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February 20, 2019updated 21 Feb 2019 12:11pm

Google Releases “Cloud Services Platform” Beta

Toolkit is the foundation of GCP's hybrid cloud strategy

By CBR Staff Writer

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) has released a beta version of its hybrid cloud-focussed “Cloud Services Platform”, first teased in presentations seven months ago.

Google Cloud Services Platform is a bundle of software-based tools that aims to bring GCP services to on-premises infrastructure. It is built around Google-developed containers and microservices orchestration tools Kubernetes and Istio, respectively.

GCP described it in a blog today as “an integrated family of cloud services that lets you… build [services] once to run anywhere, across GCP and on-premise environments.”

The release comes as public cloud providers recognise that enterprise users are not necessarily going to want to shift all workloads to the cloud, for various reasons, whether those are security, data residency, latency or other justifications.

As a result hybrid cloud has become a growing focus, as have tools that let users integrate services across the public cloud and on-premises data centres, while retaining a large degree of both agility and transparency across their infrastructure.

Google Cloud Services Platform

Eyal Manor, VP, Google Cloud, said: “If you’ve ever thought about adopting a hybrid cloud, you know it usually means committing to a cloud vendor and purchasing new hardware—with no easy way of integrating your existing on-premises investments.”

“At Google Cloud, we are taking a different approach, with a software-based, hybrid offering that brings Google Cloud services into your on-prem infrastructure using the power of Kubernetes and Istio to meet you where you are.”

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“Built on open APIs, CSP [Cloud Services Platform] is a less disruptive and more compliant approach than competing hybrid offerings. CSP gives you the freedom to modernize your applications at your own pace, innovate faster, and improve operational security and governance. Now that our customers have started to modernize their applications in their own data centers with CSP, we believe it will be the enterprise application deployment platform of choice for many years to come.”

CSP is built on top of Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) and comes with GKE On-Prem, a managed Kubernetes service for remote lifecycle management of on-prem clusters.

Manor added: “Beyond this, CSP works great with Istio. By adding a proxy in front of your services, it provides a scalable foundation for policy enforcement, helps services establish trust, and encrypts traffic without needing any code changes.”

The company rolled out KeyBank as a case study: Google created Kubernetes and Istio so they were the obvious cloud to partner with as we look to bring containerized applications into our data centers. Put simply, the Cloud Services Platform provides us the security we need, the portability we want, and the productivity that our developers crave”, Keith Silvestri, KeyBank’s CTO said in a release.

But Istio… 

One question many users may be asking is how fast Istio can improve. The open source microservices management tool, designed to handle load balancing, flow control, routing service identity and security, policy enforcement and telemetry across apps running on multiple Kubernetes hosts, has been buggy in its first iteration.

As a January update by a moderator on its discussion board notes: “Ever since the release of Istio 1.0, we’ve had a flood of adoption and, not surprisingly, a bunch of critical issues. This was expected, of course – for a project of this magnitude, we knew that a wave of adoption would mean a wave of bugs filed.”

“Addressing those issues so that people could reliably deploy 1.0 in production environments has been our focus for the last several months. Work on 1.1 has continued, but we’ve had to put more effort than we would have hoped going into the 1.0.x patch releases, which has pushed back the 1.1 delivery date.”

That’s expected later this month. Google’s broader vision for CSP, meanwhile, is captured in its whitepaper Application Modernization and the Decoupling of Infrastructure, Services and Teams

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