Accelerating Modernization with Google Anthos

As hybrid cloud continues to evolve, it makes sense that containers would be part of the future. Enter Google Cloud Anthos, a cloud-agnostic container environment built on open-source technologies pioneered by Google. The platform underscores Google’s commitment to having hybrid/multi-cloud configurations — giving enterprises more options to deploy and manage their applications on any cloud. 

While Anthos is built on the Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), other technologies augment the power of Anthos. A recent webinar hosted by Solstice and Google provided an overview of the core capabilities of Anthos, including a detailed look at the platform’s core components. I had the pleasure of having this in-depth discussion with Chris Kang, Field Solutions Engineer and Anthos Expert at Google, as he shared insights on ideal use cases and offered tips on how to best leverage the platform to help accelerate your application modernization strategy. 

Although difficult to narrow down, here are some of the key points of discussion covered in the webinar:  

Unique Hybrid and Multi-Cloud Capabilities

While hybrid cloud is the best option for enterprises seeking to take advantage of cloud flexibility, initial set up can create significant obstacles. Google Anthos helps ease this burden by allowing you to run Kubernetes clusters on-prem while ensuring the same Kubernetes experience both on-prem and within the public cloud. The platform provides a single point of control for managing, monitoring, logging and securing your Kubernetes footprint. This represents a breakthrough for the hybrid cloud environment, as on-premise tooling typically varies greatly from those used in the cloud.

Anthos is comprised of several crucial technologies that form the core of the platform’s portfolio of capabilities. 

  • Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE): Makes it easier to manage, deploy and scale containerized apps on Google cloud.  
  • GKE On-prem: Allows Kubernetes clusters running on Google’s systems as well as on-prem infrastructure to be managed using a single control pane.
  • Anthos Migrate: Allows apps running on VMs from other cloud vendors or on-prem to be containerized and migrated to GKE — with minimal downtime.
  • Istio on GKE: Provides connectivity, security, and monitoring for microservices distributed across on-prem infrastructure and cloud providers.  
  • Anthos Config Management: Allows the creation of consistent policy configurations in one central tool, which can then be applied to Kubernetes clusters running across cloud providers and on-premises. 

Migrate and Modernize Applications On-Premises or in the Cloud

Organizations typically have limited options when moving their on-prem apps and workloads to the cloud. They can either migrate totally to the cloud or containerize first and then move later. Neither option is particularly attractive, especially for large organizations, which often have hundreds, or even thousands of legacy applications — all of which would have to be manually refactored to be containerized.

With Anthos Migrate, companies can now concurrently move and convert workloads directly into containers in GKE with minimal effort. They can then instantly begin leveraging the benefits of containerization without upfront modifications to the original VMs or applications. These Kubernetes capabilities can be enhanced further through the use of the Istio service mesh. 

Automate Policy and Security at Scale

Extending Kubernetes clusters across multiple heterogeneous environments adds complexity in terms of resource management and consistency. Anthos Configuration Management helps address this challenge by providing the tools required to set up and administer multiple Kubernetes clusters, while maintaining a consistent set of network and security policies across environments. 

Security teams can easily migrate existing definitions or create new multi-cluster policies right out of the box. Rules are rapidly deployed to all clusters throughout the environment, ensuring correct, consistent access controls and resource allocations at scale without slowing down development.

Retain a Consistent Management Experience Across Environments

As organizations increase the number and variety of Kubernetes clusters within their ecosystem, managing these disparate environments poses significant challenges. The solution? A single interface from which you can control all the different services you are running — whether on-prem or in the cloud. Thanks to GKE Connect, that capability is now available. This Anthos connect agent allows you to register GKE on-prem based clusters to the GKE Dashboard and securely manage the resources and workloads running on them together with the rest of the GKE clusters. 

With a service-centric view of your infrastructure, you will spend less time managing your applications and get greater awareness, consistency, and control. The Kubernetes ecosystem continues to expand, creating an abundance of functionality that can be added to your existing clusters. This allows you to future-proof your investments by building on top of the platform that is designed to run where you need it to, on-premises or in the cloud, with a consistent view and controls across your environments.

Removing the Barriers to Accelerated Modernization

From a market perspective, Anthos represents the next step in building a secure, integrated platform that allows organizations to develop, deploy and modernize their applications anywhere — on-prem, in the public cloud, or in multiple clouds. By placing all of your IT resources into the same consistent framework for control, management, and development, Anthos helps businesses manage and evolve their cloud-native environments. Bottom line: with a hybrid and multi-cloud approach, organizations can increase agility, accelerate time-to-market and better optimize resources. 

If you missed our webinar, you can watch it here on-demand.