Google has announced earlier this week that Windows Server support has been made generally available for it’s Compute Engine platform, and with this, brings a viable alternative to similar services offered by the likes of Amazon and their AWS platform, allowing scalability and a plethora of options when it comes to setting and spinning up ‘virtual server’ instances within its IaaS platform.
Developers will now be able to use the platform to run Active Directory, SQL Server, SharePoint, Exchange and ASP.NET servers. Microsoft License Mobility is also supported by the platform, meaning that Microsoft customers can move their existing software licenses from other deployments to Google’s cloud without having to pay any additional licensing fees.
This all means that Cloud Engine users are now covered by Google’s Compute Engine SLA when it comes to running apps on Windows Server 2012 R2 or Windows Server 2008 R2. Google have also announced upcoming support for Windows Server 2016, so this would be a great way to setup a virtual instance of it to test with in the interim.
Google has quite a way to go before it can match the options and integration with other services offered by AWS, however they have mentioned that SwiftPage, nGenx and IndependenceIT are some of the few vendors officially supporting Windows Server on Google’s platform.
If you do decide to try out out Windows Server on Google’s Compute Engine, you should bear in mind that it is considered one of it’s ‘Premium Operating Systems‘ so you will be paying a little more per instance to get it running compared to some of the cheaper Linux distributions available.
As people are becoming more receptive to Cloud technologies, and more people/businesses in general are switching to IaaS to run things their own way to save on costs, this can only be a good thing for all, as it should help drive down prices all around as AWS and Google (and Microsoft Azure to some degree) can now compete to be the first to offer even cheaper options in the race to the bottom.