Google Cloud Best practices for using sole-tenant nodes to run VM workloads on Google Cloud

Windows Server licensing is tricky. That’s particularly true if we want to run Windows Server VMs in the cloud and use existing licenses for it. A key challenge with bringing our own licenses to the cloud (BYOL) is that Windows Server is licensed by physical core (rather than by virtual core) and that we’re only allowed to move licenses from one piece of hardware to another every 90 days. With regular VMs, meeting those license terms is all but impossible.

On Google Cloud, sole-tenant nodes give us fine-grained control over the hardware our VMs run on, which in turn makes it possible to deal with per-socket or per-core licensing. But sole-tenant nodes also introduce a few new challenges: We now have to decide how many nodes and node groups we need, how we’re dealing with maintenance, and how to avoid paying for excess hardware capacity.

To provide some guidance on how to tackle these decisions, I’ve published a new article, Best practices for using sole-tenant nodes to run VM workloads, on the Google Cloud website. The article contains a number of best practices and patterns that hopefully make it a little easier to run Windows Server VMs on Google Cloud.

For a full list of articles I’ve published on the Google Cloud website, see Articles on

Any opinions expressed on this blog are Johannes' own. Refer to the respective vendor’s product documentation for authoritative information.
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