4–7 Nov 2019
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Kubernetes the very hard way

Laurent Bernaille (Datadog)
11:3512:15 Wednesday, 6 November 2019
Location: Hall A1
Average rating: ****.
(4.00, 4 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Infrastructure teams operating Kubernetes




Running large Kubernetes clusters is difficult. Datadog has been running large-scale Kubernetes clusters (thousands of nodes) for more than a year and has learned several lessons the hard way.

Laurent Bernaille examines the challenges Datadog faced during this journey. He dives into problems that arise when you run large clusters—and, crucially, how to address them—by providing detailed examples based on Datadog’s experience across different cloud providers. You’ll explore complex runtime and networking issues: at scale you discover complex issues in low-level components that are very rare but happen regularly when you have a large number of nodes.

Additionally, Laurent provides examples of how to improve the architecture of clusters to increase scalability and performance, both on the control plane and the data plane (communication between pods and ingress traffic). If scale can be hard on the control plane, it’s even harder on tools from the ecosystem, which have rarely been tested on very large clusters. He explains several examples of the tools Datadog uses and how it had to improve them to handle its scale. And you’ll leave with practical advice on how to build a good relationship with the community and start contributing back.

Prerequisite knowledge

  • A working knowledge of Kubernetes

What you'll learn

  • Discover the problems that arise when you run large clusters and ways to address them
  • See examples of how to improve the architecture of clusters to increase scalability and performance
  • Learn how to build a good relationship with the community and contribute back
Photo of Laurent Bernaille

Laurent Bernaille


Laurent Bernaille is a staff engineer on the compute team at Datadog, where he’s responsible for setting up and scaling Kubernetes platforms. Laurent has given several talks on the topic of application deployment and containers in conferences such as DockerCon, Open Source Summit, and EuroBSDCon.

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