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Kapil Tiwari

Google’s Evolution in the Cloud Space: Here’s All You Need to Know
Kapil Tiwari Deputy General Manager - Hybrid Cloud Services | June 27, 2019

Google Cloud Next 2019 was more focused on the cloud services platform and how their platform can seamlessly integrate the best of enterprise cloud world viz. Public, Private and Hybrid. As per Google, they have provided a strong competitive advantage over major competitors like AWS and Azure, primarily in three key areas: Technology, Commercial and Strategic Partnership.

This is backed by the following differentiators for these key areas:

  • Industry leading Machine learning (ML) /analytical capabilities
  • The most open cloud platform with fewer vendor lock-ins
  • Leadership in Kubernetes and continued support for open source projects
  • Largest self-owned cloud network with low latency commitment
  • Wide strategic partnerships with all partner ecosystem players to accelerate their cloud adoption
competitive advantage
Fig: 3 Key areas where Google holds a strong competitive advantage

Strategic service launch with domain leaders

Most of these services have been launched in partnership with other domain leaders. For instance, ‘Open Source’ with open source centric companies like Confluent, InfluxData, and Mongo DB, ‘Data Management and Protection’ with leaders like Commvault, Actifio, Rubrik, and Vertias, and ‘Cloud Migration’ with majors like Cloudamize, CloudPhysics, and RISC Networks.

So, Google has learned that to embrace their journey in the cloud world they need to work with all the partners having a significant presence in their respective domains.

Launch of Various platforms

Here we would talk about the key components of Google’s newly launched Anthos platforms and how they help to shape the data centers of the future.

Anthos Launch

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) was launched for hybrid functionality with a new name – Anthos.

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) was launched for hybrid functionality with a new name- Anthos.

Anthos is a platform that seamlessly manages applications in today’s multi-cloud world. It enables enterprise customers to manage workloads running on any third-party clouds like AWS and Azure which is a key differentiator from the strategies of any other cloud service provider. It is a managed service formalized to help developers deploy and migrate applications in multiple environments.

Enterprise customers have faced hitches in running their environment with multi-cloud and hybrid, and the Anthos launch is an exertion to ease those pain points related to cloud services. In this, enterprises get a unified platform with a single bill and have a single dashboard to manage their applications. All of this, predictably, is powered by containers and Kubernetes.

Anthos Migrate Launch

Google has launched a beta version of ‘Anthos Migrate’ which automates cloud migration of VMs from on-premises or any other cloud network directly into the Google container platform with lesser effort. This is a Google’s approach which facilitates cloud migration and infrastructure modernization without any modification on VMs and applications.

The core components of Anthos are as follows:

  1. Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE): It is one of the key building blocks of the overall stack which controls and manages the dispersed infrastructure running in Google's cloud, on-premise data centers, and multi-cloud platforms.
  2. GKE On-Prem: A Kubernetes-based software platform is hardware agnostic and managed by Google. It is a logical extension of the GKE which runs as a virtual appliance on top of the VMWare vSphere 6.5. It enforces all policies across all Kubernetes Clusters either in the cloud or on-premises.
  3. Istio: A service mesh which enables secure communication between multiple services or microservices. It enables seamless service communications across multi- and hybrid cloud environments.
  4. Velostrata: Anthos migrate enables migration of application from on-Premises to multiple cloud or data centers into VMs or containers.
  5. Stack driver: A unified monitoring, logging, and diagnostics platform to ensure optimal performance and availability. It is natively integrated with the Google Cloud platform.
  6. GCP Cloud Interconnect: It provides low latency and highly available connections for reliable data transfer between the on-premise network and Google’s network.
  7. GCP Marketplace: It provides readily available development stacks, solutions, and services which can run on Kubernetes.
  8. Anthos Config Management: A set of simplified configuration management tools which can deploy artifacts, configuration setting, and network policies on one or more clusters.

The core theme of Anthos is for Application Modernization. One of the key messages which Google highlighted while sharing their customer stories using Anthos is:

Anthos is a flexible, portable, and software-based solution with unified management on which enterprises can build a hybrid and multi-cloud environment. Anthos lets you take advantage of its other integrations like Big Data Analytics, Machine learning, IOT, and so on. This is one of the main differentiators when compared to its competitors.

In today’s cloud era enterprise customer are excited to have the ability to migrate their applications to multiple cloud environments without worrying about lock-in with a specific cloud service provider. Google Anthos is the ideal Google Cloud Platform for them as it offers a flexibility to shift workload in this multi cloud era. In a nutshell, Google wants enterprises to run all their green field environments, which is on a contemporary microservice-based application, in the Google Kubernetes engine while migrating brown field environment to containers.

Google Anthos has solved the puzzle by adding the missing pieces of hybrid cloud in the following ways:

  • Flexible and true multi-cloud services model that delegates the power to customers
  • Choice of infrastructure hardware: Anthos runs on any infrastructure weather it is existing customer infrastructure like rack mounted servers, blade chassis or top of the line Hyperconverged systems.
  • Choice of Public Cloud: Anthos can run on third-party clouds like AWS, Azure, allows easy adoption for customers already running their larger environments in different clouds.
  • Open-Source ingredients
  • Simplified onboarding and containers adoption

A lot of customers were concerned about refactoring cost to migrate their existing applications to containers. With the introduction of Anthos Migrate, it has become easier for customers to quickly migrate their applications to containers with negligible recoding efforts.

HCL being premier partner of Google has already built capability on Anthos acquiring expert level skills through technology transfer program.

HCL, a premier partner of Google, has already leveraged the capabilities of Anthos and has acquired expert-level skills through the technology transfer program. In fact, we have introduced Anthos to our customers who were already running large-scale containers. Looking at their enthusiasm and active engagement, we expect Google Anthos to be a big hit in the years ahead.