Explaining the Basics of Anthos
Explaining the Basics of Anthos

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.


Explaining the basics of Anthos. So what is Anthos, exactly? Anthos is the first real unified cloud stack that allows developers to truly write once and run anywhere. The current state of cloud computing is in some ways similar to the early days of web hosting. Ideas are brand new, and brands are trying to establish themselves as the standard in these new cyberspaces, before any industry standards have yet been defined. This can lead to a fragmented and frustrating environment for a developer to work with.

In the early days of web development, this meant headaches dealing with browser compatibility issues. For today's cloud developers, there are similar headaches making our code run the same across different platforms and providers. Anthos aims to solve this problem by creating a single platform that can be deployed anywhere. We'll see that Anthos is built with many other Google technologies under the hood, but they're packaged together in such a way that you can run the same Anthos deployment on other service providers, or even on your own on-premise server hardware.

While other service providers offer some hybrid cloud solutions, Google is the only major provider focused on a truly multi-cloud container-based solution with Anthos. Anthos is about more than just avoiding vendor lock-in. It also features a unified control plane and service mesh, which we'll talk about in more detail later. This lets you monitor and manage resources across multiple Anthos deployments together as if they were a single entity, and makes it possible to define very simple network rules to route traffic between applications that may be hosted in completely different locations.

The most important thing to understand at this point is that Anthos isn't a singular thing, but a collection of technologies all working together in a unified way. Let's take a quick look at each of these key components to get a better understanding of how Anthos functions as a whole. Anthos GKE. Google Kubernetes Engine is at the heart of basically everything Anthos does. Kubernetes is a container orchestration system, and a container is like a small immutable virtual machine that runs a single application.

By running processes as containers then managing these containers with GKE, Anthos is able to run the same code consistently across different providers running on different hardware.

Cloud Build. Cloud Build is the component that makes Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery possible on Anthos. Cloud Build is used to package our application code into containers, which we can then deploy and manage with GKE. We can create triggers to automate deployment of new container builds when updates to our code are detected.

Anthos Service Mesh. Networking application components together across multiple hosting environments is no longer a chore with Anthos Service Mesh. We only need to define simple application-based rules to get our services talking to each other securely, regardless of where they're actually hosted. Anthos Config Management. We can define security guardrails for all levels of our infrastructure and automate policy enforcement using Anthos Config Management. Instead of chasing after network policies, access control policies, or resource quotas, we can define all of these parameters in config files, and they are validated and enforced for us by Anthos.

Operations Suite. The same logging and monitoring suite built into Google Cloud Platform is also baked into Anthos. No digging around in SSH terminals looking for log files, we can now very easily get reporting from all levels of our application stack in just a single place.

Migrate for Anthos. Migrate for Anthos is the secret sauce that makes Anthos a mouth watering option for large enterprise operations that are entrenched with existing infrastructure. With Migrate for Anthos, we can turn applications running on bare metal servers into virtual machines, and we can then turn those virtual machines into containers that we can manage with Anthos GKE.

Anthos on bare metal. Sometimes for legacy support or specific performance reasons it's still necessary to run certain operations on bare metal servers. For this we have Anthos on bare metal, which allows us to hook physical server applications into the Anthos control plane so they can be managed and monitored with Anthos and easily networked with other Anthos resources without any migration required. We won't really be going into much more depth on Migrate for Anthos or Anthos on bare metal in this course, as these components really deserve an entire course of their own.

It's these components in particular that will help Google make inroads into the enterprise marketplace. With these tools, systems administrators can start working with Anthos right away using their existing infrastructure, then phase out legacy servers over time as applications are modernized to run in a containerized environment instead. Anthos is built specifically with this mentality of modernization rather than migration of infrastructure in mind.

For this course, we're going to focus primarily on developing for Anthos on Google Cloud Platform, and not on its on-premise modernization features. In the next lecture, we'll take a closer look at how exactly Anthos fits in with the rest of Google Cloud Platform.

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.