What is the Open Cloud?
Google’s open cloud detaches technology choices from the decision between cloud providers. The hope is to build an ecosystem of transparent, interoperable and flexible systems free from licensing costs, lock-in deals and proprietary software.
The open-source software projects that back the open cloud grant everybody the right to view, modify and distribute them. For example, Kubernetes and Isito are community-managed, publicly accessible services built around an open exchange of ideas and free from anyone’s control.
What The Open Cloud Means For You
Choosing one cloud provider requires you to balance hundreds of factors, including cost, performance, functionality and the available expertise. Further, what may be the right decision now might not meet your business needs in future, leading to costly and time-consuming migrations.
Under an open cloud system, you have the freedom to deploy your environment with and invest in any cloud provider: the Google Compute Platform, Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure or even on your existing on-premise servers. At any time, you can shift your setup to a new provider to fit your requirements for minimal effort and cost.
Hybrid and Multi-Cloud Environments
With open cloud platforms such as Google Anthos, you can even deploy your architecture across multiple providers, eliminating the need to choose at all. These environments are federated, hybrid cloud systems that can take advantage of the strengths, benefits and unique services of each provider.
A multi-cloud environment helps you work around licence costs, minimise expenditure and maximise your performance and reliability.
Even if you are already sure of your cloud provider choice, open cloud technologies give you the invaluable option to migrate your application without major disruption.
GCP’s Open-Source Integrations
Google’s commitment to open source extends beyond allowing you to migrate between providers. They actively contribute to and invest in open-source software projects and bring them to GCP as opposed to building proprietary technologies.
Take, for example, the container orchestration system Kubernetes. Originally developed and released by Google in 2014, it’s been handed over to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, part of The Linux Foundation. Development became transparent, community-led and open source. Kubernetes is now a dominant technology in its space and ready to be used on GCP, AWS and Azure.
In 2019, GCP revealed a partnership with seven companies following the open-source model: MongoDB, Redis, Elastic, DataStax, InfluxData, Neo4j and Confluent. Google plans to tightly integrate the technologies and services of each company with GCP, unifying management, billing and support.
“This (Google’s partnerships) makes it easier for our enterprise customers to build on open-source technologies, and it delivers on our commitment to continually support and grow these open-source communities.”
Google’s Commitment To Open Source
One of Google’s core company philosophies, written a few years after its founding in 1998, is that “democracy on the web works”. The open, collaborative development model that brought the internet protocol suite is proof of that.
Today, Google is using the democracy of open source as a differentiator from other services; and as a selling point alongside their performance, reliability, security and global network.