Google today expanded support for Windows workloads running on its cloud, a move that the company hopes will better position its Google Cloud Platform to court enterprise customers.
Google is looking to catch up with Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure in the Infrastructure-as-a-Service market, according to researchers. Supporting Windows OSs is seen as somewhat of a table-stakes feature to attract enterprise customers. Google rolled out a preview of Windows Server OSs earlier this year, but today at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) made the Windows virtual machine images generally available on the Google Cloud Platform.
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Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2008 R2 images are now also covered by the Google Compute Engine Service Level Agreement, the company announced in a blog post today. Google will also help customers architect Windows Server deployments atop its cloud with new support packages. Google Cloud Platform also supports a wide variety of Linux OSes, including Red Hat Enterprise Linux, Ubuntu, SUSE, CentOS and Debian.
Last year when Google announced the beta of this program, it introduced Microsoft License Mobility, which allows customers to migrate their existing Microsoft application licenses into Google's cloud. So, for example on-premises licenses for SQL Server, SharePoint, Exchange Server are now valid on GCE as well.
Microsoft's WPC has included other interesting news from cloud vendors. Yesterday, Rackspace which was once a chief competitor to the Azure Cloud Platform announced it would offer support for customers who want to use Microsoft's public cloud. Rackspace extended its "Fanatical Support" to help customers deploy and manage their Azure environments. It's a pivot for Rackspace, which just a few years ago was pedaling its own OpenStack-based IaaS cloud. Rackspace has evolved to not only host its own cloud and managed services but also help customers manage cloud deployments from competing vendors.