Google is expanding the quiet relationship it has with Microsoft’s commercial software division, with plans to offer a managed version of the venerable SQL Server relational database on its public cloud in the near future.
Cloud SQL will be a managed SQL Server cloud service offered by Google as a “sneak preview,” the company plans to announce Wednesday at Google Cloud Next 2019. Google already offers customers the option of buying a Microsoft license from Google or bringing their own license to the party for running a self-managed SQL Server on its cloud service, and will now extend that courtesy to a managed version of the database.
It’s fair to say that Google and Microsoft have had a fairly rocky relationship over the years, after becoming fierce competitors in office productivity software and search advertising, at least to some extent. But revenue opportunities have a way of bringing foes to the bargaining table, especially as both companies court cloud customers that are still running most of their workloads the old-fashioned way, and Google has supported Windows applications running on Google Cloud for quite some time.
There’s been a lot of innovation in database technology since SQL Server was one of a relatively few options, but companies that built applications around it want easy ways to take advantage of cloud services without breaking those older apps. Amazon Web Services also offers a managed version of SQL Server called Amazon RDS for SQL Server, which helps cloud laggards feel better about moving their applications without having to rearchitect everything around a cloud-native database.
Active Directory, another prominent Microsoft product used by a lot of companies running their own servers, will also now be available from Google as a managed service. Active Directory identifies and authenticates employees as they log into corporate networks, and while Google’s service is only launching as a alpha product Wednesday, it’s another feature that Windows shops looking at Google to modernize their infrastructure will appreciate.
Google also plans to introduce a cold-storage option for companies looking to stash data in a cheap but secure holding tank designed for infrequent access. The new “archive class” for Google Cloud Storage will cost $0.0012 per gigabyte per month when it is released later this year, and props to whoever at Google described other cloud storage options as “glacially slow” in a blog post about the new service, which has to be a nod to AWS’s S3 Glacier storage service.
[Editor’s note: This post was updated with additional information as it became available.]