Navigate Europe 2023 has come to an end, and we couldn’t be more grateful for everyone involved in this, from our sponsors, attendees, and most importantly, the Civo team.
Whilst we have already announced the next event for next year in Austin, Texas, we want to spend some time reflecting on the amazing few days we’ve just had, and everything we took away from it.
For more insight, take a look at our Day 2 recap here.
Nigel Poulton (Kubernetes, Docker, and WASM trainer) showed us exactly how you kick off a conference with an amazing opening speech, ramping up the excitement for the upcoming two-day event before we got to hear from our CEO Mark Boost, telling the story of Civo and why we chose The Brewery to host this year's event.
It was a packed first day with over 40 talks and workshops on a range of topics, such as security, WASM, community, and sustainability. We also had the chance to announce new product launches and hear from renowned speakers, including Kim McMahon, Francesco Ciulla, Sal Kimmich, and Marino Wijay.
Keynote session with Marty Weiner and Nick Caldwell
Kicking off the event on Tuesday morning, Marty Weiner and Nick Caldwell spent time discussing their previous adventures at companies such as Twitter, Reddit, and Pinterest, before outlining how they took start ups like Reddit and scaled them from 30 employees to over 2,000 and ready for an IPO.
They went on to explain how they used 5 steps to scale Reddit. The 5 steps Marty Weiner and Nick Caldwell used to help build Reddit are, mission and vision, setting objectives, measuring results, organization structure, and execution.
This started with a pivotal lesson on mission whereby they outlined how for any organization to thrive, it's imperative that every member understands their role and how they fit into the larger picture. For objectives and key results, they emphasized the importance of roadmapping which are essentially promises to address issues rather than just building features. Finishing off their 5 steps, they touched upon the intricacies of organizational structure. As teams grow, competition for resources intensifies, leading to the emergence of dependencies. When a company crosses the 50-employee mark, it often starts forming specialized groups based on customer problems or products. Building an organizational chart for such a company involves three steps: identifying product pillars, establishing the foundation and roof, and defining sub-teams.
One of our favorite quotes from their talk was,“Go fast, but remember the human. People are the most valuable part of your organization and the best part of being a manager!”
We were joined by Amanda Brock from OpenUK to host an engrossing panel discussion on sustainability in the cloud native space. This panel consisted of Dinesh Majrekar (CTO at Civo), Mark Bjornsgaard (CEO at Deep Green), John Ridd (CEO at Greenpixie), and Chris Jordan (Chief Technology Officer at Heata). Throughout this session, they delved into key topics such as environmental impact, technological innovation, policy influence, and industry transparency.
Dinesh Majrekar, Saiyam Pathak (Field CTO at Civo), and Josh Mesout (Chief Innovation Officer at Civo) took to the stage to discuss the upcoming projects we have been working on at Civo and detail our recent partnerships with DeepGreen and Fermyon.
DeepGreen x Civo Partnership
After giving a brief overview of what Civo already has to offer, Dinesh introduced our new partnership with DeepGreen that will allow those using Civo to run their cloud workloads on Deep Green’s carbon neutral servers.
Mark Bjornsgaard, CEO of Deep Green, spoke more about the importance of this partnership by saying, “Datacenters currently produce 3% of global emissions. To combat the problem, Deep Green captures 90% of the heat produced by servers and puts it to good use by using it to provide free hot water. Deep Green’s solution reduces energy bills and environmental costs for organizations that require significant amounts of heat, such as swimming pools, food manufacturers and textile firms amongst many.”
This partnership focuses on creating cleaner cloud computing and allowing us to move towards a sustainable and net-zero future. It also gives Deep Green consistent workloads to generate zero-carbon heat to power communities around the UK.
The Civo Machine Learning product range
Since our last Navigate event, we have been able to significantly improve our Civo ML products due to our closed Beta that has allowed us to make improvements to the service ahead of GA. We have moved our Kubeflow as a Service to Beta, providing users with an incredibly low entry point with no Kubernetes or Machine Learning expertise necessary. Our GPU clusters also launched at the event, with Josh Mesout talking about how we can manage your scale, giving you seamless integration into existing ways of working.
The real focus of this ML update surrounded Civo Recite, our new lightning-fast audio-to-text transcription service that currently transcribes over 50 languages at an unparalleled high speed.
We will continue to release more information about Civo ML in the upcoming weeks, but in the meantime, check out our Docs for more information.
While confidential containers are becoming a staple of many cloud based workloads, there are two key issues that exist with the way Kubernetes control planes are being deployed. Firstly, the isolation between each cluster's managed control plane, is at a container level, and there is no way a customer can attest to or ensure the components that have been deployed. As most recent security breaches have been at this management layer, Civo have been working on ways to add additional security for our customers.
Announced at Navigate, the team showed 3 key components of the Control Plane that could be run within an Intel Secure Enclave utilizing SGX (Software Guard Extensions). This technology allows for hardware based segregation of these management components, but will also allow customers to independently confirm (attest) that the services are unmodified kubernetes versions.
In the future, the team is going to keep working on this with an end goal of having the entire OS running inside an enclave. A hard challenge to solve but one that will ensure the highest level of Security for a managed kubernetes platform.
Emerging Tech Fireside Chat
Sophia McKee (COO at Civo) hosted a panel discussion with Jo Drake (CIO at THG) and Dinesh Majrekar on the transformative impact of emerging technologies on businesses and organizations. This talk tackled some of the critical questions facing today’s technology leaders.
WebAssembly received an incredible amount of interest during the event, especially on Day 1, with 4 talks focused all on WASM. David Flanagan (Rawkode Academy) spoke about Server-side WASM with Spin, Ashwin Kumar Uppala (GitHub) spoke about the next generation’s perspective of WASM, Charlie Egan (Styra) outlined running policy in hard-to-reach places with WASM and OPA, and Danielle Lancashire (Fermyon) introduced the open source Fermyon Spin runtime.
On top of this, Saiyam Pathak and Matt Butcher (CEO of Fermyon) gave a short demo on how WASM would look like on Civo Kubernetes where you would be able to schedule and run your WebAssembly workloads side by side of Linux containers.
Community and Sponsor Highlights
We were joined by DevCycle, who created some amazing content at the event and even live-streamed directly from The Brewery to explain everything they got up to on Day 1. Watch the video here to hear from Mark Callen and Andrew MacLean to hear about some of their favorite talks and workshops.
After the event, we also had the chance to read back on peoples experiences. Here is a list of some of our favorite pieces:
- Three takeaways from Mark Bjornsgaard (CEO at Deep Green)
- Eddie Jaoude’s video wrap up
- Ask the WASM Experts with Fermyon
- Charlie Egan’s weekly review
Keep an eye out for our next blog which will wrap up everything that happened on Day 2!