Three new additions to Google's Compute Engine are aimed at enticing more Windows-using enterprises to move their workloads to Google's cloud services. Described in a blog post Monday on Google's Cloud Platform Blog, the updates are the latest in Google's ongoing efforts to compete with other cloud services providers like Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.
Through its license mobility arrangement with Microsoft, Google will now be able to support customers who want to move their Microsoft server application software licenses to Google's cloud platform without having to pay additional Microsoft fees.
Other updates include beta support on Google's cloud-based Compute Engine for users of Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter Edition, and free availability of the Chrome RDP app from Fusion Labs. In today's blog post, Google Product Manager Martin Buhr said the company would also be adding support "soon" for Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2.
Moving Toward Multi-Cloud
Google has made a number of moves this year to offer its cloud platform as a viable alternative -- especially for enterprise users -- to other cloud services providers. It's twice rolled out double-digit price cuts for its cloud services, and in September rolled out Cloud Platform for Startups, which offers $100,000 in credits to qualifying early-stage companies.
Another trend driving recent changes at Google is the growing interest among enterprises to spread out their IT services among several cloud providers rather than just one. Such a multi-cloud strategy is seen as a way to avoid vendor lock-in and give users greater choice and flexibility in services.
Having entered the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) market with Google Compute Engine in late 2013, Google is looking to expand its appeal to both new and existing users of enterprise cloud services.
"Google's strategy for Google Cloud Platform centers on the concept of allowing other organizations to 'run like Google' by taking Google's highly innovative internal technology capabilities and exposing them as services that other companies can purchase," analyst firm Gartner noted earlier this year in a "Magic Quadrant" report on cloud IaaS. "Consequently, although Google is a late entrant to the IaaS market, it is primarily productizing existing capabilities, rather than having to engineer those capabilities from scratch."
'Leave Complexity to Google'
Through Microsoft License Mobility, Google hopes to entice more customers to, as Buhr noted, "move their existing Microsoft server application software licenses, such as SQL Server, SharePoint and Exchange Server, from on-premises to Google Cloud Platform," without users having to pay any additional licensing fees.
"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," Buhr said.
The addition of Chrome RDP for Windows users on Google's cloud platform, Buhr said, will enable customers who use Chrome to "create remote desktop sessions to their Windows instances in Google Compute Engine without the need for additional software by simply clicking on the RDP button in the Google Developer Console. In addition, because Google Developers Console stores and passes the login for the Windows credentials to the RDP app, customers are able to leave the complexity of managing unique user IDs and passwords for each Windows instance to Google."
Buhr said such additions are intended to send the message that Google's cloud platform is "a great place for customers to run highly performant Windows-based workloads at scale."