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Preemptible VMs now up to 33% cheaper

August 9, 2016
Michael Basilyan

Product Manager, Compute Engine

We’re happy to announce that we’ve lowered the price of Preemptible VMs by up to 33%! Since launching Preemptible VMs last year, we’ve tuned our algorithms, improved their efficiency and analyzed usage patterns. Our experience, combined with the growth of Google Cloud Platform, allows us to offer deeper discounts. For example, the price of an n1-standard-1 Preemptible VM instance is now just one cent per hour. That’s 80% cheaper than the equivalent, non-preemptible instance, with no bidding or guesswork. The new pricing is already in effect.

Preemptible VMs are just like any other Google Compute Engine VM, with the caveat that they cannot run for more than 24 hours and that we can preempt (shut down) the VM earlier if we need the capacity for other purposes. This allows us to use our data center capacity more efficiently and share the savings with you.

Over the last year, Google Cloud Platform customers, such as Citadel, have used Preemptible VMs to greatly reduce their compute costs, and have come up with lots of interesting use cases along the way. Our customers are using Preemptible VMs to analyze data, render movies, process satellite imagery, analyze genomic data, transcode media and complete a variety of business and engineering tasks, using thousands of Preemptible VM cores in a single job. We believe that the price reduction for Preemptible VMs will unlock even more computing opportunities and enable you to tackle interesting science and business problems.

Here are some ways you can launch a Preemptible VM right now:

Here are some tips and tricks to help you get the most out of Preemptible VMs:

  • Resources for Preemptible VMs come out of excess Google Cloud Platform capacity. The load on our Cloud Platform data centers varies with location and time of day, but is generally lowest on nights and weekends — the best time to run large Preemptible VM clusters.
  • We avoid preempting too many VMs from a single customer and, given the choice, preempt VMs that were launched most recently. This might be a bit frustrating at first, but in the long run, this strategy helps minimize lost work across your cluster. And because we don’t bill for VMs preempted in the first 10 minutes, it saves on costs too.
  • It’s a good idea to retry once or twice, even if you’ve been preempted early. Combining regular and Preemptible VMs in your clusters will ensure that tasks proceed at an adequate pace.
  • Manage shutdown and preemption notices with a shutdown script that saves a job’s progress so that it can pick up where it left off, rather than start over from scratch.

For more details on Preemptible VMs, please check out the documentation. 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, go to the Getting Help page.

We’re excited to see what you build with our products. If you want to share stories and demos of the cool things you have built with Preemptible VMs, send us an email or reach out on Twitter, Facebook, or G+.

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