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Multicloud puzzle

As we know all too well, multicloud transformation can be a long road for many organizations. With the differences between on-premises, private and public cloud environments, deploying and maintaining applications across disparate platforms can be both costly and time consuming. Because of this, companies are looking at tools and processes to enable the "develop once and deploy anywhere" modality. But for most customers, this much sought-after vision is unattainable.

A step in the right direction

As a major public cloud provider and the creator of Kubernetes, Google has thus far used their expertise and investment in Kubernetes to build a fully managed cloud native offering called Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE). The focus was to move customer on-premises workloads directly to the cloud.

Google matured to a new level of interoperability that embraces the need for some customer workloads to live on-premises. Given Google's focus on the developer experience, it is vital that developers have the tools they need, wherever they need them.

They provided a solution to meet this need by announcing Cloud Services Platform (CSP) at Google Cloud Next 2018. The offering promised to act as a consistent, single platform that would bring the best of cloud services to wherever the infrastructure lives.

Since then, the platform continues to develop into a way to manage, control and secure your Kubernetes clusters to ensure they are enterprise ready. This allows organizations to adopt Kubernetes and perform application modernization at scale.

At this year's Google Cloud Next, it was announced that the platform has evolved into Google Anthos, bringing the best parts of the Google-managed Kubernetes experience on-premises and beyond.

GKE evolves

GKE has long been one of the best, if not the best, managed Kubernetes offerings in the cloud for a while now. The offering provides one of the easiest installations experiences I've seen of Kubernetes. On top of that, you get fully managed upgrades for your cluster when the time comes. Google has taken most of the pain out of running a Kubernetes cluster so you and your developers can focus more on the code and less on the infrastructure. Google is now bringing this experience closer to you so that you get all of the magic that you know and love: Enter GKE On-Prem.

GKE On-Prem was almost inevitable, as it was clear that enterprise customers were going to continue to have an on-premises footprint and were desperately looking for ways to apply the learnings from the cloud to existing workloads in their on-premises and off-premise data centers.

The idea is that GKE On-Prem brings the experience of GKE directly to the customer's data centers. This will help accelerate Kubernetes adoption timelines greatly. Another great benefit of this offering will be allowing the various teams within an organization to see how Kubernetes will impact their day-to-day operations without also having to tackle the daunting task of moving directly to the cloud. It is also worth noting that GKE On-Prem is only a part of the larger Anthos picture.

How Anthos fits in

It is clear that Anthos brings a new edge to the market, and companies from all industries will be turning to this solution for:

  • Fully managed Kubernetes. Google's release of Anthos reiterates that customers are looking more and more for fully managed offerings as they relate to the cloud. The platform provides a single point for managing, monitoring, logging and securing your Kubernetes footprint from a single control point. This is huge for the hybrid cloud environment, as the tooling for on-premises typically varies greatly from what is being used in the cloud.
  • Application modernization. Some of the hardest workloads to move to the cloud are legacy applications. For these, you typically would have to perform a "lift and shift" first before beginning the process of modernizing the application to take advantage of cloud native concepts. With Anthos, Google provides the ability to begin the application modernization process by providing the tools developers need where they need them.
  • Consistent development and deployment. No longer are you stuck having to choose an on-premises Kubernetes distribution versus what is running in the cloud. "Develop once, deploy anywhere" with open standards that allow for deploying and maintaining the application either on-premises or in the cloud. Down the line, if existing on-premises workloads ever need to be migrated, you can expect a consistent experience in the cloud.
  • Security policy and automation. Ensuring consistent security policy management across a hybrid cloud environment can be challenging without a lot of investment in automation to maintain your policy configurations across your various systems. With Anthos Config Management, you get a solution that was built from the ground up to automate the simple tasks that are often the most prone to error. It will allow you to create and deploy policies across your entire Kubernetes landscape.

What to consider

Google Cloud's Anthos and GKE On-Prem are perfect solutions for customers looking to get into Kubernetes but who aren't quite ready to fully transition to the cloud. In particular, organizations focused on any of the following should take a closer look at how this offering can benefit them or their organizations:

  • Not ready to move data to the cloud
  • Application modernization of the on-premises footprint
  • A fully managed Kubernetes experience
  • Wanting a single pane of glass with management, monitoring, logging and security all in one place

It is important to note that some pieces of the platform are still in the alpha and beta stages of testing. As this platform continues to develop, it will be essential for organizations to possess the expertise around Google's offerings and know the full features and functionality around which use cases make sense and which do not.

Our experts are actively working with customers in the strategy and planning stages to develop solutions and designs that will enable their own unique outcomes. Part of what makes this possible is WWT's Advanced Technology Center (ATC). The ATC is a place where we can build out and prove these solutions for our customers in a controlled lab environment. This allows both decision makers and technologists a chance to assess proof of value first.

If any of the things we have discussed in this article sound interesting, and you would like to explore them in more detail, WWT is here to help. Our cloud team is focused on helping design and deliver multicloud architectures that will not only accelerate your adoption of the cloud, but be a force multiplier for your business by driving positive outcomes even faster!

To get started, contact your account manager directly or reach out to us here.