Google Anthos transforms enterprise data environments by removing the complexity from managing hybrid and multi-cloud infrastructures, driving efficiency and innovation, cutting costs, and enabling more robust cybersecurity and compliance. But, what are the potential use cases for Google Anthos, and what might implementation look like in your organization? Here are the top 3 Anthos use cases:
Use GKE On-Prem to blend on-prem & cloud infrastructure
In many cases, enterprise plans to migrate to the cloud are stymied by significant existing investments in on-prem hardware and applications, including mission-critical legacy apps that cannot realistically be rewritten. Even in cases where enterprises are willing to forgo these investments, compliance mandates may prevent them from doing so. Organizations in highly regulated industries are commonly required to run their most sensitive workloads on prem.
The good news is that cloud migration is not an all-or-nothing proposition. Anthos includes GKE On-Prem, which enables enterprises to containerize all of their applications and run them anywhere, allowing them to benefit from cloud technology.
International bank HSBC has adopted a cloud-first mindset even while keeping many critical workloads, including its core banking systems, on-prem. Google Anthos gives HSBC a consistent platform and greatly simplifies the management of its highly complex data environment, which includes multiple public clouds. GKE On-Prem allows the bank to modernize in place, at its own pace, gradually replacing on-prem apps with cloud solutions whenever feasible.
Get one unified management console for your entire multi-cloud environment
Multi-cloud is by far the preferred strategy among enterprises today. Using more than one public cloud vendor allows companies to take advantage of the best features of each platform and run the right workloads in the right cloud at the right time. Other benefits of a multi-cloud approach include greater redundancy and avoidance of vendor lock-in. However, multi-cloud environments are highly complex and notoriously difficult to manage. Currently, IT and cyber security teams must use different dashboards and tools for each cloud deployment, which is tedious, time-consuming, and error-prone, and makes it difficult for them to get the big picture of what’s going on across their data environment as a whole.
Google Anthos is the first cloud management solution that supports not just hybrid cloud but also multi-cloud environments. With a few clicks, enterprises can use Anthos to move workloads between public clouds with no code changes, as well as automate security and policy at scale across all of their deployments.
During a session at Google Next ‘19, Twinkle Desai, VP of Technology at Kohl’s, described the company as both “a retailer and a tech company.” When running its workloads on-prem, Kohl’s struggled with issues of scalability and reliability, especially during peak periods, such as Black Friday and Cyber Monday. The retailer was paying year-round for capacity that it needed for only a few weeks at the end of each year.
Kohl’s knew it needed to move to the cloud to support its goal of creating a seamless customer experience across its digital and mobile channels, as well as its network of over 1,150 brick-and-mortar locations. However, Kohl’s wanted to avoid vendor lock-in, and they also didn’t want their internal IT teams having to work with multiple toolsets to manage multiple public cloud deployments. They wanted a centrally operated, cloud-agnostic multi-cloud management solution that was cost effective, secure, and highly available.
Google Anthos, Desai said, was “the perfect fit,” an integrated, end-to-end solution that it could use to manage all of its cloud deployments. Kohl’s is now using Anthos to integrate all of its payloads into a multi-cloud environment, enabling them to develop new omnichannel customer experiences. The company anticipates that about 70% of its workloads will soon be running in the cloud, managed by Anthos.
Automatically migrate VM’s to Google Kubernetes Engine with Anthos Migrate
Traditionally, enterprises had only two choices when migrating their on-prem workloads to the cloud. They could migrate first and containerize later, or containerize first and migrate later. Neither was a particularly attractive option. Large companies typically have hundreds, if not thousands of legacy apps, all of which would have to be manually refactored to be containerized.
Thanks to Anthos Migrate, this explicit choice is no longer necessary. Companies can now simultaneously migrate and containerize VM apps so that they can be run and managed through GKE, with no manual refactoring necessary. Organizations can then immediately begin taking advantage of the many benefits of containerization, such as greater visibility and no longer having to worry about OS patches, networking security, visibility, monitoring, logging, and many other maintenance tasks. These capabilities, all native to Kubernetes, can be further enhanced using the Istio service mesh. Best of all, none of this requires any changes to the original source code.
Cardinal Health, an international distributor of medical and pharmaceutical products, had a mission to keep healthcare costs for consumers low by cutting their internal costs. They saw a major money-saving opportunity in eliminating the inefficiencies of managing on-prem infrastructure, including a byzantine hardware acquisition process, extra labor costs, and tech sprawl from idle, unused hardware. They also needed the agility to keep up in a highly dynamic and competitive marketplace, which on-prem couldn’t provide. The cloud was their best option.
Beginning with Velostrata and, later, Anthos Migrate, Cardinal Health moved thousands of systems into GCP in only a couple of years. The company now estimates they are about 80% complete. Among other benefits, Cardinal Health can now run extremely heavy workloads that required NFS on-prem but now run in production on GCP.
These three major use cases for Google Anthos can be implemented separately or together. The possibilities are limited only by the imagination.