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HomeCloud ComputingAnnouncing our Anthos hybrid environment reference architecture

Announcing our Anthos hybrid environment reference architecture

To help improve your security posture, improve the reliability of your applications, and reduce configuration drift in your environment, we’re excited to announce a new Anthos reference architecture.

Written in collaboration across our product, engineering, support, and field teams, this new reference architecture helps you plan, deploy, and configure the required components for Anthos hybrid environments.

Anthos hybrid environments give you the flexibility to deploy on-premises components that run container-based workloads and VMs using Anthos clusters on VMware and Anthos clusters on bare metal. You can continue to utilize existing investments in your on-premises infrastructure, and start to add components like Anthos Config Management. When you’re ready to bring everything together, you can add additional Google Cloud-based services like Artifact Registry, Cloud Monitoring, and Identity and Access Management (IAM).

The following sneak peek covers some of our best practices for architecting an Anthos hybrid environment. For more detailed guidance and planning information, see the full Anthos hybrid environment reference architecture.

When you design and deploy an Anthos hybrid environment, we recommend that you use two or more on-premises computing customer sites and two or more Google Cloud regions. In your sites, run multiple clusters. This approach is recommended for several reasons, such as:

Disaster recovery. If one cluster or site fails, you can continue to run workloads.

Multiple environments, like production and staging, to test infrastructure changes.

Different cluster types in each environment: admin clusters and user clusters. This approach separates administrative resources, which is a security best-practice.

The following diagram shows an example of an Anthos hybrid environment that’s spread across customer sites and regions, with different clusters for admin and user workloads and for production and staging:

In each site, you can use Anthos clusters on VMware or Anthos clusters on bare metal. For both products, we recommend the following:

Use a highly available (HA) control plane with three members for continued control plane availability concurrently with operating system upgrades, control plane software updates, or single-machine hardware or kernel failures.

Deploy two admin clusters so that admin cluster configuration changes and updates can be tested in the staging environment first.

The following diagram shows an example of Anthos clusters on bare metal with control plane and worker nodes spread across physical machines. With Anthos clusters on VMware, the control plane and worker nodes are spread across VMware VMs:

Configure your on-premises clusters and applications to send logging and monitoring data back to Google Cloud for analysis and review. Different personas should only be granted access to the environments they need. The following diagram shows how application developers and application or platform operators can then view logging and monitoring data in Google Cloud:

Use Anthos Config Management to manage Kubernetes objects in your clusters. Anthos Config Management is a GitOps-style tool that uses a Git repository or Open Container Initiative (OCI) as its storage mechanism and source of truth. Git provider workflows allow multiple stakeholders to participate in review of changes.

As shown in the following diagram, a common Anthos Config Management deployment uses one folder containing configuration for all clusters. Use separate additional folders to hold configuration data, one for application:

Plan and implement a way to secure the network traffic in your Anthos hybrid environment. The following services help with authentication, connectivity, and communication in a cluster:

Anthos Identity Service connects clusters to on-site identity providers to authenticate local access.

Connect gateway and workforce identity federation can provide secure cloud-mediated access to mobile workforce clusters without using a VPN.

Workload Identity provides on-premises workloads with managed short-lifetime credentials for access to cloud resources.

Anthos Service Mesh encrypts and controls communication between services in the same cluster.

The following diagram shows how Anthos Service Mesh can control the flow of traffic between services within your clusters:

You don’t have to implement all these cloud-based services as part of your initial on-premises deployments. As you become more comfortable and want to expand your capabilities, you can add in some of these hybrid offerings. But, we hope that this blog post has given you some ideas to think about when you start to plan and design your own Anthos hybrid environments.

For more detailed guidance and planning information, see the full Anthos hybrid environment reference architecture. Let us know what you think!

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