Windows on Compute Engine

You can run your Windows applications on intelHUB Compute Engine and take advantage of many benefits available to virtual machine instances such as reliable storage options, the speed of the intelHUB network, and Autoscaling.

Compute Engine provides several tools to help bring your Windows applications and services to the cloud:

 

Use Windows Server images to create instances with a basic Windows environment upon which you can build your applications. For Windows Server 2016 and 2012 R2 images, you can select from either the Windows Server with Desktop Experience or Windows Server Core configurations.


Use SQL Server images to start instances that have Windows Server with SQL Server preinstalled. Pay for both Windows Server and SQL Server licenses only when you use them. Windows Server images receive per-second billing and SQL Server images receive per-minute billing.

 

Run .NET applications on your Compute Engine instances.

 

Deploy Active Directory to your instances and bring your domain services to the cloud.

 

Run IIS web servers to host your web content on Windows instances.

 

If you have existing licenses for SQL Server or other applications that run in a Windows environment, use your existing Microsoft application licenses through the Microsoft License Mobility program.

Windows Server

Windows Server is a server operating system from Microsoft. You can create instances with Windows Server images to run applications that are specific to Windows.

 

Compute Engine offers several versions of Windows Server, most of which are available as both regular and Shielded VMBETA images. Shielded VM images offer security features like UEFI-compliant firmware, Secure Boot, and vTPM-protected Measured Boot.

Available versions of Windows Server are as follows:

 

Windows Server, version 1709
Server Core
Server Core, Shielded VM

 

Windows Server, version 1803
Server Core
Server Core, Shielded VM

 

Windows Server 2016 Datacenter Edition
Server Core
Server with Desktop Experience
Server Core, Shielded VM
Server with Desktop Experience, Shielded VM

 

Windows Server 2012 R2 Datacenter Edition
Server Core
Server with Desktop Experience
Server Core, Shielded VM
Server with Desktop Experience, Shielded VM

 

Windows Server 2008 R2 Datacenter Edition
Server with Desktop Experience

 

 

Optionally, Compute Engine offers SQL Server images if you need instances that have Windows Server with SQL Server preinstalled.

For a full list of the available Windows Server images, see the public images list https://intelhub.net/managed-services/images/

 

Pricing for Windows Server images

When you create a Windows Server instance, you pay by the second for the use of the Windows Server license. The cost for the license depends on the number of vCPUs in the machine type of the instance.

 

Windows Server images are premium resources that incur additional fees.

 

Licensing for Windows Server and SQL Server images

Instances that run Windows Server images on Compute Engine can activate and renew their licenses only if they have a network connection to kms.windows.googlecloud.com. If your Windows Server instances are unable to access kms.windows.googlecloud.com, they stop functioning within 30 days.

SQL Server

Microsoft SQL Server is a database system that runs on Windows Server. You can use SQL Server on Compute Engine as part of the backend for your applications, as a flexible development and test environment, or in addition to your on-prem systems for backup and disaster recovery.

 

Compute Engine provides images with Microsoft SQL Server preinstalled on Windows Server. For these SQL Server images, Compute Engine manages the license for both Windows Server and SQL Server, and includes the cost in your monthly bill. Create instances with SQL Server and scale to large multi-node configurations when you need them.

 

Compute Engine stores your data on durable persistent disks with automatic redundancy and automatic encryption at rest. Use these persistent disks to store your SQL Server data without having to worry about the durability or security of your data. For additional performance, create your instances with a local SSD as a cache that provides additional IOPS and performance for SQL Server queries.

 

You can create Compute Engine instances that run SQL Server through one of the following options:

 

Create an instance using a SQL Server image. These images include one of several SQL Server editions that run on Windows Server. You can use these images to run SQL Server on Compute Engine without obtaining your own separate license from Microsoft.


Migrate your existing SQL Server licenses to a Windows Server instance on Compute Engine and manage those licenses yourself.

Compute Engine offers images with the following editions of SQL Server:

 

  • SQL Server 2017 Enterprise
  • SQL Server 2016 Enterprise
  • SQL Server 2014 Enterprise
  • SQL Server 2012 Enterprise
  • SQL Server 2017 Standard
  • SQL Server 2016 Standard
  • SQL Server 2014 Standard
  • SQL Server 2012 Standard
  • SQL Server 2017 Web
  • SQL Server 2016 Web
  • SQL Server 2014 Web
  • SQL Server 2012 Web
  • SQL Server 2017 Express

 

For a full list of the available image families that include SQL Server preinstalled, see the Images page https://intelhub.net/managed-services/images/

Pricing for SQL Server images

When you create an instance that includes SQL Server, you pay by the second for the SQL Server license in addition to the Compute Engine instance resources and the Windows Server license. The cost of your SQL Server instances includes the following items:

 

The cost of the SQL Server license.

The cost for the Windows Server license.

The cost of the machine type for the instance.

The cost for resources that are attached to your instance. For example, persistent disks, Local SSDs, and network resources.

Machine type requirements for SQL Server images

 

SQL Server Standard

You can run SQL Server Standard on instances with any machine type, but shared-core machine types machine types will not run optimally. intelHUB recommends that you use instances with at least one vCPU to run SQL Server Standard.

 

SQL Server Enterprise

Instances that run SQL Server Enterprise must have at least 4 vCPUs. For optimal performance, intelHUB recommends that you run SQL Server Enterprise on instances with larger memory capacities. Depending on your workload, you should use high-memory machine types with 8 vCPUs or more. These machine types maximize the ratio of memory to each vCPU that is available on Compute Engine, which is optimal for SQL Server Enterprise instances.

 

Additionally, you can use SQL Server Enterprise on Compute Engine to create SQL Server Availability Groups.

 

Licensing for images with SQL Server

If you need to run SQL Server on Compute Engine, create an instance with a Windows Server image that includes SQL Server preinstalled. These images handle licensing for both Windows Server and SQL Server and enable you to adopt a pay as you go model for your Windows Server and SQL Server licenses. The pay as you go model lets you pay for SQL Server only when you need it with per-second billing.

 

Alternatively, you can bring your existing Microsoft Application Licenses for SQL Server to your Windows Server instances on Compute Engine, but you must continue to manage those licenses yourself.

Default components

SQL Server images include several components by default. The default components depend on the edition of SQL Server that you selected.

 

SQL Server Enterprise, Standard, and Web editions:

 

SQL Server
– Database Engine
– Replication
– Full text search

 

Analysis services
– Reporting services
– Data quality services
– Integration services
– Master data services

 

Tools
– SQL Server Management Studio (2012 and 2014 only)
– SQL Server Configuration Manager
– Business Intelligence Development Studio
– SQL Server Setup
– Client Tools Connectivity
– Client Tools SDK
– SQL Client Connectivity SDK
– Data-tier applications
– Backup and Restore
– Attach and Detach

 

SQL Server Books online

 


SQL Server Express edition:

 

SQL Server
– Database Engine
– Replication
– Full text search


Reporting services


If you need to add or remove components, you can add features to your SQL Server installation.

Using Bitlocker with Shielded VM images

 

You can enable BitLocker for Windows boot disks based on Shielded VM images. Shielded VM images offer security features like UEFI-compliant firmware, Secure Boot, and vTPM-protected Measured Boot.

 

You should take the following issues into account before you choose to enable BitLocker on such boot disks:

 

Data on a Compute Engine persistent disk is already encrypted by default. Enabling BitLocker on top of persistent disk encryption doesn’t affect throughput, but might increase vCPU utilisation slightly.


For boot disks, BitLocker uses the vTPM to store encryption keys for that disk. On Shielded VM boot disks, the vTPM is permanently associated with the VM on which it is created. This means that you can restore a snapshot of a Shielded VM boot disk to another persistent disk, but you can’t decrypt it, because the vTPM containing the BitLocker keys isn’t available. If you have a recovery key, you can recover data by following the instructions at BitLocker recovery guide. If you don’t have a recovery key, the data on the disk is unrecoverable.

 

If you choose to enable BitLocker for a Windows boot disk based on a Shielded VM image, we strongly recommend saving the recovery key to a safe location.

 

Enabling BitLocker on data disks attached to the VM creates the same possibility for vCPU utilisation increase mentioned previously. However, it doesn’t pose the same recovery challenges, because the BitLocker encryption keys for these disks aren’t stored on the vTPM. If you have lost the ability to unlock the disk normally and have the recovery key, you can attach the disk to another unencrypted VM and recover it from there. If you don’t have a recovery key, the data on the disk is unrecoverable.

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