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Google Releases Anthos, Making Push Into Competitors' Clouds

The hyper-scale providers comprehensive cloud platform, now generally available, is a rebrand of Google Cloud Services with added multi-cloud support.

Google released its long-awaited hybrid cloud platform Tuesday, extending its application delivery and management capabilities not only into the corporate data center, but across rival public clouds.

Anthos, revealed today at the Google Cloud Next ‘19 conference, is a rebrand of the Google Cloud Services platform, but with a new emphasis on deploying workloads seamlessly across clouds, stepping into the territory of competitors like Amazon Web Services.

Google Cloud Services, introduced at the same event eight months earlier, integrated a version of Google's Kubernetes service, GKS, that was modified to run on-premises, with Istio, an open source service mesh technology Google has taken a lead in developing.

[Related: Google Cloud's Open Source Partnership Program: 5 Things To Know]

With Anthos, GKS now extends to other cloud providers, and the service mesh has seen upgrades for security and deeper visibility into telemetry functions between micro-services running on different clouds.

Google Cloud Services, which has been in trial releases since announced at Google NEXT 2018 in July, "was a huge step forward," Google CEO Sundar Pichai told NEXT 2019 attendees.

"But it still left one customer problem unsolved. It didn't make it easy for you to span multiple cloud providers," Pichai said.

Anthos, fully managed by Google, runs on-premises and also supports multi-cloud environments, Google's CEO said.

Anthos "brings together the simplicity of open source platforms, our deep technical expertise, and the freedom to choose the right cloud partner for your job," Pichai told Next attendees.

"It lets you write once and run your jobs anywhere—in our cloud, in your data center, or on other cloud providers. It gives you the flexibility to move on-prem apps to the cloud when you're ready and it allows you to keep using the technologies you're already using while improving security," Pichai said.

Google Cloud CEO Thomas Kurian drilled into some of the details.

Anthos came from listening to customers, Kurian said in his keynote. And those customers wanted three things above all else from their cloud providers.

First was a technology stack they could run in their data center next to enterprise workloads they couldn't yet move to the cloud.

Second was a single programming model that delivers the choice and flexibility to move workloads when ready to Google Cloud, and other clouds, without changing any code.

Third was a platform that enabled them to operate, secure and manage all that hybrid and multi-cloud infrastructure consistently and without complexity.

Google will also soon release in beta a service called Anthos Migrate that automatically converts virtual machines into containers for running on Anthos.

Eyal Manor, Google’s vice president of engineering, said Anthos tackles the still-challenging task of managing multi- and hybrid-cloud compute services. In so doing, it combats the “very real risk of being locked in by investing too much in a single cloud provider,” Manor said.

Google has taken “a different approach” since introducing Google Cloud Services eight months ago.

That approach, delivering managed open source solutions and security layers integrated out of the box, lowers IT costs.

Customers can immediately start modernizing on-premises apps and have them running on Anthos in less than three hours, with monitoring, logging, visibility, and CI/CD pipelines built in.

Anthos “can build and deploy apps rapidly on-premise and in cloud with security built in,” Manor said. “You can build it once and deploy anywhere”

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