Sole-tenant nodes

A sole-tenant node is a physical Compute Engine server that is dedicated to hosting VM instances only for your specific project. Use sole-tenant nodes to keep your instances physically separated from instances in other projects, or to group your instances together on the same host hardware.

Read Creating sole-tenant nodes to learn how to create nodes and place your instances on those nodes.

Read Sole-tenant node pricing to learn how to calculate prices and discounts for sole-tenant nodes.

Overview

Each node is associated with one physical server, and is the only node running on that server. Within your nodes, you can run multiple instances of various sizes without sharing the host hardware with other projects. You can specify node affinities between your nodes and the instances that you want to run on those nodes. Use these affinities to either group several workloads together on the same nodes or isolate your workloads from one another on different nodes to meet your data compliance requirements. To use sole-tenant nodes, you create node groups, which contain one or more nodes, rather than creating individual nodes. The following illustration shows one node that has instances from multiple customer projects and another node that has instances exclusively from one customer project.

Two Compute Engine nodes.

For example, some payment processing workloads might require physical isolation from other workloads or virtual machines in order to meet compliance requirements. Sole-tenant nodes ensure that your instances do not share host hardware with instances from other projects, but you can also use labels to specify how your instances are arranged on your nodes and separate instances with sensitive workloads into their own private nodes away from your other non-sensitive workloads.

Node types

Each node within a node group must have a node type. A node type specifies the total amount of cores and memory for that node. Currently, the only available node type is n1-node-96-624 node type which has 96 vCPUs and 624 GB of memory, available in multiple zones. Nodes of this size can accommodate VM instances up to 96 vCPUs and 624 GB of memory, but you can also fill the node with multiple smaller VM instances with various sizes including custom machine types and instances with extended memory. The instances that you run on your nodes must have at least two vCPUs. When a node is full, you cannot schedule additional instances on that node.

Note that a node type applies to each individual node within a node group (not to the node group as a whole). So, if you create a node group with two nodes, each node is allocated 96 vCPUs and 624 GB of memory. You must have enough vCPU quota to support the total vCPUs required for the node group to successfully create the group. For example, two nodes would require 96 vCPUs x 2 = 192 vCPUs so you must have at least 192 vCPUs available to create the group.

To see a complete list of node availability, run the node-types list in the gcloud command-line tool.

gcloud compute sole-tenancy node-types list

Periodically, Compute Engine will replace older node types with newer node types. When a node type is replaced, you will be unable to create node groups using the old node type, and must upgrade your node templates to use the new node types. As a best practice, you can configure your node templates to use flexible node type requirements. Read the creating node groups page to see examples of node templates with flexible node types.

Features

Sole-tenant nodes are compatible with existing Compute Engine features:

  • If your node's host system requires maintenance, the node and all of the instances on the node continue to operate while they live migrate to updated host hardware.
  • Sustained use discounts and committed use discounts reduce the costs of your sole-tenant nodes. Read sole-tenant node pricing to learn how discounts apply to sole-tenant nodes.
  • VPC networks work with instances running on sole-tenant nodes the same way that they work with normal VM instances. You can use VPC networks to establish network connections between sole-tenant instances and normal VM instances.
  • Use custom machine types or predefined machine types to create instances on your sole-tenant nodes. Because you already pay for the vCPUs and memory of the node itself, you do not pay extra for these instances.
  • Create managed instance groups on your node groups. Your managed instance groups can use autoscaling while running on sole-tenant nodes, but the node groups cannot automatically scale.
  • Combine VMs with multiple machine types on each node. You can use a mix of different machine types and custom machine types on the same node until the node reaches its vCPU and memory limit, which is defined by the node type.

Restrictions

The following restrictions apply to sole-tenant nodes at this time:

  • Sole-tenant nodes are only available in select zones. Review the Regions and Zones page to learn which zones currently support sole-tenant nodes.
  • You cannot start VMs with machine types that have fewer than two vCPUs. This includes:

The following features are unavailable on sole-tenant nodes at this time:

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