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How to Run Microsoft SQL Server 2016 on Google Cloud Step by Step

Run Microsoft SQL Server 2016 on Google Cloud

Google Cloud Services recently added Microsoft SQL Server to its offerings. Google’s move is primarily due to a strong customer demand. The customer wants to run their existing mission critical apps on Google Cloud. Microsoft and Amazon already offer SQL Server on Azure and AWS respectively and Google is a late entrant. Since this is a welcome change, we decided to run SQL Server VM (Virtual Machine) inside Google Cloud. In this post, I am going to talk about how to run Microsoft SQL Server 2016 on Google cloud step by step.

Running Microsoft SQL Server 2016 on Google

In order to begin, you would need to activate your Google Cloud account using a Credit Card. Even though the site instructions says it’s free, you would still be charged $1 on your credit card. Nonetheless, Google will graciously give you a $300 of credit to run your server workloads. Once you are logged into your Google Cloud Console, you would need to select the billing account details. Select your account from the drop-down list and proceed as given in the following screenshot:

Run Microsoft SQL Server 2016 on Google Cloud

Once the billing and Sign-In steps are out of the way, you can proceed with the VM creation process.

From the top left menu, Select > Compute Engine > VM Instances > Click “Create Instances”

Run Microsoft SQL Server 2016 on Google Cloud

On the “Create an Instance” page, you need to provide the following details:

  1. Name of the Instance
  2. Zone or Region (If you are from the Azure World)
  3. Select the Virtual CPU’s and System Memory from the”Machine Type” menu
  4. Under “Boot Disk” menu, Debian/Linux is selected by default. Click on Change as given in the following screenshot

Run Microsoft SQL Server 2016 on Google Cloud

For this example, We will be selecting “SQL Server 2016 Standard Edition on Windows Server 2012 R2“. For Disk options, we are selecting “SSD Persistent disk“. Currently, the max disk size supported is 65536 GB (65.536 TB).

Note that Enterprise Edition for any of the SQL Server versions is not available.

See the below Screenshot:


Run Microsoft SQL Server 2016 on Google Cloud

Once selected, Click on “Create VM” to complete the project. For this example, we have kept all the other options as default.

It took 4 seconds to create the VM from the image which I think is incredible.

Run Microsoft SQL Server 2016 on Google Cloud

Sure enough, the VM was up and running and the speed we felt was incredibly fast. A quick internet speed test shows a no compromise internet connection.

Run Microsoft SQL Server 2016 on Google Cloud

We ran a quick disk speed check with HD Tach and found the following results:

  • Random Disk Access: 1.1 ms
  • CPU Util: >5%
  • Avg Read Speed: 143.1 Mbps

Run Microsoft SQL Server 2016 on Google Cloud

Performance is on par with what you would expect from a premium SSD-based storage disk. The numbers are similar to what you would get on Azure Virtual Machines (with Premium Storage) hosted by Microsoft.

Just like Azure, SQL Server 2016 was installed as a part of the image. You can also install SQL Server from the C:sql_server_install folder location. SQL Server Management Studio (SSMS) however was not installed, so we installed it from the Microsoft download site. We would investigate further into the performance aspects and post it later when we are ready with our findings.


We found running SQL Server workloads on Google Cloud was a breeze. It ran as a first-class citizen on the platform and we were quite happy with it. For any comments for feedback, drop us a line below. Thanks!

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