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      20,000 Upgrades Later: Lessons From a Year of Managed Kubernetes Upgrades

      This Tech Talk will be streaming live on Wednesday, September 2, 2020, 1:00–2:00 p.m. ET.
      RSVP for free on Eventbrite here to receive a link to join.

      About the Talk

      Upgrading to a new release is one of the most disruptive operations we regularly inflict on our Kubernetes clusters. There are multiple strategies for doing an upgrade, but they all require rescheduling workloads and restarting cluster components.

      We started offering upgrades on our managed Kubernetes platform, DigitalOcean Kubernetes Service (DOKS), in May 2019. Since then, our customers have kicked off about 20,000 automated patch and minor release upgrades on their clusters. Most of those upgrades went well, but some didn’t and we’ve learned a few things from the ones that went wrong.

      In this talk, we will share lessons from a year of automated Kubernetes upgrades: what we got right, what we got wrong, workloads that caused us trouble, and changes we’ve made to make the process smoother. We hope these lessons will help others avoid pain in their Kubernetes upgrades.

      What You’ll Learn

      • How DigitalOcean coordinates Kubernetes upgrades for managed clusters.
      • What Kubernetes users, especially those using DigitalOcean managed Kubernetes, can do to ensure their workloads tolerate upgrades.

      This Talk is Designed For

      • Kubernetes administrators/operators who are interested in the details of how DigitalOcean performs Kubernetes upgrades, what we’ve seen go wrong, and what we’ve learned.
      • Developers running applications on Kubernetes who are interested in how to configure your workloads to avoid problems during upgrades.


      Knowledge of the components of a Kubernetes cluster and how applications are deployed.

      About the Presenter

      Adam Wolfe Gordon is the tech lead for managed Kubernetes and container registry at DigitalOcean. He previously worked on block storage at DigitalOcean and EMC. Adam is a regular conference speaker and a frequent attendee of and presenter at local meetups in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. He likes building and debugging microservices, observability, and occasional forays into lower-level software.

      How to Join

      This Tech Talk is free and open to everyone. Join the live event on Wednesday, September 2, 2020, 1:00–2:00 p.m. ET by registering on Eventbrite here and Adam Wolfe Gordon will be answering questions at the end.

      If you can’t make the live event, the video recording will be published here as soon as it’s available.

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      Optimizing Your Public Cloud with Managed Services

      Public cloud providers, like AWS and Azure, build and offer many services to help developers, IT shops and small and large business quickly build and deploy their applications on the public cloud. Public clouds offer speed and agility and a myriad of services to launch your applications, but it can become all too easy to have projects run away from you if your use of public cloud lacks focus. This is where optimizing public cloud with managed services can be a good option.

      Let’s take a closer look at the positives and negatives of public cloud, and some of the managed services that can take it to the next level.

      The Benefits and Drawbacks of Public Cloud

      Public clouds have taken the infrastructure world by storm and have certainly disrupted the IT industry in a very positive way. I must admit, from a technical (read: geek) standpoint, it is extremely attractive to be able to write and deploy my application on the same day. As my good friend James Desk puts it, “Throw another dime in the jukebox and code like hell.”

      In my opinion, the key to utilizing a public cloud to yield a well-supported, highly available application is to specifically build your application on top of the developed services the public cloud provider has available in their catalog. However, at the time of this writing, AWS is providing 140+ different services to help with deployment of your application on their cloud. This is where the problems start to creep in.

      Learning how to use all the services and being able to quickly understand which services are right for the application is impractical. My friends in the business will learn and use about five, 10, maybe 20 services which are immediately needed for their application. Once their applications are up and running, that’s where the learning stops until the next project come up.

      Because public clouds like AWS have made it so quick and easy to get started, they have also made it quick and easy to have a project run away from you with some costly consequences. I have been guilty of spinning up development/test environments or adding temporary resources to my production workload and then forgetting to turn things off, resulting in some unexpected, costly waste. Lessons learned.

      Getting help with management from experts that live and breathe this nebulous mist day in and day out can prevent wastes in time and cost.

      Managed Services to Optimize Public Cloud

      INAP’s Public Cloud Managed Services immediately make sense in this case. Our public cloud management team is made up of certified AWS and Azure engineers. These talented people make it their mission to know and understand how to leverage all public cloud services to made sure that our customers are utilizing all the needed resources without waste. They do this by staying on top of all newly released services, cloud certifications and industry best practices to make sure that our clients get the best in class service, support and advice.

      Here are some of the more popular services we offer for AWS and Azure:

      • Deployment Services, which includes a full-service onboarding team with dedicated project manager and implementation engineer
      • Configuration Services
      • 24/7/365 Issue Mitigation
      • Escalation Support
      • Monitoring and Alerting
      • Consolidated Billing
      • Compliance and Security Services
      • Operating System Support
      • Account Review: Performance and Cost Optimization
      • Solution Architecture
      • Migration Services
      • DBA Services

      Interested in exploring public cloud optimization with INAP? Chat now to learn more.

      Explore INAP Managed AWS.


      Rob Lerner


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