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Google adds Windows Server to Cloud Platform

Non-penguins finally allowed into Chocolate Factory's cloud club, with hybrid options

Google's Cloud Platform has offered any operating system you want, so long as it's Linux. But as of this week you can also run Windows Server in the company's cloud.

The company's spinning the addition as a hybrid cloud play, writing that many of its customers “ deploy and operate diverse sets of technologies in mixed Linux and Windows environments to serve the needs of their users.”

Because Google says “Making sure … Cloud Platform is the best place to run your workloads is our top priority” it's therefore going where its customers are by adding support for Windows Server 2008 and 2012, R2 in both cases. Microsoft's helping out by making licences portable into Google's cloud, another sign if any was needed that Redmond really is a different animal these days.

It's taken Google a while to get here: the company revealed a beta in early December 2014.

Those who fancy a spin in the Google cloud can therefore now choose between two Windows Server versions, Ubuntu, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, SUSE, CentOS and dear old Debian.

If you take the Microsoft-on-Google path, you can use a VPN to build a hybrid cloud and run up a cloudy Active Directory to stretch your on-premises rig into Google's cloud. That's not as elegant a way to do hybrid cloud as is possible with Amazon Web Services' System Center plug-in, and a long way short of Microsoft's own arrangements with the same tool, Azure Stack or Cloud Platform. But it's also a rather better than Google's hybrid cloud story on other platforms. ®

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