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Anthos rising—now easier to use, for more workloads

August 25, 2020
Eyal Manor

General Manager/VP of Engineering, Application Modernization Platform

Today more than ever, customers ask for help addressing two critical business needs: reimagining their application portfolios and driving cost savings. Earlier today, we announced Google Cloud App Modernization Program, or Google CAMP. We built this program to help you innovate faster, so you can reach your customers with world-class, secure, reliable applications, all while saving on costs. Google CAMP does this with a consistent development and operations experience, tools, best practices and industry leading-guidance on how to develop, run, operate and secure applications. 

A key component of Google CAMP is Anthos, our hybrid and multi-cloud cloud modernization platform. In fact, we recently announced BigQuery Omni, a multi-cloud analytics solution, powered by Anthos. And today, building on that momentum, we’re excited to share several new Anthos capabilities with you. 

Bring AI to hybrid environments

Whether it’s image recognition, pattern detection, conversational chatbots, or any number of other emerging use cases for artificial intelligence (AI), organizations are eager to incorporate AI functionality into their offerings. 

AI models require a lot of data, which more often than not resides in an organization’s data center—not in the cloud. Further, many organizations’ data is sensitive and must stay on-prem. As a result, you’re often forced to rely on fragmented solutions across on-prem and cloud deployments, or to minimize your use of AI entirely. With Anthos, you don’t have to make those types of compromises. 

Today we’re pleased to announce hybrid AI capabilities for Anthos, designed to let you use our differentiated AI technologies wherever your workloads reside. By bringing AI on-prem, you can now run your AI workloads near your data, all while keeping them safe. In addition, hybrid AI simplifies the development process by providing easy access to best-in-class AI technology on-prem. 

The first of our hybrid AI offerings, Speech-to-Text On-Prem, is now generally available on Anthos through the Google Cloud Marketplace. Speech-to-Text On-Prem gives you full control over speech data that is protected by data residency and compliance requirements, from within your own data center. At the same time, Speech-to-Text On-Prem leverages state-of-the-art speech recognition models developed by Google's research teams that are more accurate, smaller, and require less computing resources to run than existing solutions.

We collaborated with organizations across many industries to design Anthos’ hybrid AI capabilities. One customer in particular is Iron Mountain, a global leader for storage and information management services. "Iron Mountain built its InSight product on Google Cloud's AI technology because it was by far the best AI service available. Now with Anthos hybrid AI, we can bring Google's AI technology on site,” said Adam Williams, Director, Software Engineering at Iron Mountain. “Anthos is hybrid done right, allowing us to build software quickly in the cloud, and seamlessly deploy it on-premises for applications that have data residency and compliance requirements. Thanks to Anthos we have been able to meet our customers where they are and open up millions of dollars of new opportunities." 

You can get started today with Speech-to-Text On Prem with five supported languages, with more coming soon. 

Think services-first for more workloads

Many of our customers choose Anthos because of its service-first approach (versus infrastructure-first). Anthos lets you automate those services, allowing you to proactively monitor and catch issues early. It does so with declarative policies that treat "configuration as data,'' so you can minimize manual errors while maintaining your desired configuration state.

These are some of the reasons that leading global financial-services provider Macquarie Bank chose Anthos as its application modernization platform. “Embracing Anthos enables us to move at the speed of now, by absorbing the complexity of building secure and efficient distributed systems,” said Richard Heeley, CIO, Banking and Financial Services, Macquarie Bank. “This means we can focus on driving innovation and delivering leading banking experiences for our customers, now and into the future.” 

We’ve also been doing more to bring the benefits of this services-first approach to a wider range of workloads. Today we are introducing Anthos attached clusters, which let you manage any Kubernetes cluster with the Anthos control plane—including centralized management for configuration and service mesh capabilities.

We are also excited to share that Anthos for bare metal is now in beta, which lets Anthos run on-prem and at edge locations without a hypervisor. Anthos for bare metal provides a lightweight, cost-effective platform that minimizes unnecessary overhead and opens up new cloud and edge use cases. In fact, Google is itself an early adopter for Anthos for bare metal, working towards using it as a platform to run containers internally for our production workloads.

Faster development cycles

Writing and managing production workloads can be labor-intensive. There are many ways Anthos can help your developers, security teams and operators be more productive. Let’s take a look at the newest capabilities. 

First, we’ve united our Cloud Code Integrated Development Environment (IDE) plugins with Cloud Run for Anthos. This allows you to build serverless applications directly from IDEs like VS Code and Intellij. Supported languages include Java, Node.js, Python and Go. 

Once you’ve written your code, the new Cloud Code-Cloud Run emulator lets you quickly validate local changes on your own machine, with automated re-deploys on every saved code change. You can even use this emulator to locally debug your Cloud Run apps. When your code is ready, you can push changes directly to a remote dev environment in the cloud, right from the IDE.

Additionally, Cloud Code now lets you create Kubernetes clusters with Cloud Run for Anthos enabled, right from within your IDE, pre-populating key details like project ID, zone/region, number of nodes, etc.

Expand your security options

We built Anthos with a security-first approach from day one, following principles of least-privilege and extending defense-in-depth to your deployments. This simplifies everything from release management, to updating and patching. In particular, identity and authentication play a key role in securing your deployments—all the more so in Anthos environments that can span a variety of cloud and on-prem environments. 

Today, we’re announcing Anthos Identity Service, which extends your existing identity solutions to seamlessly work with Anthos workloads. With support for OpenID Connect, (generally available on-prem and in beta for Anthos on AWS), you can leverage your existing identity investments and enable consistency across environments. We will be adding support for additional protocols in the coming months.

Then, with the new Anthos security blueprints you get best practices in a templated format, making it easy for you to quickly adopt best practices like auditing and monitoring, policy enforcement and enforcing locality restrictions. Anthos security blueprints also give you purpose-built solutions to automate governance, compliance and data residency for regulated industries such as financial services, retail and public sector. 

Finally, through Google Cloud Marketplace, we’ve made containerized applications for various use cases such as security, analytics, developer tools, etc. easier to access than ever before. Because of this, sales of partner SaaS offerings through the Google Cloud Marketplace have increased 3x since the beginning of 2020. 

Take the first step with easier migration 

As you look to modernize, the first step is often to migrate specific workloads before you can build on top of them. But moving VM-based workloads to containers can be very complex. You may not even have access to the source code, especially for third-party software, making manual containerization impossible.

Today we’re also announcing new capabilities to make migrating your workloads to Anthos easier—even ones for which you don’t have the source code.

Migrate for Anthos, widely used today as a low-friction path for migrating workloads to GKE, now provides build migration automation using the new CRD-based API to integrate with your custom processes and tooling. This enables several new features:

  • Support for Anthos deployed on-prem so that you can convert VMs running on-prem—and keep them there—if you need that flexibility. 

  • Support for Windows containers, now in beta, for anyone looking to start converting their Windows workloads. 

  • Integration into the Google Cloud Console web admin UI, making it easier to monitor ongoing migrations or perform multiple migrations at once.

One of our customers, the national British newspaper The Telegraph, uses Migrate for Anthos to accelerate its modernization. 

“The Telegraph was running a legacy content management system (CMS) in another public cloud on several instances. Upgrading the actual system or migrating the content to our main Website CMS was problematic, but we wanted to migrate it from the public cloud it was on,” said Lucian Craciun, Head of Technology, Platforms, The Telegraph. “We found out about Migrate for Anthos and gave it a try, and in about one month we were able to containerize and migrate all of those CMS workloads to GKE. We are already seeing significant savings on infrastructure and reduced day-to-day operational costs.”

In addition, we’re making it easier for you to migrate workloads from Cloud Foundry, a first-generation cloud application platform. This new migration feature uses Kf on Anthos, which presents developers with a Cloud Foundry-like interface on top of Anthos. With this approach, you can benefit from Anthos’ operational benefits (e.g., declarative operations, service mesh, etc.), while minimizing disruption for your developers.

More workloads from more places, with more ease 

No matter where you run your workloads—in Google Cloud, on-prem, in other clouds or at the edge—Anthos provides a consistent platform on which your teams can quickly build great applications that adapt to an ever-changing world. Over the coming weeks, we will publish deep dives into each of these areas with more detailed information; in the meanwhile, to learn more about these launches, as well as how to get the most out of Anthos, check out these great sessions that are going live at Google Cloud Next ‘20: OnAir this week:

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