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Session + Live Q&A

Kubernetes as a Foundation for Infrastructure Control Planes

To continue the conversation with Daniel, please join the Hangout with the Speaker during the break after the session.

The distribution, deployment, and ongoing maintenance of infrastructure is frequently decoupled from the applications that consume it. Kubernetes has become the default platform for orchestrating containerized processes, but it also offers a general interface for running distributed systems, providing an opportunity to extend its capabilities beyond workloads running in-cluster.

In this talk, we’ll explore how bringing applications and infrastructure to a single control plane allows for building robust platforms that can accommodate heterogenous organizational structures and architectural patterns. We will identify how practitioners can:

  • Establish strong separation of concern between platform and application development teams.
  • Build applications that target infrastructure interfaces, rather than specific implementations.
  • Design control planes that evolve with organizations as they scale.

Main Takeaways

1 Hear about Crossplane, what it is, and how it leverages Kubernetes to allow teams to build platforms.

2 Learn about building control planes within your organization in order to create a consistent API for applications and infrastructure that can grow and evolve over time.

What is the focus of your work these days?

I am primarily focused now on our internal engineering efforts at Upbound, which is the company behind Crossplane. Previous to that, I spent a number of years working on Crossplane, leading up to its stable release, and I still do some support and community work around that. But these days, I'm more focused on building our internal engineering practice.

And what's the motivation behind your talk?

To share the vision of what a control plane can bring to an organization. In the Crossplane community we view a control plane as a way to orchestrate not only your infrastructure, but also your applications and anything that supports running software within an organization. The motivation is to explain that vision for folks and talk about how it can change their organization from both an engineering perspective, but also from a cultural perspective, and enable different parties within an engineering organization to have a cohesive working relationship and be able to iterate and develop to deliver applications faster with more confidence.

How would you describe the persona and level of your target audience for this session?

I would say it's fairly advanced, and will be useful for folks that are interested in emulating the engineering organizations at hyperscalers. I imagine that there will be both folks from platform and developer teams.  One of the key benefits of building control planes on Crossplane is the ability to move across the spectrum of infrastructure and applications. Most folks are not going to be only a developer, or only a platform engineer, so it is vital to ensure that moving between those two roles is seamless and efficient.

And what would you like these folks to walk away with after seeing your session?

I'd love for folks to walk away with an understanding how they can get started building a control plane within their organization. One of the great benefits of a control plane is that it can grow within an organization over time, so you can start off with a greenfield project or potentially a small existing project that you have today, start to manage that via a control plane, and start to build up practices around that. The APIs will evolve with you over time, so you don't have to have your whole organization convert all at once. So I'd like for folks to be able to identify a piece of their software infrastructure that would make sense to move to a control plane and have the tools to go ahead and do that after hearing what we cover in the talk.


Daniel Mangum

Software Engineer @Upbound & Crossplane Maintainer

Daniel Mangum is a Staff Software Engineer at Upbound and a maintainer of Crossplane, an open source CNCF project. He has served in a variety of roles in the upstream Kubernetes project, most recently as a Tech Lead of SIG Release, and is active in multiple other open source circles. Daniel is...

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Wednesday May 11 / 01:40PM EDT (45 minutes)


Building and Evolving APIs


KubernetesAPICloud ComputingDistributed Systems


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