Microsoft, Amazon, and Google are all fighting for a piece of the mutli-billion dollar IT budget pie. While on-premises deployments are not going away anytime soon, cloud spending has been growing at double and triple digits rates for Microsoft and Amazon.
Google, who offers its Google Cloud Platform (GCP), said last year that the company would be building out twelve new data centers and is investing billions into becoming a serious enterprise competitor. This week, the company announced further expansion of supporting Windows on GCP with the hope to attract new users to its cloud platform.
Google is bringing pre-configured images for Microsoft SQL Server Enterprise and Windows Server Core to its cloud platform. In addition, the company has announced support for SQL Server Always On Availability Groups and persistent disk snapshots integrated with Volume Shadow Copy Service (VSS) on Windows Server.
For Google customers, this is obviously good news as it makes it easier to use one of the industry-standard database tools and Microsoft should not be upset by this news as they still earn revenue from licensing the software. Even if you are not using GCP but use Azure or AWS, this is also good news as it gives the industry more options about where to run SQL server which, if this service grows significantly, can put a negative pressure on cloud pricing and make theses service more affordable for everyone.
As to why you might choose GCP over Azure and AWS, for those who use containers, Google’s Kubernetes is highly regarded by developers as being better than its competitors. Further, because Google has proven that it can build out large scale infrastructure (Google Search), the underlying technology of GCP is believed to be superior. But, there is also concern about the support Google provides for its cloud services when compared to Amazon and Microsoft as the company does not have the best history of long-tailed support that the enterprise demands.
Google is hosting it’s Cloud Next conference in early March where it is expected that the company will announce new technologies to help attract enterprise customers. Also, it wouldn’t be surprising if they reveal that some of their new data centers are coming online as well.