Bringing Kubernetes’ goodness to Windows Server apps with Anthos
Senior Product Manager
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Today, many applications in organizations’ data centers run on Windows Server. Modernizing these traditional Windows apps onto Kubernetes promises a host of benefits: a consistent platform across environments, better portability, scalability, availability, simplified management and speed of deployment, just to name a few. But how? Rewriting traditional .NET applications to run on Linux with .NET Core can be challenging and time-consuming. There is, however, a lower-toil, more developer friendly option.
Last year, we announced support for Windows Server containers running on Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), our cloud-based managed Kubernetes service, which lets you take the advantage of containers without porting your apps to .NET core or rewriting them for Linux. Today, we’re going a step further with support for Windows Server containers on Anthos clusters on VMware in your on-premises environment. Now available in preview, you can consolidate all your Windows operations across on-prem and Google Cloud.
Bringing Windows Server support to our family of Kubernetes-based services—GKE running on Google Cloud, and Anthos everywhere—with the same experience, lets you modernize apps faster and achieve a consistent development and deployment experience across hybrid and cloud environments. Further, by running Windows and Linux workloads side by side, you get operational consistency and efficiency—no need to have multiple teams specializing in different tooling or platforms to manage different workloads. The single-pane-of-glass view and the ability to manage policies from a central control plane simplifies the management experience, while bin packing multiple Windows applications drives better resource utilization, leading to infrastructure and license savings.
With all these benefits, it’s no surprise that customers such as Thales, a French multinational firm specializing in aerospace and security services, have been able to reap significant benefits by moving Windows applications to GKE.
"We moved our Windows applications from VMs to Windows containers on GKE and now have a unified mechanism for Linux and Windows-based application management, scaling, logging, and monitoring. Earlier, setting up these applications in VMs and configuring them for high availability used to take up to a week, and the applications were not easily scalable,” said Najam Siddiqui, Solutions Architect at Thales. “Now with GKE, the setup takes only a few minutes. GKE's automatic scaling and built-in resiliency features make scaling and high-availability setup seamless. Also, manually maintaining the VMs and applying security patches used to be tedious, which is now handled by GKE."
Let’s take a deeper look at the architecture that lets you run your Windows container-based workloads on-prem.
Windows Server running on-prem with Anthos
The diagram below illustrates the high-level architecture of running Windows container-based workloads in an on-prem GKE cluster with Anthos. Windows server node-pools can be added to an existing or new Anthos cluster. Kubelet and Kube-proxy run natively on Windows nodes, allowing you to run mixed Windows and Linux containers in the same cluster. The admin cluster and the user cluster control plane continue to be Linux-based, providing you a consistent orchestration experience and management ease across Windows and Linux workloads.
Get started today
When considering modernizing your on-prem Windows estate, we recommend running Windows Server containers on Anthos in your own data center. If you are new to Anthos, the Anthos getting started page and the Coursera course on Architecting Hybrid Cloud with Anthos are good places to start. You can also find detailed documentation on our website, and our partners are eager to help you with any questions related to the published solutions, as is the GCP sales team. And as always, please don't hesitate to reach out to us at email@example.com if you have any feedback or need help unblocking your use case.