Google Cloud Next '21 - Highlights from the CTS GCP dream team

Five hot takes from Google Cloud Next '21

Get insights straight from our GCP team

Google Next 2021 has been a blast, we’ve spent the past few days reviewing the latest announcements and testing out what’s available. I wanted to take this opportunity to share our engineers' and architects’ favourite announcements and content.

Stuart Barnett:

Google have announced MultiCloud API for Anthos. This enables you to manage GKE clusters running on AWS and Azure infrastructure through a centralised Google Cloud-backed control plane - yes, that’s right, you can spin up Anthos GKE clusters on other clouds directly from the comfort of your own Google Cloud Console!! No more setting up of management clusters, node pools and anthos binary installs on external cloud infra - it’s all being taken care of centrally by Google in a managed control plane - you can see it in action on Azure here. MultiCloud API For Anthos is Generally Available - now!

And while we’re talking multicloud - we  now have Anthos for VMs. This allows your VMs to co-exist on the same Anthos managed control planes as your Kubernetes workloads - so they can be part of the same service mesh, and be subject to your policies and configuration controls for greater observability and security. Oh, and Anthos Service Mesh is now generally available across true hybrid (i.e. GCP/on-prem) environments - phew! All helping to make operating across multiple clouds that little bit less scary.

 

Ali Grew:

Google has also announced Cloud Build Hybrid pools using the increasingly popular open source Tekton CI/CD framework. This allows you to extend the benefits of running Cloud Build pipelines to your datacentre or other cloud platforms utilising Anthos. This in turn enables you to provide a seamless, standardised CI/CD experience no matter where you're deploying your application, accelerating delivery of value to your business.

 

Dan Brodie:

Managed service for Prometheus is now in preview. As good as Google Cloud Operations Suite can be, there's no denying that the industry standard when it comes to monitoring for Kubernetes is Prometheus.

Prometheus, however, can become extremely challenging at large scales to achieve high availability and it can be costly to retain logs, infact, there’s a whole application wrapper for Prometheus to manage this complexity - Thanos. 

Managed service for Prometheus promises to vastly simplify this by offering a Prometheus compatible and highly available service based on the same backend as Google Cloud Operations Suite but with full API compatibility with PromQL and the ability to bring all your existing Grafana dashboarding across!  Huge savings in time and complexity.

 

Richard Bennett:

Vertex AI was launched in May 2021, designed to empower data scientists and engineers to build reliable, standardized AI pipelines. Now, at Google Next 2021 - they’ve announced Vertex AI Workbench - a single unified interface for building end-to-end notebook-based workflows - with loads of awesome integrations including BigQuery and Looker. This means data scientists can easily connect to GCP services, analyze data sets and experiment faster and more efficiently!

Why should you care? These tools will enable data scientists to deploy models to production faster enabling business to get value out of their data faster and with less faff! 

 

Chris Bunch:

Sustainability - one of the more interesting releases is the Carbon Footprint calculator, promising to show live data per project on carbon consumption. You 'can’t fix what you can’t measure' of course, so this is a great first step. Worth taking a look: https://cloud.google.com/carbon-footprint 

I suspect this will play a part in all new business cases, and become a new ongoing optimisation discipline, linked to FinOps.

I also like the sound of further leadership from Google around security via this new team, plus new announcements around productising BeyondCorp Enterprise further and some nice bells and whistles around DLP in Workspace.

 

Worth a watch!

Back in 2016 when Pokemon Go was first launched - Google provided us with a great insight into how Niantic Labs managed to rapidly scale out to support their viral Pokemon Go user base! . This year, at Google Next, Google shared this fascinating insight into the Pokémon Go architecture and how it has evolved as the product has matured. https://youtu.be/YG7GXjZ8En4 

Wondering what Google Distributed Cloud actually means for businesses? Join Richard Seroter and team as they look at a fictional company facing some all-too-realistic challenges, with a whirlwind tour through some solutions using GCP modernization capabilities including VM migration, cloud native deployment, Anthos at the Edge, Anthos for VMs, AI app integration and the Anthos multi-cloud API - all in under 20 mins! You can see the interactive demo as it unfolded here - buckle up! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3T6akGdSo1M 

Quite often we get asked questions by our customers about the best ways to approach CICD. Following on from their DORA “DevOps State of The Nation 2021” findings, Google have presented their own thoughts on the topic. This is a great presentation and demo of Google's opinionated and unified view on deploying apps - the “golden path” - using open source tools like skaffold and kustomize within Cloud Code / Cloud Shell, alongside services like Cloud Build and their newly unveiled continuous delivery service, Cloud Deploy. It’s all really neatly wrapped up in 30 mins and delivered here. https://youtu.be/igEwv-epFmU 

If you’re wondering what some of the big players are using Google Cloud tech for - they don’t come much bigger than Goldman Sachs. The leading global investment bank talks about how they are using Anthos Config Management to apply consistent configurations and security policies for Google Kubernetes Engine and Google Cloud resources across clusters and projects, keeping them consistent and compliant automatically. This is a big deal for regulated environments - and it’s all held in a single source of truth (git), supporting automated workflows and accelerating dev team abilities to build new services quickly, while enforcing standard configurations with security as code and shift-left security practices. A must for anyone operating GKE at scale. See a deep dive on the  application of this unique Google offering here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5ENId064XLo 

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