02.04.21

Introduction to Google Anthos

By Juan Ignacio Giro
#GoogleAnthos

Google has put over a decade’s worth of work into formulating the newly released Anthos. Anthos is the bold culmination and expansion of many admired container products, including Linux Containers, Kubernetes, GKE (Google Kubernetes Engine), and GKE On-Prem. It has been over a year since general availability of Anthos was announced, and the platform marks Google’s official step into enterprise data center management. Anthos is the first next-gen tech multi-cloud platform supporter designed by a mainstream cloud provider. The platform’s unique selling point lies in application deployment capability across multiple environments, whether on-premises data centers, Google cloud, other clouds, or even existing Kubernetes clusters.

Your Guide to Google Anthos

Google Cloud’s Anthos is an automated subscription-based application platform that aims to efficiently provide modernization and consistency for hybrid and multi-cloud scenarios. The main core benefit of using Anthos to easily deploy container-based apps in a hybrid multi-cloud environment in an easy and consistent way is that it allows developers to focus on innovation and creating value features/software/products for their company instead of spending time on managing complex hybrid environments.

As a managed platform, GCP Anthos can also incrementally upgrade your application’s features according to your needs through interoperability across Kubernetes-based tech and broad industry partnerships (Citrix, NetApp, MongoDB, Istio, etc.). 

By delivering a single pane of glass platform for improved Kubernetes workloads management, Anthos allows users to focus performance optimization on a solo technology. This capability removes the need to rely on other experts across multiple proprietary cloud technologies. 

Google Anthos Framework

The platform enables users to do three things particularly well; provision infrastructure across the cloud and on-premises; manage infrastructure; and streamline application development.

Users can choose from several deployment option choices between On-Premises, Bare Metal, GCP (Google Cloud Platform), Azure VM (Virtual Machine), and Kubernetes clusters.

In addition, Anthos also provides central cloud logging and cloud monitoring with a single point for operational visibility across all these deployment options. 

Services

Users can leverage a wide range of useful services offered by Google Anthos. These include the following:

  • Cluster management
  • Service management
  • Serverless support
  • Operations management
  • Common security and compliance rules
  • Configuration and policy management

Anthos also offers different components to enable services such as GKE, Anthos service mesh, Cloud Run, and Cloud Code. The platform provides these services to support users in the various tasks mentioned above, including functions like container management using GKE and Istio-powered service mesh for managing service mesh deployments. Google Cloud Anthos also supports Cloud Run for utilizing the serverless framework, and Cloud Code for an IDE enabled development environment.

GCP Anthos’ Use Cases

For Anthos, a huge focus has been put into tools for making migrations and automation simpler from legacy applications into modern container-based environments. As well as helping modernize existing brownfield apps running on hybrid on-premises/multi-cloud (e.g., private and public cloud) environments, Anthos excels in support of new greenfield build apps too. Users can run them anywhere without making any major modifications, adding complexity, or compromising security.

Replatforming is a significant use case for GCP Anthos. For experts in containers, Kubernetes, and GKE, it is worth looking at Anthos for its ease of use, consistency, and flexible costs. It would be easy to make the switch to the platform without having second thoughts.

Anthos is made with the enterprises in mind, especially telecommunication, IT, and retail companies. The platform also powers B2B (Business-to-Business) and B2C (Business-to-Consumer) commerce services. These business cases optimize the platform as a means to deploy clusters and platforms in places where you might not expect them to exist. A Forrester Total Economic Impact Study (commissioned by Google) highlights that organizations saw a 4.8 times ROI (return on investment) within three years of shifting to Anthos. (New Technology Projection: The Total Economic Impact™ Of Anthos, 2019)

Organizations have also made use of Anthos to:

  • Optimize hybrid and multi-cloud solutions
  • Develop custom banking solutions to cater to customer needs
  • Utilize the hybrid-cloud environment to cut down on costs and complexity in big data analytics

As well as enabling containerized microservices architecture based apps across multiple platforms, clusters and locations, Anthos also improves users’ abilities to monitor information related to clusters, nodes, and their individual details regarding streamlining functioning and availability. Observe your workload for all your Kubernetes workloads including clusters, data traffic for the application services in both tabular and topological layouts where you can view connection linkages between the different services, and even Service Level Objectives (SLOs) for services. 

GCP Anthos is very useful for scenarios where you don’t just want to modernize application specs, but you may also want to modernize how you are running operations. For example, Git controls like GitOps and other Git-based mechanisms for continuous software delivery as well as infrastructure definition are a part of this platform. 

Google Cloud’s Anthos’ Audience

There are many business requirements that enterprises need to cater for, such as security, operations, and governance. Google Cloud Anthos is designed with all these large and complex needs in observance, and it provides all the expected features for users ranging through enterprises to simpler organizations.

Advantages

Anthos is an amazing platform with so many features that boost the productivity of an organization. Deploying apps is very easy with GCP’s tried and tested user interface. Remote management is also one of the key factors when it comes to the pros side of this argument. Anthos is a reliable platform for all deployments providing a service-centric view of your environments and reducing your deployment timeline drastically.

In addition, Google Cloud’s Anthos protects apps with high standards for reliability, availability, and vulnerability from a security perspective. The platform also offers a high level of control and alertness for your services’ health and performance with a comprehensive view.

Disadvantages

We can’t necessarily point out any disadvantages when it comes to Anthos, but like any other technology, it does have a few limitations. To name a few though; automatically repairing any unhealthy nodes is not supported at the moment; ContainerOS and Windows nodes are not currently supported for node image types; and created user clusters should be in the same region as your management services. But deployments can still be completed easily though with the existing features.

Anthos’ Benefit to Businesses

Various industries have started to use Anthos in enterprise-level systems in order to achieve better results over previous track records. As the previously cited research, Forrester Research, concluded: Anthos enabled its customers to experience up to:

  • 4.8 times return on investment (ROI)
  • 55% more efficient platform operations
  • 75% increase in app modernization
  • 75% increase in app migration
  • 96% more productivity in security tasks
  • 38% decrease in non-coding activities for developers

(New Technology Projection: The Total Economic Impact™ Of Anthos, 2019)

The numbers say it all: Google Anthos helps significantly in building enterprise-level containerized applications quicker. The software delivery pipeline is fast and scalable with cloud-native guidance and tooling. With benefits like these outlined, companies who jump on the bandwagon stand to gain tremendously from the GCP Anthos push.

Additional Google Anthos Links

Excited to dive into Google Anthos further? Take the next leap and read the following installments in this series.


Caylent provides a critical DevOps-as-a-Service function to high growth companies looking for expert support with Kubernetes, cloud security, cloud infrastructure, and CI/CD pipelines. Our managed and consulting services are a more cost-effective option than hiring in-house, and we scale as your team and company grow. Check out some of the use cases, learn how we work with clients, and read more about our DevOps-as-a-Service offering.

References

2019. New Technology Projection: The Total Economic Impact™ Of Anthos. [ebook] A Forrester Total Economic Impact™ Study Commissioned By Google November 2019. Available at: <https://cloud.google.com/anthos/forrester-tei-report/> [Accessed 11 January 2021].