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Introducing Preemptible GPUs: 50% Off

January 4, 2018
Chris Kleban

GCE Product Manager

Michael Basilyan

Product Manager, Compute Engine

In May 2015, Google Cloud introduced Preemptible VM instances to dramatically change how you think about (and pay for) computational resources for high-throughput batch computing, machine learning, scientific and technical workloads. Then last year, we introduced lower pricing for Local SSDs attached to Preemptible VMs, expanding preemptible cloud resources to high performance storage. Now we're taking it even further by announcing the beta release of GPUs attached to Preemptible VMs.

You can now attach NVIDIA K80 and NVIDIA P100 GPUs to Preemptible VMs for $0.22 and $0.73 per GPU hour, respectively. This is 50% cheaper than GPUs attached to on-demand instances, which we also recently lowered. Preemptible GPUs will be a particularly good fit for large-scale machine learning and other computational batch workloads as customers can harness the power of GPUs to run distributed batch workloads at predictably affordable prices.

As a bonus, we're also glad to announce that our GPUs are now available in our us-central1 region. See our GPU documentation for a full list of available locations.

Resources attached to Preemptible VMs are the same as equivalent on-demand resources with two key differences: Compute Engine may shut them down after providing you a 30-second warning, and you can use them for a maximum of 24 hours. This makes them a great choice for distributed, fault-tolerant workloads that don’t continuously require any single instance, and allows us to offer them at a substantial discount. But just like its on-demand equivalents, preemptible pricing is fixed. You’ll always get low cost, financial predictability and we bill on a per-second basis. Any GPUs attached to a Preemptible VM instance will be considered Preemptible and will be billed at the lower rate. To get started, simply append --preemptible to your instance create command in gcloud, specify scheduling.preemptible to true in the REST API or set Preemptibility to "On" in the Google Cloud Platform Console and then attach a GPU as usual. You can use your regular GPU quota to launch Preemptible GPUs or, alternatively, you can request a special Preemptible GPUs quota that only applies to GPUs attached to Preemptible VMs.


For users looking to create dynamic pools of affordable GPU power, Compute Engine’s managed instance groups can be used to automatically re-create your preemptible instances when they're preempted (if capacity is available). Preemptible VMs are also integrated into cloud products built on top of Compute Engine, such as Kubernetes Engine (GKE’s GPU support is currently in preview. The sign-up form can be found here).

Over the years we’ve seen customers do some very exciting things with preemptible resources: everything from solving problems in satellite image analysis, financial services, questions in quantum physics, computational mathematics and drug screening.

Preemptible GPU instances from GCP give us the best combination of affordable pricing, easy access and sufficient scalability. In our drug discovery programs, cheaper computing means we can look at more molecules, thereby increasing our chances of finding promising drug candidates. Preemptible GPU instances have advantages over the other discounted cloud offerings we have explored, such as consistent pricing and transparent terms. This greatly improves our ability to plan large simulations, control costs and ensure we get the throughput needed to make decisions that impact our projects in a timely fashion.

— Woody Sherman, CSO, Silicon Therapeutics

We’re excited to see what you build with GPUs attached to Preemptible VMs. If you want to share stories and demos of the cool things you've built with Preemptible VMs, reach out on Twitter, Facebook or G+.

For more details on Preemptible GPU resources, please check out the preemptible documentation, GPU documentation and best practices. For more pricing information, take a look at our Compute Engine pricing page or try out our pricing calculator. If you have questions or feedback, please visit our Getting Help page.

To get started using Preemptible GPUs today; sign up for Google Cloud Platform and get $300 in credits to try out Preemptible GPUs.

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