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In the world of cloud computing, data security and privacy are more critical than ever. As businesses and individuals continue to embrace cloud computing, they must also consider how to protect sensitive information such as passwords, API keys, certificates, and other secrets. Storing this information in code or configuration files is risky and can lead to significant security breaches.

To address this issue, Google Cloud Platform (GCP) offers Secret Manager, a solution for storing and managing secrets in the cloud. In this article, we’ll explore the features and benefits of Secret Manager and discuss best practices for optimizing its cost. We’ll also dive into the pricing model of Secret Manager and provide tips for reducing your overall expenses.

What is Secret Manager in GCP?

GCP Secret Manager is a secure and convenient tool for managing and storing sensitive data, such as passwords, API keys, certificates, and other secrets, that are required by applications running on GCP. Secret Manager helps users to store, manage, and secure sensitive data by providing a centralized and secure repository that can be accessed programmatically by authorized applications and services.

With Secret Manager, developers no longer need to hardcode secrets into source code, which can lead to potential security breaches, and make it difficult to maintain and manage the secrets. Instead, Secret Manager provides a single place for managing secrets, with strong access control and auditing features, and an intuitive user interface.

Secret Manager Use Cases

  • Enterprises: Secret Manager is an essential tool for enterprises that require secure storage and management of their sensitive data. It enables them to control access and ensure the confidentiality of their secrets.
  • Developers: Developers can use Secret Manager to simplify the process of storing and managing secrets for their applications. It helps them to avoid hardcoding secrets in their source code and ensures that their secrets are not exposed to unauthorized users.
  • Security Teams: Security teams can use Secret Manager to manage access and ensure that sensitive data is protected from unauthorized access. They can define and enforce access policies to control who can access different secrets and monitor access logs to detect any suspicious activity.
  • Cloud Administrators: Cloud administrators can use Secret Manager to manage secrets for multiple projects or organizations. They can control the lifecycle of the secrets, such as rotation and versioning, and set up replication policies to ensure high availability and disaster recovery.
  • Compliance Teams: Compliance teams can use Secret Manager to enforce security policies and standards across the organization. They can track and audit access to sensitive data to ensure that the organization is compliant with industry regulations and standards.
  • Finance Teams: Finance teams can use Secret Manager to securely store financial data, such as payment credentials and bank account information. It allows them to control access to this sensitive data and ensures that it is not exposed to unauthorized users.

Getting started with Secret Manager:

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  • Then, you can choose to manage replication, encryption, and rotation manually or let Google manage all these for you. Also, you can enable notification if you have enabled rotation, so that you will get updates when the version will change, using pub/sub topics for all use of notifications.
  • Next, you may select an expiration date for your secret which will automatically delete your secret once the date is over. After all the desired configurations, Click Create.
  • Once you created your Secret, it will be displayed as Version 1. You can also update the version by clicking on + NEW VERSION. You can always check your version value from the action column, just by clicking on view secret value.
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Understanding Secret Manager Pricing:

Understanding Secret Manager pricing is essential for any organization or individual looking to use the service.

  • The cost of Secret Manager is based on the number of accessible secret version operations and active secret versions.
  • Google offers a monthly free usage limit of 6 Active Versions, 10K Access operations, and 3 Rotation Notifications.

However, once this limit is exceeded, charges apply based on usage. The pricing overview for Secret Manager is as follows:

Billable Item Price per month
Active secret versions $0.06 per version per location
Destroyed secret versions Free
Access operations $0.03 per 10,000 operations
Management operations Free
Rotation Notifications $0.05 per rotation




It is important to note that charges may vary depending on the region where the Secret Manager is used. Organizations and individuals can estimate their monthly costs using Google’s pricing calculator. The pricing model for Secret Manager is cost-effective and flexible, making it accessible for organizations of all sizes.

Secret Manager Cost Optimization Strategies:

Till now, we have gone over how to use Secret Manager and how it gets billed. Now, let’s look into the best ways to optimize cost.

  1. Delete inactive active secret versions: If a secret version is no longer in use, it’s best to delete it instead of just disabling it, as disabled versions still count towards the bill. This can help reduce costs associated with storing and managing secrets in Secret Manager.
  2. Reduce access operations: Secret Manager charges for access secret version operations per 10,000 operations. To reduce costs, it’s important to minimize the number of access operations by optimizing your application’s code and architecture to avoid unnecessary requests for secrets. This can help reduce the number of access operations and the associated costs.
  3. Minimize rotation notifications: Rotation notifications are billed for every SECRET_ROTATE message sent to a Pub/Sub Topic. To minimize costs, it’s important to review the configuration and reduce notifications that are not necessary. This can help reduce the number of rotation notifications and the associated costs.
  4. Set Expiry: If you know that a secret will no longer be needed after a certain date, it’s a good practice to set an expiration date for the secret. This will help ensure that the secret is deleted and unavailable after that time, which can help reduce costs associated with storing and managing secrets in Secret Manager.
  5. Utilize the monthly free usage limits: Secret Manager offers monthly free usage limits that include 6 Active Versions, 10K Access operations, and 3 Rotation Notifications. It’s important to take advantage of these free limits to minimize costs associated with storing and managing secrets in Secret Manager.
  6. Regularly review usage: It’s important to regularly review Secret Manager usage to identify any areas where costs can be optimized. By reviewing usage patterns, you can identify ways to reduce access operations, minimize rotation notifications, and delete inactive secret versions. This can help ensure that you are only paying for the resources that you need, which can help reduce costs associated with Secret Manager.


We hope you find this article useful in your search for Cloud Secret Manager Cost Optimization. Taking the above into account for managing hidden managers in your application and charges will undoubtedly help you save money.

Establishing a FinOps lifecycle within your firm is the greatest long-term approach towards cost optimization in the future. Economize is committed to the idea of making your cloud spending simpler and noise-free to help engineering teams like yours understand and optimize it. Get started today with a personalized demo for your organization.

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