Google gets increasingly deterministic to dominate hybrid cloud

Google Cloud

Google Cloud is sticking to an aggressive timeline to hit general availability for its Cloud Services Platform service, which it released in beta last month in a bid to capture the hybrid cloud market.

Google sketched out its designs on the hybrid cloud space when it first debuted CSP last year, and the hybrid thrust was made more apparent last month when the service moved into beta. Eyal Manor, vp for Google Cloud, said in a blog post that Google Cloud, aimed to build “a software-based, hybrid offering that brings Google Cloud services into your on-prem infrastructure using the power of Kubernetes and Istio to meet you where you are.”

Adam Glick, Product Marketing Lead, Google Cloud Platforms Infrastructure & Tools, speaking to Devclass last week, said the plain fact was “most workloads are still on premise” and “87 per cent of organisations have adopted a hybrid stance on that.”

Other cloud providers – and let’s be honest, there’s really only two that count – were trying to sell “basically a package version of their cloud” sometimes involving additional hardware, he said. Ultimately, he said, this means customers “are being forced to adopt cloud and modernise, or keep things on premise and stay the way they were.”

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“We want to take a software approach that allows them to utilise their existing hardware, allows them to run what they want where they want, and allows them to modernise,” Glick explained. “But they haven’t had a consistent platform that allows them to do that. And that’s what CSP brings to both development and operations teams […] whether they’re on prem on in the cloud.”

The platform consists of four elements: the Google Kubernetes Engine; Istio, the service mesh pioneered by two of the Kubernetes originators; CSP Config Management; and a Marketplace.

Of the four, it is the Configuration Management element which has become more fleshed out with the beta release. Glick said that CSP would be “fairly unique in its ability to do deterministic configuration…it actually says ‘define what the end state looks like and let the systems make sure”. The system can be self-healing.”

At the same time, it could take care of compliance, he said. “If someone says ‘add an additional node’ or changes something, it will give the option to block that outright or have a more permissive mode where changes happen but you have alerting mechanisms.”

This might seem as if precious little space might be left for traditional configuration management tools. Glick said, “It all depends on how someone would use it.” When it comes to setting up virtual machines, cloud native container applications or networking within the Kubernetes infrastructure, including multiple clusters across locations, “[CSP] plugs in to take care of all those pieces.”

But, he continued, “I think it could work very well in convert with those [Chef, Puppet, etc] rather than necessarily in opposition”.

Glick claimed CSP’s proposition had already resonated with customers, with its alpha programme slots being filled within minutes when it launched in the last quarter of last year

The service hit beta last month – a cadence which might suggest a fully-fledged service next quarter. Glick refused to be pinned down on a date, but said “we are aiming to continue that rapid pace, because the demand we are seeing, especially from highly regulated organisations, really is accelerating what we’re doing with this work.”

“The pace we’re moving with this is fast, even for Google Cloud,” he said.

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