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Videos will appear here within a few weeks.

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Captaining a container ship: Docker orchestration with Kontena

Track: Coding and Development | Skill level: Beginner

Docker containers have proven to be a great tool for spinning up applications in development, testing or even production environments. But have you thought about how to handle the growth you're going to see? You start with just a web server and MySQL. Then you add Varnish for performance. And Redis to take load off the database. Maybe Solr for faster searching? Or better Elasticsearch, you can also use that for log processing in conjunction with Logstash and Kibana. Then you realize that you have lots of single points of failure and start adding redundancy to your infrastructure. Your journey to more flexible application deployment might very well end in a maintenance nightmare, but it doesn't have to.

Managing containers at scale requires orchestration tools, and there's lots of choice: Docker Swarm, Rancher, Kubernetes, Mesosphere - the list keeps growing and growing. Unfortunately, these tools often are as complex themselves as the problem they're trying to solve. In the meantime, a nice little Docker orchestration platform from Finland has come to solve this conundrum. It's called Kontena and it's as easy to set up as it is getting an application stack running on it. We found Kontena through an evaluation project in our internship programme and promptly went to use it in our Drupal hosting infrastructure.

In my talk, I'm going to explain how Kontena works and why it's the ideal starting point for people who'd like to learn Docker orchestration. Among others, my presentation will cover these topics:

  • The Kontena architecture
  • Setting up a Kontena cluster
  • Upgrading from Docker Compose
  • Deploying an application stack
  • Network and security

I'm still amazed how easy it is to use Kontena in practice, and this talk will be easy to understand even by people new to Docker containers.

About the author: Jochen Lillich is the founder and CEO of freistil IT, a distributed team of web operations experts running the managed hosting platform freistilbox. After studying computer science in the 90's, Jochen founded a number of IT businesses and gained experience in IT management at leading internet companies in Germany. Today, Jochen lives with his family near Dublin, Ireland. Jochen has been an active and passionate speaker in the IT space since 1999 and has given keynotes and presentations at conferences like DrupalCon, OSDC, DevOps Days and many barcamps and user group meetings all over Europe. As DevOps Track Chair, Jochen also helped organise DrupalCon Prague in 2013.

Keynote Speakers

Matt Glaman

Matt Glaman

(Saturday keynote)

Matt Glaman is a developer at Commerce Guys. He is an open source developer who has been working with Drupal since 2013. He is author of the Drupal 8 Development Cookbook, maintainer of, and lover of Irish Whiskey.

Twitter: @nmdmatt

Jeffrey A 'JAM' McGuire

Jeffrey A. "jam" McGuire

(Sunday keynote)

Jeffrey A. "jam" McGuire—Evangelist, Developer Relations at Acquia—is a memorable and charismatic communicator with a strong following at the intersection of open source software, business, and culture. He is a frequent keynote speaker at events around the world. He writes and talks about technology, community, and more on weekly podcasts and as a blogger on This all helps satisfy his inner diva, which he also feeds with performances as a storyteller and musician.

Twitter: @horncologne

Danese Cooper

Danese Cooper

(Sunday closing keynote)

Danese Cooper currently serves as chairperson of the Node.js Foundation. She also works in an open source role at PayPal. Previously she was Director of the Open Source Hardware Association and CTO of the Wikimedia Foundation. She had brief stint at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation as a consulting open source strategist. She has been involved with open source since 1999.

Twitter: @divadanese

CxO Day Speakers

Sarah Wood OBE

Unruly Co-Founder (CEO)

Sarah Wood

David Axmark

Co-founder of MySQL

David Axmark

Ben Finn OBE

Co-Founder of Sibelius and CEO at Stealth Poker

Ben Finn

Barney Brown

Head of Digital at Cambridge University

Barney Brown

Professor Andre Spicer

Professor of Organisational Behaviour at Cass Business School City, University London

Andre Spicer

Paul Reeves

Reevo UN Limited

Paul Reeves



CxO Day

Drupal apprentices

The best people to train new developers are developers

The Drupal Apprenticeship Scheme will be running a London intake in March. If you are interested in hiring an apprentice or know someone who would benefit from the scheme please get in touch via the link below.

  • Created and run by experienced developers
  • Teaches core skills and best practice
  • Extensive support for businesses and teams

We are also really keen to hear from people who might be interested in mentoring, training and helping us to develop and review training materials to make sure they stay absolutely current and relevant.

Find out more

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