Your cloud, your infrastructure: Announcing Anthos Ready Storage

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.

To date, we have seen an extremely enthusiastic response from customers who want to run key workloads on Anthos. 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.

Today, we’re excited to announce a new qualification for partner storage solutions:Anthos Ready Storage. This qualification recognizes partner solutions that have met a core set of requirements to run optimally with Anthos running on-premises, and helps organizations select storage solutions that are deployed with Anthos.

The first set of partners to achieve the Anthos Ready Storage qualification for Anthos on-premise are Dell EMC, HP Enterprise, NetApp, Portworx, Pure Storage, and Robin.io. 

All Anthos Ready Storage partners have met multiple criteria, including:

  • Demonstrated core Kubernetes functionality including dynamic provisioning of volumes via open and portable Kubernetes-native storage APIs.

  • A proven ability to automatically manage storage across cluster scale-up and scale-down scenarios.

  • A simplified deployment experience following Kubernetes practices.

“Speed is the new scale in the world upset by digital transformation, the complex reality is that data and resources live anywhere and everywhere.” said Anthony Lye, senior vice president and general manager, Cloud Data Services at NetApp. “We’re excited to expand our support for customers on Anthos in the hybrid multicloud as a part of the Anthos Ready Storage initiative. Together, Google Cloud’s Anthos and NetApp Trident and Kubernetes-ready storage offer a proven solution that helps customers manage their data on public cloud, on premises and hybrid cloud environments.”

“Speed to market is a key differentiator as companies develop next generation, cloud-native applications. The emergence of Kubernetes is driven by that need for agility,” said Jay Snyder, SVP Global Alliances, Dell Technologies. “We’re pleased to participate in this program, as Dell EMC PowerMax and VxFlex are ideal infrastructure options when paired with Google Cloud Anthos to deploy Kubernetes in multi-cloud environments.”

“Businesses are moving rapidly to modernize their applications using container based architectures,” said Omer Asad, VP and GM Primary Storage & Data Services at 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.”

We’re committed to meeting customers where they are, and providing them with the ability to run key workloads and applications in the environment best suited for their business. 

To learn more about the Anthos Ready Storage program, please visit here. To get started with Anthos, contact us.

Announcing new certifications for technical leaders and DevOps engineers

As the cloud continues to evolve, it’s paving the way for exciting innovations that were difficult to imagine even a few years ago. To take advantage of everything the latest cloud technology has to offer, organizations must be able to find people with the right combination of skills to make it happen. In 2020, Google Cloud will continue helping you along this path to modernization with some exciting new resources: 

  • The Google Cloud Certified Fellow program will identify and recognize technical leaders who can help organizations transform their business through hybrid- and multi-cloud technology.

  • The Cloud DevOps Engineer certification addresses the cloud skills shortage and helps organizations quickly identify qualified talent.

Google Cloud Certified Fellow program

The Google Cloud Certified Fellow program is a unique, invitation-only certification program for technical leaders who are experts in designing innovative enterprise solutions with Anthos—our open hybrid- and multi-cloud application platform that enables you to modernize your existing applications, build new ones, and securely run them anywhere. The program identifies experts who can effectively lead organizations through frictionless hybrid multi-cloud adoption. To become part of the program, Certified Fellows pass a series of rigorous assessments, including hands-on labs and a panel interview.

Twenty IT leaders are already part of the Google Cloud Certified Fellow program, and are using what they’ve learned to overcome their business challenges. 

“The Certified Fellow exam pushed my understanding of Anthos’ capabilities, and the certification provides me the platform to help educate the community about the latest technology and inspire people to become better engineers,“ said Chris Love, Google Cloud Certified Fellow and Principal Architect at LionKube. “I have been contributing to open-source projects for over ten years, so it’s important to me that I continue to give back to the community.” 

Not only does the Google Cloud Certified Fellow program equip these leaders with the technical skills and industry best-practices they need to solve cloud challenges, it identifies them as cloud experts to everyone in the industry. 

“I am proud of the recognition for my skill level from Google Cloud and my clients value the mastery it demonstrates,” said Zach Snee, Google Cloud Certified Fellow and Cloud Solutions Architect at Accenture. “Having representation in the Certified Fellow Program reinforces Accenture’s commitment to Cloud innovation and to our continued Google Cloud partnership.” 

Another important part of the program is providing an opportunity for certified leaders to connect with other Google Cloud Certified Fellows as well as with Google Cloud product and engineering leadership. 

“It is rare to have that many accomplished IT leaders in one place,” said Love. “Meeting with my peers during the Google Cloud Certified Fellow program was a highlight for me and something I look forward to doing again.” 

Cloud DevOps certification

DevOps is emerging as an integral part of digital transformation projects. The role of cloud DevOps engineers is to employ continuous change and rapid experimentation to help organizations transform quickly and meet changing customer demands. Unfortunately, DevOps engineering positions are currently one of the most difficult technical positions to fill

To address this skills shortage, we are offering a Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer certification. Now, cloud professionals can become industry recognized and clearly demonstrate to employers their expertise in efficient development operations with a focus on service reliability and delivery speed. 

We hope these programs help you achieve your cloud modernization goals. To learn more about our DevOps certification, and get a special discount on DevOps training, register for our Professional Cloud DevOps Engineer webinar. To start learning about how to architect hybrid-cloud infrastructure with Anthos, check out our training options.

Expanding our alliance with Cisco in hybrid cloud and the contact center

Over the past three years, we’ve worked closely with Cisco to deliver a number of customer-focused solutions in areas such as hybrid cloud, multi-cloud, work transformation, and contact center integrations. This week at Cisco Live in Barcelona, we’re sharing updates on our joint work in two key areas of customer demand—hybrid cloud solutions and the digital contact center.

Announcing the availability of Anthos 1.2 with Cisco HyperFlex

At Next ‘19, Cisco and Google Cloud announced a hybrid cloud partnership to bring Anthos and Cisco HyperFlex to our shared customers. After working closely across our engineering and business development teams, today we are excited to announce the general availability of Anthos 1.2 with Cisco HyperFlex, with a Cisco Validated Design (CVD) for the joint solution coming soon. 

Google Cloud’s Anthos deployed with Cisco HyperFlex enables you to modernize in-place with your existing resources. You can automate policy and security at scale, track configuration and policy changes to have an audit log of system configuration, and update configurations in seconds across all of your Anthos environments. It also provides consistency, the same experience across on-prem and in the cloud.

“This is an important milestone in our hybrid cloud partnership with Google Cloud,” said Kaustubh Das, Vice President Product Management, Cisco. “With Anthos and the HyperFlex Data Platform, our customers now have a highly available and resilient on-prem data platform for running Kubernetes workloads at scale. We now have all the benefits of Anthos on a system that delivers predictable performance, enterprise-grade data services, storage optimization, security and zero downtime during upgrades.”

Cisco HyperFlex unifies compute, storage, and networking for your core to the edge. Anthos GKE on-prem deployed on Cisco HyperFlex provides a Container-as-a-Service environment based on our recently released Anthos 1.2. This solution provides end-to-end orchestration, management and scalable architecture to deploy Anthos on Cisco HyperFlex with HyperFlex CSI (Container Storage Interface) for persistent storage. Customers looking at hybrid cloud models will experience a consistent Kubernetes experience on-prem as well as on the cloud with:

  • A single management control plane for the entire hardware lifecycle management.

  • Scalable and highly available hyperconverged infrastructure to aid container applications with compute, network and storage needs,

  • Faster turnaround time, making it a good fit for DevOps and CI/CD use cases.

  • Anthos single control plane for multi-cloud management, allowing you to deploy applications across hybrid and multi-cloud environments without changing the underlying code.

  • Automated policies and security at scale.

“Cisco and Google Cloud have combined Cisco’s leading hyper converged technology with Google Cloud’s Anthos to make hybrid cloud containerization a reality for our customers,” said Dave Sellers, General Manager, MultiCloud at World Wide Technology.”  Leveraging our Advanced Technology Center, WWT is providing our customers a unique educational and hands-on lab experience showcasing the unique value proposition offered by these cutting-edge technologies.”

Customers in our first Anthos lab day event last week with WWT are already sharing positive feedback with us—and we’ve been thrilled by the reception. Customer centricity is a joint value shared within this partnership, and it has helped inform the direction of our products and will continue to shape the future of Anthos. 

Expanding our partnership to modernize the Contact Center

We are also excited to expand our partnership with Cisco by offering Contact Center AI through Cisco’s platform. Cisco is now bringing in Google Cloud’s Natural Language Processing (NLP), AI, and ML capabilities to create a seamless end-to-end conversational experience for customers. With the release of our joint solution, Cisco is now introducing Google Cloud’s conversational IVR, Virtual Agent, Agent Assist, and Insights to their contact center offering. 

Powered by Google Cloud’s innovative conversational AI, our Contact Center AI offering helps businesses create richer, more natural-sounding, and more helpful conversational experiences within the contact center. Customers can use natural language to describe the reason for their text or call. The Virtual Agent can then either assist the customer or route the conversation to the appropriate agent. Cisco Contact Center’s industry leading routing technology then routes the customer to the appropriate agent based on the understood intent.. AI and NLP continue to assist the conversation by surfacing knowledge articles, recommendations, and turn-by-turn guidance for the agent. Then the agent is assisted with wrap-up and business leaders can use the data with Insights for sentiment analysis and spotting trends.

Google Cloud Contact Center AI, in partnership with Cisco, improves the customer experience, increases agent satisfaction, and provides insights to business leaders—and it does this all while deflecting more calls, reducing average handle time, and lowering costs. And since Google Cloud and Cisco have done the hard work on the backend, the solution is easier to implement. No machine learning experts needed!

“We’re excited to launch this joint solution that infuses AI from the Google Cloud into our Contact Center and transforms how our joint customers do business,” said Omar Tawakol, VP/GM at Cisco Contact Center:  With this integration, we’re combining Google Cloud’s Natural Language Processing and AI capabilities with our industry leading contact center capabilities to empower agents to provide better customer service and vastly improve the experience for the end customer.”

You can learn more about Anthos and Contact Center AI on our website. And if you’re attending Cisco Live Barcelona, we invite you to stop by Booth 02 to learn more about our joint solutions—details are here.

4 ways Anthos delivers ROI to customers, according to new Forrester Consulting Study

In our conversations with technology leaders about Anthos, we quickly get into the strategic questions about long term transformation and selection of the right technology architectures. At the heart of those discussions is an exploration of the potential economic value to their organization. So we commissioned Forrester Consulting to interview a few early adopters of Anthos in order to conduct a comprehensive study on the impact that Anthos, Google Cloud’s application modernization platform had on their IT organization. 

Today we’re excited to share Forrester’s New Technology Projection: The Total Economic Impact™ of Anthos study, which describes how Anthos can help make operators, developers, and security team more productive and satisfied. Forrester conducted interviews with several early Anthos customers to evaluate the benefits, costs, and risks of investing in Anthos across an organization. Based on their interviews, Forrester identified major financial benefits across four different areas: operational efficiency, developer productivity, security productivity and increased customer advocacy and retention. In fact, Forrester projects that customers adopting Anthos can achieve a range of up to 4.8x Return on Investment (ROI) within three years.

Anthos TEI Infographic.jpg

Save money, increase customer satisfaction

Like you, Anthos customers work with multiple clouds (including on-premises environments) and report that managing a hybrid or multi-cloud platform is incredibly complex. Anthos enables them to modernize in place, build and deploy apps fast, and scale effectively without compromising their security or increasing complexity. 

Let’s take a deeper look at the ways that Forrester found that Anthos can help you achieve your goals and unlock your business potential. 

1. Streamline operational efficiency
Anthos gives operators a single platform to manage applications across environments, saving time on management and speeding up modernization. Anthos Service Mesh simplifies delivery and lifecycle management of microservices and helps ensure the health of the overall application. The composite organization is projected to reduce the time spent on platform management by 40% to 55%, across both on-prem and cloud environments. 

When you are ready to migrate existing applications to the cloud, Migrate for Anthos makes that process simple and fast. The composite organization is projected to have 58% to 75% faster app migration and modernization process when using Anthos. After you containerize your existing applications you can take advantage of Anthos Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), both on-prem and in the cloud, and consistently manage your Kubernetes deployments. 

2. Accelerated development velocity and increased developer productivity
Anthos gives time back to developers by providing consistency across on-prem and various cloud environments. Instead of managing configurations and deployments, developers can focus on what they do best: writing, testing, and pushing code. Developers also enjoy a better experience while using environment-agnostic Anthos capabilities like our Cloud Run serverless solution, Anthos Service Mesh, Anthos Config Management, and Anthos GKE. Ultimately, developers at enterprises in this study projected reduced non-coding time by 23% to 38%

Saving developers time also directly contributes to organizational agility. One Google Cloud financial services customer using Anthos expects to move their updates from a quarterly to a weekly roll-out—a 13x improvement on time-to-market. When developers are freed from the burden of infrastructure management, they can accelerate progress in your organization. 

3. Consistent, unified security policy creation and enforcement across environments
Regardless of where you are in your application modernization journey, keeping your cloud platform reliable and secure is absolutely critical. Just minutes of downtime can mean millions of dollars in lost sales, and one security breach can be a billion dollar mistake. One major concern surrounding moving to the cloud is the difficulty of securing applications across a range of different environments that may not sit solely in your data centers. 

Anthos Config Management allows you to automate and standardize security policies and best practices across all of your environments. Anthos GKE combines the power of containerization with the ease of management from a single UI and API surfaceConsistent and unified policy creation and enforcement, through Anthos is projected to save security operators 60% to 96% of their time on deployment-related tasks. 

4. Improve customer advocacy and retention for lift in top-line revenue 
Perhaps most importantly, Forrester’s analysis found that Anthos can enhance the customer-facing application performance, and availability, leading to more satisfied customers and a significant financial sales lift. Containerization, microservices, and serverless all provide tools that improve cloud agility and governance. 

Application downtime is incredibly frustrating for your customers and can result in lost revenue. Anthos is projected to reduce application downtime by 20% to 60% in the composite organization, which also contributed to a better customer experience and increased overall sales. Additionally, productive developers, and efficient operators, can push new features and updates more frequently, enhancing the customer experience across all your applications. 

Download the Forrester Total Economic Impact study today to hear directly from enterprise engineering leaders and dive deep into the economic impact Anthos can deliver your organization. We would love to partner with you to explore the potential Anthos can unlock in your teams. Please reach out to our sales team to start a conversation about your digital transformation with Google Cloud.

New Anthos training: a masterclass in hybrid cloud architecture and management

You’re moving faster than ever to build new applications, innovate, and bring value to your customers. Anthos, Google Cloud’s open application modernization platform, can help you modernize your existing applications, making them more portable, maintainable, scalable and secure. And now, our newest learning specialization, Architecting Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure with Anthos, is live, showing how you can use its technologies to transform your IT environments.

Designed for infrastructure operators, architects, and DevOps professionals, Architecting Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure with Anthos teaches you how to modernize, observe, secure, and manage your applications using Istio-powered service mesh and Kubernetes, whether you’re on-premises, on Google Cloud, or distributed across both. With a mix of lectures and hands-on labs, you’ll learn about compute, networking, service mesh, config management, and their underlying control-planes, so you can begin to understand the full scope of the platform’s capabilities. The training also unpacks the complexities of modern environments, and equips you with the foundational knowledge needed to address challenges such as migrating and scaling among environments hosted in multiple regions and by multiple providers.

This specialization builds on the Architecting with Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) learning specialization, and assumes that students have extensive hands-on experience with Kubernetes. Architecting Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure with Anthos is delivered as three courses, which are available on demand and in a classroom setting:

  • Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure Foundations with Anthos – This course lays the groundwork for assembling hybrid infrastructure by presenting the Anthos platform architecture including Anthos GKE and Anthos Service Mesh.

  • Hybrid Cloud Service Mesh with Anthos – Gain the practical skills you need to deploy a service mesh to overcome challenges in multi-service application management, operation, and delivery.

  • Hybrid Cloud Multi-Cluster with Anthos – The final course will help you to understand configuration and get hands-on practice to manage a multi-cluster Anthos GKE deployment, including on-premises and in-cloud clusters.

Interested in hearing more? Register today for our webinar, Architecting Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure with Anthos, on Jan 31 at 9:00 am PST to get hands-on Anthos experience and receive a special discount on additional Anthos training.

Simplifying service mesh with Istio 1.4

Istio, the open-source service mesh that we created with IBM and Lyft, is now at version 1.4, and we’re very excited by how quickly the project is evolving and being adopted by end users. 

When we released Istio 1.1 in March, we announced that we would move to quarterly releases to get functionality out faster, and with this fourth release of the year, we’re happy to be fulfilling that promise.

Much of the work we are doing in open source Istio comes from what we’ve learned working with users of Google’s Anthos and Anthos Service Mesh, the hybrid application deployment platform and Istio-based service mesh that we released earlier this year to help enterprises monitor, secure and manage traffic in complex deployments. 

Working with Anthos users, we saw that we needed to focus on Istio usability and performance. In Istio 1.4 we are particularly excited about the advances in “mixerless telemetry”—a simplified architecture that allows full fidelity and pluggability of L7 telemetry, with a much smaller CPU footprint. Istio’s Envoy proxies can now send telemetry to Prometheus or Stackdriver without first having to install, run and scale Mixer instances.

“Many of the customers I talk to love the observability that they get with Istio but didn’t love the amount of resources that Mixer consumed,” said Mandar Jog, lead for the Istio Policies and Telemetry working group. “Istio’s goal is to be both feature-rich and performant, and we’re well on the way with this release.”

We also noticed that Anthos Service Mesh users often use it to enforce access policies among their services. To help with that, we redesigned Istio’s authorization APIs, simplifying them and making them easier to use.

It’s also getting easier for operators to install and upgrade Istio, thanks to simpler configuration options via the Kubernetes Operator mechanism. This will help not only Anthos customers but all open source Istio users—that includes Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) customers who use the Istio on GKE add-on to install open-source Istio in their GKE clusters.

Accelerating Istio for all

As we increased our contributions to Istio, the whole community grew as well. In fact, GitHub recently noted that Istio is in the top five projects in contributor growth over the last year—across all projects in GitHub! Of course, the success of an open source project is as much about building an ecosystem as it is about building a community, and that’s been happening too, with the arrival of Istio-based service mesh products from companies small and large—from Aspen Mesh and Banzai Cloud to Mulesoft to VMware.

Finally, we’re happy to see people talking about their own journey to service mesh with Istio. AutoTrader UK announced recently that Istio and GKE have let them migrate 300 services from VMs in a data center to the cloud. And at KubeCon this week, we heard from the likes of ING Bank, Freddie Mac and Yahoo! about how they’re using Istio. 

Onwards to Istio 1.5!

Don’t just move to the cloud, modernize with Google Cloud

Our customers tell us they don’t just want to migrate their applications from point A to point B, they want to modernize their applications with cloud-native technologies and techniques, wherever those applications may be. 

Today, we’re excited to tell you about a variety of new customers that are using Anthos to transform their application portfolio, as well as new cloud migration, API management, and application development offerings:

  • New customers leveraging Anthos for a variety of on-prem, cloud and edge use cases
  • The general availability of Migrate for Anthos
  • Apigee hybrid in general availability
  • The general availability of Cloud Code

Accelerating app modernization with Anthos

Anthos was the first open app modernization platform to offer a unified control plane and service delivery across diverse cloud environments—managed cloud, on-premises and edge. Since it became generally available in the spring, organizations across a variety of industries and geographies have turned to Anthos to bring the benefits of cloud, containers and microservices to their applications. 

According to the findings from Forrester’s Total Economic Impact study, customers adopting Anthos have seen up to 5x return on investment based on the savings from ongoing license and support costs, and the incremental savings from operations and developer productivity. For one customer in the financial services industry, rolling out new features and updates to their core banking application used to take at least a quarter. Now with Anthos, they were able to eliminate months long development and release cycles, and roll out on a weekly basis. That’s a 13x improvement on time to market. 

This week, several new European Anthos customers will take the stage at Next UK to talk about how they’re using Anthos to transform their IT operations. 

Kaeser Kompressoren SE of Coburg, Germany, is a provider of compressed air products and services. The company needed a consistent platform to deploy and manage existing on-prem SAP workloads, like SAP Data Hub, and also wanted to be able to tap into other services running in Google Cloud to get more value from those environments. 

“Application modernization is enabling business innovation for Kaeser,” said Falko Lameter, CIO. “To gain better insights from data, we knew we needed to incorporate advanced machine learning and data analytics in all our applications. We chose Google Cloud’s Anthos because it offered the flexibility to incrementally modernize our legacy application on-premises without business disruption, while allowing us to run other applications on Anthos in Google Cloud and take advantage of its managed data analytics and ML/AI services.”

Then there’s Denizbank. Based in Turkey, Denizbank provides a variety of commercial banking services, and established the first Digital Banking Department in Turkey in 2012. Denizbank turned to Anthos for an open application modernization platform to help it develop its next-generation mobile banking applications.

“We operate in 11 different countries and have to comply with various regulatory requirements like data locality and sovereignty, which mandates some or all applications to reside on premises in certain countries, while the rest of the apps can move to the cloud in other countries,” said Dilek Duman, COO of DenizBank. “We chose Google Cloud’s Anthos for its flexibility to modernize our existing application investments with ease, and to deliver AI/ML powered software faster while improving operational security and governance. Anthos gives us the ability to have a unified management view of our hybrid deployments, giving us a consistent platform to run our banking workloads across environments.” 

Anthos is even starting to be deployed to edge locations, where, thanks to its 100% software-based design, it can run on any number of hardware form factors. We’re in advanced discussions with customers in telecommunications, retail, manufacturing and entertainment about using Anthos for edge use cases, as well as with global hardware OEMs.

Move and modernize with Migrate for Anthos

In addition to leveraging cloud technology for their on-premises environments with Anthos, customers also want to simultaneously migrate to the cloud and modernize with containers. That’s why we’re happy to announce the general availability of Migrate for Anthos, which provides a fast, low-friction path to convert physical servers or virtual machines from a variety of sources (on-prem, Amazon AWS, Microsoft Azure, or Google Compute Engine) directly into containers in Anthos GKE.

Migrate for Anthos makes it easy to modernize your applications without a lot of manual effort or specialized training. After upgrading your on-prem systems to containers with Migrate for Anthos, you’ll benefit from a reduction in OS-level management and maintenance, more efficient resource utilization, and easy integration with Google Cloud services for data analytics, AI and ML, and more. 

DevFactory aims to offload repetitive tasks in software development so that dev teams can focus on coding and productivity. As advocates for optimization through containers, they found Migrate for Anthos a key way to help deliver on their goals:  

“We usually see less than 1% resource utilization in data centers. Migrate for Anthos is a remarkable tool that allows us to migrate data center workloads to the cloud in a few simple steps,” said Rahul Subramaniam, CEO, Devfactory. “By automatically converting servers and virtual machines into containers with Migrate for Anthos, we get better resource utilization and dramatically reduced costs along with managed infrastructure in the end state, which makes this a very exciting and much-needed solution.” 

Migrate for Anthos is available at no additional cost, and can be used with or without an Anthos subscription.

API-first, everywhere, with Apigee hybrid 

To drive modernization and innovation, enterprises are increasingly adopting API-first approaches to connecting services across hybrid and multi-cloud environments. To address the need for hybrid API management, we’re announcing the general availability of Apigee hybrid, giving you the flexibility to deploy your API runtimes in a hybrid environment, while using cloud-based Apigee capabilities such as developer portals, API monitoring, and analytics. Apigee hybrid can be deployed as a workload on Anthos, giving you the benefits of an integrated Google Cloud stack, with Anthos’ automation and security benefits. 

Gap Inc. uses Apigee to publish, secure, and analyze APIs and easily onboard the development teams working with those APIs. Apigee hybrid will help Gap Inc. overcome the traditional tradeoffs between on-premises and cloud, providing the best of both worlds.   

“With Apigee hybrid, we can have an easy to manage, localized runtime for scenarios where latency or data sensitivity require it. At the same time, we can continue to enjoy all the benefits of Apigee such as Apigee’s developer portal and its rich API-lifecycle management capabilities,” said Patrick McMichael, Enterprise Architect at Gap Inc. 

Simplifying the developer experience

Google Cloud application development tools are designed to help you simplify creating apps for containers and Kubernetes, incorporate security and compliance into your pipelines, and scale up or down depending on demand, so you only pay for what you use. 

With these goals in mind, last week, we announced the general availability of Cloud Run and Cloud Run for Anthos. Cloud Run is a managed compute platform on Google Cloud that lets you run serverless containers on on a fully managed environment or on Anthos. With Cloud Run fully managed, you can easily deploy and run stateless containers written in any language, and enjoy serverless benefits such as automatic scale up and scale down and pay-for-use—without having to manage the underlying infrastructure. 

Cloud Run for Anthos, meanwhile, brings those same serverless developer experience to Anthos managed clusters, giving developers access to a modern, serverless compute platform while their organization modernizes its on-prem environment with Kubernetes. 

Easier Kubernetes development with Cloud Code

Today, we’re excited to announce the general availability of another important member of the Google Cloud application development stack: Cloud Code, which lets developers write, debug and deploy code to Google Cloud or any Kubernetes cluster through extensions to popular Integrated Developer Environments (IDEs) such as Visual Studio Code and IntelliJ. 

Developers are most productive while working in their favorite IDE. By embracing developers’ existing workflow and tools, Cloud Code makes working with Kubernetes feel like you are working with a local application, while preserving the investment you’ve made to configure your tools to your own specific needs. Cloud Code dramatically simplifies the creation and maintenance of Kubernetes applications.

In addition, Cloud Code speeds up development against Kubernetes by extending the edit-debug-review “inner loop” to the cloud. You get rapid feedback on your changes, ensuring that they’re of high quality. And when it comes to moving code to the production environment, Cloud Code supports popular continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) tools like Cloud Build. 

Finally, with Cloud Code, diagnosing issues does not require a deep understanding of Kubernetes, thanks to connected debuggers and cluster-wide logging that help you address issues all from the context of your favorite tool. 

Toward modern, efficient applications

Application modernization means a lot of things to a lot of people. Depending on your environment, it can mean updating VMs to containers and Kubernetes, it can mean moving them to the cloud, or it can mean distributing them to edge locations and unifying workloads with consistent API and service management. For others, application modernization means using cloud-native tools and concepts like serverless and CI/CD. Whatever your definition, we can help you realize your business and modernization goals, achieving greater agility while improving overall governance.

A CIO’s guide to cloud success: decouple to shift your business into high gear

They say 80% of success is showing up—but unfortunately for enterprises moving to the cloud, this doesn’t always hold up. 

A recent McKinsey survey, for example, found that despite migrating to the cloud, many enterprises are nonetheless “falling short of their IT agility expectations.” Because CTOs and CIOs are struggling to increase IT agility, many organizations are unable to achieve their larger business goals. McKinsey notes that 95% of CIOs indicated that the majority of the C-Suite’s overall goals depend on them.

The disconnect between moving to the cloud and successful digital transformation can be traced back to the way most organizations adopt cloud:renting pooled resources from cloud vendors or investing in SaaS subscriptions. By adopting cloud in this cookie-cutter way, an enterprise basically keeps doing what it’s always done—perhaps just a little faster and a little more efficiently. 

But we’re entering a new age. Cloud services are increasingly about intelligence, automation, and velocity—not just the economies of scale offered by big providers renting out their infrastructure. As McKinsey notes, enterprises sometimes stumble because they use the cloud for scale, but do not take advantage of the agility and velocity benefits it provides. 

At its core, achieving velocity and agility isn’t about where an application is hosted so much as how fast, freely, and efficiently enterprises can launch and adjust strategies, whether creating ways to interact with customers on new technology platforms, quickly adding requested features to apps or monetizing data. This in turn relies on decoupling the dependencies between different systems and minimizing the amount of manual coordination that enterprise IT typically has to perform. The result is more loosely-coupled distributed systems that are far better equipped for today’s dynamic technology landscape. 

This concept of decoupling, and how it can accelerate business results, drives much of what we do at Google—and it has strongly informed how we built Anthos, our open source-based multi-cloud platform that lets enterprises run apps anywhere, but also achieve the elusive IT agility and velocity that enterprises crave.

Decoupling = agility: shift your development into high gear

Migrating to the cloud does not, by default, transform an enterprise because digital transformation isn’t about the cloud itself. Rather, it’s about changing the way software is built and the consequent explosion in new business strategies that software can support—from selling products via voice assistants, to exposing proprietary data and functionality to partners at scale, to automating IT administration and security operations that used to require manual oversight. 

Specifically, modern software development eschews ‘monolithic’ application architectures whose design makes it difficult to update or reuse functionality without impacting the entire application. Instead, developers increasingly build applications by assembling small, reusable, independently deployable microservices

This shift not only makes software easier to reuse, combine, and modify (which can help an enterprise to be more responsive to changing business needs), but also lets developers work in small parallel teams rather than large groups (which helps them to create and deploy applications much faster. What’s more, microservices exposed as APIs can help developers leverage resources from a range of providers spread across many different clouds, giving them the tools to create richer applications and connected experiences. 

These decouplings of services from an application and developers from one another is often done via containers. By abstracting applications and libraries from the underlying operating system and hardware, containers make it easier for one team of developers to focus on its work without worrying about what any of the teams with which they’re collaborating are doing. 

Containers also represent another important form of decoupling that can dramatically change the relationship among an IT department, severs, and maintenance. Thanks to containers, for example, many applications can reside on the same server without impacting one another, which reduces the need for application-specific hardware deployments. Containers can also be ported from one machine to another, opening opportunities for developers to create applications on-premises and scale them via the cloud, or to move applications from one cloud to another based on changing needs. This abstraction from the hardware they run on is one reason containers are often referred to as “cloud-native.” 

This overview only scratches the surface, but the point is, by decoupling functionality and creating new architectures built around loosely-coupled distributed systems, enterprises can empower their developers to work faster in smaller, parallel teams and unlock the IT agility through which modern, software-driven business strategies are executed.  

But doesn’t decoupling increase complexity?

Containers and distributed systems offer many advantages, but adoption isn’t as simple as flipping a switch. 

Decomposing fat applications into hundreds of smaller services can increase an enterprise’s agility, but orchestrating all those services can be tremendously complicated, as can authenticating their users and protecting against threats. When millions of microservices are communicating with one another, it becomes literally impossible to put a human being in the middle of those processes, requiring automated solutions. Many enterprises consequently struggle with not only governance across these distributed environments, but also identifying the right solutions to put in place. 

Moreover, not everything within a large enterprise will evolve at the same pace. Running containers in the cloud can help an enterprise focus on building great applications while handing off infrastructure management to a vendor. In fact, teams in almost every large enterprise are already operating this way—but other teams accustomed to legacy approaches may require a more incremental transition. 

Additionally, enterprises may have a variety of reasons, whether strategic or regulatory, for keeping data on-prem—but they may still want ways to apply cloud-based analytics and machine learning services to that data and otherwise merge the cloud with their on-prem assets. Assembling the orchestration, management, and monitoring solutions for such deployments has historically been difficult. 

Another significant challenge is that though containers are intrinsically portable, the various public clouds provide different platforms, which can make moving containers—let alone giving developers and administrators consistent experiences—quite difficult. Many open-source options are not the panacea they once seemed because the open-source version of a solution and the managed deployment sold by a cloud provider may be meaningfully different. These challenges can be particularly vexing because enterprises want the flexibility to change cloud vendors, utilize multiple clouds, and otherwise avoid lock-in.   

Helping enterprises to enjoy the benefits of distributed systems while avoiding these challenges shaped our development of Anthos. 

Anthos: Agility minus the complexity 

Google runs multiple web services with billions of users and is an enormously complex organization whose IT systems connect tens of thousands of employees, contractors, and partners. No surprise then that we’ve spent a lot of time solving the puzzle of distributed systems and their dynamic, loosely-coupled components. For example, we open-sourced Kubernetes, the de facto standard for container orchestration, and Istio, a leading service mesh for managing microservices—and both are major components in Anthos and both are based on internal best practices. 

Istio, provides systematic centralized management for microservices and enables what is arguably the most important form of decoupling: policies from services. Developers supported by Istio are free to write code without encoding policies into their microservices, allowing administrators to change policies in a controlled rollout without redeploying individual services. This automates away the expensive, time-consuming coordination and bureaucracy traditionally required for IT governance and helps accelerate developer velocity. 

Recognizing that enterprises demand choice and openness, Anthos launched with hybrid support and will soon include multi-cloud functionality as well, with all options offering simplified management via single-pane-of-glass views, policy-driven controls, and a consistent experience across all environments, whether on Google Cloud Platform, in a corporate data center with Anthos deployed on VMware, or, after our coming update, in a third-party cloud such as Azure or AWS. Because Anthos is software-based, on-prem deployments don’t require stack refreshes, letting enterprises utilize existing hardware investments, ensuring developers and administrators have a consistent experience, regardless of where workloads are located or whose hardware they run on. 

We’re already seeing fantastic momentum with customers using Anthos. For example, KeyBank, a superregional bank that’s been in business for almost 200 years, is adopting Anthos after using containers and Kubernetes for several years for customer-facing applications. 

“The speed of innovation and competitive advantage of a container-based approach is unlike any technology we’ve used before,” said Keybank’s CTO Keith Silvestri and Director of DevOps Practices Chris McFee in a recent blog post, adding that the technologies also helped the bank spin up infrastructure on demand when traffic spiked, such as during Black Friday or Cyber Monday. 

KeyBank chose Anthos to bring this agility and “burstability” to the rest of its IT operations, including internal-facing applications, while staying as close as possible to the open-source version of Kubernetes. “We deploy Anthos locally on our familiar and high-performance Cisco HyperFlex hyperconverged infrastructure,” Silvestri and McFee noted. “We manage the containerized workloads as if they’re all running in GCP, from the single source of truth, our GCP console.” 

Anthos includes much more—such as Migrate for Anthos to auto-migrate virtual machines into containers in Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) and an ecosystem of more than 40 hardware and software partners. But as the preceding attests, at the highest level, the platform helps enterprises to balance developer agility, operational efficiency, and platform governance by facilitating the decoupling central to successful digital transformation:

  • Infrastructure is decoupled from the applications
  • Teams are decoupled from one another
  • Development is decoupled from operations 
  • Security is decoupled from development and operations

Successful decoupling minimizes the need for manual coordination, cuts costs, reduces complexity, and significantly increases developer velocity, operational efficiency, and business productivity. Decoupling delivers a framework, implementation, and operating model to ensure consistency across an open, hybrid, and multi-cloud future—a future Anthos has been built to serve.

Check out McKinsey’s report “Unlocking Business Acceleration in a Hybrid Cloud World” for more about how hybrid technologies can accelerate digital transformation, and tune in to our “Cloud OnAir with Anthos” session to learn even more about how Anthos is helping enterprises digitally transform—including special appearances by KeyBank and OpenText!

Anthos simplifies application modernization with managed service mesh and serverless for your hybrid cloud

For decades, organizations built and ran applications in their own on-premises data centers. Then, they started deploying and running applications in the cloud. But, for most enterprises, the thought of moving all-in to the cloud was too daunting. They worried they would need different developers and tools for each environment, and that they wouldn’t have a consistent management interface to ensure the environments were compliant with their security policies. To address these challenges, we introducedAnthos, a services platform that brings applications into the 21st century, with the flexibility to run in any environment—whether it’s cloud-native or based on virtual machines. 

Today, we’re announcing new Anthos capabilities to further simplify your application modernization journey: 

  • Anthos Service Mesh, which connects, manages, and secures microservices
  • Cloud Run for Anthos, which enables you to easily run stateless workloads on a fully managed Anthos environment

In addition, Anthos Config Management now includes capabilities to help your teams automate and enforce org-specific policies. Binary Authorization, meanwhile, helps to ensure that  only validated, verified images are integrated into your managed build-and-release process..

Tame microservices with Anthos Service Mesh

Increasingly, many organizations consider microservices architectures to be an essential way to modernize their applications. But moving from monolithic applications to large numbers of microservices increases operational complexity. To address this, you can use a service mesh—an abstraction layer that provides a uniform way to connect, secure, monitor, and manage microservices. A service mesh uses high-performance and lightweight proxies to bring security, resiliency, and visibility to service communications, freeing your developers to do what they do best: build great applications. A service mesh helps you manage the lifecycle and policies for this intelligent data plane and gives you secure and easy-to-manage microservices-based applications. 

As a managed offering, Anthos Service Mesh in Beta makes it easy to add this abstraction layer to your environment. Built on Istio open APIs, it lets you easily manage and secure inter-service traffic  with a unified administrative interface, and provides uniform traffic controls that span them both. In addition, Anthos Service Mesh gives you deep visibility into your application traffic, thereby improving your development experience and making it easier to troubleshoot these complex environments.

Deep visibility.jpg
Deep visibility helps keep your applications running smoothly.

Serverless flexibility and velocity across on-prem and cloud

Serverless computing provides you with a number of benefits: the ability to run workloads without having to worry about the underlying infrastructure, to execute code only when needed, to autoscale from zero to n depending on traffic, all wrapped around a simple developer experience. 

Today, we are excited to bring this experience to Anthos through Cloud Run for Anthos, now in beta. Based on Knative, an open API and runtime environment, Cloud Run for Anthos enables you to be more agile by letting you write code like you always do—without having to learn advanced Kubernetes concepts. It enforces best practices and provides deep integration with Anthos by offering advanced networking support, and enabling cloud accelerators, which means your workloads can all run in the same cluster. Cloud Run for Anthos delivers portability with consistency, so you can flexibly run your workloads on Google Cloud or on-premises – all with the same consistent experience. It helps you adopt cloud on your own terms by letting you adopt serverless wherever you are – even on-premises. 

Modernize application security to increase organizational agility

In addition to simplifying the development and operations of modern applications, Anthos includes guardrails that provide security by default. Enterprises can automate their security operations by enforcing consistent policy across environments, isolating workloads with different risk profiles, and deploying only trusted workloads.

With Anthos Service Mesh, you have uniform policies for enforcing service aware network security including encryption in transit, mutual authentication and powerful access controls. This allows your IT teams to implement zero trust security that moves across environments with your application without making application code changes, allowing you to focus on delivering critical business functions faster.

Binary Authorization helps you build defined security checks into the development process earlier, making sure you deploy only trusted workloads in your environments. By ensuring workloads are assessed and validated before they are deployed, enterprises can have the confidence that these workloads can be trusted.

Finally, using the new Policy Controller and Config Connector features of Anthos Config Management, you can enforce consistent security policies and controls continuously across your cloud environments, including Google Cloud, on-prem and other clouds. 

Learn more about how Anthos helps organizations modernize their approach to application security in our Anthos Security white paper.

Expanding the Anthos partner ecosystem

Anthos launched with more than 30 hardware, software and system integration partners ready to help customers adopt Anthos right out of the gate. Today, that number stands at more than 40, and partners report exceptional momentum for the platform. 

Atos, Cognizant, Deloitte, HCL, Infosys, TCS, and Wipro are some of the global systems integrators who are helping deliver Anthos to their clients, and they are doubling down on their efforts. 

“Deloitte has been working with Google long before the formal announcement of Anthos at Google Cloud Next in April,  said Tim O’Connor, Principal, Deloitte Consulting LLP. “Since then we’ve supercharged our investments and have been extending existing Anthos assets and building teams to bring this powerful and game-changing technology to the marketplace,” through a dedicated group of practitioners focused on hybrid enablement through Anthos.

A complete platform for modernizing organizations

With its comprehensive capabilities for container management, service mesh, security, monitoring and logging, as well as developer productivity, Anthos helps your entire organization benefit from  application modernization. For developers, Anthos simplifies application deployment with access to services like GCP Marketplace and Cloud Run. Operations teams benefit from improved resource utilization and reuse, and visibility into all available services—all from a single management plane. Meanwhile, Anthos lets security professionals roll out consistent policies across their deployments, encrypt sensitive traffic, and ensure that only trusted binaries are running in the environment. All the while, Anthos puts your organization on the path to the cloud, in the configuration and at the pace that works for you. 

For a technical deep dive into service mesh, download our new ebook, The Service Mesh Era: Architecting, Securing and Managing Microservices with Istio. And to understand how Anthos can take your cloud environment to the next level, check out A CIO’s guide to cloud success: decouple to shift your business into high gear.