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About Migrate to Containers

Use Migrate to Containers to modernize traditional applications away from virtual machines and into native containers that run on Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), Anthos clusters, or Cloud Run platform. You can migrate workloads from VMs that run on VMware or Compute Engine, giving you the flexibility to containerize your existing workloads with ease.

You can migrate your VMs from supported source platforms to the following:

About GKE and Anthos clusters

Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) clusters provide secured and managed Kubernetes services with autoscaling and multi-cluster support. GKE lets you deploy, manage, and scale containerized applications on Kubernetes, powered by Google Cloud.

Anthos is an application management platform that provides a consistent development and operations experience for cloud and on-premises environments. Anthos includes a set of core components, including the following:

  • Anthos clusters: Container orchestration and management service for running Kubernetes clusters in both cloud and on-premises environments. Anthos relies on Anthos clusters on Google Cloud or Anthos on bare metal to manage Kubernetes installations in the environments where you intend to deploy your applications.

  • Anthos Config Management: Defines, automates, and enforces policies across environments to meet your organization's security and compliance requirements.

  • Anthos Service Mesh: Manages and secures traffic between services while monitoring, troubleshooting, and improving application performance.

  • Anthos security: Secures your hybrid and multi-cloud deployments by providing consistent controls across your environments.

About Cloud Run

Cloud Run is a managed compute platform that enables you to run stateless containers that are invocable by web requests or Pub/Sub events. The simplified Linux service manager lets you deploy your migrated container workloads on Cloud Run.

About Migrate to Containers

For an introduction to the value of Migrate to Containers, as well as high-level views, see the following documentation:


Try the following resources to find step-by-step guidance about the migration process.


Use this quickstart to migrate a simple Compute Engine VM. This guide introduces you to the basic steps you'd perform for most Linux migrations.


Use this tutorial to learn how to move a service and its database from a VM to a GKE environment with no code changes. The sample application used is Bank of Anthos, a simulation of a retail banking service, complete with its own transaction processing network and databases.

Hands-on labs

Use the following labs to create a development environment, including a sample VM to migrate (you do not need an existing Google Account to perform these labs):

Migration steps

With Migrate to Containers, you migrate and modernize your existing workloads to containers on a secure and managed Kubernetes cluster.

The following sections describe the steps for migrating VMs to containers. Follow these sections in order—each builds on the previous.

Qualify source workloads

Determine the Linux and Windows VMs running on VMware or Compute Engine that you want to run as containers on GKE or Anthos:

Set up Migrate to Containers

Create a processing cluster to run the Migrate to Containers components that perform the transformations required to migrate a workload from a source VM to a target container:

  • For VMware, when the target is Google Cloud, there is a dependency on installing Migrate to Virtual Machines to facilitate the transfer of workloads into Google Cloud.

    Or, to migrate the application to run in a container on-premises, install Anthos on bare metal.

  • For Windows VMs, only migration from Compute Engine VMs to containers running on GKE or Anthos on Google Cloud is supported. Therefore, Windows VMs from other sources must first be migrated to Compute Engine VMs by using Migrate to Virtual Machines.

For complete instructions, see the setup steps.

Migrate Linux workloads

Migrate your workloads to containers, and then deploy the containers to a GKE or Anthos cluster on Google Cloud, or to Anthos on bare metal.


For instructions, see Uninstall Migrate to Containers.

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