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New Tau VMs deliver leading price-performance for scale-out workloads

June 17, 2021
Urs Hölzle

SVP, Cloud Infrastructure

June Yang

VP, Cloud AI & Industry Solutions

Scale-out workloads demand the best combination of performance and price to bring down the cost of delivering applications, all while providing an excellent user experience. We are excited to announce a new virtual machine (VM) family, Tau VMs, coming to Google Cloud. Tau VMs extend Compute Engine’s VM offerings with a new option optimized for cost-effective performance of scale-out workloads. 

T2D, the first instance type in the Tau VM family, is based on 3rd Gen AMD EPYCTM processors and leapfrogs the VMs for scale-out workloads of any leading public cloud provider available today, both in terms of performance and workload total cost of ownership (TCO). The x86 compatibility provided by these AMD EPYC processor-based VMs gives you market-leading performance improvements and cost savings, without having to port your applications to a new processor architecture. 

As illustrated below, Tau VMs offer 56% higher absolute performance and 42% higher price-performance (est. SPECrate2017_int_base) compared to general-purpose VMs from any of the leading public cloud vendors.


* Results are based on estimated SPECrate®2017_int_base run on production VMs of two other leading cloud vendors and pre-production Google Cloud Tau VMs using vendor recommended compilers. View testing details here.
SPECrate is a trademark of the Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation. More information available at www.spec.org

* Results are based on using GCC compiler with all VMs. View testing details here.

What our customers and partners are saying

“At Snap, it is critical for our business to continue improving our scale-out compute infrastructure for key Snapchat capabilities like AR, Lenses, Spotlight and Maps,” said Cody Powell, Senior Engineering Manager, Snap Inc. “We were impressed when we tested Google Cloud’s new Tau VMs with Google Kubernetes Engine. While it's early days, we believe we can gain double digits in infrastructure performance improvements for key workloads—enabling us to do more with less and invest even more in new features for our amazing Snapchat community."

"High performance at the right price point is a critical consideration as we work to serve the global public conversation," said Nick Tornow, Platform Lead, Twitter. “We are excited by initial tests that show potential for double digit performance improvement. We are collaborating with Google Cloud to more deeply evaluate benefits on price and performance for specific compute workloads that we can realize through use of the new Tau VM family.”

"DoiT partners with leading cloud vendors who are focused on growth and cost optimization,” said Yoav Toussia-Cohen, CEO, DoiT International. “In our preliminary testing of Google’s new Tau VMs with the Coremark benchmark, we were thrilled to see the incredible performance at 50% better than a comparable ARM-based offering from another leading public cloud. With Tau VMs, Google Cloud has set a new bar for price-performance, making the cloud even more accessible to digital-native companies. We are excited to bring Google’s Tau VMs to our joint customers."

Designed for demanding scale-out workloads 

Tau VMs bring the benefit of Google’s long-standing experience engineering platforms for scale-out workloads to our customers. They come in multiple predefined VM shapes, with up to 60vCPUs per VM, and 4GB of memory per vCPU. They offer up to 32 Gbps networking bandwidth and a wide range of network attached storage options, making Tau VMs ideal for scale-out workloads including web servers, containerized microservices, data-logging processing, media transcoding, and large-scale Java applications. 

Google Kubernetes Engine support

Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) is the de facto standard for organizations looking for advanced container orchestration, delivering the highest levels of reliability, security, and scalability. GKE supports Tau VMs on day 1, helping you optimize price-performance for your containerized workloads. You can add Tau VMs to your GKE clusters by specifying the T2D machine type in your GKE node-pools


Tau VMs will be priced to support significant TCO and price-performance improvements for your cloud applications. A 32vCPU VM with 128GB RAM will be priced at $1.3520 per hour for on-demand usage in us-central1. 

Available now in GA (updated as of Nov 16, 2021)

The T2D machine family is available today in GA in us-central1 (a/f), europe-west4 (a/c), asia-southeast1 (b/c) and will become available in other Google Cloud regions in the coming months, as listed on the regions and zones page.To learn more about T2D VMs or other Compute Engine VM options, check out our machine types and our pricing pages. To get started,  go to the Google Cloud Console and select T2D for your VMs.

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