Google Cloud Pricing: An Overview

Compute Engine, Cloud Run, Cloud Functions, and Kubernetes Engine compared

3 Min Read

Cloud cost optimization is often very top of mind when choosing cloud-based services for your organization. If you're considering Google Cloud Platform (GCP), understanding the pricing dynamics of Compute Engine, Cloud Run, Cloud Functions, and Kubernetes Engine can play a key part in your decision-making process. In this article we'll compare the pricing models of these services and the key factors determining their costs.

Google Compute Engine Pricing

Google Compute Engine is Google's Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) that offers flexible and scalable virtual machines (VMs). Pricing is determined by several factors:

  • Machine Type: VMs are available in various configurations with different vCPU and memory ratios.
  • Region: The geographic location of your VMs affects the cost. Prices vary across continents and even across different zones within the same region.
  • Operating System: Some OS options like Debian and CentOS come without additional cost, while others like Windows Server and Red Hat Enterprise Linux incur additional fees.
  • Usage Models: Google Compute Engine offers sustained use and committed use discounts for prolonged and predictable usage, respectively.

Google Cloud Run Pricing

Cloud Run is a managed serverless platform, allowing you to run stateless containers without managing the underlying infrastructure. The pricing model is usage-based, factoring in the allocated memory, CPU usage, and the number of requests. If your service is idle, there are no charges.

Google Cloud Functions Pricing

Google Cloud Functions is a serverless execution environment for building and connecting cloud services. You are charged based on the number of function invocations, compute time, and network traffic. Like Cloud Run, you only pay for what you use, and there are no charges when your functions are idle.

Google Kubernetes Engine Pricing

Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) is a managed service for running containerized applications using Kubernetes. Pricing for GKE involves a charge for each GKE cluster, in addition to the resources consumed (like Compute Engine instances). Do note that using GKE results in extra cost savings because of its cluster management, networking, and automatic scaling features.

Aligning with your requirements

Understanding the nuances of Google Cloud pricing will help you choose the right services for your needs, optimize costs, and create efficient solutions. Always consider your specific requirements and usage patterns before deciding on the services:

  • Google Compute Engine is excellent when you need full control over your VM instances and require the flexibility to customize as per your workload needs.

  • Cloud Run and Cloud Functions are ideal if you want to go serverless, thus offloading the infrastructure management to Google. They are suitable for variable workloads due to their pay-as-you-go pricing.

  • Google Kubernetes Engine is optimal for deploying, scaling, and managing containerized applications. It is a suitable choice for complex applications that require robust orchestration, automatic scaling, and efficient resource utilization.

    For more detailed and up-to-date information on pricing, check the official Google Cloud pricing page.

While you’re here, we’d like to point out that a key benefit of building your application using Encore’s Backend SDK is that you can seamlessly change how your application is provisioned in Google Cloud Platform and on AWS, without making any code changes. This means it’s incredibly simple to make cost and performance optimizations as your needs evolve.

Ready to escape the hamster wheel?

Encore is Backend Development Platform purpose-built for creating event-driven and distributed systems — from developing locally to scaling in your cloud on AWS/GCP.