How to Attain a Lower Google Cloud Platform Bill

If your business uses Google Cloud Platform (GCP), you may think trying to attain a lower Google Cloud Platform bill is not worth the effort. After all, with features such as sustained use discounts and customizable instances, where would the savings come from? Actually, you might be surprised. Although Google offers dozens of tools to help businesses better manage their cloud environments, there are still billions of dollars wasted each year by businesses:

  • Paying for resources they are not using,
  • Paying too much for the resources they are using, and
  • Paying for resources they used to use, but have forgotten about.

In this article, we aim to demonstrate that, no matter how carefully you monitor resources deployed on GCP, there are ways on which you can lower your Google Cloud Platform bill. These do not require a lot of effort on your part – nor much in the way of investment. ParkMyCloud typically pays for itself within two months, plus you have the opportunity to try our platform for free to see how much you could save before subscribing to any of our competitive pricing plans.

Where Your Money is Wasted on Google Cloud Platform

In order to attain a lower Google Cloud Platform bill, you likely need to address at least one of three issues – leaving instances running when they are not being used, over-provisioned resources, and/or zombie assets. The instances left running when they are not being used are typically non-production instances used for development, staging and testing. Although it is possible to write scheduling scripts to address this issue, scheduling scripts tend to be inflexible and not necessarily cost-effective.

Over-provisioned resources don´t just happen at the time of deployment (when developers may want to leave a little “wiggle room” in the resource´s configuration); they can also become an issue over time as demand decreases. Similarly, “zombie assets” (unattached storage volumes, idle load balancers, etc.) become an issue over time as assets are launched and then forgotten about when their intended purpose has been served. Eliminating any of these issue will help lower your Google Cloud Platform bill.

How to Stop Paying for Resources you are Not Using

ParkMyCloud provides a quick and simple solution to resolve the issue of paying for resources you are not using. Via a permissions-limited credential, ParkMyCloud conducts a discovery of your Google Cloud account and displays your resources across a user-friendly dashboard. Resources suitable for scheduling on/off times are clearly highlighted and, at this point you have four options.

You can apply a preconfigured on/off schedule, create a schedule of your own, take advantage of our “SmartParking” recommendations, or opt for an “Always Parked” schedule. A description of each schedule type is provided below, and it is important to note you do not have to apply to same type of on/off schedule across the board. You can mix and match schedules and types of schedule at will.

Preconfigured On/Off Schedules

Preconfigured on/off schedules are loaded into the ParkMyCloud platform for ease of use. They can be applied to individual instances, groups of instances, or universally depending on your business´s requirements, and can lower a Google Cloud Platform bill by up to 70 percent before sustained use discounts are taken into account.

How Much Can You Save using ParkMyCloud´s Preconfigured On/Off Schedules?
Schedule On Off Hours Saved Saving
Mon-Sun 9.00 a.m. 9.00 p.m. 84 per week 50%
Mon-Sun 8.00 a.m. 6.00 p.m. 98 per week 58%
Mon-Sat 9.00 a.m. 9.00 p.m. 96 per week 57%
Mon-Sat 8.00 a.m. 6.00 p.m. 108 per week 64%
Mon-Fri 9.00 a.m. 9.00 p.m. 108 per week 64%
Mon-Fri 8.00 a.m. 6.00 p.m. 118 per week 70%

Create Your Own Parking Schedules

Manage Parking Schedules If your development teams need access to their non-production resources at times not covered by the preconfigured on/off schedules, it is a straightforward process to create your own parking schedules. You simply select the resource(s) you want to “park” and then use ParkMyCloud´s intuitive grid to select the days of the week and hours of the day that access is required.

Taking Advantage of “SmartParking” Recommendations

SmartParking RecommendationParkMyCloud´s “SmartParking” recommendations are based on historic utilization data. All you do is select the period you want ParkMyCloud to go back in time, and the platform will produce a chart displaying the average CPU utilization for each selected instance for that period. You then have a choice of applying one of three recommended parking schedules – “conservative”, “balanced” and “aggressive”. The more aggressive the recommendation, the more it will lower your Google Cloud Platform bill.

Why You Might Want to Opt for an “Always Parked” Schedule

An “Always Parked” schedule means that the instance(s) for whom this schedule is applied are always switched off until access to them is required. It is an ideal option for development teams that work irregular hours or irregular patterns, as the “Always Parked” schedule can be interrupted with the click of a mouse and the instance(s) will return to its dormant state after a set period of time.

When you choose a preconfigured on/off schedule, create your own parking schedule or apply a “SmartParking” recommendation, a figure appears on the dashboard indicating the projected saving each schedule will achieve. Although the “Always Parked” schedule also displays a projected savings figure, it equates to 100 percent of the cost. Therefore the projected “Always Parked” savings should not be relied upon as a guide to how much you will lower your Google Cloud Platform bill.

Stop Paying Too Much for the Resources You Are Using

As well as recommending “SmartParking” schedules, the data collected by ParkMyCloud can be used to obtain rightsizing recommendations. This service is based on both CPU utilization and memory utilization over a user-defined period and recommends appropriate configuration on all types of Google resources. You can accept the recommended configurations or customize them to best suit your needs.

Although Google provides a similar service via its Stackdriver Monitoring service, Google´s service has its limitations. There are multiple types of instances GCP cannot provide data for and the monitoring period is set at eight days. If, for example, your business experiences high demand at the beginning of the month, and you run Google´s rightsizing recommendations at the end of the month, the result will be recommendations that leave your resources underperforming when demand is high. Underperforming resources can be just as costly as overprovisioned instances!

Find the Resources You Have Forgotten

Zombie assets can cost businesses thousands of dollars if left running after they have served their intended purpose, and it is important these are identified and terminated in order to prevent costs being incurred month after month after month. Again, ParkMyCloud can help identify these no-longer-required assets via our user-friendly dashboard.

The dashboard gives you total visibility across your Google account – and also any accounts you have with Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure and Alibaba Cloud. This means you can use ParkMyCloud not only to schedule on/off times and rightsize/terminate instances on GCP, but across your entire cloud environment.

Find out More about How to Attain a Lower Google Cloud Platform Bill

To find out more about how you can attain a lower Google Cloud Platform bill with ParkMyCloud, or to register for your free trial, do not hesitate to contact us. Our team will be happy to answer any questions about how ParkMyCloud seamlessly integrates with other cloud management tools and services in order to enforce accountability and governance, and to lower your cloud bill whichever Cloud Service Provider you use.