It still feels like an odd combination, but Google today announced that Windows Server support on Google’s Compute Engine platform has now hit general availability. With this, Cloud Engine users are now covered by Google’s Compute Engine SLA when they run their applications on Windows Server 2012 R2 and the older Windows Server 2008 R2.
Support for the upcoming Windows Server 2016 release and the stripped-down Nano Server is already in the works, too.
This also means developers can now use Google’s platform to run their Active Directory, SQL Server, SharePoint, Exchange and ASP.NET servers. Google offers Microsoft License Mobility for its platform, so Microsoft customers can move their existing software licenses from their on-premise deployments to Google’s cloud without having to pay any additional licensing fees.
Google considers Windows Server a ‘premium operating system‘ on its platform, so it’ll cost a little bit extra to run these instances when compared to Linux distributions like Ubuntu, CentOS and Debian (SUSE and Red Hat Enterprise also fall into the premium category).
Over the last couple of months, Google added a number of new features to its virtualization stack to better support Windows Server. These include multi queue and generic receive offload support for better network performance (up to 7.5Gbps, according to Google).
Given Microsoft’s large ecosystem of independent software vendors (ISVs) who support its operating system, it’s no surprise that at least a few of these already support Windows Server on Google’s Cloud Platform, too. Google specifically singles out SwiftPage, nGenx and IndependenceIT in today’s announcement.