Anthos, Google’s platform for managing hybrid clouds that span Google Cloud and on-premise datacenters, has hit general availability for Amazon Web Services (AWS) and is in preview for Microsoft Azure. Additionally, Google today updated Anthos Config Management with a programmatic and declarative GitOps approach to manage policies for traditional workloads, and Anthos Service Mesh with support for applications running in virtual machines. In short, Google is expanding Anthos to support more kinds of workloads, in more kinds of environments, and in more locations. It’s all part of Google’s bigger plan to catch market leaders AWS and Azure.
Anthos is a service based on Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) that lets you run your applications unmodified via on-premises datacenters or in the public cloud. Anthos hit general availability just over a year ago, at Google Cloud Next 2019. At the time, Google announced that Anthos will run on third-party clouds, including AWS and Azure. The company is now delivering on that promise, meaning teams can work across platforms and not worry about vendor lock-in.
Many businesses already have their applications and projects spread out across on-prem and multiple public clouds. Anthos is supposed to be a common management layer that lets Google Cloud customers continue to use their existing investments. Google is pitching Anthos as an architecture that lets businesses weather, or even take advantage of, change. That idea has always appealed to businesses, but it might be particularly enticing amid the current uncertainty of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Anthos supporting multi-cloud means businesses can now consolidate all their operations across on-premises, Google Cloud, and other clouds, starting with AWS. Next up, Azure. “Given [that] we have seen a lot of demand for multi-cloud support, we hope to release the GA of Anthos for Azure later this year,” Google Cloud VP Jennifer Lin told VentureBeat.
Anthos Config Management and Anthos Service Mesh
Google today also announced deeper support for virtual machines. Businesses can now extend Anthos’ management framework to two pieces of traditional workloads.
Anthos Config Management offers policy and configuration management, letting you use a programmatic and declarative approach to manage policies for your VMs on Google Cloud, just as you do for your containers. This reduces the likelihood of configuration errors due to manual intervention and speeds up time to delivery while ensuring your applications are running with the desired state at all times.
In the coming months, Anthos Service Mesh will let you manage services on heterogeneous deployments. That means support for applications running in virtual machines, letting you manage security and policy across different workloads in Google Cloud, on-premises, and in other clouds.
Later this year, Google promises you’ll be able to run Anthos with no third-party hypervisor. That should improve performance, reduce costs, and eliminate the management overhead of another vendor relationship. Demanding workloads that require bare metal for performance or regulatory reasons will also be possible. Bare metal additionally powers Anthos on Edge, letting you deploy workloads beyond your datacenter and public cloud environments.
Switching to Anthos
In July, Google launched Migrate for Anthos, which lets you take virtual machines from on-premises or Google Compute Engine and move them directly into containers running in GKE. Migrate for Anthos got an update today that lets you simplify day-two operations and integrate migrated workloads with other Anthos services.
If all of that sounds great, it’s because Google Cloud is pulling out all the stops to woo businesses. The company has reportedly given itself a deadline to pass Amazon or Microsoft by 2023, and Anthos is part of that bigger plan.
And yet Google hasn’t figured out how to be transparent about Anthos pricing. That could be a sticking point for many businesses in today’s economy.
“We have multiple flexible pricing options, and Anthos pricing options are evolving as the market matures and our solution evolves,” Lin told VentureBeat. “Because enterprise buyers are much more familiar with doing procurement through sales contacts and partners, we wanted to give our customers the fastest way to start a purchasing discussion, and thus we are directing people to contact sales for specific pricing.”