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Bridging the Hybrid-Cloud Divide: Unleashing the Power of Google Anthos and Azure Arc

Your enterprise is embarking on a journey towards the cloud, but significant challenges lie ahead. As you strive to modernize your on-premises workloads for better flexibility, scalability, and resilience, they stubbornly resist, burdened by performance limitations and data gravity. Meanwhile, your developers eagerly embrace the cloud, leaving these workloads behind. However, fear not, for both Google and Microsoft offer solutions that empower your team to run and modernize your workloads, whether on-premises or in any environment, with a consistent developer and operational experience. Enter the game-changers: Google Anthos and Azure Arc.

By addressing the challenges of modernizing on-premises workloads while harmonizing your cloud and developer landscape, both Anthos and Arc offer compelling strategies for achieving enterprise transformation. Let's dive into these remarkable platforms and explore how they pave the way for a seamless transition to the cloud, ensuring your workloads thrive in any environment, wherever you need them.

Google Anthos

Google Anthos is a revolutionary cloud platform that allows organizations to build, deploy, and manage applications consistently across on-premises, Google Cloud, and other cloud environments. It provides a unified experience for developers, offering a comprehensive set of tools and services to enable modern application development and operations. Anthos leverages Kubernetes as its foundation, providing a flexible and portable runtime environment for containerized applications.

Azure Arc

Azure Arc, developed by Microsoft, is a versatile solution designed to extend Azure services and management capabilities to any infrastructure, whether it be on-premises, multi-cloud, or edge environments. By utilizing Azure Arc, organizations can centralize their operations, gain a unified view of resources, and apply Azure governance and security policies across diverse environments. It enables businesses to adopt a consistent approach to deployment, management, and governance of their applications and infrastructure.

It’s A Close Match

Addressing the same challenges

Both Google Anthos and Azure Arc aim to address the challenges associated with hybrid-cloud and multi-cloud deployments. They provide a unified platform to manage applications and infrastructure across diverse environments, minimizing complexity and increasing operational efficiency. By offering a consistent development and operations experience, both platforms empower organizations to streamline their workflows and reduce silos.

Kubernetes under the hood

Both platforms heavily rely on Kubernetes as a core component of their infrastructure. Kubernetes provides a robust foundation for managing containers and orchestrating workloads, ensuring seamless scaling, resiliency, and resource utilization. Leveraging Kubernetes allows Anthos and Azure Arc to provide a consistent application runtime across different cloud and on-premises environments.

Unified development and operation experience

Both platforms prioritize user experience and provide intuitive interfaces and tools for developers and operators. They offer unified dashboards, centralized management consoles, and consistent APIs, simplifying the management and monitoring of applications and infrastructure. Developers can leverage familiar tooling and APIs, irrespective of the underlying infrastructure, ensuring a seamless experience across hybrid and multi-cloud deployments.

The Cloud Native School vs the Integrative School

Different design goals

Google Anthos emphasizes a "cloud-native" approach, encouraging the development of containerized applications and microservices architectures. It provides comprehensive tools for building, deploying, and managing applications natively in Kubernetes. In contrast, Azure Arc takes a broader approach by extending Azure services and management capabilities to existing infrastructure, enabling organizations to bring their existing resources under centralized management.

Open source vs more provider-native software stack

Anthos leverages a stack built on open-source technologies such as Kubernetes, Istio, and Knative, offering flexibility and extensibility for application development and operations. Azure Arc, on the other hand, integrates with Azure services and utilizes Azure Resource Manager (ARM) for managing resources across hybrid-cloud and multi-cloud environments. Microsoft provides a range of Azure services that can be extended and deployed through Azure Arc.

Developer-centric vs more integrated user experience

While both platforms prioritize user experience, there are nuances in the way they approach it. Anthos provides a more developer-centric experience, offering tools like Cloud Code for integrated development environments (IDEs) and Anthos Service Mesh for observability and traffic management. Azure Arc, being an extension of Azure services, provides a user experience that aligns closely with the Azure ecosystem, enabling organizations to leverage existing Azure tooling and services across various environments.

Who’s the Winner?

When evaluating Google Anthos and Azure Arc for hybrid-cloud and multi-cloud deployments, it's essential to consider the factors that may sway organizations towards one platform over the other. Let's explore some key considerations that may influence the decision-making process:

Cloud Provider Preference

Organizations already invested in a specific cloud provider's ecosystem may lean towards the corresponding hybrid-cloud platform. If a company predominantly utilizes Google Cloud services, Google Anthos may be a natural choice due to its seamless integration with Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Similarly, businesses already leveraging Microsoft Azure services may find Azure Arc's integration with the Azure ecosystem advantageous.

Application Architecture

The desired application architecture can play a significant role in platform selection. If an organization aims to adopt a cloud-native approach, leveraging microservices and containerized applications, Google Anthos provides a comprehensive suite of tools tailored for these scenarios. On the other hand, Azure Arc may be more appealing to organizations looking to extend their existing applications and infrastructure to the cloud in a unified manner.

Open-Source Technology Stacks

For organizations that prioritize open-source technologies and desire flexibility, Google Anthos's reliance on open-source components like Kubernetes, Istio, and Knative may be a compelling factor. This allows developers to benefit from the vibrant open-source community, leverage community-driven enhancements, and ensure compatibility across various environments. Azure Arc, while not purely open-source, provides seamless integration with Azure services, allowing organizations to leverage the extensive capabilities offered by Microsoft's cloud ecosystem.

Familiarity and Skill Set

The existing skill set and familiarity of an organization's development and operations teams can influence platform selection. If the teams are well-versed in Google Cloud technologies and Kubernetes, adopting Google Anthos may require less training and enable a smoother transition. Conversely, organizations already proficient in Azure services may prefer Azure Arc as it aligns with their existing skill set.

Ecosystem and Integration

Considering the broader ecosystem and integration capabilities can also be crucial. Google Anthos offers integrations with various Google Cloud services, such as Cloud Functions, Pub/Sub, and BigQuery, providing a cohesive experience within the Google Cloud ecosystem. Azure Arc, on the other hand, extends Azure's extensive set of services, including Azure Functions, Azure Data Services, and Azure Logic Apps, allowing organizations to leverage a wide range of offerings.

It's important to note that the choice between Google Anthos and Azure Arc depends on a multitude of factors specific to each organization's needs, goals, and existing infrastructure. Evaluating these factors carefully ensures that businesses make an informed decision that aligns with their long-term objectives and maximizes the benefits of hybrid-cloud and multi-cloud deployments.


In the journey towards the cloud, enterprises often face challenges when modernizing on-premises workloads while developers embrace the cloud. Google Anthos and Azure Arc offer compelling solutions to bridge this divide, providing a consistent developer and operational experience across hybrid and multi-cloud environments. Both platforms address similar problems and share design patterns, utilizing open-source technologies. However, they differ in their underlying stacks, ecosystem integrations, and user experiences. When choosing between the two, consider factors such as cloud provider preference, application architecture, open-source reliance, team familiarity, and ecosystem integration. 

Now that your enterprise has chosen the right platform, whether Google Anthos or Azure Arc, it's time to focus on the key next steps for a successful cloud transformation. First, assess and prioritize your on-premises workloads for modernization, identifying those with the highest impact. Second, develop a comprehensive migration plan, considering data migration, application refactoring, and security requirements. Finally, invest in upskilling your teams, ensuring they have the necessary knowledge to leverage the platform's capabilities effectively. By following these essential steps, your enterprise can pave the way for a seamless transition to the cloud, unlocking the full potential of your workloads and positioning your organization for growth and agility.



Michael Han

DevOps Consultant
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