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Benefits of migrating to containers

Migrate to Containers is a tool to containerize existing VM-based applications to run on Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), GKE Autopilot clusters , Anthos, or Cloud Run. By taking advantage of the GKE and Anthos ecosystems, Migrate to Containers provides a fast and simple way to move to modernized orchestration and application management without requiring access to source code, rewriting, or re-architecting applications.

Migrate to containers versus lift-and-shift to Compute Engine

Today, you can migrate VM workloads into VM instances in Compute Engine using Migrate to VMs. This "lift & shift" method offers the simplest method of cloud migration as it consistently preserves the same operational model used for running and managing applications on-prem, modernizing only the underlying infrastructure.

While "lift & shift" is a viable option for certain workloads, many customers that are moving to the cloud want to take a step further, taking advantage of cloud-native tools, methods, and managed services. In particular, they want to shift from VMs to containers and manage their workloads on GKE or Anthos.

Benefits of containers

Migrate to Containers lets you modernize application workloads by converting them to containers. There are several key benefits to containerizing workloads:

  • Density. Containers are much lighter than VMs since they don't contain the operating system, and therefore require considerably fewer compute and memory resources. Containers provide greater density of workloads across your clusters, fine-grained resource allocations, and overall lower infrastructure costs.
  • Security optimized node kernel. GKE and Anthos offer automatic operating system upgrades, freeing you from the burden of maintaining their operating system.
  • Augment legacy apps with modern services. GKE and Anthos let you use platform add-on services to seamlessly integrate up-to-date functionality with existing apps. For instance, you can take advantage of Istio on GKE or Anthos Service Mesh to automate network and security policies without changing your application code. Also, you can use monitoring and logging with Cloud Logging and Cloud Monitoring by changing configurations and not changing your applications.
  • Unified policy and integrated resource management. GKE and Anthos let you focus on managing applications, not infrastructure. They offer the power of declarative desired-state management with powerful tagging strategies and selector policies.
  • Modern image-based management and orchestration. Migrate to Containers offers a unique capability to extract an image from the VM workload and construct a Docker image and related artifacts, which in turn lets you modernize their application life-cycle and operations management including integrating with a CI/CD pipeline using tools like Cloud Build to implement day-2 maintenance procedures. Furthermore, image-based management enables customers to perform rolling updates, dynamic scaling, self-healing, and more.