Google Advances Hybrid Cloud Strategy Based on Kubernetes

Google today announced it is making available a configuration management tool for managed instances of Kubernetes it provides in the cloud and, soon, on-premises IT environments. The on-premises capability will be provided via a Cloud Services Platform that includes instances of the managed Kubernetes service for VMware  it launched last year, and is now available in beta.

Adam Glick, lead product marketing manager at Google, says CSP Config Management will make it possible to create policies to enforce role-based access across multiple clusters regardless of where they are deployed physically. CSP Config Management automatically monitors the managed Kubernetes environment for changes from a desired state, blocking unapproved changes and generating alerts when unexpected variations are made.

CSP Config Management is integrated with Google’s Stackdriver Monitoring and Istio policy management tools, adds Glick. Those capabilities will enable DevOps teams to more easily address configuration issues that comprise the most common root causes of cybersecurity issues in the cloud, he notes.

Google is now firmly entrenched in a battle with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to extend its cloud reach into on-premises IT environments. AWS late last year announced a series of hyperconverged infrastructure platforms configured using its proprietary software that can be deployed in an on-premises IT environment. Those systems are designed to be centrally managed AWS. VMware, meanwhile, is trying to promote the adoption of its software stack across multiple public clouds that it says would become a natural extension of an on-premises IT environment. In contrast, the Google strategy counts on the highly portable nature of Kubernetes to create a common fabric between its cloud and an on-premises IT environment.

Google has not committed to any other platforms beyond VMware. But Glick says Google continues to weigh all options, including bare-metal servers, based on customer feedback.

The choice IT organizations are being asked to make going forward is whether they want to rely on managed services provided by a cloud service provider or continue to manage IT on their own. In some cases, a managed service is an attractive option because it frees up more resources for developing applications at a time when cloud computing is becoming more complex. However, many IT organizations would still prefer to become overly dependent on any one cloud computing platform. Many of those organizations are also betting that as automation becomes more sophisticated, the cost of managing multiple cloud platforms will begin to decline.

Regardless of the approach taken, the one thing that is certain is that as cloud computing continues to evolve, it’s now only a matter of time before organizations more deeply embrace best DevOps practices to bring order to what is rapidly becoming cloud chaos. With the addition of each cloud platform, the operational cost of managing different cloud environments increases exponentially. The challenge and opportunity for IT organizations now is to define a hybrid cloud computing strategy today that can stand the test of time.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.

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