Among the many announcements made at Google Cloud Next last week was a new option for Google Cloud discounts: resource-based pricing.
This new option, which Google will roll out in the fall, expands their idea of “pay per use pricing”. For resource types n1-standard, n1-highmem, and n1-highcpu, Google will no longer charge based on machine types. Instead, they will now aggregate across resources and charge based on the quantity of vCPU and GB of memory you use.
This new addition to the family of Google Cloud discounts will have its biggest effect on Sustained Use discounts.
Sustained Use Discounts are Even Better
We recently asked the question, do sustained use discounts really save you money? The answer was yes, although depending on the situation, perhaps not the maximum amount of money possible.
With the resource-based pricing change, Sustained Use Discounts will be based in regions instead of just zones, so you can rack up “percentage of the month” usage and therefore discounts faster and easier. For example, if you have a single busy week in the month, during which you run several VMs with varying amounts of vCPU, the vCPU will all be counted together before the sustained use amount is calculated, giving you potential for a better-optimized discount.
For some customers, the biggest impact of this change will be in Autoscaling Managed Instance Groups. In the old system, if a group of instances scaled up and down over time (especially daily), the new instances that were created and then shut down a short time later never had an opportunity to accumulate enough hours to reach a sustained use discount tier. In the new system, the aggregated use of these systems counts toward the sustained use, giving a much higher likelihood of getting the Sustained Use Discount.
Billing Simplicity (…Hopefully)
While this should make your bill lower, it may not make your bill “easier to understand” as Google claims. Since discounts will apply at a regional level, and there’s now yet another step going on behind the scenes to calculate your bill, some users may find it harder to predict their monthly bills. You will no longer be able to see the machine types that you are using in your invoice, although you can obtain them via Billing BigQuery. Keep this in mind, and be sure to dig into your first few invoices after the change is made to see how it’s affecting your particular environment.
It’s All About Automation
One thing we appreciate about the change is that Google Cloud customers do not need to take any action to receive these discounts – it’s all done automatically. The same has always been true for Sustained Use Discounts, something that makes Google Cloud stand out from its immediate competition – neither AWS nor Azure offers something directly equivalent.
Google Cloud Discounts are Good for the Customer
Here’s what people are saying about the update.
It shows flexibility as a priority:
If you ignore the very small (micro, small) and the very large (megamen, ultramen) GCE has ~one flexible general-purpose SKU: custom-<cores>-<ram>. Add GPUs, disks, NICs, and min-cpu-platform to taste. Resource-based pricing doubles down on fungibility.https://t.co/7d22JLGHVU
— Jon Olson (@jonolson) July 27, 2018
I’d be surprised if most cloud customers are actively managing their allocation and spend. So things like “resource-based pricing” from @GCPcloud strike me as extremely pro-customer. https://t.co/a6P2ef2vxb pic.twitter.com/xhYG0Pdbhf
— Richard Seroter (@rseroter) July 26, 2018
And AWS would be wise to do the same:
— Krish Subramanian (@krishnan) July 25, 2018
We’re glad to see another addition to the Google Cloud discounts that go directly toward improving the customer experience. It’s clear to see that GCP is focusing on a customer-first experience – which is good news for all of us.