Google’s Anthos hybrid cloud platform is now in general availability for deployment on AWS, in a move that delivers on a multi-cloud vision the company first discussed two years ago.
This means customers can run and manage Kubernetes-based application workloads across Google Cloud Platform, on AWS and on-premises locations with the assurance of a general availability label for the managed service. Anthos, which was originally called Google Cloud Services Platform, also has support for Microsoft Azure in preview.
Early adopters of the multi-cloud version of Anthos include KeyBank and Plaid, a Japanese company that provides analytics for online user activity, according to a statement.
Anthos employs a complex stack of software, including Google Kubernetes Engine, Istio service mesh, Stackdriver for logging and monitoring, and Config Management for setting policies on workloads.
The new Anthos release extends Anthos Config Management to VMs, as well as containers, in a nod to the fact that most companies want to run both resource types. To this end, in a future release Anthos Service Mesh will add support for applications running in VMs, Google said.
Google was expected to feature customer momentum around Anthos at its Cloud Next conference this month, but like so many others the event was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
There are “close to three digits” worth of customers running Anthos on premises today, with many in production, said Eyal Manor, vice president of engineering at Google. He declined to specify how many have adopted the version running on Google Cloud but claimed the number is growing “very, very fast.”
Anthos is aimed at large enterprises, which is reflected in its steep pricing. Google will adjust pricing based on customer feedback over time, Manor said. It also plans to offer some relief to customers running it on premises.
At present, customers must implement Anthos on top of VMware’s vSphere virtualization platform, but a future Anthos release will add support for bare-metal. The move will free customers from the VMware licensing burden if they choose.
This does not mean Google wants to retreat from its partnership with VMware, Manor said. “In the past year, a lot of customers said, ‘we want it on bare-metal,'” he said. “As with any vendor, we’re listening to customers that want a choice.”
Google Anthos comprises a complex software stack, coupled with an application marketplace.
The multi-cloud competition
Microsoft essentially followed up on Anthos’ core proposition with the launch of Azure Arc in November. Arc, which remains in early development, will give customers the ability to manage Kubernetes clusters “on any infrastructure across on premises, multi-cloud and edge,” including on AWS and Google Cloud, Microsoft said at the time.
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