Google Anthos is positioned to change cloud computing as fundamentally as Android transformed the smartphone ecosystem. Let’s examine the five primary ways in which Anthos differs from competitors AWS and Azure.
1. Anthos isn’t a cloud platform; it’s an open cloud management solution
The first thing to recognize about Anthos is that it isn’t a cloud platform like Google Cloud Platform (GCP), AWS, or Azure. Anthos is an open cloud management solution that enables users to easily manage and secure their workloads in complex multi-cloud and hybrid cloud environments.
2. Anthos manages multi-cloud environments, not just hybrid clouds
The genesis of Anthos was Kubernetes, the open-source platform Google developed to manage containerized apps in production. Because of its powerful capabilities, Kubernetes fast became the de-facto standard for orchestrating Docker containers. When enterprises expressed a strong demand to be able to run Kubernetes on-prem, Google introduced Cloud Services Platform (CSP), a software-based solution that allowed enterprises to run hybrid environments using Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) on-prem. Anthos is a rebranding of CSP, a comprehensive solution that retains all the hybrid management features of CSP while adding the ability to manage and secure multiple clouds. While AWS and Azure offer hybrid stacks, neither provider currently has a multi-cloud management solution. This brings us to our next point.
3. Anthos will play nicely with competitors’ clouds
When Google says that enterprises can use Anthos to manage and secure their entire multi-cloud environment, they mean it. Anthos will soon integrate with environments that include AWS, Azure, or both. No other cloud provider offers a management solution that integrates with competitors’ clouds. This continues Google’s long trend of investing in OSS technology that benefits everyone, from Linux cGroups technology that created the container revolution, to Kubernetes, and even to managed services like Stackdriver, which operate across clouds. Google Cloud is committed to being the open cloud.
4. Anthos runs on your existing hardware
The Azure Stack is an integrated hardware and software package that requires the purchase of specific, Microsoft-certified hardware. Similarly, Amazon Outpost currently supports exactly two (ec2 and ebs) of the hundreds of AWS services and requires the purchase of Amazon-provided hardware. One of the biggest selling points of Google Anthos is that it can run on enterprises’ existing hardware. There is no need to buy new, expensive and proprietary hardware to run Anthos — and your enterprise avoids vendor lock-in on the hardware side.
5. Anthos meets your company where it is, and sets it up right for what’s next
Unlike Microsoft and Amazon, which are holding fast to the notion that enterprises should go all-in with one cloud vendor, Anthos was designed for the real world, in which hybrid clouds will be around for the foreseeable future, and the overwhelming majority of organizations are using multi-cloud environments today. In every aspect, the Anthos platform meets your enterprise where it is, regardless of where that happens to be in the cloud migration lifecycle.
Need to run some workloads on-prem? Anthos lets you modernize in place and migrate to the cloud on your own timetable, as quickly or as slowly as you’d like. Have a need for infrastructure in places where the clouds aren’t? Anthos provides a platform for putting the cloud wherever you want it. Want to avoid vendor lock-in? Anthos not only runs on your equipment and in the clouds of your choice, but it’s built out of completely OSS software so you’re never stuck.
When comparing the Big Three cloud vendors’ offerings, the biggest difference of all may be that Google Anthos recognizes that one size definitely doesn’t fit all.