Troubleshooting Low Commitment Utilization in GCP CUDs

Introduction

Google Compute engines provide a Committed Use Discount (CUD) program for customers who are looking to commit to a certain degree of Compute engine usage. These purchase committed use contracts are provided in lieu of prices being offered under a heavy discount, which is lucrative for customers having stabilized workloads on GCP. As a customer, if you possess a stabilized workload on the GCP, that would continue to be the same for a year or more, you can capitalize on the Google Committed Use Discounts.

With the aid of a committed use discount analysis report, you can visually understand the financial impact of the Committed Use Discounts that you have been utilizing. It can help you identify if you are saving enough on your billing and further scopes around improving your commitment utilization or increasing your commitments.

The report consists of a mini graph that shows your Commitment Utilization rate. If your commitments are configured incorrectly, you may end up paying the on-demand price for the cores that you consume and your CUDs might not factor in. In this blog post, we will discover how you can troubleshoot and fix low commitment utilization in your GCP CUDs.

Configuring required permissions

To get started, we need to configure the required permissions first.

First, enable the billing.accounts.getSpendingInformation permission on your GCP Billing account. We also need to verify that to check out the CUD report, we need to be either a Billing Account Administrator or Billing Account Viewer.

Accessing the reports

To access the CUD report for your GCP billing account, you need to follow these steps:

  1. Sign-in to your Google Cloud console.
  2. Open the Cloud console navigation menu and select Billing.
  3. Navigate to the Billing navigation menu, and select Commitment.
  4. Click on view committed use discount analysis.You will retrieve the CUD analysis report.

If you are not able to retrieve the CUD analysis report of your expected billing account, navigate to the Manage billing accounts and select the account that you want to generate the CUD analysis report for.

You will retrieve the CUD analysis report. If you are not able to retrieve the CUD analysis report of your expected billing account, navigate to the Manage billing accounts and select the account that you want to generate the CUD analysis report for.

The CUD analysis report now displays the summary cards, a stacked bar chart and a summer table. The summary cards displays:

  • Region: The utilization data along with the commitments for the particular region are displayed.
  • Active commitments: The number of commitments you have bought as per the filters you have selected.
  • Commitment utilization: The percentage of usage commitment consumed based on the filters you have selected.

The stacked bar chart displays the commitment-covered usage, active commitment, commitment cost and the eligible on-demand usage. The summary table shows the summed up details and quantities as per the selected filters.

Debugging low commitment utilization in committed use discounts

As a user, if your commitment-covered usage and your active commitment are equal, then your commitment utilization is 100%. However, if your configuration is incorrect, we might under-utilize the commitments. It means that our aggregate average usage for a day is lower than our commitment. There are many situations through which such a case might arise. Below are the major factors that causes a low commitment utilisation:

  • Your usage throughout the particular day was lower than the commitment utilization
  • You might underutilize your committed use discounts if you have your usage and commitment in different regions altogether
  • Incorrect configuration of your discount sharing is the most commonly occured reason

By default, CUDs are applied to the project in which it’s purchased. If there are several GCP projects in your organization, the complete benefit and discounts if the CUDs are applied to only specific projects. Inorder to configure the discounts to be shared across projects proportionally, you may need to set the Commitment scope configuration to Billing Account rather than Project.

image

The increase in commitment utilisation graph would not happen immediately. If you had updated your commitment scope, the bar graph for the next day should start seeing an increase in the number of cores under commitment. Given that the commitment utilisation graph is the average across a certain timeframe, it may take some weeks to increase back, but you can alter the time range to see the increase.

image 1
Before and after debugging the low commitment utilization issues
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In our particular use case, while debugging one of our customer’s low commitment utilization in their GCP Committed use discounts, we found out that their discount sharing was set incorrectly to Project instead of Billing Account. In the above graph, you can notice their active commitment rising between July 19 to July 23.

Also read: How to monitor your GKE Usage metering.

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