Keep Building Fresh: Shopify's Journey to Kubernetes

Friday, 31 August, 2018 - 14:00–14:50

Niko Kurtti, Shopify


Shopify, in 2014, was one of the first large-scale users of Docker in production. We ran 100% of our production traffic in hundreds of containers. We saw the value of containerization and aspired to also introduce a real orchestration layer.

Fast forward two years to 2016, when instead we had a clumsy and fragile homemade middleware for controlling containers. We started looking at orchestration solutions again and the technology behind Kubernetes intrigued us.

In this talk I'll briefly go over challenges we saw in moving from a traditional host-based infrastructure to a cloud native one, moving not only our core app to Kubernetes but also hundreds of our other apps at the same time. I'll focus on the cluster tooling solutions we've built like controllers, cluster creators, and deploy tools. We've automated things ranging from our DNS to certificates and even complex cluster creations—and all with a real programming language and projects rather than a handful of random scripts.

The ability to extend Kubernetes to fit our needs has been the greatest reward of this project. It's given us a new paradigm on which to build upon rather than relying on old patterns.

Niko Kurtti, Shopify

Tinkerer with keen interest in container technologies. Working on the cloudplatform team at Shopify and building an internal PaaS on top of Kubernetes.

SREcon18 Europe/Middle East/Africa Open Access Videos
Sponsored by Indeed

Open Access Media

USENIX is committed to Open Access to the research presented at our events. Papers and proceedings are freely available to everyone once the event begins. Any video, audio, and/or slides that are posted after the event are also free and open to everyone. Support USENIX and our commitment to Open Access.

@inproceedings {218867,
author = {Niko Kurtti},
title = {Keep Building Fresh: Shopify{\textquoteright}s Journey to Kubernetes},
booktitle = {SREcon18 Europe/Middle East/Africa (SREcon18 Europe)},
year = {2018},
address = {Dusseldorf},
url = {},
publisher = {USENIX Association},
month = aug

Presentation Video 

Presentation Audio