Google Cloud intends to increase its market share in Windows workloads. To accelerate this, the company announced today that it now supports Windows Server containers in Google Kubernetes Engine.
For now, Google has always had a strong focus on Linux workloads, simply because there is more demand for them. As more and more companies are moving to the cloud and reducing the size of their own data centres, there is also a need to bring Windows Server workloads to the cloud. Before, this was only possible via virtual machines, while Kubernetes is becoming more and more popular.
Following in the footsteps of AWS and Azure, Google has now decided to support Windows Server workloads in its Kubernetes solution. Google Kubernetes Engine now fully supports containers with Windows Server workloads. Update management and other automatic features that Kubernetes Engine offers by default also work for these Windows Servers.
Google has also added several features to get companies more excited about Google Cloud compared to the competition. An example of this is integration with the Microsoft Active Directory platform, which facilitates the creation of Group Managed Service Accounts. These are administrator accounts for engineers who need to maintain and secure the Kubernetes infrastructure. They can also be used to change and rotate passwords automatically.
Google has adapted the Kubernetes engine for the Microsoft licensing model for Windows Servers. When creating a Windows Server container, it is possible to select how often the operating system needs to be updated. The updates can be done twice a year or every two or three years with long-term support.
At Google, there is a clear focus to make its Cloud Platform more attractive for Microsoft workloads. Enterprise companies are still choosing a lot for Azure because they already have an agreement with Microsoft. Google Cloud is the new kid on the block in this case, and that is why it is trying to be an attractive alternative in several ways. It has already introduced managed services (PaaS) for Active Directory and Microsoft SQL Server. The future will show which cloud vendor will win the enterprise.