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When it comes to cloud computing, pricing is a critical factor for organizations when choosing a service provider. With the rise of service demands, Google Cloud Platform (GCP) has emerged as a leading player in the market, providing a scalable range of services and features that cater to the needs of businesses of all sizes.

However, with the abundance of options and services, it can be challenging to understand the costs associated with using GCP. This article will provide an in-depth overview of the GCP pricing model and help you understand the various factors that make up the cost of using GCP services.

What Are the Different GCP Pricing Models?

Google Cloud Platform (GCP) offers a range of pricing models to help users choose the best option for their specific use case. The GCP pricing model has its own benefits and limitations, and it is important to understand them in order to make the most cost-effective decision. In this section, we’ll dive into the Free tier, On-demand, and Long-term pricing options.

1) Free Tier

The Free tier is a cost-effective option for users who want to try out GCP services without incurring any costs. It is a great way to get started with GCP and test out its features before committing to a paid plan. With the Free tier, users receive a limited amount of free usage per month for select GCP services, such as Compute Engine and Cloud Storage.

Once the free usage is exceeded, users will start incurring charges for the additional usage. It’s important to keep an eye on your usage and budget, as the free tier is designed for light usage and development projects, and may not be suitable for production workloads.

  • Users can visit GCP’s documentation to view Free tier’s usage limits and specifications.

2) On-demand Pricing

On-demand pricing is the most flexible option for GCP users, as it allows them to pay only for the resources they use. With this pricing model, users can increase or decrease their usage as needed, and only pay for what they use. On-demand pricing is a great option for organizations that have unpredictable workloads or those who want to quickly scale up or down their resources.

  • For example, a company might need additional computing power during a growth period, and with On-demand pricing they can quickly add the necessary resources without committing to a long-term contract.
  • To get a detailed description and pricing of specific services, users can visit the GCP Marketplace.

3) Long Term Pricing

Long-term pricing, also known as Committed Use (CUD) and Sustained Use Discounts (SUD), is designed for users who know that they will need a certain amount of resources over a longer period of time. With this pricing model, users commit to using a certain amount of resources for a specific time period, such as one or three years, in exchange for lower prices.

Committed Use Discounts (CUD) allow you to commit to a set amount of resources for a specific period of time, in return for a discounted rate. For example, if you need to run a virtual machine for a year, you can commit to a certain number of CPU and memory resources, and receive a discount for doing so.

Sustained Use Discounts (SUD) on the other hand, are automatically applied when you use a virtual machine for a certain amount of time each day, over a 30-day period. The longer you use the machine, the more you save, with discounts ranging from 10% to 60%. This pricing model is ideal for businesses that have predictable resource requirements and need to run virtual machines for extended periods of time.

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Google Cloud Service Pricing – How Does it Work?

GCP pricing is based on several factors that, when combined, make up the total bill of the services. These factors include Compute, Storage, Networking, and Additional Costs. Understanding these factors and how they contribute to the overall cost of the services is crucial for cost savings and visibility.

GCP Compute Pricing

GCP pricing is one of the primary components of the overall bill in Google Cloud Platform (GCP). It provides a range of options for customers to choose from in order to run their applications and workloads on the cloud. Compute Engine, is a scalable, high-performance virtual machine (VM) that provides customers with the ability to run their applications on a managed infrastructure.

  • The pricing of Compute Engine is based on the number of virtual CPUs, the amount of memory, and the amount of storage required by the customer.
  • It is charged on a per-second basis, with a minimum of 10 minutes of usage per instance.
  • Customers can also choose to use Spot VMs, which offer lower prices compared to standard instances but can be terminated by the system at any time if more resources are needed.

Compute Engine also offers different instance types, such as general-purpose, memory-optimized, and CPU-optimized, to cater to specific workload requirements. These instance types are priced differently, and customers can choose the type that best fits their workloads and budget.

Google Kubernetes Engine Pricing

Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) is a highly scalable service provided by GCP for deploying and managing containers. It is designed to automate the deployment, scaling, and operation of containerized applications using Kubernetes, a popular open-source platform for container orchestration. With GKE, organizations can quickly and easily deploy and manage containers on a scalable infrastructure, reducing the time and effort required to manage and maintain containers in-house.

  • GKE pricing is based on several factors, including the number of nodes, the amount of memory, and the CPU usage of the cluster.
  • A node represents a single virtual machine instance in a GKE cluster, and the number of nodes required will depend on the specific needs of the application being deployed.
  • Memory usage and CPU utilization are also taken into account when determining the cost of a GKE cluster, as these are the two primary resources consumed by containers running on the cluster.

In addition to these factors, GKE pricing can also be influenced by the use of additional GCP services, such as Cloud Storage,  Cloud Networking, and Cloud SQL. For example, if a GKE cluster requires high amounts of storage, organizations may choose to use Google Cloud Storage, which will add additional costs to the overall GKE bill.

Google Cloud Storage Pricing

Google Cloud Storage is one of the essential components of the GCP offerings. It provides scalable and cost-effective cloud storage solutions for businesses of all sizes. It offers multiple storage options to meet different business needs, and its pricing is based on several parameters such as data storage, network usage, operation usage, retrieval, and deletion fees.

Cloud Storage Parameters:

  1. Data storage: This refers to the amount of data you store in the cloud. The price for data storage depends on the type of storage you choose (Standard, Nearline, Coldline, and Archival). The more data you store, the higher the cost will be.
  2. Network usage: This refers to the amount of data that you transfer in and out of the cloud.  Network usage is measured in gigabytes (GB) and can be broken down into incoming and outgoing data. The cost of network usage is influenced by the amount of data you transfer and the region where your data is stored.
  3. Operation usage: This refers to the number of operations you perform on your data, such as reading, writing, or deleting. Operations are priced per 10,000 requests, and the cost will depend on the type of operation and the amount of data you are processing.
  4. Retrieval and deletion fees: If you need to retrieve or delete large amounts of data, there may be additional fees. These fees are based on the amount of data you are retrieving or deleting and the time it takes to complete the process.
  5. Life cycle management: Google Cloud Storage offers life cycle management options that allow you to automatically move your data to more cost-effective storage options as it ages. For example, you can move data from Standard storage to Nearline or Coldline storage to save money.

Different Cloud Storage Options

Standard storage
Standard storage offers high performance and low latency for frequently accessed data. It is ideal for applications that require fast access to their data.

Nearline storage
Nearline storage is a cost-effective option for data that is accessed less frequently but still needs to be available within seconds. It is an excellent choice for backup, disaster recovery, and other scenarios where data needs to be stored for an extended period but with reduced performance compared to standard storage.

  • The pricing for Nearline and Standard Storage is also based on the amount of data stored, the number of operations performed, and the amount of data transferred over the network.

Coldline storage
Coldline storage is the lowest-cost storage option for data that is accessed even less frequently. It is a good choice for archiving purposes and for scenarios where data needs to be stored for an extended period with minimal performance requirements.

Archival storage
Archival storage is the most cost-effective solution for data that is rarely accessed and can be stored for a longer period. It is ideal for data that is not frequently used but must be kept for regulatory or compliance purposes.

  • The pricing for Archival and Coldline Storage is based on the amount of data stored and the number of retrievals performed.

Google Cloud Network Pricing

GCP offers a range of networking services to help users manage their network infrastructure, including Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) and Cloud Content Delivery Network (CDN). Both VPC and CDN play a crucial role in ensuring the performance and security of a network, and GCP offers them as part of its host of services.

Virtual Private Cloud (VPC)

VPC is a private network that runs on top of the public network infrastructure. It allows users to create and manage their own virtual network with complete control over the network infrastructure and security. With VPC, users can control their network by defining custom subnets, setting up firewall rules, and routing tables, among other monitoring features.

  • VPC pricing is based on the resources used by the network, such as the number of subnets created, the number of firewall rules, and the amount of data processed.
  • Users can choose from either a per-hour or per-minute pricing model, based on their needs and usage patterns.
  • There are also additional charges for services like static IP addresses, VPN gateways, and Cloud Interconnect.

Cloud Content Delivery Network (CDN)

CDN is a network of servers that distribute content to users based on their geographical location. CDN is used to improve the performance and speed of websites, applications, and other online services by caching and routing content closest to the user.

CDN pricing is based on the amount of data transferred, the number of requests, and the geographical location of the user.

  • There is no charge for data transferred within a region, but there is a charge for data transferred between regions.
  • Additionally, users are charged for the number of requests made to the CDN, and for the amount of data stored in the cache.

Google Cloud Serverless Pricing

Google Cloud offers a range of serverless services to its customers, enabling them to focus on their core business logic, rather than managing infrastructure. Two of the most popular serverless offerings from are Cloud Functions and Cloud Run.

Google Cloud Functions

Google Cloud Functions is a serverless compute platform that lets you run your code without having to manage any infrastructure. You can use it to build event-driven applications and automate tasks such as resizing images, sending emails, and analyzing data.

  • Google Cloud Functions are priced based on the number of invocations, the duration of each function, and the amount of memory used.
  • There are also charges for network usage, including incoming and outgoing traffic, and for additional services such as Stackdriver (now Operations Suite) logging and monitoring.

Google Cloud Functions pricing is flexible and allows you to choose the best pricing model that suits your use case. You can choose to pay for each invocation, or you can opt for a flat rate per GB-seconds of function execution.

Google Cloud Run

Google Cloud Run is a fully managed serverless platform that lets you run your containers without having to manage infrastructure. It supports a variety of languages and environments and is designed to scale up or down based on demand.

  • Google Cloud Run is priced based on the number of CPU and memory resources used, as well as network and additional services. There are charges for incoming and outgoing network traffic and for additional services such as Stackdriver logging and monitoring.

Google Cloud Run pricing is flexible and allows you to choose the best pricing model that suits your use case. You can choose to pay for each container instance or for a flat rate per GB-seconds of CPU and memory used. There are also free quotas available, so you can test and use the service without incurring any charges.

Google Cloud Database Pricing

Google Cloud’s database services provide a range of options such as Cloud SQL, Cloud Bigtable, and BigQuery for organizations to store, manage, and analyze their data, at a variety of price points that can be tailored to meet their specific needs and requirements

Cloud SQL Pricing

Google Cloud SQL is a fully managed relational database service that makes it easy to set up, maintain, manage, and administer your relational databases on the Google Cloud Platform. The service offers support for several popular database engines, including MySQL, PostgreSQL, and SQL Server.

Google Cloud SQL pricing is based on the size of the virtual machine instance, the amount of storage used, and the number of database operations performed. Users should keep in mind there are charges for incoming and outgoing network data transfer and for data backup and recovery operations.

Bigtable Pricing

Google Cloud Bigtable is a fully managed, high-performance NoSQL database service that can be used for storing and retrieving large amounts of semi-structured and unstructured data. This service is designed for use cases that require low latency and high throughput, such as real-time analytics, user profiling, IoT applications, and more.

  • Bigtable pricing is based on the amount of data stored, the number of operations performed, and the amount of network data transferred.
  • There are additional charges for storage space and for data backup and recovery operations.
  • Users can implement these cost optimization strategies to help cut costs on Bigtable.

Google BigQuery

Google BigQuery is a fully managed, cloud-native data warehousing service fully managed, cloud-native data warehousing service that enables organizations to analyze large amounts of data using standard SQL. This service is designed for use cases that require fast, interactive analysis of big data, and it is especially useful for organizations that want to perform data analytics without having to manage the underlying infrastructure.

  • Google BigQuery pricing is based on the amount of data stored, the number of operations performed, and the amount of network data transferred.
  • Additionally, there are charges for storage space and for data backup and recovery operations.
  • There is also a monthly fee for using the BigQuery web interface and other BigQuery management tools.

GCP Pricing Calculator

Wow, we’ve covered a lot of information in this article! If you’re feeling overwhelmed by all of the different types of services and GCP pricing models, don’t worry – you’re not alone. But the good news is, there’s an easy way to get a handle on your projected costs.

Enter the GCP Pricing Calculator. This handy tool allows you to see how much you can expect to spend on your GCP services, based on your usage. Simply select the services you plan on using, specify your estimated usage, and voila – you’ll get a detailed estimate of your costs. You can also use APIs to extrapolate useful data and gain estimates for predicted costs.


With so many services and GCP pricing options, it can be overwhelming to keep track of it all. However, having a good understanding of these models and services can help companies manage GCP costs and choose the best solutions for their specific needs.

So, if you’re looking to get started with Google Cloud, be sure to take advantage of the GCP Pricing Calculator to help you make informed decisions. Click here to get started with a demo and learn more about how Google Cloud can benefit your business.

Adarsh Rai

Adarsh Rai, author and growth specialist at Economize. He holds a FinOps Certified Practitioner License (FOCP), and has a passion for explaining complex topics to a rapt audience.

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