Reference architecture: GKE Enterprise hybrid environment

This content was last updated in May 2024 and includes support for Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) Enterprise edition 1.29.

This page is for Cloud architects who want to design and build a Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) Enterprise edition hybrid environment. The complete reference architecture is provided as PDFs at the bottom of this page and shows you how to appropriately plan, deploy, and configure the required components for a GKE Enterprise hybrid environment. This reference architecture shows you how to integrate Google Cloud-based services with software-only deployments of Google Distributed Cloud on-premises (formerly Google Distributed Cloud Virtual), on VMware or bare metal.

The following architecture diagram provides an overview of a complete GKE Enterprise deployment in a hybrid environment that's explained in detail in the reference architecture:

A GKE Enterprise hybrid deployment architecture diagram with multiple services that run in Google Cloud connecting to on-premises clusters and applications

In the previous diagram, Google Cloud-based services help you manage logging and monitoring data, store container images, and provide configuration management. On-premises components that run in your own data center like physical or virtual servers and clusters, identity solutions, and load balancers complete the hybrid approach.

The diagram also shows some different user personas who interact with the services, such as application developers, application operators, platform developers and operators, and network operators. Each of the personas has access to the resources that they need:

To get maximum value from this reference architecture, you should already be familiar with basic GKE Enterprise concepts as outlined in the GKE Enterprise technical overview.

You should also be familiar with basic Kubernetes concepts. For more information, see Kubernetes basics, and the Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) documentation.

This reference architecture focuses on the following aspects of an GKE Enterprise hybrid environment that uses Google Distributed Cloud on VMware or bare metal:

  • GKE Enterprise architecture and components
  • Example reference deployments
  • Design prerequisites, including Google Cloud regions and sites, on-premises setup, and networking.
  • Design considerations for availability, security and compliance, scale and limits, observability, Git-ops based configuration management, and more.
  • Implementation details like logging and monitoring, permissions, and others.

Get the reference architecture

The reference architecture is published in two parts - the first part explains the architecture, reference deployments, and design prerequisites and considerations, and the second part provides the implementation details. To read the reference architecture, select one of the following PDF links:

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