GOOGLE CLOUD users who want to introduce a slightly surrealist approach to their virtualised servers can now do so, as the company has announced that Windows Server 2012 R2 and Windows Server 2008 R2 are to be made available on the Google Compute Engine.
The company has been steadily adding support for operating systems as the Google For Work umbrella picks up pace, and the SUSE, Red Hat Enterprise Linux and Ubuntu distros are already in place.
Google describes the Windows client as based on "rapid deployments, increased uptime due to transparent maintenance, cheap and predictable block storage, and best-in-class Google Cloud Storage Nearline backup".
Microsoft Licence Mobility will allow Compute Engine users to add SharePoint, SQL and Exchange, to name just some of the supported products.
Several specific upgrades to the system have allowed Windows Support to become a desirable proposition.
"With multi-queue and generic receive offload support, Windows Server running on Compute Engine can reach up to 7.5Gbps of throughput," said Alex Gaysinsky, product manager for Google Compute Engine, in a blog post.
"This reduces the number of Windows Server instances required to serve web-based applications, and helps our customers more effectively contain their infrastructure and operational costs."
Google has confirmed that it is already working alongside Microsoft to offer Windows Server 2016 compatibility from launch.
The timing of this announcement is no coincidence. Windows Server 2003 reached end of life yesterday and nine of this month's final Patch Tuesday security fixes are aimed squarely at it.
Microsoft has started to push the message that staying on an unsupported product is not a good idea.
The idea of cloud and hybrid cloud services has blossomed since the arrival of Windows Server 2003, and the end of life is providing the perfect opportunity for alternative vendors to take a chunk of the market.
Vendors know that Windows people will take a lot to migrate off Windows, so it has to be softly, softly, one stage at a time. µ
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