Seeking enterprise cred

Google wants your Windows apps on its cloud

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Despite what you may hear from the Linux-and-Mac crowds, a good chunk of today’s enterprise workloads run on Windows Server, which is why Google really wants them to also run on the Google Cloud Platform.

And now they can. Because [company]Google[/company] is now party to the Microsoft License Mobility program, existing SQL Server databases, SharePoint document repositories and Exchange Server mail can run on the Google Cloud Platform without having to cough up additional licensing fees to do so. At least that’s the case if they now run on Windows Server 2008 R2, support for which Google announced in March. But Google is also working on analogous support for the newer Windows Server 2012 and 2012 R2 releases, about which it will talk “soon,” according to this Google Cloud Platform blog post.

As for why a Windows shop would opt for Google’s cloud as opposed to, say, [company]Microsoft[/company] Azure, Google director of product management Greg DeMichillie didn’t hesitate to play the anti-lock-in card.

“Almost every enterprise intentionally wants to be multi-cloud,” DeMichillie noted. “Let’s face it, some of them got locked into on-prem licenses fees from vendors that were much bigger than they expected. Most companies will qualify two or three different cloud vendors.”

Plus, he noted, when customers look at Google Compute Engine’s local SSD storage and data center peering, they’ll see it “as a great place for enterprises to bring their apps” along with other perks like Google Firebase for mobile development and Big Query analytics.

Greg DeMichillie, director of product management, Google.
Greg DeMichillie, director of product management, Google.

Google has indeed been working overtime to portray its cloud as a good home for enterprise data and workloads. It sort of has to since [company]Amazon[/company] Web Services has an 8-year head start and Azure can parlay Microsoft’s branding and existing relationships with enterprise accounts. Google has made some inroads, especially among younger companies with Google Apps et al, but it’s still playing catch-up in big companies.

But I would agree that most large companies do not want to lock into one cloud vendor, and that may play to Google’s advantage.

3 Responses to “Google wants your Windows apps on its cloud”

  1. Vendor lockiin is a legitimate concern but I don’t think it’s the right reason for Google to be marketing why you should be running Windows on Google Cloud Platform. I’d suggest that cloud lock-in is much more to do with the APIs rather than the VM OSs, because ultimately you can just move the VM elsewhere. This is especially the case with Windows where you’re “locked in” with their licensing, and are probably going to be use other Microsoft products too.

    So I think this is a poor argument from Google when they have many other advantages to tout. For example, OS vendor independence (Google is neutral, Microsoft is obviously more Windows focused), better cloud products, more efficient systems and so lower cost, better SDKs for mobile, etc?

    Ultimately, I think most heavy Microsoft shops will be using Azure (many huge license deals include Azure as part of the deal). The Windows play from Google is more just a tick box for those companies that mostly run non-Windows, but have a few Windows applications they still need to support.