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Google adds VM support to Anthos, admits not everyone is ready for containerised everything

VMware will love this – it works by connecting to vSphere or by managing VMs with Anthos

Google has added support for workloads running in virtual machines to its Anthos hybrid Kubernetes platform.

"While we have seen many customers make the leap to containerization, some are not quite ready to move completely off of virtual machines," wrote Google Application Modernization Platform vice-presidents Jeff Reed and Chen Goldberg.

"They want a unified development platform where developers can build, modify, and deploy applications residing in both containers and VMs in a common, shared environment," the pair added.

Enter Anthos for VMs, which can either connect to existing VMware vSphere environments and attach VMs hosted there to the Anthos control plane, or shift VMs onto Anthos using KubeVirt – a Cloud Native Computing Foundation project that offers an open-source virtualization API designed to let developers work on apps running as VMs or containers.

Google says Anthos for VMs "will help platform developers standardize on an operation model, process and tooling; enable incremental modernization efforts; and support traditional workloads like Virtual Network Functions (VNFs) or stateful monolithic workloads."

That language could probably have been signed off in seconds by VMware's marketing team, as Virtzilla has spent the last three years arguing that VMs and containers must co-exist and need a single control plane to manage both abstractions. On the other hand, while Google adopting the same reasoning is validation for VMware's position, Anthos for VMs means the virtualization giant has gained a more direct competitor.

Google's also added an Anthos Multi-Cloud API that, once it debuts in Q4 2021, will allow users to "provision and manage GKE clusters running on AWS or Azure infrastructure directly from the command line interface or the Google Cloud Console". A single control plane will drive those GKE clusters, regardless of the cloud on which they reside.

That's some serious cross-cloud K8s cred.

Helping things along is an update to Anthos Service Mesh that lets it support a hybrid mesh. That should help to run hybrid Anthos rigs spanning on-prem and Google Cloud. ®

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