Google Anthos – Overview

Google Anthos – Overview

After taking a 6-month sabbatical from publishing new content on this blog, I decided it was time to get back at it and what better topic than Google Anthos. I have been working with the Google Partner Technical Engineering team on Anthos since the Alpha version, as part of a joint effort to get Anthos supported on our Lenovo ThinkAgile VX platform.

Google Anthos, formerly known as Google CSP (Cloud Services Platform) was announced and made generally available back in April of this year at Google NEXT in San Francisco. Google Anthos is a portfolio of products and services that help organizations with their application modernization and cloud adoption journies. Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) On-Prem is one of the key service that Anthos offers, which has also led to a lot of confusion in the field where people use those two terms interchangeably. Hopefully, this blog post helps clarify some of the confusion out there.

With this series of posts, we will be talking about Google Anthos and all of its different services. We will also go into the weeds and talk about the installation process for a few of these services on top of ThinkAgile VX running VMware vSAN.

So let’s start by talking about Anthos, Anthos is a platform that provides an agile development environment across public and private cloud infrastructures. It helps decouple applications from the underlying infrastructure, also it helps decouple operators from development, so they can work in parallel and not block each other. Now, let’s look at the benefits that Anthos offers:

  • Write Once, Deploy Anywhere: This helps remove operational inconsistencies based on the underlying environment
  • Accelerate Developer Velocity: Anthos offers a consistent set of tools that developers can use to bring their applications to production.
  • Increased Workload Mobility: Anthos provides a consistent Kubernetes layer which increases the workload mobility to meet the changing business requirements.
  • Increased Observability using Istio and Service Mesh: Anthos offers Istio or Cloud Service Mesh in Google Cloud and On-Prem, which helps with Traffic monitoring and increased observability.
  • Security Out of the Box: When deploying GKE clusters On-Prem, the Base Operating System, the container runtime, the Kubernetes binaries are completely managed by Google.
  • Managed Upgrades: You can upgrade your Kubernetes clusters to one of the supported versions by Google, providing you secure, non-disruptive upgrades for your clusters running On-Prem.
  • Centralized Policy As Code: Anthos config management helps you sync configurations across multiple clusters running across clouds.

Anthos enables customers to modernize in-place and transition to Public Cloud only when required and ready.

Next, let’s talk about the different Technology components that make up Anthos and provide a quick description or an elevator pitch for them. We will have detailed blogs on each of these later in the series:

  • GKE On-Prem: A hybrid cloud software that brings the ease-of-use and enterprise-grade functionality of Google Kubernetes Engine to on-premises data centers. It helps programmatically provision and scale infrastructure by using the vSphere Cluster APIs to provision the admin and worker virtual machines and VMware Cloud Provider that offers persistent storage to your containers running on top of the Kubernetes clusters. It gives out of the box monitoring capabilities with Prometheus and Grafana or even Stackdriver if you have workloads running in Google cloud.
  • Anthos Config Management: This provides centralized configuration management for hybrid cloud environments. It helps sync configurations across clusters and enables the continuous enforcement of compliance policy. It helps define configurations using yaml files and then uses controller checks to confirm that the desired state matches the current state of the policies and reconciles if needed.
  • Istio or Cloud Service Mesh: It lets you create a network of deployed services with load balancing, service-to-service authentication, monitoring and more without requiring any changes to the application code.
  • GKE Hub/Connect: This helps automatically register your GKE On-Prem clusters to Google Cloud. Once your clusters are registered in Google Cloud, you can deploy applications, scale, monitor or deploy marketplace applications on your On-Prem clusters using the Google Cloud console.
  • Google Marketplace: Anthos extends the Google Cloud Marketplace to On-Prem, it helps customers deploy ISV applications On-Prem on their Kubernetes Clusters.

That’s enough information to get you introduced to Anthos. In the next blog post, we will talk about Google Kubernetes Engine On-Prem and how you can install it on top of your VMware vSAN cluster.


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