.

Good Morning KubeCon?

kubelogo-wideI hope you’re having a good morning so far. KubeCon has kicked off in full force like the pro-conference that it is. With 4k+ people in attendance the crowds are distinctive, even among a city like Austin. The conference lit off the day with an absurdly early registration time of 7am, and a continental breakfast of some fruit and pastries.


Dan Kohn

The keynotes this morning kicked off at 9am. Dan Kohn, the executive director of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), started off the keynote session. He started off with a simple story about communities building. Outlining a quote from Tim Hockin, “existing time for boring infrastructure”. This really wraps up so much of everything happening in this space these days.

“Exciting time for boring infrastructure.”

Dan continued, pointing out that Linux is one of the largest projects on Github and probably one of the, if not the most important project on Github. Kubernetes is in the top 10 on Github too, as Jim Zemlin said, “Kubernetes is the Linux of the Cloud”. The commit and member involvement in Kubernetes. The growth of the KubeCon event and how this event in Austin is 4x the last 4 KubeCon events! Huge growth.

“Kubernetes is the Linux of the Cloud” – Jim Zemlin

Dan then introduced an unexpected speaker from Alibaba that elaborated on the massive scale of Alibaba, its leading position in China, and other projects Alibaba is doing with Kubernetes.

NOTE: Diveristy Scholarship

The US failed to provide visas for 4 of the diversity scholarship recipients. However they’ve been offered to attend the Copenhagen event, which in the end the US has taken more more hit because of our poor immmigration and border control rules in the United States. Something that needs to be modernized, and I’m sure we’ll keep losing out for years to come until national leadership has the spine to fix this. But I digress, onward with the keynote.

Michelle Noorali

Michelle Noorali, Senior Software Engineer at Microsoft, then was introduced and came out to provide information on Special Interest Groups (SIGs), the deep dive sessions, techincal salons, and hallway tracks, and more details.

She continued to give us the story of KubeCon, Kubernetes, and the distinct history of how the rise of microservices, cloud, and container technology has changed the landscape of infrastructure and related technology. This is something important as the story isn’t always clear, but the story is a fundamental detail that informs and provides a more clearly defined path to where we’re all going with this technology.

Next Michelle dove into some specifics about the Workloads API coming in Kubernetes 1.9. For one it’ll be stable. Another is Windows Server container support beta, which I guess is stable – I haven’t used it and am curious who is, I’d love to talk!

Michelle then introduced Tom Wilkie to talk about observability and Prometheus.

Next up she introduced Eduardo Silva to discuss fluentd and announce the v1.0 release. Highlights include multi-process workers, sub-second time resolution, native TLS/SSL, otimized protocol buffers, and improved Fluentd protocol buffers. He continued and elaborated on the data streaming options, and flowing to technology like Kafka. Also, fluentd has been ported to Windows finally so Windows Server users can now natively use fluentd.

Reliability? What’s that? Oliver Gould then introduced by Michelle to talk about linkerd and give us some insight to the progress of the tool. Oliver then introduced Conduit too, and then gave us a demo of it working.

Michelle then came back around to wrap up her section of the keynote and cover some additional projects within the CNCF; grpc, envoy, and such.

Imad Sousou

Next up Imad Sousou came out to talk about introducing container runtimes at Intel.

NOTE: Just for your information, Intel isn’t just processor chips.

Intel have thousands of software developers actually working on a lot of various software projects. Intel is also a company that has a fairly large number of people working on open source projects.

Imad then elaborated on Kata containers that are hardware accelerated containers that use virtualization technology.

Diane Marsh

Diane Marsh of Netflix came out next to discuss the importance of culture of building these tools, and what happens with these tools. The core of the talk focused around tools Spinnaker, Asgard – namely continuous delivery – and other Netflix OSS and how culture plays a part. She detailed how Netflix culture affected how people accepted and were able to use Asgard or Spinnaker. For instance, the culture at Netflix is one of freedom, and many companies don’t have this level of maturity. Netflix has this level of freedom, to deploy, because of a very strong level of trust.

Adrian Cockroft

Finally to wrap up the morning keynote, Adrian Cockroft came out to show us a few things. Leading of with cloud native principles; immutable code deployments, high utilization with aggressive efficiency by turning things off, pay as you go, no waiting globally deployed and distributed models. At AWS he’s working to increase the contributions AWS makes, working with CNCF (which they’ve joined), pushing cloud native, and integrating CNCF components (all those projects) into AWS.

Some of the projects AWS is involved in include; containerd, kubernetes installers and security, and CNI, the Container Networking Interface.

Adrian also noted, importantly, that all AWS work with Kubernetes is upstreamed to Kubernetes itself and not a fork of the project. They’re working toward making all integration at all levels within AWS. Some of the work even include work and partnerships with Heptio around authentication for IAM within AWS. Lots of good things, and a lot of high integrity work!

Beyond Kubernetes and other elements Adrian’s teams are working on integrations with SPIFFE, HashiCorp Vault, and other open source tooling. I for one am pretty excited aobut these tools coming online at AWS as it’ll make my life easier to get some great things deployed and enabling customers and groups I work with! “Much excite, much wow” as the internet would say.

Adrian then dove into Fargate, discussed how it folds in with EKS, and how the integration is going to work.

For now, that’s that for the keynote.