Google rebrands Cloud Services Platform and adds multi-cloud support for AWS and Azure users

Google confirms rebrand of its Cloud Services Platform will coincide with functionality expansion that will see it add support for AWS and Azure to provide users with a consistent user experience across all clouds

Google Cloud is rebranding its Cloud Services Platform (CSP) as it enters general availability, and adding functionality to enable enterprises to use it to manage workloads in the Amazon and Microsoft public clouds.

Having made its debut during the Google Cloud Next developer and user conference in San Francisco in July 2018, the company used the opening keynote of this year’s event to confirm CSP will now be known as Anthos.

The offering is considered to be the cornerstone of Google’s hybrid cloud proposition for enterprises, and consists of an integrated set of services, spanning cloud management, serverless and developer tools that combine together to create an open source platform that enables enterprises to run their existing applications without modification in on-premise datacentres or in the public cloud.

However, as confirmed during the opening keynote by Google CEO Sundar Pichai, its public cloud compatibility is not just limited to Google-based environments anymore, and is being extended to support Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure deployments too.

This, in turn, should serve to ensure that enterprises that are embracing a multi-cloud sourcing strategy enjoy a consistent user experience across all three clouds, said Urs Hölzle, senior vice-president for technical infrastructure at Google Cloud, during a pre-keynote press conference. 

“The problem we’re solving is one that virtually every large company has today – and it is that moving to the cloud is scary, because everything changes at once and nothing is really the same as on-premise, but also nothing is the same across clouds,” said Hölzle.

“I don’t think I can stress enough how big of a change that is across the industry. This is the way [to make] these three clouds and on-premise [environments] look the same.

“This is the stack for the next 20 years. It’s not about the three different clouds. This is the way that makes these three clouds look the same.”

One of the flagship services that underpins Anthos is Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), which is a managed environment that allows enterprise to run containerised applications in on-premise and cloud environments without needing to create their own Kubernetes clusters first.

According to Hölzle, this will help reduce the IT administration burden for enterprises that have opted to adopt a multi-cloud strategy because their developers will no longer need to learn different environments or application programming interfaces (APIs) to make that kind of setup work.

Banking giant HSBC is among the reference customers already using the setup to support its hybrid cloud strategy.

“At HSBC, we needed a consistent platform to deploy both on-premise and in the cloud. Google Cloud’s software-based approach for managing hybrid environments provided us an innovative, differentiated solution that was able to be deployed quickly for our customers,” said HSBC Group CIO, Darryl West, in a press statement.

In terms of availability, Google is teaming up with more than 30 hardware, software and systems integration partners to roll out the platform to customers.

Among them are VMware, Dell EMC, HPE, Intel and Lenovo, which have all committed to making the software platform available on their own respective hyper converged infrastructure stacks.

As an adjunct to the platform, Google also announced the beta release of Anthos Migrate during the show. This service will enable enterprises to migrate on-premise virtual machines (VMs) running in on-premise and cloud environments directly into GKE without needing to modify the VMs themselves or the applications running in them.

“Through this transformation, your IT team is free from managing infrastructure tasks like VM maintenance and OS patching, so it can focus on managing and developing applications,” said Google, in an accompanying blog post.

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