3 min read

Hybrid cloud is becoming an increasing reality for many businesses. This is something the software world is only just starting to acknowledge. However, at this year’s Google Cloud Next, Google does seem to be making a play for the hybrid market. Its new Cloud Services Platform combines a number of tools, including Kubernetes and Istio, to support a hybrid cloud solution.

In his speech at Google Cloud Next, Urs Holze, Senior VP of technical infrastructure, said that although cloud computing offers many advantages, it’s “still missing something… a simple way to combine the cloud with your existing on-premise infrastructure or with other clouds.” That’s the thinking behind Cloud Services Platform, which brings together a whole host of tools to make managing a cloud potentially much easier than ever before.

What’s inside Google’s Cloud Services Platform

In a blog post Holze details what’s going to be inside Cloud Services Platform:

  • Service mesh: Availability of Istio 1.0 in open source, Managed Istio, and Apigee API Management for Istio
  • Hybrid computing: GKE On-Prem with multi-cluster management
  • Policy enforcement: GKE Policy Management, to take control of Kubernetes workloads
    Ops tooling: Stackdriver Service Monitoring
  • Serverless computing: GKE Serverless add-on and Knative, an open source serverless framework
  • Developer tools: Cloud Build, a fully managed CI/CD platform

This diagram provides a clear illustration of how the various components of the Cloud Services Platform will fit together:

What’s inside Google’s Cloud Services Platform (via cloudplatform.googleblog.com)

Why Kubernetes and Istio are at the center of the Cloud Services Platform

Holze explains the development of cloud in the context of containers. “The move to software containers”, he says, “has helped some [businesses] in simplifying and speeding up how we package and deliver software.” Kubernetes has been  an integral part of this shift. And although Holze has a vested interest when he says that “today it’s by far the most popular way to run an manage containers,” he’s ultimately right – Kubernetes is one of the fastest growing open source projects on the planet.

Read next: The key differences between Kubernetes and Docker Swarm

Holze then follows on from this by introducing Istio. “Istio extends Kubernetes into these higher level services and makes service to service communications secure and reliable in a way that’s very easy on developers.” Istio is due to hit its first stable release in the next couple of days.

So, insofar as both Istio and Kubernetes make it possible to manage and monitor containers at scale, bringing them together in a single platform makes for a compelling proposition for engineers.

The advantage of being able to bring in tools like Kubernetes and Istio might make hybrid cloud solutions a much more attractive proposition for business and technology leaders – and for those already convinced, it could make life even better. According to Chen Goldberg, Google’s Director of Engineering, speaking to journalists and Google Cloud Next, Cloud Services Platform “allows you to modernize wherever you are and at your own pace.”

Whether businesses buy into Google’s vision remains to be seen – but it could well be a game-changer that threatens AWS dominance in the cloud world. 

Read next:

Go Cloud is Google’s bid to establish Golang as the go-to language of cloud

Google Cloud Next: Fei-Fei Li reveals new AI tools for developers

Dispelling the myths of hybrid cloud

Co-editor of the Packt Hub. Interested in politics, tech culture, and how software and business are changing each other.


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