DevNexus 2018 – keynote – the future of the cloud will be containerized

Title: The Future of the Cloud will be Containerized
Speakers: Kelsey Hightower

For more blog posts, see the DevNexus 2018 live blogging table of contents

The wifi was “less reliable” so he had to tether real time
. Once he connected, he showed cute joke project if you read the issues and pull requests. The project exists to highlight why coding shouldn’t start until you know what the users want.

Ear/war can’t really be deployed anywhere but with containers you can.

Mobile got this right. You just get the app with everything to run. No need to install prereq. Containers will replace VMs [while i agree this is better, you still have to install the container provider if not cloud]

Cool accidental demo. Used phone wifi but fast because docker caches so much

Riff – severless platform. Listens on a port. Built on top of kubernetes.

Demo used docker, riff, kubernetes, git, heroku qand google voice

My take
Good live demo. I had keyboard troubles aside from internet troubles son this blog is a bit scattered

how containers have panned out – adrian trenaman – qcon

For more QCon posts, see my live blog table of contents. Adrian is from Gilt.


  • No off the shelf software to run a flash sale business. Therefore Gilt has to do something custom.
  • Started with Ruby on Rails in 2007. Didn’t scale well enough
  • Moved to Java in 2011
  • Moved to microservices in 2015
  • In a 30 day period, moved bulk of Gilt to Amazon


  • Isolation problem – nobody should be able to take down someone else’s work
  • A noon outage in 2013 – what happened
  • Impedance mismatch problems. “Developers often think of machines as something that’s all theirs, magically provided by the hardware fairy.”

Machines for Gilt Japan

  • Run 20-40 containers per machine.
  • Load balancer between two racks of three boxes each.
  • Separate machines for the database and email.
  • From developer’s point of view, a machine is a machine.

What did Gilt Japan learn

  • Scalable by time of day
  • Solves impedance mismatch – developers see “a machine”
  • Limits damage one person can do
  • Infra/Devops engineer embedded into engineering team
  • Outstanding potential problems
    • Static infrastructure
    • Resource hogging

Docker topology

  • Dark canary – only for internal use
  • Canary – First prod install. Let it run for a while (ex through a noon cycle for Gilt)
  • Release – Once happy with canary, roll it out to other nodes
  • Gilt has a lot of read only traffic which limits damage you can do and reduces need for staging environment.
  • Gilt has one container per host/EC2 instance
  • Want to have as few moving parts/risk points in deployment process
  • “We could solve this now, or just wait six months and Amazon wil provide a solution”


  • ION Roller
    • Immutable deployment – Destroy original cluster when done with this process for Docker upgrades.
    • Slow to setup/tear down environments.
    • Can be expensive for continuous deployment
    • Open source, but in house.
  • Nova
    • Uses yaml to deploy
    • No Docker registry. Base images are on Docker. Releases aren’t needed on there so go straight to Amazon
    • Less boilerplate
    • Immutable deployment on mutable infrastructure. Docker container is immutable.
  • Fighting bit rot, chaos-monkey style
    • Don’t want things to run forever in Prod.
    • What if there is a security vulnerability
    • Every day, kill oldest AMI randomly. This forces latest AMI with fixes and fail early.
    • Doesn’t solve vulnerability in Docker container. Would need new release with new base image for that. Hasn’t happened to Gilt yet.
  • Sundial
    • For running batch jobs
    • Automatically reschedules if fail
    • Define a process – group of tasks with dependencies between them


  • Less configuration
  • Automatic rollout
  • Integrations
  • IAM roles are at instance level, not container level

Using Docker as a local build platform

  • Different projects use different versions of build tools
  • Docker can be used as a versioned build container.
  • A year from now, will still have everything need to run code


  • Containers let separate what deploy from how.where deploy it
  • Still the wild west on how containers are deployed
  • Seek immutability in the container, not in the stack
  • The competitive advantage for Gilt is to be able to deploy quickly/frequently/safely to production and therefore can innovate faster. Gilt lets engineers deploy whenever they want without asking permission.

unprivileged containers – jessie frazelle – qcon

For more QCon posts, see my live blog table of contents.


  • Docker typically runs as a privileged user.
  • Containers are meant to limit the damage from a compromise. The world an attacker can see inside the container is a limited one)
  • Want unprivileged containers so don’t need sudo/privileged access to launch container in the first place.

Chrome sandbox on Linux

  • uses Seccomp, Namspaces, Apparmor.
  • doesn’t need to be run as root.
  • each tab is in its own namespace – process only knows about itself
  • if Chrome can do this, why not Docker

General notes

  • cgroups (Controlgroups) limit what resources a process can use and how much.
  • Each time you docker build something it spawns a new container. Just blocking things wholesale would cause issues here.
  • I had trouble following what was current/future in the examples.


  • Won’t need to run as root
  • Can customize sandboxes from defaults, better UX for dealing with security policies.
  • “postgres should maintain a postgres profile”

Impression: A lot of this was recorded demos (show typing commands as graphic/video that plays out.) For the namespaces, it was helpful seeing the examples. For the Docker part, some of it went over my head. I only know a little Docker. And my system admin Linux isn’t strong enough to understand the implications of everything she brought up either. I still go something out of it though. And learned things that would be interesting to read more about.