Google pushed its Cloud Services Platform (CSP) into beta, moving the hybrid management platform one step closer to general availability and direct competition to other platforms that allow for a single management plane for cloud and on-premises environments.
Google launched the CSP platform at last year’s Google Cloud Next event. It’s an integrated portfolio of cloud services that combines open source projects with Google’s cloud infrastructure and security services. CSP was moved to alpha late last year.
Adam Glick, lead product manager for CSP at Google, explained that research data shows 90 percent of enterprise workloads are still handled on-premises. But, 87 percent of enterprises have a hybrid environment. CSP is designed to help those enterprises take advantage of those cloud environments on their own terms.
Glick explained that the beta push includes the addition of the CSP configuration management tool, which provides for policy management across a customer’s clusters both on-premises and in the cloud. It can also monitor the CSP environment for changes to a pre-described state, alert to those changes, and block unapproved changes.
“With CSP we are bringing the cloud to our customers,” Glick said. “They didn’t have a consistent experience, which has hindered the adoption of cloud. But by using cloud native we are making it easier for them.”
The CSP Config Management platform also integrates with the Istio service mesh. This provides a scalable way to handle policy enforcement and encrypt traffic without needing to change code.
The CSP platform currently only supports direct management between GCP and an enterprise’s on-premises environment. However, Larry Carvalho, research director for IDC’s Platform as a Service (PaaS) practice, noted that with the CSP platform being based on Kubernetes, portability is made easier and “should not be a show-stopper.”
The CSP platform is important for Google as it looks to grab a bigger stake in the lucrative enterprise cloud market. The platform specifically goes up against similar models from cloud rivals Microsoft and Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Carvalho said that the research firm’s data shows growing enterprise interest for hybrid cloud deployments, “so this does put GCP on the radar for customers.”
“A hybrid offering will make it hard for customers to ignore GCP as a viable alternative to their cloud adoption plans in conjunction with the other hyperscale cloud providers like AWS and Azure,” Carvalho added.
Microsoft’s platform is Azure Stack, which the company launched in late 2017. It lets enterprises build a private-cloud version of the Azure public cloud in their own data centers.
AWS teamed up with VMware in 2017 on a hybrid cloud service called VMware Cloud on AWS, and it unveiled Outposts at last year’s re:Invent show. AWS is again partnering with VMware on the new platform that can manage compute and storage hardware for customers to run in their private data centers and connect those on-premises environments to AWS’ services in the public cloud.
One challenge for Google will be in garnering trust in the platform for risk-averse enterprise customers. Carvalho noted that those customers “do not take risks and Google needs to prove success quickly while in beta before they get a broad intake of customers.”