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August 3, 2021

eBPF and Cilium Office Hours - Highlights from Season 1

eBPF and Cilium Office Hours (also known as eCHO) is a weekly YouTube livestream, hosted by Liz Rice and Duffie Cooley, about the world of eBPF, Cilium and related projects. Most weeks we welcome a guest to show us what they have been working on and share their insights. In place of this week's live episode (while we take a well-deserved summer break!) here's a look back at some of our favourite moments from what we might call Season 1.

Thomas introduces the Cilium CLI

We started the series with a bang: Thomas Graf joined Liz for a demo-rich introduction to Cilium. For many viewers this was the first peak at the new Cilium CLI added in 1.10. We saw how easy it is to use this to install Cilium and Hubble and get a quick view of status and network connectivity.

Duffie debugs a routing issue

For another look at the Cilium CLI check out the episode where Duffie dives into it - and ends up debugging a curious routing issue along the way!

Flamegraphs

Thomas returned to the eCHO show a few weeks later to share some performance benchmarking results. The TL;DR from this show: eBPF implementations shine when it comes to network performance. Thomas even shared flame graphs that show why this is the case.

If it's good enough for Linus...

Given that Linus Torvalds himself loves WireGuard, this seems like a technology worth knowing about. This episode with Martynas Pumputis is packed with interesting content, from background on packet flows in Cilium, through the story of how Martynas and Sebastian Wicki worked on the implementation, to a demo that makes the theory concrete.

It's always DNS

You know how whenever something goes wrong "it's always DNS"? Laurent Bernaille from Datadog shared some war stories that illustrated some of the unexpectedly wide range of ways in which DNS can indeed be the cause of failure.

eBPF is not just for Linux

One of the biggest developments in eBPF this year has been the revelation that it's being supported in Windows. Dave Thaler from Microsoft joined eCHO to explain how what we had all previously thought of as a Linux technology actually makes sense in other kernels too.

Diving into XDP

Kernel maintainer Daniel Borkmann gave us a deep dive into XDP, from the first suggestion that perhaps eBPF could be added to network drivers through to some of the use-cases for XDP in Cilium today, including load balancing and kube-proxy replacement.

Networking explainers

If you want to learn about some of the networking capabilities that Cilium provides, check out the great explanations that Joe Stringer provides in episode 6 about features added in Cilium 1.10. For example, this episode covers what we mean by an Egress IP Gateway, or BGP Service Announcement.

Coming up in Season 2...

We've had many more wonderful guests over the last few weeks, including Kris Nóva, Antonio Ojea, and Itay Shakury. If you have ideas for folks you'd like to see joining us on eCHO, we'd be very happy to see your suggestions as issues in the eCHO GitHub repo.

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