Practical Examples of Cloud Native: Meetup Roundup

On a greyish London evening, about a hundred Cloud Native enthusiasts gathered in the heart of the City to hear real-world examples of microservice-based architectures.

I welcomed our audience, the majority of whom run containers in production but were new to Cloud Native London meetup. The group has shown healthy growth with 750 members in just a few months, so it was an excellent opportunity to remind the audience about the principles behind cloud native:

Building distributed systems designed for scalability and resilience, which enables agility and efficiency while avoiding vendor lock in.

The most popular approach is to:

  • decompose monoliths into loosely coupled microservices
  • which are packaged as lightweight containers, and
  • dynamically orchestrated for resilience.

Serverless, also known as functions-as-a-service, is still maturing in terms of tooling, support and community adoption.

Dario Simonetti, Head of Core Engineering at Attest, presented on linkerd

Dario Simonetti, Head of Core Engineering at Attest, presented on linkerd, the CNCF-hosted service mesh. Many distributed computing projects still rely on one or more of the eight classic fallacies:

  1. The network is reliable
  2. Latency is zero
  3. Bandwidth is infinite
  4. The network is secure
  5. Topology doesn’t change
  6. There is one administrator
  7. Transport cost is zero
  8. The network is homogeneous

Linkerd handles service-to-service communication and is usually deployed once per host. It allows engineers to focus on building business logic, rather than on the problems of unreliable infrastructure.

Linkerd has some downside including a big memory footprint (>256 MB), and slow warm up (>100ms), which may be an opportunity for Envoy, a similar project recently accepted by the CNCF.

Irina Bednova, who leads the payments team at Monzo, took the stage to explain their “modern bank”

Irina Bednova, who leads the payments team at Monzo, took the stage to explain their “modern bank”. She described how their 35-person developer team builds and maintains 300 microservices in Go, using Cassandra as the data store. Their infrastructure runs on Docker and is deployed with Kubernetes and AWS.

Irina also fielded plenty of questions about Monzo’s CI and testing practices, and the challenges of integrating AWS with traditional banking infrastructure.

Thanks to all our speakers, and welcome to our newest sponsor Contino, who join StorageOS and Tecknuovo as supporters of Cloud and DevOps in London. If you missed this event, we’re back on Wed 8 November, so RSVP early to reserve a space!

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Author: Cheryl Hung

Cheryl Hung is the Director of Ecosystem at the Cloud Native Computing Foundation. Cheryl codes, writes and speaks about storage, containers and infrastructure. Cheryl previously worked at StorageOS as product manager and as a Google Maps software engineer, with particular expertise in mapping and geolocation services, C++, Java and Python. She graduated from the University of Cambridge with a Masters in Computer Science and has worked in London and New York.

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