Table of Contents

Companies with consistently increasing cloud expenditure can take advantage of GCP automatic price discounts to help them substantially lower cloud expenses without compromising on performance. This holds especially true for organizations migrating their workloads to GCP from another service provider.

Resource Based Discounts in GCP

Resource based discounts are reductions that are applied automatically to your cloud computing costs based on certain usage patterns or commitments. Listed below are the most efficient ways to save costs automatically on GCP workloads:

  • Committed Use Discounts – Applied to Compute Engine, BigQuery, and Cloud Bigtable usage when users commit to a certain amount of usage over a specific period.
  • Sustained Use DiscountsSUDs are different from CUDs. These are applied to Compute Engine instances when usage is consistent over a sustained period of time.
  • Custom Machine Type Discounts – Applied to custom machine types, allows users to specify the number of CPUs and amount of memory needed per workload
  • Spot VMs Discounts: Applied to preemptible VMs, which are discounted Compute Engine instances that can be interrupted by Google at any time.

This article will cover Sustained Use Discounts with an overview, in-depth explanations, and live examples to help you get started saving on your GCP workloads.

What Is Google Cloud Sustained Use Discounts (SUD)?

Sustained use discounts are a type of automated discount given by Google Cloud Platform for Compute Engine instances. These savings are provided when your instances are used continuously over long periods of time, and are based on the amount of time they were operating throughout the month. Essentially, the longer your instances run, the greater the discount.

There is no special configuration or setup needed to take advantage of sustained use discounts. If your instances meet the eligibility criteria, you will automatically receive a discount based on the duration of time they were active throughout the month.

Sustained use discounts are applicable only for instances within the following criteria:

  • Applicable to general purpose, compute optimized, memory optimized, sole tenant nodes, and GPU devices.
  • Must be running in a region where sustained use discounts are available.
  • Must be running for a minimum of 25% of a calendar month.
  •  Automatically apply to VMs created by both Google Kubernetes Engine and Compute Engine.
  • Do not apply to VMs created using the App Engine (standard and flexible environments), Dataflow, E2, A2, M3, Tau T2D, or Tau T2A machine types.

Sustained use discounts are applied automatically, so you do not need to do anything to receive them. They are based on the total usage of a resource, not on any additional charges such as networking or data storage.

Google SUDs Live Case Example 

Consider running a web application on GCP with a single Compute Engine virtual machine (VM). The VM contains four virtual CPUs and eight gigabytes of RAM, and you will be utilizing it for the full month.

  • This VM costs $400 per month without any discounts.

You will be eligible for a sustained usage discount if you utilize this VM for at least 25% of the billing month. As you utilize the VM for more of the billing month, the discount percentage increases, with the maximum discount provided when the VM is used for at least 50% of the month.

Sustained Use Discounts Graph GCP

If you utilize the VM for 50% of the billing month, you will receive a 10% reduction on your overall consumption. This means that instead of $400, your total cost for the VM will be $340 a month. You will receive a 22.5% reduction if you utilize the VM for 80% of the billing month, bringing your total cost down to $310 per month .

  • Running the VM for 50% of the month will cost $340
  • Running the VM for 80% of the month will cost $310

Combining Cost Optimization with SUD

To take advantage of sustained use discounts, you must monitor your resource consumption trends and ensure that you are constantly using your GCP resources over a prolonged period of time. This may necessitate considerable planning and optimization, especially for companies with fluctuating or unexpected consumption patterns. Long-term cost saving might be well worth the effort, especially for firms that rely significantly on GCP services for processing their workloads.

Viewing Sustained Use Discounts 

  • Sustained usage discounts are applied to your bill at the completion of each billing cycle. They are a separate line item that combines all machine discounts for all projects in your billing account.
  • Visit your Google Cloud dashboard payment history, to see the total sustained use discounts received for each project, as well as the cost of your VM instances.
  • Visit the Pricing Calculator page to run simulations of your instances, workload levels, and time duration for which you wish to see the pricing for. You can view sustained use discounts by prolonging your instance duration to at least 25% utilization per month.


Sustained use discounts can, all things considered, be a useful tool for optimizing GCP costs. Customers should take advantage of these concessions and save money on their monthly payments by using GCP resources consistently over a prolonged period of time.

Whether you’re a modest venture or a large organization, sustained usage savings can help you get the most out of your GCP investment and liberate resources for other aspects of your business.

Cloud cost optimization tools can help your automate the lengthy and tedious process of tracking, benchmarking, and constantly identifying resources that would be the best fit for your workloads.

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.

Related Articles