DevOpsDays Houston 2024: Our conference highlights

Divine Odazie


After a one-year hiatus, DevOpsDays returned to Houston with great success this year. Our Tech Evangelist, Divine Odazie, attended and presented a demo titled “Kubernetes at Scale: Going Multi-Cluster with Istio Service Mesh,” along with co-speaker Jubril Oyetunji.

“DevOpsDays Houston 2024 was my first-ever DevOpsDays conference, and I’m certain it won’t be my last. The event was packed with outstanding talks, fascinating people doing remarkable work across various industries, and even some incredible food!” says Divine.

In this blog, Divine provides a play-by-play of his experience – from mind-blowing talks to eureka moments – he’s got it all covered!

Key takeaways

DevOps, the Universe and Everything by Andrew Clay Shafer

This year’s DevOpsDays Houston kicked off with a keynote by none other than Andrew Clay Shafer, one of the founding members of DevOpsDays

Listening to Andrew dive into the realms of DevOps and software development was nothing short of incredible.

A standout point Andrew made was, “Focusing on the technical without accounting for the socio never goes very well.” 

He emphasized the importance of socio-technical alignment across the organization. Any disconnect, whether from top to bottom or across teams, can stifle innovation and efficiency.

Give his talk a watch. Below is a snapshot from Andrew’s slides, highlighting the challenges of driving change within an organization:

Source: ‘DevOps, the Universe and Everything’ by Andrew Clay Shafer

Cloud native empowering infrastructure scalability

Several talks delved into Kubernetes and its ability to enable scaling. 

In my session, I explored the multi-cluster strategy for deploying applications on Kubernetes and demonstrated how the Istio service mesh can facilitate service deployment across multiple Kubernetes clusters. 

Below is an architecture diagram from my slides, showcasing the final result of the demo: 

Another captivating talk on Kubernetes was by Danesh Manoharan on how PGS (Petroleum Geo-Services) Unlocked Supercomputing Power with GKE. In this talk, he discussed how PGS, as an HPC, was able to move to the Cloud with Kubernetes. 

Not only were they able to access more computing power, but they’ve also become more agile by not being tied to aging hardware. It’s also a more eco-friendly solution.

Shift-left Security to defend against growing threats

As always, security should never be an afterthought. Several insightful security talks highlighted the need for development teams to find common ground with IT operations and information security departments. 

This collaboration is essential to reliably build and deliver secure applications, whether cloud-native or not.

From my understanding and experience, the first step is to identify and analyze potential threats to your application and infrastructure. For ongoing operations (Day 2), it’s crucial to remain agile and continuously check for vulnerabilities using scanning tools.

To dive deep into defending against threats, check out the following talks from the conference:

Observability is more important than ever

Observability has always been a key part of building software, but it’s even more crucial in the modern cloud-native world. With applications splintered into microservices and scattered across various environments, keeping tabs on them and troubleshooting issues has become a high-stakes game of digital hide-and-seek.

The conference featured several important talks on observability, including one on “Network Observability.” Often overlooked and underappreciated, network observability is more important than ever. In this talk, Lean Adato unveiled the secrets hidden in our networks, suggesting ways to access this valuable information and highlighting the insights we miss if this data remains invisible, unused, or ignored.

Is observability worth it? Every new request coming into your infrastructure may not necessarily bring additional revenue to your company, but will most definitely cost money to observe as most vendors today charge by data ingested. 

In this talk on ”Measuring Observability ROI”, Ruchir Jha covered the best practices and presented a broader instrumentation philosophy based on open standards like OpenTelemetry that is targeted at ROI measurement.

DevOps in achieving data sovereignty

Data sovereignty, the ability to control and govern your own data, hinges on owning your data stack – the infrastructure, databases, and surrounding tools. DevOps practices are instrumental in achieving and maintaining this sovereignty.

At Severalnines, for over a decade we have enabled hundreds of companies to take control of their data through our products, i.e. ClusterControl and CCX

Check out our Sovereign DBaaS Decoded podcast where we interview industry leaders about implementing open-source databases, creating cloud vendor-neutral environments, and mitigating business risks, including data sovereignty and compliance requirements.

You can also join our “Sovereign DBaaS Community.” Whether you’re a seasoned database operations pro or a novice looking to connect, learn, and grow – join now

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