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Kata Containers and Running Kubernetes in the Federal Government

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  • Kata Containers, gVisor offer more secure container strategies

    Kata Containers and Google gVisor present two approaches to addressing container security issues that balance the speed of containers with the safety of VMs.

    Containers are fast, lightweight instances that can benefit a variety of workloads, especially ones that include microservices and serverless applications. Organizations that implement containers on bare-metal hardware introduce security risks because containers can expose the underlying infrastructure, which leaves the entire platform vulnerable to attack.

  • Running Kubernetes in the Federal Government

    Tackling security compliance is a long and challenging process for agencies, systems integrators, and vendors trying to launch new information systems in the federal government. Each new information system must go through the Risk Management Framework (RMF) created by the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) in order to obtain authority to operate (ATO). This process is often long and tedious and can last for over a year. Open Control is a new standard by 18F, an agency bringing lean start-up methods to the U.S. Government, in order to address ATO repeatability. Red Hat has worked with 18F to help create a Kuberenetes implementation based on Open Control to automate much of the ATO process for Kubernetes systems.

Bose and Kubernetes

  • Bose and Kubernetes

    As a way to demonstrate the problem they were trying to solve, O'Mahony spoke to an Amazon "Alexa" device (an Echo Dot) and asked it to play a particular song "on stage". That led the nearby Bose smart speaker to start playing the tune. Since both devices have wireless interfaces, it would seem like making that work would not be all that difficult, he said. But it turns out to be harder than it looks. There is no direct interface between the two devices; it all must be handled in the cloud. So it takes hundreds of miles of cable to bridge the three-foot gap between the two devices on stage.

    The Amazon device does all of its voice processing in the Amazon cloud, which then hands off instructions to the Bose cloud. The speaker is not directly exposed on the internet; it can send out messages, but it is unable to receive random messages from the net. The easiest way to handle that is to have the speaker make a persistent connection to the Bose cloud when it powers up. MQTT was chosen as the protocol; a persistent bidirectional WebSocket connection is made between each speaker and the cloud service.

    The "crux of the problem" is scaling; solutions abound for thousands of connected devices. When he looked around a few years ago for Internet of Things (IoT) products, he couldn't find any that could handle the five-million (or more) connections envisioned for the system. Some managed services would scale to hundreds of thousands of connected devices, but not to millions, he said. That is why Bose engaged with Connected, which was able to help prototype a system that could handle that many connections using Kubernetes.

Migrating the Internet Archive to Kubernetes

  • Migrating the Internet Archive to Kubernetes

    The Internet Archive (IA) has been around for over 20 years now; many will know it for its Wayback Machine, which is an archive of old versions of web pages, but IA is much more than just that. Tracey Jaquith said that she and her IA colleague David Van Duzer would relate a "love/hate, long adventure story—mostly love" about the migration of parts of IA to Kubernetes. It is an ongoing process, but they learned a lot along the way, so they wanted to share some of that with attendees of KubeCon + CloudNativeCon North America 2018.

    Jaquith has been with IA for 18 years; she started when IA did, but left for four years and then came back. Van Duzer is a more recent addition, joining IA about a year and a half ago; he works on the web crawling process that feeds the Wayback Machine. Van Duzer said that IA has been around since the beginning of the web and, over that time, has created a daunting pile of code that he has now started to become comfortable with. At this point, IA is "dipping its toes" into the Kubernetes world; any big change like that is going to need to be sold to colleagues, pain points will need to be worked out, and so on. In order to do that, they needed to answer the question: "what's in it for us?"

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