Google Extends Scope of Anthos Cloud Platform

Google this week extended its campaign to establish Anthos as a hybrid cloud computing platform by adding support for a serverless computing framework along with an instance of the Istio service mesh Google helped develop.

Based on Kubernetes, Anthos is a cloud platform that can be deployed on any public cloud or on-premises IT environment.

Pali Bhat, vice president of product and design for Google Cloud, says Anthos is different from other managed cloud services in that organizations have the option of relying on Google to manage the entire DevOps life cycle or continuing to manage the IT environment themselves. Google is pursuing this approach to make it easier to meet organizations wherever they are on the IT modernization curve, he says.

As part of that effort, Bhat says Google is taking pains to integrate Anthos with as many third-party tools as possible to allow IT organizations to manage Anthos from within any set of DevOps or IT service management tools they prefer.

To help organizations move down that maturity curve faster, Google is also now moving to bake observability tools into its core platform rather than requiring organizations to pay separately for those capabilities. For example, Anthos Service Mesh comes with tools that enable IT teams to track application service levels between every connected microservice in the environment.

Bhat says Google is also committed to an open systems approach to cloud computing. Its Cloud Run for Anthos offering, for example, extends Kubernetes to multiple serverless computing frameworks to run stateless applications using open source Knative middleware developed by Google.

Finally, Google also has extended its Anthos Config Management tools to include a Binary Authorization tool, which ensures only validated, verified images are integrated are included within a managed DevOps process.

Bhat says Google is taking a pragmatic approach to monolithic and cloud-native applications, enabling organizations to deploy both on Google Cloud side by side while determining how much (if ever) they want to employ microservices to rewrite a monolithic application.

The same approach also applies to DevOps. Bhat says oranizations can either embrace DevOps on their own or rely on Google to provide a DevOps experience in a way that doesn’t force organizations to make a transition. Instead, the entire DevOps process comes hidden within the context of an automated set of cloud services, he says, noting that, alternatively, some organizations may not decide to embrace DevOps at all.

Google clearly views Anthos as the cornerstone of a hybrid cloud computing strategy that will enable it to make up much of the ground it has lost to Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft in terms of cloud market share. It’s not clear how much Anthos will enable Google to close that large gap. It’s worth noting, however, that Anthos does present an opportunity to centralize the management of DevOps across multiple clouds without forcing organizations onto a proprietary platform.

Naturally, it may be a while before most organizations are mixing and matching hybrid cloud services at will. Most organizations would like to have that capability, as long as it’s easy to achieve.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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