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InfoQ Homepage News Google Distributed Cloud Virtual Now Supports Virtual Machines

Google Distributed Cloud Virtual Now Supports Virtual Machines

Recently Google announced the general availability of virtual machine (VM) support in Anthos for bare metal, also known as Google Distributed Cloud Virtual (GDC), which will allow customers to run VMs alongside containers on a single, unified, Google Cloud-connected platform in their data center or at the edge.

Earlier, the company previewed VM support for Anthos for bare metal at Google Cloud Next’21 as an option for customers to choose between deploying applications in containers or VMs.

Google brings support for VMs since many enterprises still prefer VMs over containers. In a Google blog post, the authors Amr Abdelrazik, product manager, Anthos, and Dave Bartoletti, outbound product manager at Google, explain:

But few enterprise workloads are containerized today, and millions of business-critical workloads still run in VMs. While many VMs can be modernized by migrating to VMs in Google Cloud or to containers on GKE or Anthos, many can’t — at least not right away.

With additional support for Virtual Machines in GDC, Google states that the service will provide consistent container and VM operations with Kubernetes-style declarative configuration and policy enforcement. The service is managed via the Google Cloud console, application programming interfaces, and command-line interfaces, with self-service deployment, observability, and monitoring. Moreover, the console includes VM lifecycle management that integrates with existing Anthos and Google Cloud authentication and authorization frameworks.


Under the hood, the VM support in GDC is the Anthos VM Runtime, which extends and enhances the open-source KubeVirt technology - designed for those who want to use Kubernetes but have existing VM-based workloads that are difficult to containerize. The company integrated Kubevirt with Anthos on bare metal to simplify the installation and upgrade experience. Furthermore, tools are available to manage VMs with logs and metrics within the Google Cloud operations suite, including straight out-of-the-box dashboards and alerts. And finally, the company also included networking enhancements such as support for multiple network interfaces and VLAN integration.

Holger Mueller, principal analyst and vice president at Constellation Research Inc., told InfoQ:

Virtual Machines run the world, so it is a crucial move for Google to expand support in Anthos beyond Kubernetes to VMs. This gives CxOs more options to run their on-premises workloads on one platform - with an eye to both conversion to Kubernetes and/or migration to the (Google) cloud.

Lastly, Google has an updated fit assessment tool for its customers to determine if Athos is the right technology for their VM workloads. And in case VMs are identified, there is also an updated Migrate to Containers tool to migrate VMs to Anthos from the command line or the console.

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