I’ve just finished binging on a whole host of talks from KubeCon EU 2021, and thought I’d scribble down some of my immediate thoughts — from the talks I “went” to, as well as more generally about virtual conferencing these days. Which is a bit of a change of pace, let’s be honest.

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I should caveat this post with the obvious — my experiences are heavily based around how I chose to take in the conference — the sessions I picked, the things I got involved with and the things I didn’t. Conferences for me tend to be focused on…

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This was first posted on my personal website on 2nd Feb 2021. That article also includes some screen captures, so head there if you want to see this stuff in action!

In this post I’m going to talk through the approach I use to switch between multiple Google Kubernetes Engine clusters on the command line. I’d expect a lot of the stuff in here has some benefit for non-GCP Kubernetes clusters too, but the ones I use on a day-to-day basis are all hosted there.

Key outcomes for me were:

  1. To be able to switch from one cluster to another…

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It’s probably natural to get a bit contemplative as one year rolls into another. In this post I’m going to spend a little time writing about some of the things I’ve learnt after a year moving into a “Senior Engineer” position, and then onto some of the things I hope to change going forwards, based on what I’ve learnt.

As a result, this post is going to be a bit introspective and not very technical — hopefully it won’t come across as too self-indulgent! I personally think it’s sometimes interesting to read about things from this perspective, but turn back…

Hi — we are Alex Moss (Engineering Lead) and Rob Hornby (Product Owner) for the John Lewis & Partners Digital Platform. Today we’re talking about our team’s first venture into running a Chaos Day — a series of chaos experiments against our platform.

It was January 2020, and we had just gone through another Peak trading period for JL & Partners. The Digital Platform had performed extremely well. There were no incidents, no last-minute panic scaling, and no fall-backs enabled — even though the number of services and overall complexity of the platform was significantly higher than this time last…

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In this post, I’ll briefly introduce krew, a plugin manager for kubectl, and then run through some of the plugins I’ve discovered with it that I’ve found particularly useful.

Yes! Made it through the intro without a clickbait title … “top 10 krew plugins to help you devop harder”

If you’d like to see some of the commands and their output in more detail — as well as a little bit more of me attempting to be funny … 😏 — then check out my more detailed post on this here.

Introducing krew

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Spoiler Alert! This blog is really about Vertical Pod Autoscaling and patching of kube-systemworkloads in GKE. I’ve summarised the steps I went through at the bottom of the post.

To read about the steps I took in a bit more detail, see my personal blog post here: https://mosstech.io/2019/09/28/squeezing-gke-system-resources-in-small-clusters/.

If, like me, you run a small GKE cluster of your own to try out things — perhaps running a handful of small websites on it — then you may find it uncomfortable of your available Compute resources are used up just keeping Google Kubernetes Engine itself running. This is not surprising…

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I was lucky enough to make the trip over to Barcelona last week for KubeCon + CloudNativeCon 2019. We are a big user of Kubernetes here in JL&P. As we are increasingly pushing the boundaries of the out-the-box things you can do with it, it was very useful to learn more about what others are doing within this ecosystem. At the very least, we would hopefully pick up some tricks — or at least share some challenges! — and see what is coming down the pipeline that might helps us out.

Any Stand-out Themes?

One personal theme I reflect on, in contrast to…

Hi! My name is Alex Moss, and I’m a Platform Architect working within one of the Digital Platform Teams within E-Commerce at John Lewis & Partners.

This time last year, our newly-formed Platforms Team in John Lewis Online were putting the finishing touches to a brand new Kubernetes platform designed to run the frontend of johnlewis.com in Google Cloud. Twelve months later, we’ve passed through Black Friday without a hitch and built a raft of new capabilities along the way. What follows is a post reflecting on the journey so far — if that sounds interesting, then read on!

Doing That Strategic Thing

Alex Moss

Engineering Lead for the John Lewis & Partners Digital Cloud Platform

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