CNCF boss talks 'irrational exuberance' in an AI-heavy Kubecon keynote

Kubecon? More like Queuecon as Paris show's registration system experiences temporary borkage

Updated The European leg of the Cloud Native Computing Foundation's (CNCF) Kubecon shindig kicked off this week with an AI-infused keynote and a broken registration system that left many attendees locked out.

Like many in the IT world, the CNCF has performed an abrupt 'pivot' to AI, and much of the content of the first keynote was a testament to this. CNCF general manager Priyanka Sharma took to the stage to discuss Kubernetes' involvement in the technology and to do a quick tech demo, to the delight of the audience.

Unlike the issues encountered at the previous US Kubecon, Sharma's demonstration – which involved using AI to describe the content of a photograph of the audience – went off without a hitch.

Alas, the same could not be said of the malfunctioning registration system, which resulted in lengthy queues at the venue prior to the keynote. No, it wasn't using Kubernetes, according to a CNCF representative.

If only there were a platform that allowed code to scale and even recover after a visit from tech gremlins. What would that look like?

Snark aside, Sharma walked a tightrope during the keynote, noting the "irrational exuberance" that tends to accompany new technology. The phrase, which originates from the description of economic bubbles, is certainly appropriate when describing the headlong charge into AI happening across the IT industry.

You only had to stroll through the exhibitor hall at the Paris Kubecon event to be bombarded with AI-infused products and announcements. Hence, there is an inherent risk in bringing attention to the irrationality of the current obsession with AI.

However, it is also the role of the CNCF to shepherd its projects. Its AI working group released a white paper this week describing how cloud-native technologies support AI and machine learning (ML) workloads, and what challenges and gaps – such as managing resource demands for complex AI workloads – remain.

Balancing community and corporate

The Kubernetes container orchestration system is nearing its tenth anniversary and has most definitely moved from young upstart techn to something that underpins many development projects. According to the CNCF, this year's event attracted more than 12,000 attendees, a new high and an indication of the interest in the technology and the community that has sprung up around it.

But, alongside its born-again AI evangelism, has the Kubernetes project and its many offshoots gone too corporate?

Loris Degioanni, CTO of security outfit Sysdig, contributor of the recently graduated Falco project, told The Register that he did not see too much of a risk. He pointed out that the CNCF was "a very successful branch of the Linux Foundation. The Linux Foundation has a long history, and has proven to us as a community that they can operate at scale in the interests of the community."

He said: "The CNCF does a pretty good job of keeping … the confidence of the community."

As the project enters its second decade and faces the ongoing challenge of transitioning from irrational exuberance to something a bit more rational, maintaining confidence will be key. ®

Updated to add on March 24:

A spokesperson for the CNCF got in touch about the borked registration system: "A wireless router went out causing a short delay for the capacity crowds that attended. To best accommodate, we started keynotes a few minutes past the hour to allow more time for any of the 12,000+ attendees that still needed to make their way to the hall."

More about


Send us news

Other stories you might like