Google just released its hybrid cloud management service, Anthos. That itself isn’t a surprise – it’s been in beta for almost a year as the Google Cloud Services Platform. What is interesting is that it works with not only Google Cloud, but also with other clouds such as Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, as well as with on-premises systems.
That makes it not only a hybrid cloud workload management platform, but a multi-cloud platform as well. At ClearSky Data, we’ve supported a multi-cloud strategy with our data storage service from the get go, and we’re glad to see Google embracing multi-cloud too.
To be fair, it’s clear to anyone looking at the trends that multi-cloud is not just the future, it is essentially the default present state for most enterprises. A report from IBM last year showed that 85% of enterprises are using two or more cloud services for application delivery or data storage. If that isn’t enough to cement the idea that multi-cloud use is here and growing, another survey from RightScale showed that, enterprises already use an average of five cloud services. That’s right, five different clouds.
The need for multi-cloud management
So Anthos is a cloud workload management platform that includes multi-cloud capabilities. That’s good, because there’s a definite need for this kind of service. Remember that 2018 IBM survey, which found that 85% of companies use at least two cloud providers? It also found that less than half of them have a multi-cloud strategy. A whopping 59% have no multi-cloud system in place, so they are managing each cloud service they use separately and individually, in silos.
Managing each cloud individually rather than managing the entire multi-cloud environment holistically can cause huge problems. At the very least, it creates unnecessary complexity, which creates extra work for IT administrators, which means higher costs. The cloud services themselves can also increase costs, as the inevitable data sprawl will result in IT purchasing more capacity than they actually need, plus all the extra fees associated with moving data out of a public cloud. Data security becomes a greater problem. Moving data from one cloud provider to another without some form of centralized management makes it difficult to guarantee end-to-end encryption.
Read about the three biggest management concerns with multi-cloud by our CTO, Laz Vekiarides
Finally, Google Anthos is based on a number of open source systems, the most central of which is the Google Kubernetes engine. And Kubernetes is not known for handling storage well. This is understandable – Kubernetes is a container orchestration tool, intended to make applications portable from on-premises to multiple public clouds. Those applications for the most part require persistent stateful storage, meaning that as they get shifted from one image of a server to another, they can lose the connection to the storage they need to function.
Google handles storage for Anthos with a new Anthos Storage API, developed in conjunction with Robin.io, a company which provides a hyperconverged storage platform based on Kubernetes. That addresses the problem of having persistent state data that’s connected to applications as they move from virtual image to virtual image. But it doesn’t solve the core need for proper management and protection of that data.
The ClearSky approach
That’s where ClearSky Data comes in. Our storage service is hybrid and multi-cloud through and through. All of the data from a ClearSky customer is stored in multiple locations within the public cloud. To provide performance, hot data is cached on-prem, and both hot and warm data are cached at our local point of presence (PoP) to ensure performance as well as immediate and complete data protection. All data is automatically and fully protected, with no replication required. And ClearSky never charges egress fees for moving data out of the cloud. Customers get a single, durable copy of their data and pay only for what they use, scaling up or down on demand.
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From a security standpoint, ClearSky moves data between all of those locations along private, dedicated lines, which is included as a part of the service, further improving both performance and security. So in addition to all data being encrypted both at rest and in transit, that transit isn’t over the noisy public Internet where data is at increased risk from both malicious actors and simple mismanagement errors.
Multi-cloud is clearly the future of enterprise IT, and it’s good to see Google recognizing it. It will be interesting to see whether AWS and Azure follow suit by adding multi-cloud management capabilities of their own.
Interested in learning more about ClearSky and multi-cloud storage management? Watch our on-demand webcast, multi-cloud is the new normal and hybrid cloud is inevitable. Or see for yourself how it works by signing up for a free demo of our service.