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KubeCon North America 2021: Kubernetes on Azure and open source updates

Welcome to KubeCon 2021 in Los Angeles! Whether you are attending in person or virtually, we’re excited to see you at the conference. My favorite thing about every conference is the opportunity to meet new people and hear both the stories of how they are empowered by Kubernetes on Azure, but also, the challenges they are facing adopting Kubernetes. While hearing about these challenges is never fun, it is the best way to learn and grow the service into the future. One of the wonderful things about the cloud is that we never stop growing and evolving our services to make them better and empower more users around the globe. I’m really excited to share some of these innovations today and tell the story of how we continue to make the Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) the leading enterprise-grade Kubernetes solution on the planet.

When it comes to securing any cloud environment, networking is simultaneously one of the most important and most varied configurations. Our goal with AKS is to empower every user to configure their network their way, and to that end, we’re excited to announce support for HTTPS proxies in AKS. This means that users can control the egress from their network for security while also successfully deploying AKS clusters. Another important part of security is identity. For Windows containers users these identities are delivered through Azure Active Directory for your pods.

Before you can think about securing your application, though, you have to build it. One of the most exciting new technologies for building applications from cloud to edge is WebAssembly. WebAssembly provides portability and a lightweight sandbox that can be targeted from a variety of languages. We’re thrilled that Microsoft, as a founding member of the Byte Code Alliance, is helping lead the way in WebAssembly on the server and as part of that we’re thrilled to announce support for the Krustlet in Azure Kubernetes Service through WebAssembly System Interface (WASI) node pools. If you’re interested in the cutting edge of web and container technologies, the easiest place to get started is now AKS.

Working with the open source community

One of the really great things about our work on WebAssembly is that it is done as part of a worldwide open source community, but WebAssembly isn’t even close to our only open-source project. I’ve been really excited to see Microsoft deliver innovation via open source, but even more excited to see that innovation empowers users around the world.

Open source software is an integral part of development at Microsoft, aligned with our goal to empower all developers to be successful building any application, using any language, on any platform. We are committed to building open, flexible technology and working with the open source community to grow together as an industry.

The Kubernetes Event Driven Autoscaling (KEDA) project, which provides event-driven auto-scaling for Kubernetes, was recently promoted from sandbox to incubation in the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF); recognizing its adoption by the broader Kubernetes community as a key piece of developing higher-level programming models for Kubernetes.

Speaking of empowering developers, it has also been exciting to see the Distributed Application Runtime (Dapr) project release their 1.4 version and announce the formation of its Steering and Technical Committee. As the second anniversary of Dapr approaches, it is a great time for the community to come together for the inaugural DaprCon on October 19 as a virtual event.

Kubernetes is a mature project, and so innovation within the core is much harder, consequently, it has been awesome to see Azure lead the way in implementing IPv6/IPv4 dual-stack support. This engineering effort has touched nearly every part of Kubernetes and has required both deep technical knowledge and incredible diligence and patience, but that hard work has paid off as dual-stack support is headed toward stable in the upcoming Kubernetes 1.23. If you’re interested in dual-stack we’re also bringing IPv6 capabilities to the Azure Kubernetes Service as a preview feature. It’s a great example of how managed Kubernetes on Azure makes it easy for developers to take advantage of open-source innovation.

I’m also excited that the Open Service Mesh (OSM), a lightweight and extensible cloud-native service mesh, has reached stable state with the v1.0.0 release. OSM uses the CNCF Envoy project and implements Service Mesh Interface (SMI) for securing and managing your microservice applications.

We recently announced a program to grant Azure credits for open source projects. This program grants Azure credits to open-source projects for a year. Developers will be able to use these credits for testing, storage, or other development. Any project in any technology with an Open Source Initiative (OSI)-approved license is eligible to apply. Learn more about this program today.

Looking forward to connecting

With all the great things that we are releasing and the continued evolution in the Kubernetes community, I’m certain that you have questions that you want answered. So, I’m really excited to be hosting a live Ask-me-Anything (AMA) session at KubeCon on Thursday, October 14 2021 at 1:30 PM Pacific Time (PT). Joining me will be Bridget Kromhout, Lachie Evanson, and Sean McKenna. I’m sure it will be a lively session. See details if you are interested in attending. Of course, I’m always available on Twitter as well for questions any time.

Welcome to KubeCon NA. Please come and see us in person or virtually at the Microsoft booth, get your questions answered at our AMA, and check out the Microsoft community blog for more details on the great KubeCon sessions from Microsoft speakers, learn about other events, and maybe even get a little swag. Have a great conference.