Google Anthos – Google’s Enterprise Hybrid & Multi-Cloud Platform

At the recent Google Cloud Next 19′ conference, Anthos — an Enterprise Multi & Hybrid cloud platform — was announced.

You could feel the excitement of many Kubernetes lovers in the crowd. You could also notice that it was something the Googlers presenting it were very excited about as well. Indeed, Anthos announcement stands out.

Google Anthos provides a consistent experience — in visibility and control, wether you are running on-premise or in the cloud— together with centric consistent view on the infrastructure. Thus, it allows easier management of application across the hybrid and multi-cloud, with greater awareness, security and control — making the investment worth it with more agility and shorter time-to-market.

Anthos transforms your architectural approach, lets you focus on innovation, and allows you to move faster than ever without compromising security or increasing complexity.

Anthos is a platform composed of several technologies integrated together, rather than a single product. It is powered by Kubernetes along with other technologies like GKE, GKE-OnPrem, Istio Service Mesh and others.

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Let’s go into details on the building blocks of Anthos.


The main computing components enabling Anthos is the Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) and GKE On-Prem.

GKE On-Prem, in short, allows you to manage Kubernetes clusters where the workloads run on worker nodes on-premise (or other clouds), with the benefit of a matured & managed (GKE) Control-plane like any other GKE Cluster.

All together, it allows to manage Kubernetes installations in the environments where you need your applications to run, and more over, having a common orchestration layer that manages application deployment, configuration, upgrade, and scaling — cross cloud providers and datacenters.


In short, for gaining all of Anthos functionalities, you need to have connectivity all over. This means connectivity between on-premise datacenters to workloads deployed on the cloud and to GCP APIs. You can achieve that with managed services such as Google Cloud VPN for vpn tunnels or Google Cloud Interconnect for direct connectivity with consistent latency and high bandwidth (Dedicated or with Partner Interconnect — like with us in CloudZone)

Service Mesh

As the microservices pattern is (you could tell) the most popular today, and cloud native tools and platform (e.g. k8s) are all around us, more challenges arise when you aim to deploy these services spanning multi-cloud and hybrid-cloud. Anthos solves this using the Istio service mesh. For a high level recap on Istio check the first sections in this post about Google’s Traffic Director.

Anthos uses GCSM (Google Cloud Service Mesh), a fully managed service mesh for complex microservices architectures. GCSM manages the ISTIO mesh on both GKE & GKE On-Prem, providing the best of Istio without the toll of configuration, installation, upgrading and CA setup.

Note: if you ever tried to manage a multi-cluster mesh with Istio you would find out that setting it up and managing it is not such an easy task. having something that does it for you, cross clouds or datacenters is truly great.

Centralized configuration

Anthos provides unified model for computing, networking & service management. This enables easy resource management and consistency globally across clouds and datacenters. Anthos provide configuration as code via Anthos Config Management, which uses the Kubernetes Operator pattern which gained velocity in the last year (see the operator hub).

Anthos deploys ACM Operator to your GKE and GKE On-Prem clusters, allowing you to monitor and apply any configuration in a declarative, git committed and triggered way. In addition, this provides one source of truth and unified deployment and change management to all environments Anthos manages.

Single UI

With GKE-Connect you can register GKE On-Prem based clusters to GCP Console and securely manage the resources and workloads running on them together with the rest of the GKE clusters. This is enabled by installing the GKE Connect Agent.

You get the idea, right? Anthos in very high level, is a platform that manages compute, networking, and applications via service-mesh — across datacenters and clouds — with unified visibility and control. It is, as said , a multi-cloud and hybrid platform. Thats Awsome!

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Moreover, Anthos aims to provide cloud migration and application modernization and aims to let you convert brownfield application to Kubernetes PODs with Google’s acquired Velostrata (Cloud Migration tech) and become the first P2K (physical-to-Kubernetes) provider.

Google made a shift in collaboration around Anthos. It partnered up with leading companies, some are existing partners of Microsoft and Amazon, to make Anthos an enterprise ready platform.

One to notice is the partnership with Cisco.

Anthos will be tightly integrated with Cisco data center technologies such as Cisco HyperFlex, Cisco ACI, Cisco SD-WAN and Cisco Stealthwatch Cloud, offering a consistent, cloud-like experience whether on-prem or in the cloud

Another is with VMware, where Anthos will integrate with the NSX Service Mesh (within PKS as well) and with VMWare SD-WAN by VeloCloud.

Anthos integrated with VMware NSX Service Mesh will empower customers to cost effectively digitize their businesses, leveraging modern cloud-native and open-source technologies to build new applications and services quickly.”

There are many more vendors that join this effort for making Anthos the best enterprise multi and hybrid cloud platform. Among them are HP, DellEMC and Intel.

In addition, many ISVs also join, from beginning, in integrating their software and platform with Anthos. Among them are MongoDB, NetApp, Citrix, F5, GitLab and more.

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Anthos is available as a monthly, term-based subscription service with a minimum one-year commitment and based on blocks of 100 vCPUs, no matter where they are.

List price is $10K/Month per 100 vCPU Block in the time this post was written.

With the rise of Google Anthos, many good side effects will impact the open source community and especially the cloud native echo system, as Anthos aims to make Kubernetes-everywhere easier.

Iftach Schonbaum (Linkedin).