Google Embarks on Multicloud Platform Strategy with Anthos Launch
If it’s too late to beat your rivals at their own game, sometimes the best strategy is to change the game. While that’s easier said than done, if anyone can do it, it’s Google, which says it has invested $47 billion over the past two years in its global cloud infrastructure, expanding from four regions to 19 with 58 zones now in operation.
Google Cloud’s new plan to level the playing field with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft calls for extending its global public cloud service and new hybrid offering into a multicloud service. The release of the company’s Cloud Service Platform, software announced last year that can run on partner- or customer-owned hardware, was expected at last week’s Google Cloud Next conference in San Francisco. Google introduced the hybrid offering’s new brand, Anthos, now available in Google Cloud Platform (GCP) with Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) as well as the GKE On-Prem offering through OEMs, managed service providers and systems integrators.
Most notably, though, is the multicloud support coming to Anthos. Google plans to enable Anthos also to work with Kubernetes services from competing clouds including AWS and Microsoft Azure. The multicloud capability Google is planning, and demonstrated last week, is possible as an outgrowth of the near ubiquitous industry support among application developers and platform providers for Kubernetes. Originally developed by Google as a project once known as Borg, before the company contributed to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) as an open-source project, Kubernetes has become the preferred container orchestration standard among cloud-service providers and ISVs and, in addition to Anthos, among other offerings, is enabling the new Cloud Run managed serverless compute platform announced at Google Cloud Next.
Anthos by itself isn’t multicloud-capable. Google’s new Anthos Migrate will provide that capability by enabling automated migrations into containers that can run in Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) from virtual machines running on-premises or in other clouds. Google CEO Sundar Pichai revealed Anthos and alluded to the multicloud plan for the first time during the opening keynote session of last week’s conference.
“It brings together the simplicity of open-source platforms, our deep technical expertise and the freedom to choose the right cloud partner for your job,” Pichai said. “It lets you write once, and run your jobs anywhere, in our cloud, in your data center or on other cloud providers.”
Pichai introduced Thomas Kurian, tapped late last year to lead Google Cloud following the retirement of his predecessor, Diane Greene. Kurian, who acknowledged Greene’s efforts in pivoting Google’s enterprise cloud strategy, said the launch of Anthos was the most significant of many announcements during the weeklong conference.
“It came from our listening to customers who wanted three important things from their cloud providers,” Kurian said. “First, the ability to have a technology stack that they can run in their data center next to enterprise workloads that they couldn’t yet move to the cloud … Second, a single programming model that gave him the choice and flexibility to move workloads, to both Google Cloud as well as other cloud providers, without any change. And third, a platform that allows them to operate this infrastructure, without complexity, and to secure and manage across multiple clouds in a single consistent way.”
Eyal Manor, VP of engineering for Google’s Cloud Services Platform, demonstrated Anthos, available from …