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Google now provides On-Prem Kubernetes

Deloitte on Cloud Blog

As the name gives away, GKE On-Prem is an on-premises version of the Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE). Now you can have Kubernetes running in a public cloud, and within your data center as well.

August 9, 2018

A blog post by David Linthicum, managing director, chief cloud strategy officer, Deloitte Consulting LLP

Chen Goldberg, Director of Engineering for Google Cloud, was the first On Cloud Podcast guest live from Google Next in San Francisco California. When asked about the most important Kubernetes announcements at Google Next, she did not hesitate to cite GKE On-Prem.

As the name gives away, GKE On-Prem is an on-premises version of the Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE). Now you can have Kubernetes running in a public cloud, and within your data center as well.

GKE On-Prem registers the clusters with Google Cloud Console, so you’ll have a single control point for your Kubernetes clusters. Indeed, the abstract layers built into GKE and GKE On-Prem allow you to move workloads from the public cloud Kubernetes to Kubernetes that exists within your data center. Thus, it has the ability to move containers, and container clusters between on-premises and the public cloud with the drag of a mouse.

So, what does this mean? It's the promise of hybrid cloud delivered. The ability to write workloads for a single platform and move them without modification between on-premises platforms, as well as between private and public clouds, has proven to be elusive.

Enter the concept of technology of containers. We now we have the ability to containerize existing applications, or write net-new container-based applications, and move them from platform to platform, cloud to cloud.

While you could always run containers pretty much everywhere, the cloud now has many of the most popular target platforms. When you need to manage container clusters with more efficiency, including providing scaling, scheduling, and cluster management, enter container orchestration tools such as Google's Kubernetes, which now raises the bar in the container orchestration space. Moreover, Kubernetes is supported by most public clouds.

The arrival of an on-premises version of Kubernetes is more about options. Enterprises looking to build container-based applications on Kubernetes are not forced to leverage a public cloud. Now they can leverage traditional servers in the data center if, for some reason, they need to build these systems on-premises, such as security and compliance issues, or for testing.

I suspect that most of those who leverage GKE On-Prem will do so paired with the public cloud deployment of GKE as well. This means they'll have a traditional hybrid cloud-type of an architecture that will actually have the ability to share and relocate workloads in and between the Kubernetes deployments. This was once a widely elusive feature, and now here it is.

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