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Google Cloud Platform Supports Windows Workloads

By opening up to Windows workloads, Google Cloud Platform becomes an option for businesses committed to Microsoft software.

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Add windows to a room and everything looks brighter. Add Windows to a platform and you open doors to new customers.

That's just what Google has done as it races with Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and other companies to attract business computing clients to the cloud.

Google on Monday said that customers now can use Windows-based workloads on Google Cloud Platform. The company is offering Microsoft License Mobility for Google Cloud Platform, which allows Microsoft customers to run Microsoft software on third-party services.

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"This enables our customers to move their existing Microsoft server application software licenses, such as SQL Server, SharePoint and Exchange Server, from on-premises to Google Cloud Platform without any additional Microsoft software licensing fees," said Martin Buhr, product manager at Google, in a blog post. "Not only does license mobility make the transition easier for existing customers, it provides customers who prefer to purchase perpetual licenses the ability to continue doing so while still taking advantage of the efficiencies of the cloud."

Google is also making Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter Edition available to its Google Cloud Platform customers as beta software on Google Compute Engine. Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter Edition supports as many as 64 physical CPUs, unlimited virtual image usage rights, and hot replacement of memory modules and CPUs.

Buhr said Google is working to add support for Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2.

Google is also making Chrome RDP available free to Compute Engine customers. The browser extension, normally available from Fusion Labs for $10 per license, uses Microsoft Remote Desktop Protocol to connect to Windows machines remotely. The software allows Chrome users to create remote desktop sessions that connect to Windows instances running in Google Compute Engine.

Last week, Google introduced changes in its global partner program, which was renamed the Google for Work and Education Partner Program, to offer greater revenue sharing with its leading partners. Such partners can help companies shift their on-premises Microsoft workloads into the cloud.

Buhr said that IndependenceIT, a provider of cloud management software, has certified its Cloud Workspace Suite ("CWS") with Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter Edition hosted on Google Compute Engine. CWS provides tools that allow IT administrators to deploy and oversee platform-, hypervisor-, and device-agnostic workspaces in public, private, or hybrid-cloud environments.

Last month, Google cut prices on its Cloud Platform services from 10% to 79%, after doing so earlier in the year. Amazon Web Services last week responded by cutting prices on outbound AWS data transfers from 6% to 43%.

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Thomas Claburn has been writing about business and technology since 1996, for publications such as New Architect, PC Computing, InformationWeek, Salon, Wired, and Ziff Davis Smart Business. Before that, he worked in film and television, having earned a not particularly useful ... View Full Bio

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User Rank: Ninja
12/9/2014 | 9:25:04 AM
Re: More barriers will fall
To your point, this is the first time I have actually started to consider the cloud for some of our business needs, as all of our vendors are Windows-server based.
Thomas Claburn
Thomas Claburn,
User Rank: Author
12/8/2014 | 6:25:38 PM
Re: More barriers will fall
Windows in the cloud seems like two steps forward, one step back. But maybe that's the dance businesses want do.
Charlie Babcock
Charlie Babcock,
User Rank: Author
12/8/2014 | 4:50:43 PM
More barriers will fall
Google is taking steps to bring its cloud operations into closer step with what enterprises need. Very interesting and a sign of how the old barriers will fall as everyone seeks the enterprise cloud workload.
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