Google Cloud Delivers Microsoft-Friendly Functionality Customers Have Been Calling For

Google delivered an early Christmas gift to many of its business customers on Monday, as well as the solution providers who serve them, by introducing to its cloud three new capabilities for accommodating Microsoft workloads.

The Microsoft-friendly features add to Google Compute Engine, the computing giant's IaaS offering, greater licensing mobility, Windows Server 2008 R2 availability and a free Chrome app that enables Windows remote desktops.

The new capabilities were all prompted by demand from Google Cloud Platform customers, according to the Mountain View, Calif.-based computing giant.

[Related: 6 Ways Partners Can Succeed With The Google Cloud Platform]

Sponsored post

"Our customers, large and small, have put a number of things on their holiday wish lists, including better support of their Windows-based workloads, leveraging the performance and scale of Google datacenters," blogged Martin Buhr, a Google business product manager.

"Today, we're releasing three additional enhancements to Google Compute Engine that make it a great place for customers to run highly performant Windows-based workloads at scale," Buhr wrote in a company blog.

Customers can now migrate several of Microsoft's most popular server applications to its cloud without incurring new licensing fees, including SQL Server, SharePoint and Exchange Server.

They also can provision Windows Server 2008 R2 for running workloads. The operating system was introduced to Google's cloud in beta.

Finally, Google made free for its cloud customers the RDP app that enables the Chrome browser to create remote desktop sessions for hosting Windows instances running in Compute Engine.

Two born-in-the-cloud Google partners told CRN that the new capabilities, indeed, will satisfy many of their business customers.

Allen Falcon, CEO of Westborough, Mass.-based Google partner Cumulus Global, said Cumulus plans to take advantage of the new Microsoft-enabling features by offering a range of hosted and cloud-based applications and services, especially to smaller businesses.

"For many of our customers, the Windows platform was the missing piece in Google Cloud Platform," Falcon said.

"Adding the capability with license transfer support, and providing RDP services, will go a long way towards acceptance in the SMB market," Falcon told CRN.

The new capabilities truly excite enterprises that want to use Google's cloud but need to figure out how to support legacy Windows-based workloads, David Hoff, CTO of Atlanta-based solution provider Cloud Sherpas, told CRN.

"Over the last 12 months, our cloud advisory team has consistently heard this request," Hoff said.

"The live migration technology, where Google can move a server to new hardware in realtime without skipping a beat, provides technology professionals with the confidence to deliver mission-critical applications on cloud infrastructure," he added.

With Google's large investments in its technological infrastructure and frequent price reductions, Cloud Sherpas is seeing organizations industrialize the process of moving significant portions of their data centers to the cloud, according to Hoff.

"We expect this to be a significant area of growth for Cloud Sherpas and Google in 2015," Hoff told CRN.

The free Chrome RDP app was developed by Fusion Labs. Because the Google Developers Console stores and passes the login for the Windows credentials to the RDP app, users won't need to manage unique user IDs and passwords for each Windows instance running on Compute Engine.