Comparing Anthos to other Public Cloud Service Providers
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Anthos is an enterprise-grade solution from Google aimed at nothing less than modernizing and unifying your entire server infrastructure, wherever it currently exists. Anthos encompasses a very broad spectrum of components, yet it’s still very new, so there isn’t a lot of good documentation and training material available for it yet. This can all make Anthos seem very daunting to learn, but this course aims to show you that the very purpose of Anthos is to simplify your infrastructure complexities for you.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand what Anthos is and does
  • Identify how Anthos fits in with other existing hybrid and multi-cloud solutions
  • Investigate options to modernize existing infrastructure configurations to use Anthos
  • Learn about the key components that make up Anthos, and how to configure them
  • Build and test a modern microservice application for Anthos on GCP
  • Create a CI/CD pipeline for deploying to Anthos

Intended Audience

  • Developers interested in learning about the latest in modern cloud-based development strategies


  • Familiarity with Kubernetes and GKE
  • Have a Google Cloud Platform account
  • Have the Google Cloud SDK installed and initialized
  • Have Git installed

It is also highly recommended that you have Docker Desktop and Visual Studio Code pre-installed as well.


Comparing Anthos to other public cloud service providers. In our earlier lectures, we gained a better understanding of how Anthos is actually made up of many different components, some of which may already be familiar to existing Google Cloud Platform users. In this lecture, we'll compare Anthos to current hybrid and multi-cloud solutions from Microsoft and Amazon Web Services.

Let's get started by taking a look at how Anthos compares to Amazon's hybrid cloud solution, AWS Outposts. Amazon has not been a big believer in hybrid or multi-cloud support, and has consistently nudged customers to their own hosted cloud services until very recently. The launch of AWS Outposts now permits AWS customers to run their AWS compute and storage services on-premise. AWS Outposts requires hardware provided directly by Amazon to operate, and can't run on your own existing infrastructure or on other cloud providers.

Containerized workloads can be run on AWS Outposts with ECS Anywhere or EKS Anywhere, but Kubernetes and container orchestration are in no way central to AWS Outposts, while this is an integral component to Anthos. AWS Outposts will help existing AWS customers bring some of their AWS workloads to on-premise locations, but is otherwise an inflexible hybrid cloud solution at best, and not a multi-cloud solution at all. Anthos meanwhile can be fully deployed on AWS, although the user experience getting started is not as fluid as working with Anthos on GCP.

AWS Outposts certainly took some design notes from Microsoft's Hybrid 1.0 Azure Stack. Azure Stack is also a hardware solution, which lets users run an Azure environment on-premise. It similarly does not run on your existing server infrastructure, and requires specific server hardware provided by a certified partner to operate. This at least provides more flexibility than AWS, since Microsoft is partnered with most major server hardware vendors, but still amounts to additional hardware costs to get started.

Containerized workloads can also be run on Azure Stack using Azure Kubernetes Service, but Kubernetes is not required like it is in Anthos. Microsoft has more recently released their Hybrid 2.0 solution called Azure Arc, which bears a much stronger resemblance to Anthos. Azure Arc is a software solution that can connect existing on-premise servers or servers running on other cloud providers to Azure Resource Manager. This way, all your resources can be managed from the same control plane wherever they're hosted, very much like we can do with Anthos.

Azure Arc can run containerized workloads using Arc enabled Kubernetes. Kubernetes is optional with Azure Arc, where it's central to the design of Anthos, however, Anthos is locked into GKE for container orchestration while Azure Arc can function with other Kubernetes versions. It's important to note that while Anthos aims to be a fully multi-cloud solution, support for Anthos on Azure is only in preview at this time and not generally available to the public yet.

To summarize, both AWS Outposts and Azure Stack are focused on hybrid cloud rather than multi-cloud solutions. They each allow you to bring their respective stacks on-premise, but they have specific hardware requirements and don't run on other cloud providers. Azure Arc and Anthos both have a similar notion to provide a unified control plane across all of your infrastructure, wherever it is. Azure Arc is more focused on meeting your existing infrastructure where it already resides, with Kubernetes optional.

Anthos is instead built around a concept of modernizing everything possible to use containers, with GKE running at its core. If you're already locked into the Microsoft ecosystem, Azure Arc may be a better fit for you than Anthos. Both solutions share many design similarities, but Azure Arc will feel more intuitive to use and better integrate with any other Microsoft products and services you're used to working with. Anthos on the other hand has taken a more open source approach, with a heavy reliance on Linux and many other open source components under the hood.

There's an opinionated philosophical debate to be had here regarding the merits of open source versus proprietary software design and why you might choose one over the other. Based on the name of this course and the fact that you're still here with me, I think we can probably skip that debate. In the next lecture, we'll take a closer look at how Anthos compares to and integrates with on-premise servers.

About the Author

Arthur spent seven years managing the IT infrastructure for a large entertainment complex in Arizona where he oversaw all network and server equipment and updated many on-premise systems to cloud-based solutions with Google Cloud Platform. Arthur is also a PHP and Python developer who specializes in database and API integrations. He has written several WordPress plugins, created an SDK for the Infusionsoft API, and built a custom digital signage management system powered by Raspberry Pis. Most recently, Arthur has been building Discord bots and attempting to teach a Python AI program how to compose music.