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Google Anthos: A Hybrid Cloud Story

Google Anthos: A Hybrid Cloud Story
June 28, 2019

200 countries

90 cloud regions

58 + 2 new datacenters

Can the Mountain View Giant innovate and attract the CIOs?

Will the containerized approach to cloud-enable Google to cover the enterprise market gap?

“Google makes great stuff, but they are too smart and geeky” has been the constant feedback of customers. This year, it was more business-focused with lots of clients, vendors, partners more like AWS and not a corporate event like Microsoft.

Security, Developer Agility, Open Source and Hybrid Enterprise were the main themes dominating the colossal Google NXT 2019.

Google understands its need to coexist with perceived market leaders like AWS and Azure. With Thomas Kurian being appointed as the Google Cloud CEO replacing Diane Greene, Amit Zavery as Vice President, Engineering to drive Apigee cross-cloud API developer push, the acquisition of Alooma reinstates Google’s strong focus on its lagging cloud services business. With steel enough to build 21 Eiffel towers, capital investment upwards of 20 billion dollars in building datacenters, Google is here for a long run.

In the words of Thomas Kurian, “At Google Cloud, our vision is clear for our customers to provide Global Scale Distributed Security Structure, digital transformation platform that helps people build innovative digital transformation solutions, industry specific capabilities (vertical transformation in a number of industries)”. Aligned with this vision, they made a few announcements.

Anthos

A rebranded cloud platform, Anthos (Beta) is industry’s first multi-cloud platform built on the principal of “Velocity Anywhere”.

Velocity: To remain competitive and successful you need to move faster and scale up/out technology use + Anywhere: Cloud computing or cloud business is everywhere. Being hybrid-cloud and multi-cloud are the keys to meeting technical and business requirements = Google Anthos.

It is built on opensource technologies with Kubernetes providing the foundational common interface to various hybrid and multi-cloud environments. Available in a simple, term-based subscription, Google Anthos is an opinionated, full-stack solution that allows you to build once run anywhere across clouds. With Anthos, customers can deploy, run and manage applications on-premises or in the cloud which allows for legacy modernization without changing the application code.

With expanded support to AWS and Azure, Anthos makes Google one of the first cloud service providers to launch a multi-cloud platform perfect for today’s competitive cloud market where vendor lock-in and data egress fee to move data from one cloud to another has been a pain area for most customers. Google cloud service allows enterprises to use a single platform to manage applications, unified billing and a combined dashboard while running on Google’s cloud. This containerized approach to the cloud will enable Google to work with smaller players largely to cover the enterprise market gap.

Key Differentiators –

  • Low cost with managed open source
  • Auto conversion from VM to containers enabling easy modernization of on-premise workloads
  • Google cloud service mesh providing real-time insight in to security posture and recommendations
  • No code change to move apps between different clouds

Anthos will be delivered through pre-validated stacks from partners like CISCO, VMware, Dell EMC, HPE, Intel, and Lenovo for customers so that they can choose hardware based on their performance needs.

Cloud Run

Available in Beta, Google cloud run blends serverless with containerized app development. A fully managed platform based on Knative, it allows for easy porting of apps to any other platform using Kubernetes, simplifying your cloud journey.

Key Features

  • Fully serverless
  • Pay per use and scales on demand
  • Managed URLs and TLS certs
  • Redundant automatic failover
  • Integrated logging and monitoring
  • Support for any language, any library, any binary

Cloud Run on GKE

It is the same great cloud run, but on Kubernetes. It provides similar benefits, except for developers running their containers on Google’s GKE version of Kubernetes.

The AI- Nation

While Anthos was the star of the Google Cloud Next 2019, a slew of AI-themed announcements and updates around the existing products kept the momentum steady.

By Google’s own admission many enterprises see value in applying AI and ML to their business challenges, but not all have the necessary resources to do it. Businesses need a quick and easy way to bring AI to their organizations. Understanding the business needs for AI, lack of skills and platforms with most enterprise, Google introduced a new suite of enterprise AI and machine learning tools some of which are mentioned below:

Document Understanding AI: Enables developers to classify documents, extract critical information from scanned images and utilize industry-specific custom analysis for automation of processing needs.

Recommendations AI: Targeted at retail sector, it helps deliver personalized product recommendations to customers at scale.

Visual Product Search: Helps match customer-generated images with images from the product catalogue, and reduces purchasing friction for customers by prompting them with products based on interests.

AI Platform—Notebooks, data labeling, SDKs, and console interface (beta): Provides a single location from which to select models, or train models and sets them up to serve in production.

Cloud AI Data Labeling Service (beta): Paid service to request labelers to classify uploaded business data for use in training models.

AutoML

AutoML automatically builds and deploys machine learning models on structured data regardless of workload volume and global reach. It handles a wide range of tabular data such as numbers, classes, strings, timestamps, and lists, and helps detect and handle missing values, outliers, and other common data issues.

Security Key

It may be not as sexy as Anthos, AutoML or Cloud Run but critical to the company’s cloud goliath.

In the words of Thomas Kurian, “Your data is your data and no one else’s. No one at Google will access your data without your permission. You can encrypt your data at rest or in transit into our cloud, and even use your own encryption keys. If you want Google to help you access the data for support purpose, we will stream in real time the logs of every operation our people are doing to help you with the support request. No other cloud provider provides these facilities and for us; that's the measure of providing you the comfort and trust that Google will never ever use your data for any purpose other than delivering you the services in GCP that you use”. With such reassuring commitment backed by fully integrated data privacy technologies, partners would be able to convince the customers to have a secure, reliable and scalable cloud journey with Google Cloud who were apprehensive due to data privacy issues.

Betting Big on Open Source

One of the major announcements by Google is the deep integration of a wide range of open-source products into its Cloud. This move differentiates Google's dealing of open-source from other cloud providers, particularly AWS, infamous for taking some of the best open-source projects, diverging and repackaging under its own brand without any reverse contribution. This could be advantageous for Google Cloud customers using these services already as users can get a single bill and access support for these, all from a single GCP console.

Some new partnerships include several open-source data analytics and data management companies like Redis Labs, DataStax, MongoDB, Elastic, InfluxData, Neo4j, and Confluent strengthening Google’s position as an open source, friendly platform while boosting its open source portfolio.

Google is slowly and surely moving in the right direction as cloud infrastructure service providers are now looking for a profound share from mid-market segments.

Our PV and Opportunities

Google’s hybrid-cloud offering could mean a multimillion-dollar opportunity for system integrators and service providers. Anthos has the potential to revolutionize and redefine the cloud-native ecosystems on which many market players would like to capitalize.

Anthos brings some unique design challenges that each customer would need to work through. For example, how to provide data access, and plan network connectivity to your environments along with maintaining a robust security posture?

HCL can help here by providing a design and implementation strategy in the following ways:

  • Help clients plan where and how to take advantage of hybrid-cloud and multi-cloud environments by doing an Anthos readiness assessment
  • Provide Anthos ready cloud infrastructure through our U4X model allowing easy deployment of Anthos and interconnect multiple data sources to their Kubernetes based applications
  • Help in application migration to containers on Anthos platform with containerized IT proposition, including the development of application-specific use case for Anthos in the client environment