Google Cloud's Anthos for AWS generally available, Microsoft Azure in preview

Google Cloud Anthos wants multi-cloud workloads and it is gunning to be the management plane for on-premise, cloud and edge deployments.

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Google Cloud said its Anthos platform to manage multi-cloud workloads is now generally available for Amazon Web Services with plans to add Microsoft Azure by the end of 2020.

Anthos is a hybrid and multi-cloud platform that aims to provide a management plane to multiple workloads. For Google Cloud, Anthos is a differentiator that can bring it more enterprise workloads as it competes with AWS and Azure.

Google Cloud chief Thomas Kurian has been touting Anthos as a digital transformation engine that can be used in multiple industries. The Anthos managed service is billed as a way to modernize enterprise applications. If Google Cloud is successful with Anthos and managing multiple clouds, the vendor can have higher-level discussions with customers about machine learning and services like BigQuery.

Jennifer Lin, vice president of product management at Google Cloud, said Anthos support for AWS has been piloted by a bevy of customers that use the cloud provider as well as on-premise infrastructure. Microsoft Azure support is currently in preview for Anthos. Microsoft's Hybrid 2.0 strategy: Azure Arc, Azure Stack Hub, Azure Stack Edge explained

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"A number of our customers were working through multi-cloud," said Lin. "We chose AWS first due to market demand, but Azure is in preview and close behind. We have been testing with many enterprises in multiple verticals. There is an unwillingness to be locked in."

Named customers for Anthos' multi-cloud support include KeyBank, which was a design partner, and Plaid, an analytics company. Anthos got its start by moving on-premises applications to Google Cloud from platforms like VMware's vSphere, but enterprises are mixing cloud vendors. Vendors such as Cisco and NetApp also have Anthos ready gear.

Lin said the interest in Anthos revolves around lock-in. By using tools like Kubernetes to abstract infrastructure and workloads, Anthos gives enterprises the ability to manage multiple workloads with central policies. "We are seeing a lot of response in regulated enterprise customers," said Lin.

Anthos' update includes Config Management, which allows enterprises to manage policies for virtual machines on Google Cloud like you would containers. Anthos Service Mesh will support applications running in virtual machines in the months to come.

Lin said Anthos will also be more capable on edge as well as cloud environments as it rolls out without a third-party hypervisor. Anthos on bare metal, which will be in preview later this year, can be used on edge computing deployments to maintain consistency with data centers and public clouds. Anthos will also have migration tools to modernize applications.