2nd Watch Adds Hybrid Anthos Practice to IT Services Portfolio

2nd Watch, a provider of IT services, has extended the reach of its practice to include Google Anthos, a hybrid cloud computing platform based on Kubernetes.

The Hybrid Cloud Solutions with Anthos service includes setup, application migration and training of the Anthos platform. Other elements include an Anthos workshop; access to Migrate for Anthos tools to containerize applications; deployment of the Istio service mesh; configuration management; optimization for security, observability and resiliency; and the setting up of a post-migration image update process.

Hybrid Cloud is the second Google Cloud-centric service launched by 2nd Watch in the past few weeks. Previously, the company launched a Cloud Modernization Readiness Assessment service to help companies move their applications to Google Cloud.

Chris Garvey, executive vice president of product at 2nd Watch, says that while it’s clearly still early days as far as hybrid cloud computing is concerned, IT organizations are already employing multiple clouds that eventually will be unified under a common control plane. A recent survey of 100 IT directors published by 2nd Watch finds 76% of large enterprises are planning to diversify beyond their current cloud provider.

The bulk of the demand for external cloud expertise is still being generated by projects involving Amazon Web Services (AWS), Garvey notes. In fact, 2nd Watch this week launched a free Pre-Migration Cost Assessment Service based on an agentless tool from CloudChomp that can determine the total cost of ownership (TCO) for a project within a day.

2nd Watch also provides a service wrapped around the Microsoft Azure cloud. AWS and Microsoft Azure currently are the two most widely employed platforms, but Garvey says interest in Google Anthos is starting to build to the point at which a dedicated practice can be sustained. Not many organizations have deployed Kubernetes at scale, but Garvey says IT teams have taken note of the opportunity to deploy a standard platform on both multiple clouds and on-premises IT environments that can be managed via a common control plane.

While that approach should prevent IT teams from becoming locked into a specific platform, Garvey says IT organizations should focus on their need to shift workloads to the cloud now rather than waiting for an ideal IT strategy to manifest. As cloud computing standards continue to evolve and mature, Garvey expects potential lock-in issues to become less of a concern.

Regardless of the cloud platform selected, Garvey notes IT organizations of all sizes are increasingly relying on external service providers as trusted advisers to help navigate the thousands of cloud service options. It’s simply not feasible for IT teams to keep track of the thousands of options for deploying workloads that cloud service providers now make available, he says, noting that becomes especially challenging when organizations are accelerating the rate at which application workloads are being shifted to the cloud to enable organizations to continue to operate during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It will be up to each IT organization to determine to what degree they are comfortable relying on external IT expertise. However, as IT environments continue to become more complex the chances an internal IT team has every skill required to succeed are slim to none.

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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