At the Google Cloud Next 2019 conference, Google announced it will make available cloud services based on Kubernetes under the brand name Anthos on its own cloud and on-premises platforms, as well as on third-party cloud services. such as Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. Google also announced a tool dubbed Anthos Migrate that enables any virtual machine to be encapsulated in a container that then can be migrated on to Anthos Migrate. More than 30 vendor partners, including Cisco Systems, Hewlett-Packard Enterprise (HPE), Lenovo, Dell EMC, VMware and Intel, announced their support for the latest expansion of the Google hybrid cloud strategy.
Google also is now making available in beta a runtime for the Apigee API management platform that can be used anywhere. Dubbed Apigee hybrid, Google acquired the API management platform in 2016.
In addition, Google is making available a managed set of database services in collaboration with Confluent, MongoDB, Elastic, Neo4j, Redis Labs, InfluxData and DataStax.
The company also announced Cloud Run, a managed serverless computing offering based on the Knative middleware Google developed to make it possible for applications running on Kubernetes clusters to dynamically invoke a serverless computing framework. Google also announced it is updating its App Engine serverless computing framework to add support for Node.js 10, Go 1.11 and PHP 7.2 runtime in general availability and Ruby 2.5 and Java 11 runtimes in alpha.
Finally, Google updated both its functions programming framework and virtual private connection (VPC) software used to create virtual private networks, while also revealing it has added regions in Salt Lake City and Seoul, South Korea. In all, there are now 22 GCP regions.
Like other cloud service providers, Google continues to invest heavily in managed services through which it essentially functions as the IT operations team for application developers. In the case of the databases Google is making available as a managed service, those offerings are distinguished by the fact that they are being delivered in collaboration with the companies that oversee the open source projects that maintain and update those databases.
DevOps teams will, of course, need to determine to what degree they want to deploy and manage open source databases in the cloud versus relying on Google and its partners. Mavinder Singh, head of infrastructure partnerships for Google Cloud, predicted the long-term trend will be to rely more on databases delivered as a service to allow organizations to focus more resources on developing applications.
The challenge DevOps teams increasingly face is that next phase of cloud computing is considerably more complex than the previous phase. In the first phase of cloud computing most organizations replaced an on-premises IT environment based on virtual machines from VMware with virtual machines made available of cloud infrastructure. The second phase is more complex in that monolithic applications are now being eclipsed by so-called cloud-native applications based on instances of Kubernetes clusters running on top of virtual machines that are augmented by serverless computing frameworks. Most IT organizations don’t yet have the skills required to deploy, manage and secure those cloud services on their own. In time, however, as it becomes easier to automate the provisioning of the platforms required to run cloud-native applications, many IT organizations may prefer to rely on their own internal DevOps team versus contracting for a managed service, especially if those managed services don’t conform easily to the DevOps processes those organizations have adopted.
It may take a while for organizations to determine which path forward ultimately suits them best. But the one thing that is clear is that cloud service providers are investing heavily in providing managed services direct to developers to add value on top of what have rapidly become commodity IT infrastructure services.