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Google Cloud Qualifying ‘Anthos Ready’ Storage Partner Solutions

The new qualification designates partner solutions meeting a core set of Google Cloud requirements to optimally work with Anthos running on-premises.

A new Google Cloud program will help customers find storage solutions that are vetted to integrate with its hybrid and multi-cloud Anthos platform.

The new Anthos Ready Storage qualification designates partner solutions meeting a core set of Google Cloud requirements to optimally work with Anthos running on-premises. Dell EMC, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, NetApp, Portworx, Pure Storage and are the first group of partners with qualified solutions.

“We launched Anthos to provide customers with a platform to deliver and manage applications across all types of environments and infrastructure -- most commonly, hybrid and multi-cloud environments -- leveraging containers and Kubernetes,” Rayn Veerubhotla, Google Cloud’s director of partnerships, and Manu Batra, Google Cloud product manager, wrote in a blog post today. “Our partners are enabling customers to deliver solutions that leverage Anthos in new and exciting ways. This includes storage, which is a key consideration as organizations look to manage their data across hybrid or multi-cloud deployments in containerized environments.”

Google Cloud debuted the fully managed Anthos at its Next ‘19 conference in San Francisco last April to allow customers to build and manage applications across environments -- in their on-premise data centers, on Google Cloud and on rival third-party clouds, including Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. Core components include Anthos GKE, a turnkey, enterprise-grade conformant Kubernetes with a highly available control plane; Anthos Config Management, which automates policy and security at scale for hybrid Kubernetes deployments; and the fully managed Anthos Service Mesh for complex micro-services architectures.

Customer response to Anthos has been “extremely enthusiastic,” according to Veerubhotla and Batra. Google Cloud did not make executives available for this report.

Anthos Ready Storage partners must provide a simplified deployment experience following Kubernetes practices. They must demonstrate core Kubernetes functionality, including dynamic provisioning of volumes through open and portable Kubernetes-native storage APIs, and a proven ability to automatically manage storage across cluster scale-up and scale-down scenarios.

“Businesses are moving rapidly to modernize their applications using container-based architectures,” said Omer Asad, vice president and general manager of primary storage and data services at San Jose, Calif.-based HP Enterprise. “We’re excited to expand our work with Google Cloud to qualify our fully-managed, container-based storage solutions such as HPE Nimble Storage for the Anthos platform.”

Speed to market is a key differentiator as companies develop next-generation, cloud-native applications, and the emergence of Kubernetes is driven by that need for agility, said Jay Snyder, senior vice president of global alliances at Dell Technologies, whose headquarters is in Hopkinton, Mass.

“Dell EMC PowerMax and VxFlex are ideal infrastructure options when paired with Google Cloud Anthos to deploy Kubernetes in multi-cloud environments,” he said.

Google Cloud’s qualification of Portworx Enterprise CSI for Anthos running on-premises “underscores the need for enterprises to work with trusted partners to handle their cloud-native investments, as opposed to discovering enterprise-grade solutions through trial and error,” according to Venkat Ramakrishnan, vice president of products and engineering at Los Altos, Calif.-based Portworx. New Portworx Enterprise capabilities include PX Backup, which allows users to back up their entire Kubernetes cluster including data and application configurations, enabling fast recovery when needed; and PX Autopilot for capacity management, which supports the full automation of cloud storage management, allowing Google Persistent Disks to be provisioned and resized on-demand when needed.

The Anthos Ready Storage program is a logical “value-add” for customers using Google cloud services, because storage is a critical component for enterprises deploying micro-services applications with Kubernetes, said Partha Seetala, founder and CTO of San Jose, Calif.-based

“Equally important, users are realizing that storage is just one part of the app deployment and management chain,” Seetala said. “That’s why the application- and infrastructure-topology awareness technology in the Robin platform supports ready-to-use app bundles for most popular SQL and NoSQL databases, Hadoop, and ELK. This lets Anthos users deploy enterprise applications quickly and manage efficiently with Robin Storage and the Robin platform on Anthos.”

Google Cloud’s Anthos and NetApp’s Trident and Kubernetes-ready storage offer a “proven solution that helps customers manage their data on public cloud, on premises and in hybrid cloud environments,” said Anthony Lye, senior vice president and general manager of cloud data services at NetApp, which is based in Sunnyvale, Calif.

“Customers can now focus on their Anthos workloads instead of spending cycles configuring persistent storage,” Lye said. “Additionally, because Trident supports all major NetApp storage products and services, consumption of storage by Anthos workloads -- on-premises or in the cloud -- is simplified.”

The greatest challenge for most Pure Storage customers is data mobility, according to Rob Walters, vice president and general manager of Pure-as-a-Service at Mountain View, Calif.-based Pure Storage. Pure Storage’s Google Cloud partnership “extends our assurance to customers that with Pure, they'll continue to get the most value out of their data in any environment,” he said.

“Data behaves differently across different environments, which undercuts its value,” Walters said. “Our customers want cloud-native technologies and on-premises solutions engineered to work together. They want to be able to innovate with all of their data without constantly worrying about where it lives.”

The Anthos Ready Storage qualification is the second Anthos partner designation launched by Google Cloud this year. In January, it rolled out a new elite “Certified Fellow” program for senior technical leaders that demonstrate they can help customers transform their businesses through Anthos.

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