Google's Compute Instances cheaper (again). Welcome Preemptible Virtual Machines
Published: Fri, 22 May 2015 by Rad
"Today we are introducing Google Compute Engine Preemptible Virtual Machines, in beta for all customers in all regions. Preemptible VMs are the same as regular instances except for one key difference - they may be shut down at any time. While that may sound disruptive, it actually makes them a great choice for distributed, fault-tolerant workloads that do not require continuous availability of any single instance."Google Cloud Platform Blog
Google is trying to make life easier for startups and larger companies alike by providing access to the same technology Google uses to power its own massively popular web site.
Preemptible Virtual Machines
In order to fulfill the promise of dynamic (or "on-demand") computing sizing, Google maintains excess capacity in its cloud computing data centers. Generally, that capacity sits idle, waiting for a need. With Preemptible Instances, Google offers that extra capacity to users. However, the Preemptible Instances may be shut down at any time if the capacity is needed. In exchange, Google offers users a significant discount.
Preemptible VMs are limited to a 24 hour runtime, and will sometimes be preempted (shut down) earlier than that. Other than that you get all the same features of Google Compute Engine, such as fast and easy provisioning, consistently great performance, and always encrypted data written to persistent disk. When Preemptible Instances are terminated, they will receive a 30 second notice allowing you to shutdown cleanly.
Tasks like video encoding, rendering for visual effects, crunching huge amounts of information for data analytics, simulation, and genomics are all ideally suited for this type of Virtual Machine, as they generally consume a large volume of compute resources but typically only run on a periodic basis.
Compared to other public cloud providers, Google Cloud Platform became roughly 40% less expensive for many workloads. Starting May 18, Google is reducing prices of all Google Compute Engine Instance types as well as introducing a new class of preemptible virtual machines that delivers short-term capacity for a very low, fixed cost.
When combined with our automatic discounts, per-minute billing, no penalties for changing machine types, and no need to enter into long-term fixed-price commitments, it's easy to see why we're leading the industry in price/performance.
|Machine Type||Price Drop||Typical price for smaller instance|
|Standard||20%||$0.038 / hour / 1vCPU / 3.75GB RAM|
|High Memory||15%||$0.088 / hour / 2vCPU / 13GB RAM|
|High CPU||5%||$0.053 / hour / 2vCPU / 1.80GB RAM|
|Small||15%||$0.019 / hour / 1vCPU @ 25% / 1.70GB RAM|
|Micro||30%||$0.0056 / hour / shared / 0.60GB RAM|
Source: Google Compute Engine pricing
Sustained use discounts
Google also offer substantial discounts for sustained use of your instance. To qualify you need to use it a significant portion of the billing month, at least 25% of a month.
Without sustained use discounts, the same n1-standard-1 instance running for the same amount of time would cost 20% more.
Source: Google Cloud Pricing Calculator
If we consider a typical web application or mobile backend we can demonstrate typical usage of Google platform and savings it brings.
- App development environment supports software builds and tests, presenting a bursty, daytime load on cloud computing resources. The development environment would benefit from per-minute billing because it can be turned on and off more quickly and you only pay for what you use.
- The production environment handles actual user traffic, with a diurnal cycle of demand, aggregate growth over time, and a larger overall footprint than the development environment. The production environment would benefit from *sustained use discountin*g, up to 30% additional discount with no upfront fee or commitment, because it always needs to be on.
Google Compute - from around the web
- Pay Less, Compute Moore - Google press release.
- Google Compute Engine Pricing - detailed information about pricing, discounts and technical data
- Google Cloud - Machine Type - available machine types for any type of project you may consider
- Microsoft, Google, and Amazon haven't won the cloud wars yet - Cloud computing is booming , predicted spending worldwide +38% this year
- Interview with Urs Hölzle - Google Cloud Platform boss - Rare opportunity to hear from Google's employer number 8, who now runs Google Cloud platform
- Amazon EC2 Spot Instances - Spot Instances allow you to name your own price for Amazon EC2 computing capacity. You simply bid on spare Amazon EC2 instances and they run whenever your bid exceeds the current Spot Price.
- Amazon's cloud is ten times bigger than the next fourteen competitors combined - you probably know it already, Amazon AWS is undisputed king in public cloud
Our previous news stories
- AdBlocks - advert blocking browser plugin beats Microsoft, Google and advertisers
- Nokia in advanced talks with Alcatel-Lucent seeking growth.
- Ubuntu closed deal with Ericsson to power up cloud for one of the biggest telecom providers in the world.
Thought of the day
When in doubt, mumble; when in trouble, delegate; when in charge, ponder.
James H. Boren