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April 10, 2019

Google Cloud Unveils “Anthos”, Positions Itself as Hybrid Cloud Leader

Open APIs and no forced stack refresh...

By CBR Staff Writer

Everyone wants a piece of the hybrid cloud market.

It’s the reason for IBM’s Red Hat acquisition (“That’s a $1 trillion market”, said Ginni Rometty. “We will be number one in what the world calls hybrid cloud”) and the ability to support user-friendly service provisioning across in-house servers and external cloud services without fear of vendor lock-in is a growing sweet spot for public cloud providers, as they recognise that the majority of businesses simply do not want/are unable to go “all in” on a public cloud.

At Google Cloud Platform (GCP)’s “Next” conference this week, hybrid cloud was the order of the day and the company had some big name clients to tout its new hybrid cloud offerings, including  HSBC and Siemens.

Read this: Kubernetes Officially Comes to Windows; Lands with 31 Enhancements in Major New Release

At the heart of this hybrid cloud push is GCP’s Cloud Services Platform, rebranded “Anthos”. This is now generally available and GCP was keen to emphasise more than 30 new hardware, software and systems integration partners for Anthos; a bundle of software tools built around Google’s containers and microservices orchestration tools Kubernetes and Istio, respectively, that lets users port applications easily from one environment (or cloud) to another.

GCP said: “Anthos will also let you manage workloads running on third-party clouds like AWS and Azure, giving you the freedom to deploy, run and manage your applications on the cloud of your choice, without requiring administrators and developers to learn different environments and APIs. You can quickly get up and running on your existing hardware—with no forced stack refresh. Anthos leverages open APIs, giving you the freedom to modernize any place, any time and at your own pace.

As Nick McQuire, VP, Enterprise Research at CCS Insight told Computer Business Review in an emailed comment: “[GCP CEO] Thomas Kurian’s message from day one is loud and clear: Google Cloud is taking hybrid and now multi-cloud very seriously. Enterprises continue to question whether to fully embrace a single public cloud – which workloads are best to “lift and shift” from a cost, security and compliance perspective – or how to avoid supplier lock in, one of their biggest concerns at the moment.

See also: Introducing Intel Nauta: A Kubernetes-Powered Deep Learning Platform

“With the arrival of Anthos and in particular its support of open-source, particularly Kubernetes, Google is now taking a much more realistic path in meeting customers where they are on their cloud journeys and is aiming to become the standard in hybrid, multi-cloud services in this next phase of the cloud market.”

Not everyone was won over…

Among the enhanced partnerships, one with Intel, which will see GCP collaborate with the chip giant to develop an “Anthos reference design” for hardware that will deliver “a stack optimized for workload portability, enabling deployment of applications across on-premise data centers and public cloud provider services.” (This will be elivered by mid-2019 with expected solution delivery from OEMs in market later this year.)

Partners such as VMwareDell EMCHPEIntel, and Lenovo, meanwhile, have committed to delivering Anthos on their own  infrastructure, GCP said.

“By validating Anthos on their solution stacks, our mutual customers can choose hardware based on their storage, memory, and performance needs.”

Google’s development of Kubernetes has been one of its recent outstanding wins (the company has a reputation for building then neglecting products and some questions remain about the market-readiness of Istio, an open source microservices management tool) and the software has fundamentally helped shape a growing trend for the decoupling of applications and infrastructure, using containers.

When it comes to hybrid cloud, IBM has a fight on its hands.

(For more on Anthos’ architecture, see this white paper).

Read this: Cloud Healthcare API Aims to Put GCP at Front of Healthcare Data Push


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