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Google Anthos Bare Metal vs. Do-It-Yourself Deploymentsv1.0

Table of Contents

  1. Executive Summary
  2. Drivers of On-Premises Cloud
  3. Options and Benefits for On-Premises Cloud
  4. Google Anthos Bare Metal: an On-Premises Platform
  5. Field Test Findings and TCO Analysis
  6. Conclusion
  7. Appendix
  8. About Joep Piscaer

1. Executive Summary

The transformative impact of the cloud on businesses has prompted a broad and rapid migration to cloud-first strategies. Yet as organizations transition to cloud-aligned infrastructures, they are challenged by older, monolithic applications with large data volume and processing capacity needs.

These applications are not an easy or natural fit for the cloud, for a myriad of reasons that include application size, complexity, regulatory and compliance requirements, and cost.

While the rest of the application landscape increases its improvement velocity, these laggards can become a technical and business liability. How do architects make sure the technical debt and friction don’t grow to become a threat to the business?

To get closer to a solution, we need to understand the reasons these applications stay on-premises, and consider the steps we can take to derive benefits from cloud-based models without adding undue overhead or operational burden. In short, what are the options for modernizing apps on-premises—with all the benefits of modern cloud-native technologies like containers and Kubernetes—and what are the implications of different on-premises modernization models?

In this report, we take a look at some of the options at our disposal, and explore the capabilities and benefits of each on-premises app modernization approach. To this end, we ran a field test that compares the process of deploying a sample application on the Google Anthos Bare Metal platform to the process required to deploy a similar application on a do-it-yourself (DIY) infrastructure. We learned that:

  • Kubernetes is a core enabler but should not be your core business. It is a means to an end, helping organizations achieve their strategic goals faster, cheaper, and better. The business value of Kubernetes isn’t Kubernetes itself but the technological potential it unlocks. It has massive potential to deliver business value, but the many difficult, time-consuming tasks required to operationalize Kubernetes at scale distracts engineers from realizing that business value.
  • Self-managed Kubernetes is more expensive. Organizations seek to maximize the value they get out of Kubernetes while minimizing their investments; DIY platforms do not align with these values, requiring expensive, specialized knowledge while the toil of day-to-day operations distracts the team from meaningful work. A managed, cloud-connected Kubernetes platform lowers onboarding and operational costs. Streamlined operations, simplified administration, and proximity to advanced cloud services are additional benefits.

This GigaOm Field Test report enables us to assess different approaches to run these applications on-premises and weigh the pros and cons of each. We determined that using the Google Anthos Bare Metal fully managed solution provides a measurable TCO advantage over DIY environments, and that Anthos Bare Metal offers additional benefits beyond TCO. Among the cost benefits we found:

  • 60% lower server and storage costs
  • 81% reduction in labor costs over 3-year period
  • 92% reduction in Help Desk Level 1-3 support costs

Overall, we learned that a managed platform frees up engineers’ time and resources to work on application modernization, instead of just keeping the infrastructure running. As a result, we can say that Anthos Bare Metal may be viewed as an imperative element of a forward-thinking application modernization strategy.