The search giant debuted its Anthos cloud tool on Tuesday, intended for companies to build modern, complex apps akin to popular services offered by companies like Snapchat or Uber. Anthos is essentially a rebranding of an older app-developing and IT-monitoring service that Google announced a year ago.
Google CEO Sundar Pichai announced the new tool during the company’s annual Cloud Next conference in San Francisco. The fact that Pichai announced Anthos during an opening talk suggests Google wants to send a signal to audience members that the search giant is serious about its cloud computing business, which analysts place far behind Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure in the fiercely competitive cloud computing market. Whereas the older tool worked on both Google’s cloud computing service and in-house corporate data centers, the new service works with other cloud computing services like AWS and Azure.
Anthos is based on Google’s free, open source Kubernetes tool, used to build and manage apps using a trendy technology called containers. Numerous enterprise companies like Amazon, IBM, Oracle, and Microsoft have all created paid-versions of the Kubernetes tool, highlighting the software’s growing popularity with developers.
“It brings together the simplicity of open source platforms and the freedom to choose the right cloud partner for your job,” Pichai said. “It allows you to keep using the technologies you are already using.”
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The fact that Google is making the Anthos tool compatible with rival cloud services underscores a trend of enterprise companies making their products work with competitors to follow customer demand and ensure that they can still make money if businesses choose to run their corporate infrastructure in rival cloud services. IBM, for instance, in February released a version of its IBM Watson data crunching service that customers can use on Azure, AWS, and other cloud services, as well as IBM’s core cloud service.
A Google spokesperson said that the Anthos service works with AWS and Azure, but it does not currently support cloud computing services from IBM, Oracle, or Alibaba. The spokesperson said that could change if more Google customers use those other cloud services.