Google Updates Anthos with Bare Metal, AI Capabilities

In week seven of Google's nine-week online Cloud Next event (July 14-September 8), the search engine giant made a number of product announcements with the theme "app modernization."

Prominent among those announcements was an upgrade of Google's Anthos application platform, which has been enhanced with some artificial intelligence (AI) features. Launched at last year's Cloud Next conference, the hybrid multi-cloud platform comprises the Anthos Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), Config Management, Service Mesh, and security components. 

Anthos is the power behind BigQuery Omni, a multi-cloud analytics solution designed to allow users to access and analyze data across Google Cloud, Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Azure, without leaving the user interface of the  BigQuery petabyte-scale data warehouse service. The solution was unveiled during week one of the conference.

The list of AI capabilities being added initially to the platform includes Speech-to-Text On-Prem, a Google Cloud Marketplace application designed to provide full control over speech data "that is protected by data residency and compliance requirements from within the user's datacenter," the company says. The app leverages speech recognition models developed by Google's research teams, which the company claims are more accurate, smaller, and require less computing resources to run than existing solutions. The app can be deployed as a container to any GKE cluster, the company said.

Google is referring to this type of capability as "hybrid AI," which AI implemented in hybrid cloud environments.

"By bringing AI on-prem, you can now run your AI workloads near your data, all while keeping them safe," said Eyal Manor, GM and VP of engineering at Google, in a blog post. "In addition, hybrid AI simplifies the development process by providing easy access to best-in-class AI technology on-prem."

Google also announced that it is releasing a beta of Anthos for bare metal. This new capability allows Anthos to run on-prem and at edge locations without a hypervisor. By reducing Anthos' vSphere dependency, Google has cleared the way for it to becomes Google's edge platform.

"Anthos for bare metal provides a lightweight, cost-effective platform that minimizes unnecessary overhead and opens up new cloud and edge use cases," Manor said. "In fact, Google is itself an early adopter for Anthos for bare metal, working towards using it as a platform to run containers internally for our production workloads."

Google also announced the Anthos Identity Service, which extends an organization's existing identity solutions to work with Anthos workloads. The service supports OpenID Connect, which is generally available on-prem and in beta for Anthos on AWS. This support allows organizations to leverage their existing identity investments and enable consistency across environments. Google will be adding support for additional protocols in the coming months, Manor said.

And the Anthos platform is a key component of the Google Cloud App Modernization Program (CAMP), which debuted at the conference. The program was created to provide organizations with advice and a proven set of practices to guide their progress, said Oren Teich, director of product management in Google's Cloud group, in a blog post.

The CAMP program is based on six years of research by Google's DevOps Research and Assessment group (DORA) into practices that drive high performance. The program aims to help large enterprises modernize their application development and delivery and drive improvements in speed, all of which directly drives a business's bottom line Teich said.

"Google CAMP is based on our experience of driving application delivery at speed and scale," Teich said. "Examples of this scale include deploying 12M builds and running 650M test cases daily, along with processing 2.5 exabytes of logs every month and parsing over 14 quadrillion monitoring metrics."

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].