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InfoQ Homepage News Google Announces Anthos Support for Multi-Cloud is Generally Available

Google Announces Anthos Support for Multi-Cloud is Generally Available

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In a recent blog post, Google announced that Athos support for multi-cloud is generally available. With Anthos customers can now consolidate all their operations across on-premises, Google Cloud, and other clouds, starting with AWS and Microsoft Azure as the service is currently in preview. Furthermore, with the GA for multi-cloud, Anthos also received improvements in management support for virtual machines, and simplification of application modernization with updates to Migrate for Anthos.

Google Anthos is a service for hybrid cloud and workload management that runs on the Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE). The service has been GA since April last year. The public cloud provider designed the service to allow a hosting of application that can run unmodified on both existing on-premises environments and public cloud, thus giving enterprises the option to choose the most suitable infrastructure for each one.  

Jennifer Lin, vice president of product management, Google Cloud, wrote in the announcement blog post:

The flexibility to run applications where you need them without added complexity has been a key factor in choosing Anthos—many customers want to continue to use their existing investments both on-premises as well as in other clouds, and having a common management layer helps their teams deliver quality services with low overhead.

And the service, now in its current release, according to a respondent on Hacker News thread provides the flexibility of workloads across different environments:

It's Google's managed kubernetes. But AWS, Azure, and your on-prem hardware appear as availability zones and workloads can shift between them.

With the current release of Anthos, Google also made the management of diverse environments easier with more in-depth support for virtual machines, letting users extend Anthos' management framework to the types of workloads that make up the vast majority of existing systems. According to Lin, users can now manage two of the most complex pieces of traditional workloads: 

  • Policy and configuration management - With Anthos Config Management, users can manage policies for virtual machines running on Google Cloud in the same way it already manages policies for software containers.
  • Managing services on heterogeneous deployments – Over the coming months, Anthos Service Mesh will also include support for applications running in virtual machines, letting users consistently manage security and policies across different workloads in Google Cloud, on-premises and other clouds.


Lastly, besides the multi-cloud support, the service also received an update to its "Migrate to Anthos" functionality. The automated containerization solution now includes enhanced VM-to-container conversion capabilities that can help customers modernize their legacy workloads into Kubernetes and Anthos. 

Public cloud vendors are increasingly active in the hybrid cloud space by investing in new services. For instance, in response to the GA of Anthos last year, Microsoft followed in November with the preview of Azure Arc, a service allowing enterprises to bring Azure services and management to any infrastructure, including AWS and Google Cloud. Arc is a part of Microsoft's Hybrid 2.0 strategy with a focus on managing edge, on-premises and multi-cloud software and services. Beside Arc, Microsoft includes Azure Stack Hub and Edge to support that strategy. Furthermore, Amazon's offering with regards to hybrid cloud is AWS Outposts. This fully managed service extends AWS infrastructure, AWS services, APIs, and tools to virtually any data center, co-location space, or on-premises facility.

Holger Mueller, an analyst at Constellation Research Inc., told InfoQ:

The GA of Anthos - for now between Google Cloud, AWS and on-premises, is excellent news for CxO - who now gain workload portability and codes asset reuse for the next-generations applications. Faster uptime, more deployment choices, reduced test times, commercial flexibility, and less cloud vendor lock-in for their next-generation applications are significant benefits.

In addition, he said:

Good to see Google deliver on its bold vision from Google Next a year ago: Support not only the coming inaction of Google Cloud and on-premises, but raise the workload portability game to allow workloads to run also on competitor clouds, on a Google supporter software infrastructure. 

Google will continue its investment in Anthos with a couple of upcoming updates such as:

  • Allowing Athos to run on bare metal servers, which can power the service at the edge beyond the data center and public cloud environments.
  • Running the service with no third-party hypervisor, delivering better performance, further reducing costs and eliminating the management overhead of yet another vendor relationship. 

Anthos on Google Cloud offers both subscription and pay-as-you-go pricing options – with the latter taking effect starting July 1st, 2020. More details on pricing are available on the pricing page.

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