Machine types

A machine type is a set of virtualized hardware resources available to a virtual machine (VM) instance, including the system memory size, virtual CPU (vCPU) count, and persistent disk limits. In Compute Engine, machine types are grouped and curated by families for different workloads. You can choose from general-purpose, memory-optimized, and compute-optimized families.

You must choose a machine type when you create an instance. You can select from a number of predefined machine types in each machine type family. If the predefined machine types do not meet your needs, you can create your own custom machine types.

To compare machine type performance, see CPU platforms.

Billing

You are billed for the resources that a VM instance uses. When you create a VM instance, you select a machine type for the instance and are billed as described in the VM instances pricing page. Specifically, you are billed for each vCPU and GB of memory individually, as described in resource-based billing model. Applicable discounts, such as sustained use discounts and committed use discounts apply.

To see the calculated hourly and monthly cost for each machine type, see VM instances pricing.

Machine types

Each machine type family includes different machine types. Each family is curated for specific workload types. The following primary machine types are offered on Compute Engine:

  • General-purpose machine types offer the best price-performance ratio for a variety of workloads.

    • N1 machine types offer up to 96 vCPUs, 6.5 GB of memory per vCPU, and are available on Intel Sandy Bridge, Ivy Bridge, Haswell, Broadwell, and Skylake CPU platforms.
    • N2 machine types offer up to 80 vCPUs, 8 GB of memory per vCPU, and are available on the Intel Cascade Lake CPU platforms.
    • E2 machine types are cost-optimized VMs that offer up to 16 vCPUs with up to 8 GB of memory per vCPU. E2 machines have a predefined CPU platform running either an Intel or AMD EPYC processor. E2 VMs provide a variety of compute resources for the lowest price on Compute Engine.
  • Memory-optimized machine types are ideal for memory-intensive workloads because they offer higher memory per core than other machine types, with up to 12 TB of memory.

  • Compute-optimized machine types offer the highest performance per core on Compute Engine and are optimized for compute-intensive workloads. Compute-optimized machine types offer Intel Scalable Processors (Cascade Lake) and up to 3.8 GHz sustained all-core turbo.

  • Shared-core machine types are available in the N1 and E2 families. These machine types timeshare a physical core. This can be a cost-effective method for running small, non-resource intensive applications.

    • N1: f1-micro and g1-small shared-core machine types have up to 1 vCPU available for short periods of bursting.
    • E2: e2-micro, e2-small, and e2-medium shared-core machine types have 2 vCPUs available for short periods of bursting.

Recommendations for machine types

The following table provides machine type recommendations for different workloads.

E2 (beta)
General purpose
N1, N2
General purpose
M1, M2
Memory-Optimized
C2
Compute-Optimized
Day-to-day computing at a lower cost Balanced price/performance across a wide range of VM shapes Ultra high-memory workloads Ultra high performance for compute-intensive workloads
  • Web serving
  • App serving
  • Back office applications
  • Small-medium databases
  • Microservices
  • Virtual desktops
  • Development environments
  • Web serving
  • App serving
  • Back-office applications
  • Medium-large databases
  • Cache
  • Media/streaming
  • Large in-memory databases like SAP HANA
  • In-memory analytics
  • HPC
  • Electronic Design Automation (EDA)
  • Gaming
  • Single-threaded applications
  • Machine type comparison

    Use the table below to compare each category of machine type to determine which type is appropriate for your workload. If, after reviewing this section, you are still unsure which machine type is best for your workload, using a general-purpose machine type is a good place to start.

    Machine types Memory (per vCPU) vCPUs Custom machine types? Sustained-use discounts? Local SSDs? Processors
    General-purpose (N1) 0.95–6.5 GB 1–96 Yes Yes Yes
    • Skylake
    • Broadwell
    • Haswell
    • Sandy Bridge
    • Ivy Bridge
    General-purpose (N2) 0.5–8 GB 2–80 Yes Yes Yes
    • Cascade Lake
    General-purpose (E2)1 0.5–8 GB 2–16 Yes No No
    • Skylake
    • Broadwell
    • Haswell
    • AMD EPYC (coming soon)
    Compute-optimized 4 GB 4–60 No Yes Yes
    • Cascade Lake
    Memory-optimized ultramem 24 GB 40–416 No Yes No
    • Broadwell E7
    • Cascade Lake
    Memory-optimized megamem 24 GB 96 No Yes Yes
    • Broadwell E5
    • Skylake
    N1 shared-core 3.0–3.4 GB 0.2–0.5 No Yes No
    • N/A
    E2 shared-core 4 GB 0.25–1 No No No
    • N/A
    1For E2 machine types your processor is selected for you.

    General-purpose machine type family

    General-purpose machine types offer the best price-performance ratio for a variety of workloads. If you are not sure which machine type is best for your workload, using a general-purpose machine type is a good place to start.

    N1 machine type

    N1 machine types are Compute Engine's first generation general-purpose machine types. The N1 machines are available on Skylake, Broadwell, Haswell, Sandy Bridge, and Ivy Bridge CPU platforms. N1 machine types provide the following benefits:

    • Support up to 96 vCPUs and 624 GB of memory.
    • Are available as both predefined machine types and custom machine types. Custom machine types can be created within a wide range of memory-to-core ratio, ranging from 0.95 GB per vCPU to 6.5 GB per vCPU.
    • Offer higher memory-to-core ratios for VMs created with the extended memory feature.
    • Offer a larger sustained use discount than N2 machine types.

    The following list shows the available N1 predefined machine types.

    N1 standard machine types

    Machine name vCPUs1 Memory (GB) Max number of persistent disks (PDs)2 Max total PD size (TB) Local SSD Network bandwidth (Gbps)3
    n1-standard-1 1 3.75 128 257 Yes 2
    n1-standard-2 2 7.50 128 257 Yes 10
    n1-standard-4 4 15 128 257 Yes 10
    n1-standard-8 8 30 128 257 Yes 16
    n1-standard-16 16 60 128 257 Yes 324
    n1-standard-32 32 120 128 257 Yes 324
    n1-standard-64 64 240 128 257 Yes 324
    n1-standard-96 96 360 128 257 Yes 324

    1A vCPU is implemented as a single hardware Hyper-thread on one of the available CPU platforms.
    2Persistent disk usage is charged separately from machine type pricing.
    3Network bandwidth is up to the specified limit. Actual performance depends on factors such as network congestion or protocol overhead.
    432 Gbps for Skylake or later CPU platforms. 16 Gbps for all other platforms.

    N1 high-memory machine types

    N1 high-memory machine types have 6.50 GB of system memory per vCPU.

    Machine name vCPUs1 Memory (GB) Max number of persistent disks (PDs)2 Max total PD size (TB) Local SSD Network bandwidth (Gbps)3
    n1-highmem-2 2 13 128 257 Yes 10
    n1-highmem-4 4 26 128 257 Yes 10
    n1-highmem-8 8 52 128 257 Yes 16
    n1-highmem-16 16 104 128 257 Yes 324
    n1-highmem-32 32 208 128 257 Yes 324
    n1-highmem-64 64 416 128 257 Yes 324
    n1-highmem-96 96 624 128 257 Yes 324

    1A vCPU is implemented as a single hardware Hyper-thread on one of the available CPU platforms.
    2Persistent disk usage is charged separately from machine type pricing.
    3Network bandwidth is up to the specified limit. Actual performance depends on factors such as network congestion or protocol overhead.
    432 Gbps for Skylake or later CPU platforms. 16 Gbps for all other platforms.

    N1 high-CPU machine types

    High-CPU machine types are ideal for tasks that require a moderate increase of vCPUs relative to memory. High-CPU machine types have 0.90 GB of memory per vCPU.

    Machine name vCPUs1 Memory (GB) Max number of persistent disks (PDs)2 Max total PD size (TB) Local SSD Network bandwidth (Gbps)3
    n1-highcpu-2 2 1.80 128 257 Yes 10
    n1-highcpu-4 4 3.60 128 257 Yes 10
    n1-highcpu-8 8 7.20 128 257 Yes 16
    n1-highcpu-16 16 14.4 128 257 Yes 324
    n1-highcpu-32 32 28.8 128 257 Yes 324
    n1-highcpu-64 64 57.6 128 257 Yes 324
    n1-highcpu-96 96 86.4 128 257 Yes 324

    1A vCPU is implemented as a single hardware Hyper-thread on one of the available CPU platforms.
    2Persistent disk usage is charged separately from machine type pricing.
    3Network bandwidth is up to the specified limit. Actual performance depends on factors such as network congestion or protocol overhead.
    432 Gbps for Skylake or later CPU platforms. 16 Gbps for all other platforms.

    N2 machine types

    N2 machine types are the second generation general-purpose machine types that offer flexible sizing between 2 to 80 vCPUs and 0.5 to 8 GB of memory per vCPU. N2 VMs run on Cascade Lake CPUs with a base frequency of 2.8 GHz and a sustained all core turbo of 3.4 GHz. These machine types also offer an overall performance improvement over N1 machine types.

    Workloads that can take advantage of the higher clock frequency are a good choice for N2 machine types. These workloads can get higher per-thread performance while benefiting from all the flexibility that a general-purpose machine type offers.

    In summary, N2 machine types:

    • Support up to 80 vCPUs and 640 GB of memory.
    • Are available as both predefined machine types and custom machine types. Custom machine types can be created within a wide range of memory-to-core ratio, ranging from 0.5 GB per vCPU to 8 GB per vCPU.
    • Offer higher memory-to-core ratios for VMs created with the extended memory feature. Using the extended memory feature helps control per-CPU software licensing costs while providing access to more RAM than 8 GB per vCPU.
    • Run on the latest available infrastructure technology with Intel Xeon Scalable Processors (Cascade Lake) running at 2.8 GHz, and with up to 3.4 GHz in sustained all-core-turbo.
    • Are only available on select CPU platforms.

    N2 machine types are only available in select zones and regions. The following list shows the available N2 predefined machine types.

    N2 standard machine types

    Machine name vCPUs1 Memory (GB) Max number of persistent disks (PDs)2 Max total PD size (TB) Local SSD Network bandwidth (Gbps)3
    n2-standard-2 2 8 128 257 Yes 10
    n2-standard-4 4 16 128 257 Yes 10
    n2-standard-8 8 32 128 257 Yes 16
    n2-standard-16 16 64 128 257 Yes 32
    n2-standard-32 32 128 128 257 Yes 32
    n2-standard-48 48 192 128 257 Yes 32
    n2-standard-64 64 256 128 257 Yes 32
    n2-standard-80 80 320 128 257 Yes 32

    1A vCPU is implemented as a single hardware Hyper-thread on one of the available CPU platforms.
    2Persistent disk usage is charged separately from machine type pricing.
    3Network bandwidth is up to the specified limit. Actual performance depends on factors such as network congestion or protocol overhead.

    N2 high-memory machine types

    N2 high-memory machine types have 8 GB of system memory per vCPU.

    Machine name vCPUs1 Memory (GB) Max number of persistent disks (PDs)2 Max total PD size (TB) Local SSD Network bandwidth (Gbps)3
    n2-highmem-2 2 16 128 257 Yes 10
    n2-highmem-4 4 32 128 257 Yes 10
    n2-highmem-8 8 64 128 257 Yes 16
    n2-highmem-16 16 128 128 257 Yes 32
    n2-highmem-32 32 256 128 257 Yes 32
    n2-highmem-48 48 384 128 257 Yes 32
    n2-highmem-64 64 512 128 257 Yes 32
    n2-highmem-80 80 640 128 257 Yes 32

    1A vCPU is implemented as a single hardware Hyper-thread on one of the available CPU platforms.
    2Persistent disk usage is charged separately from machine type pricing.
    3Network bandwidth is up to the specified limit. Actual performance depends on factors such as network congestion or protocol overhead.

    N2 high-CPU machine types

    High-CPU machine types are ideal for tasks that require a moderate increase of vCPUs relative to memory. High-CPU machine types have 1 GB of memory per vCPU.

    Machine name vCPUs1 Memory (GB) Max number of persistent disks (PDs)2 Max total PD size (TB) Local SSD Network bandwidth (Gbps)3
    n2-highcpu-2 2 2 128 257 Yes 10
    n2-highcpu-4 4 4 128 257 Yes 10
    n2-highcpu-8 8 8 128 257 Yes 16
    n2-highcpu-16 16 16 128 257 Yes 32
    n2-highcpu-32 32 32 128 257 Yes 32
    n2-highcpu-48 48 48 128 257 Yes 32
    n2-highcpu-64 64 64 128 257 Yes 32
    n2-highcpu-80 80 80 128 257 Yes 32

    1A vCPU is implemented as a single hardware Hyper-thread on one of the available CPU platforms.
    2Persistent disk usage is charged separately from machine type pricing.
    3Network bandwidth is up to the specified limit. Actual performance depends on factors such as network congestion or protocol overhead.

    E2 machine types (beta)

    E2 machine types are cost-optimized machine types that offer sizing between 2 to 16 vCPUs and 0.5 to 8 GB of memory per vCPU. E2 machine types are available on the following predefined CPU platforms: Intel Skylake, Broadwell, Haswell, and AMD EPYC processors.

    Small to medium workloads that require fewer than 16 vCPUs and no local SSDs or GPUs are an ideal fit for E2 machines.

    In summary, E2 machine types:

    • Support up to 16 vCPUs and 128 GB of memory.
    • Support the virtio balloon memory device.
    • Are available in predefined and custom machine types.
    • Powered by an Intel or AMD EPYC processor (selected at instance creation by Compute Engine based on availability).

    E2 machine types are only available in select regions and zones.

    E2 standard machine types

    Machine name Description vCPUs1 Memory (GB) Max number of persistent disks (PDs)2 Max total PD size (TB) Local SSD Network bandwidth (Gbps)3
    e2-standard-2 Standard machine type with 2 vCPU and 8 GB of memory. 2 8 128 257 No 4
    e2-standard-4 Standard machine type with 4 vCPUs and 16 GB of memory. 4 16 128 257 No 8
    e2-standard-8 Standard machine type with 8 vCPUs and 32 GB of memory. 8 32 128 257 No 16
    e2-standard-16 Standard machine type with 16 vCPUs and 64 GB of memory. 16 64 128 257 No 16

    1A vCPU is implemented as a single hardware Hyper-thread on one of the available CPU platforms.
    2Persistent disk usage is charged separately from machine type pricing.
    3Network bandwidth is up to the specified limit. Actual performance depends on factors such as network congestion or protocol overhead.

    E2 high-memory machine types

    E2 high-memory machine types have 8 GB of system memory per vCPU.

    Machine Name Description vCPUs1 Memory (GB) Max number of persistent disks (PDs)2 Max total PD size (TB) Local SSD Network bandwidth (Gbps)3
    e2-highmem-2 High-memory machine type with 2 vCPUs and 16 GB of memory. 2 16 128 257 No 4
    e2-highmem-4 High-memory machine type with 4 vCPUs, and 32 GB of memory. 4 32 128 257 No 8
    e2-highmem-8 High-memory machine type with 8 vCPUs and 64 GB of memory. 8 64 128 257 No 16
    e2-highmem-16 High-memory machine type with 16 vCPUs and 128 GB of memory. 16 128 128 257 No 16

    1A vCPU is implemented as a single hardware Hyper-thread on one of the available CPU platforms.
    2Persistent disk usage is charged separately from machine type pricing.
    3Network bandwidth is up to the specified limit. Actual performance depends on factors such as network congestion or protocol overhead.

    E2 high-CPU machine types

    High-CPU machine types are ideal for tasks that require a moderate increase of vCPUs relative to memory. High-CPU machine types have 1 GB of memory per vCPU.

    Machine name Description vCPUs1 Memory (GB) Max number of persistent disks (PDs)2 Max total PD size (TB) Local SSD Network bandwidth (Gbps)3
    e2-highcpu-2 High-CPU machine type with 2 vCPUs and 2 GB of memory. 2 2 128 257 No 4
    e2-highcpu-4 High-CPU machine type with 4 vCPUs and 4 GB of memory. 4 4 128 257 No 8
    e2-highcpu-8 High-CPU machine type with 8 vCPUs and 8 GB of memory. 8 8 128 257 No 16
    e2-highcpu-16 High-CPU machine type with 16 vCPUs and 16 GB of memory. 16 16 128 257 No 16

    1A vCPU is implemented as a single hardware Hyper-thread on one of the available CPU platforms.
    2Persistent disk usage is charged separately from machine type pricing.
    3Network bandwidth is up to the specified limit. Actual performance depends on factors such as network congestion or protocol overhead.

    Custom machine types

    If none of the general-purpose predefined machine types match your needs, you can create a custom machine type with the number of vCPUs and amount of memory that you need for your instance.

    Custom machine types are ideal for the following scenarios:

    • Workloads that are not a good fit for the predefined machine types that are available to you.
    • Workloads that require more processing power or more memory, but don't need all of the upgrades that are provided by the next larger predefined machine type.

    It costs slightly more to use a custom machine type than an equivalent predefined machine type, and there are still some limitations in the amount of memory and vCPUs you can select. For more information, see Creating a VM instance with a custom machine type.

    Memory-optimized machine type family

    Memory-optimized machine types are ideal for tasks that require intensive use of memory with higher memory-to-vCPU ratios than the N1 high-memory machine types. These machine types are suited for in-memory databases and in-memory analytics, such as SAP HANA and business warehousing (BW) workloads, genomics analysis, SQL analysis services, and so on.

    Memory-optimized machine types are only available as predefined machine types. These machine types offer at least from 14 GB to 28 GB memory per vCPU. The following restrictions apply:

    M1 machine types

    M1 machine types are the first generation memory-optimized machine types that offer 24 GB of memory per vCPU. This set of machine types comes in two types: m1-ultramem and m1-megamem. To see if ultramem or megamem machine types are available in a certain zone, see Available regions and zones.

    Machine name vCPUs1 Memory (GB) Max number of persistent disks (PDs)2 Max total PD size (TB) Local SSD Network bandwidth (Gbps)3
    m1-ultramem-40 40 961 128 257 No 32
    m1-ultramem-80 80 1922 128 257 No 32
    m1-ultramem-160 160 3844 128 257 No 32
    Machine name vCPUs1 Memory (GB) Max number of persistent disks (PDs)2 Max total PD size (TB) Local SSD Network bandwidth (Gbps)3
    m1-megamem-96 96 1433.6 128 257 Yes 32

    1A vCPU is implemented as a single hardware Hyper-thread on one of the available CPU platforms.
    2Persistent disk usage is charged separately from machine type pricing.
    3Network bandwidth is up to the specified limit. Actual performance depends on factors such as network congestion or protocol overhead.

    M2 machine types

    If the machine types above do not match your workloads, you can choose from the following list of machine types that have larger amounts of memory per vCPU. M2 ultramem machine types offer on-demand pricing for an evaluation period only. Long running usage requires purchasing a committed use contract. See Pricing page for more details.

    Machine name vCPUs1 Memory (GB) Max number of persistent disks (PDs)2 Max total PD size (TB) Local SSD Network bandwidth (Gbps)3
    m2-ultramem-2084 208 5888 128 257 No 325
    m2-ultramem-4164 416 11,776 128 257 No 325

    1A vCPU is implemented as a single hardware Hyper-thread on one of the available CPU platforms.
    2Persistent disk usage is charged separately from machine type pricing.
    3Network bandwidth is up to the specified limit. Actual performance depends on factors such as network congestion or protocol overhead.
    4M2 ultramem machine types offer on-demand pricing for an evaluation period only. Long running usage requires purchasing a committed use contract. See Pricing page for more details.
    532 Gbps for Skylake or later CPU platforms. 16 Gbps for all other platforms.

    Compute-optimized machine type family

    Compute-optimized machine types are ideal for compute-intensive workloads. These machine types offer the highest performance per core on Compute Engine.

    Compute-optimized types are only available as predefined machine types and include the C2 machine types.

    C2 machine types

    Built on the latest generation Intel Scalable Processors (Cascade Lake), C2 machine types offer up to 3.8 GHz sustained all-core turbo and provide full transparency into the architecture of the underlying server platforms, letting you fine-tune the performance. C2 machine types offer much more computing power, run on a newer platform, and are generally more robust for compute-intensive workloads than the N1 high-CPU machine types.

    C2 machine types have the following restrictions:

    Machine name vCPUs1 Memory (GB) Max number of persistent disks (PDs)2 Max total PD size (TB) Local SSD Network bandwidth (Gbps)3
    c2-standard-4 4 16 128 257 Yes 10
    c2-standard-8 8 32 128 257 Yes 16
    c2-standard-16 16 64 128 257 Yes 32
    c2-standard-30 30 120 128 257 Yes 32
    c2-standard-60 60 240 128 257 Yes 32

    1A vCPU is implemented as a single hardware Hyper-thread on one of the available CPU platforms.
    2Persistent disk usage is charged separately from machine type pricing.
    3Network bandwidth is up to the specified limit. Actual performance depends on factors such as network congestion or protocol overhead.

    Shared-core machine types

    Shared-core machine types use Hyper-threading to split a virtual core for the purpose of multitasking. N1 shared core machine types have up to one vCPU available for short periods of bursting. E2 shared-core machine types have two vCPUs available for short periods of bursting. Shared-core instances can be more cost-effective for running small, non-resource intensive applications than standard, high-memory or high-CPU machine types.

    CPU Bursting

    Shared-core machine types offer bursting capabilities that allow instances to use additional physical CPU for short periods of time. Bursting happens automatically when your instance requires more physical CPU than originally allocated. During these spikes, your instance will opportunistically take advantage of available physical CPU in bursts. Note that bursts are not permanent and are only possible periodically. Bursting doesn't incur any additional charges. You are charged the listed on-demand price for f1-micro, g1-small, and e2 shared-core machine types.

    N1 shared-core machine types

    These machine types are burstable up to 1 vCPU for short periods of time. The following machine types are offered as part of the N1 machine type family.

    Machine name Description vCPUs Fractional vCPUs1 Memory (GB) Max number of persistent disks (PDs)2 Max total PD size (TB) Local SSD Network bandwidth (Gbps)3
    f1-micro Micro machine type with 0.2 vCPU and 0.6 GB of memory, backed by a shared physical core. 1 0.21 0.60 16 3 No 1
    g1-small Small machine type with 0.5 vCPU and 1.70 GB of memory, backed by a shared physical core. 1 0.51 1.70 16 3 No 1
    1Fractional vCPU of 0.2 or 0.5, with 1 vCPU exposed to the guest operating system.
    2Persistent disk usage is charged separately from machine type pricing.
    3Network bandwidth is up to the specified limit. Actual performance depends on factors such as network congestion or protocol overhead.

    E2 shared-core machine types

    E2 shared-core machines are cost-effective, have a virtio balloon memory device, and are ideal for small workloads. E2 shared-core machine types expose two vCPUs to the guest operating system. These machine types are burstable up to 2 vCPUs for short periods of time.

    There are three options of E2 shared-core machines:

    Machine name Description vCPUs Fractional vCPUs1 Memory (GB) Max number of persistent disks (PDs)2 Max total PD size (TB) Local SSD Network bandwidth (Gbps)3
    e2-micro Micro machine type with 0.25 vCPU and 1 GB of memory, backed by a shared physical core. 2 0.251 1 16 3 no 1
    e2-small Small machine type with 0.5 vCPU and 2 GB of memory, backed by a shared physical core. 2 0.51 2 16 3 no 1
    e2-medium Medium machine type with 1 vCPU and 4 GB of memory, backed by a shared physical core. 2 11 4 16 3 no 2
    1Fractional vCPU of 0.25, 0.5, or 1.0 with 2 vCPUs exposed to the guest operating system.
    2Persistent disk usage is charged separately from machine type pricing.
    3Network bandwidth is up to the specified limit. Actual performance depends on factors such as network congestion or protocol overhead.

    GPUs and machine types

    You can attach GPUs only to general-purpose N1 machine types. GPUs are not supported for other machine types.

    Instances with lower numbers of GPUs are limited to a maximum number of vCPUs. In general, a higher number of GPUs allows you to create instances with a higher number of vCPUs and memory. For more information, see GPUs on Compute Engine.

    Virtio memory balloon device

    Compute Engine E2 VM instances that are based on a public image support the virtio memory balloon device , which monitors the guest operating system's memory use. The guest operating system communicates its available memory to the host system. The host reallocates any unused memory to other processes on-demand, thereby using memory more effectively. Compute Engine collects and uses this data to make more accurate rightsizing recommendations.

    Verifying the driver installation

    To check if your image has the virtio memory balloon device driver installed and loaded, run the following command.

    Linux

    Most Linux distributions include the virtio memory balloon device. To verify that your image has the driver installed and loaded, run:

    sudo modinfo virtio_balloon > /dev/null && echo Balloon driver is \
    installed || echo Balloon driver is not installed; sudo lsmod | grep \
    virtio_balloon > /dev/null && echo Balloon driver is loaded || echo \
    Balloon driver is not loaded

    In Linux kernels before 5.2, the Linux memory system sometimes mistakenly prevents large allocations when the balloon device is present. This is rarely an issue in practice, but we recommend changing the virtual memory overcommit-accounting setting to 1 to prevent the issue from occurring.

    To fix the setting, run the following command:

    sudo /sbin/sysctl -w vm.overcommit_memory=1

    This changes the setting from 0 to 1.

    To persist this change across reboots, add the following:

    vm.overcommit_memory=1
    to your /etc/sysctl.conf file.

    Windows

    Compute Engine Windows images include the virtio balloon device. However, custom Windows images do not. To verify whether your Windows image has the driver installed, run:

    googet verify google-compute-engine-driver-balloon
    

    Disabling the virtio memory balloon device

    You can opt-out of the virtio memory balloon device by disabling the device driver. After disabling the virtio memory balloon device, you will continue to receive rightsizing recommendations; however, they might not be as accurate.

    Linux

    To disable the device in Linux, run the following command:

    sudo rmmod virtio_balloon
    

    You can add this command to the VM's startup script to automatically disable the device upon VM boot.

    Windows

    To disable the device on Windows, run the following command:

    googet -noconfirm remove google-compute-engine-driver-balloon
    

    You can put this command into the VM's startup script to automatically disable the device upon VM boot.

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