Regions and Zones

Certain Compute Engine resources live in regions or zones. A region is a specific geographical location where you can run your resources. Each region has one or more zones; most regions have three or more zones. For example, the us-central1 region denotes a region in the Central United States that has zones us-central1-a, us-central1-b, us-central1-c, and us-central1-f.

Resources that live in a zone, such as instances or persistent disks, are referred to as zonal resources. Other resources, like static external IP addresses, are regional. Regional resources can be used by any resources in that region, regardless of zone, while zonal resources can only be used by other resources in the same zone.

For example, disks and instances are both zonal resources. To attach a disk to an instance, both resources must be in the same zone. Similarly, if you want to assign a static IP address to an instance, the instance must be in the same region as the static IP.

Only certain resources are region- or zone-specific. Other resources, such as images, are global resources that can be used by any other resources across any location. For information on global, regional, and zonal Compute Engine resources, see Global, Regional, and Zonal Resources.

The following table describes the regions and their associated zones. See the Available regions & zones section for a complete description of a zone's available machine types and features.

Region Zones Location
asia-east1 a, b, c Changhua County, Taiwan
asia-east2 a, b, c Hong Kong
asia-northeast1 a, b, c Tokyo, Japan
asia-south1 a, b, c Mumbai, India
asia-southeast1 a, b, c Jurong West, Singapore
australia-southeast1 a, b, c Sydney, Australia
europe-north1 a, b, c Hamina, Finland
europe-west1 b, c, d St. Ghislain, Belgium
europe-west2 a, b, c London, England, UK
europe-west3 a, b, c Frankfurt, Germany
europe-west4 a, b, c Eemshaven, Netherlands
northamerica-northeast1 a, b, c Montréal, Québec, Canada
southamerica-east1 a, b, c São Paulo, Brazil
us-central1 a, b, c, f Council Bluffs, Iowa, USA
us-east1 b, c, d Moncks Corner, South Carolina, USA
us-east4 a, b, c Ashburn, Northern Virginia, USA
us-west1 a, b, c The Dalles, Oregon, USA
us-west2 a, b, c Los Angeles, California, USA

Choosing a region and zone

You choose which region or zone hosts your resources, which controls where your data is stored and used. Choosing a region and zone is important for several reasons:

Handling failures
Distribute your resources across multiple zones and regions to tolerate outages. Google designs zones to be independent from each other: a zone usually has power, cooling, networking, and control planes that are isolated from other zones, and most single failure events will affect only a single zone. Thus, if a zone becomes unavailable, you can transfer traffic to another zone in the same region to keep your services running. Similarly, if a region experiences any disturbances, you should have backup services running in a different region. For more information about distributing your resources and designing a robust system, see Designing Robust Systems.
Decreased network latency
To decrease network latency, you might want to choose a region or zone that is close to your point of service. For example, if you mostly have customers on the East Coast of the US, then you might want to choose a primary region and zone that is close to that area and a backup region and zone that is also close by.

Identifying a region or zone

Each region in Compute Engine contains a number of zones. Each zone name contains two parts that describe each zone in detail. The first part of the zone name is the region and the second part of the name describes the zone in the region:

  • Region

    Regions are collections of zones. Zones have high-bandwidth, low-latency network connections to other zones in the same region. In order to deploy fault-tolerant applications that have high availability, Google recommends deploying applications across multiple zones and multiple regions. This helps protect against unexpected failures of components, up to and including a single zone or region.

    Choose regions that makes sense for your scenario. For example, if you only have customers in the US, or if you have specific needs that require your data to live in the US, it makes sense to store your resources in zones in the us-central1 region or zones in the us-east1 region.

  • Zone

    A zone is an isolated location within a region. The fully-qualified name for a zone is made up of <region>-<zone>. For example, the fully-qualified name for zone a in region us-central1 is us-central1-a.

    Depending on how widely you want to distribute your resources, create instances across multiple zones in multiple regions for redundancy.

Available regions & zones

The following table lists the region, its location, the available zones in that region, and the features available in that region.

Each zone supports a combination of Ivy Bridge, Sandy Bridge, Haswell, Broadwell, and Skylake platforms. When you create an instance in the zone, your instance will use the default processor supported in that zone. For example, if you create an instance in the us-central1-a zone, your instance will use a Sandy Bridge processor.

Alternatively, you can choose your desired CPU platform if you'd like. For more information, read Specifying a Minimum CPU Platform for VM Instances.

Region Name Region Description Location Zones Features
asia-east1 Taiwan Changhua County, Taiwan asia-east1-a
asia-east1-b
asia-east1-c
  • Available CPU platforms:
    • Intel Xeon E5 v2 (Ivy Bridge) platform (default)
    • Intel Xeon E5 v4 (Broadwell) platform
    • Intel Xeon (Skylake) platform
  • Up to 96 vCPU machine types when using the Skylake platform
  • Local SSDs
asia-east2 Hong Kong Hong Kong
  • asia-east2-a
  • asia-east2-b
  • asia-east2-c
asia-northeast1 Tokyo Tokyo, Japan
  • asia-northeast1-a
  • asia-northeast1-b
  • asia-northeast1-c
asia-south1 Mumbai Mumbai, India
  • asia-south1-a
  • asia-south1-b
  • asia-south1-c
asia-southeast1 Singapore Jurong West, Singapore
  • asia-southeast1-a
  • asia-southeast1-c
australia-southeast1 Sydney Sydney, Australia
  • australia-southeast1-a
  • australia-southeast1-b
  • australia-southeast1-c
europe-north1 Finland Hamina, Finland
  • europe-north1-a
  • europe-north1-b
  • europe-north1-c
europe-west1 Belgium St. Ghislain, Belgium europe-west1-b
europe-west1-c
europe-west1-d
europe-west2 London London, England, UK
  • europe-west2-a
  • europe-west2-b
  • europe-west2-c
europe-west3 Frankfurt Frankfurt, Germany
  • europe-west3-a
  • europe-west3-b
    europe-west3-c
europe-west4 Netherlands Eemshaven, Netherlands
  • europe-west4-a
  • europe-west4-b
  • europe-west4-c
northamerica-northeast1 Montréal Montréal, Québec, Canada
  • northamerica-northeast1-a
  • northamerica-northeast1-b
  • northamerica-northeast1-c
southamerica-east1 São Paulo São Paulo, Brazil
  • southamerica-east1-a
  • southamerica-east1-b
  • southamerica-east1-c
us-central1 Iowa Council Bluffs, Iowa, USA us-central1-a
us-central1-b
us-central1-c
us-central1-f
us-east1 South Carolina Moncks Corner, South Carolina, USA us-east1-b
    us-east1-c
    us-east1-d
us-east4 Northern Virginia Ashburn, Virginia, USA
  • us-east4-a
  • us-east4-b
  • us-east4-c
us-west1 Oregon The Dalles, Oregon, USA us-west1-a
us-west1-b
us-west1-c
us-west2 Los Angeles Los Angeles, California, USA us-west2-a
us-west2-b
us-west2-c

Announced regions

Throughout 2018, Google will continue expanding into the following new regions:

In 2019, Google will continue expanding into the following new regions:

  • Zürich (Switzerland)
  • Osaka (Japan)

Transparent maintenance

Google regularly maintains its infrastructure by patching systems with the latest software, performing routine tests and preventative maintenance, and generally ensuring that Google infrastructure is as fast and efficient as Google knows how to make it.

By default, all instances are configured so that these maintenance events are transparent to your applications and workloads. Google uses a combination of datacenter innovations, operational best practices, and live migration technology to move running virtual machine instances out of the way of maintenance that is being performed. Your instance continues to run within the same zone with no action on your part.

By default, all virtual machines are set to live migrate, but you can also set your virtual machines to terminate and reboot. The two options differ in the following ways:

  • Live migrate

    Compute Engine automatically migrates your running instance. The migration process will impact guest performance to some degree but your instance remains online throughout the migration process. The exact guest performance impact and duration depend on many factors, but it is expected most applications and workloads will not notice.

  • Terminate and reboot

    Compute Engine automatically signals your instance to shut down, waits a short time for it to shut down cleanly, and then restarts it away from the maintenance event.

For more information on how to set the options above for your instances, see Setting Instance Scheduling Options.

Zone deprecation

Compute Engine has made recent improvements in its virtualization technology that eliminate the need to decommission an existing zone for a ground-up infrastructure refresh (power, cooling, network fabric, servers, etc.). Infrastructure refreshes are rare and zones typically run for three to five years between refreshes. These refreshes should be transparent to customers.

If it ever becomes necessary to deprecate a zone, Compute Engine will notify users well in advance of when it will go offline so you have ample time to move your virtual machine instances and workloads.

Quotas

Certain resources, such as static IPs, images, firewall rules, and VPC networks, have defined project-wide quota limits and per-region quota limits. When you create these resources, it counts towards your total project-wide quota or your per-region quota, if applicable. If any of the affected quota limits are exceeded, you won't be able to add more resources of the same type in that project or region.

To see a comprehensive list of quotas that apply to your project, visit the Quotas page in the Google Cloud Platform Console.

For example, if your global target pools quota is 50 and you create 25 target pools in example-region-1 and 25 target pools in example-region-2, you reach your project-wide quota and won't be able to create more target pools in any region within your project until you free up space. Similarly, if you have a per-region quota of 7 reserved IP addresses, you can only reserve up to 7 IP addresses in a single region. After you hit that limit, you will either need to reserve IP addresses in a new region or release some IP addresses.

Tips

When selecting zones, here are some things to keep in mind:

  • Communication within and across regions will incur different costs.

    Generally, communication within regions will always be cheaper and faster than communication across different regions.

  • Design important systems with redundancy across multiple zones.

    At some point in time, it is possible that your instances might experience an unexpected failure. To mitigate the effects of these possible events, you should duplicate important systems in multiple zones and regions.

    For example, by hosting instances in zones europe-west1-b and europe-west1-c, if europe-west1-b fails unexpectedly, your instances in zone europe-west1-c will still be available. However, if you host all your instances in europe-west1-b, you will not be able to access any instances if europe-west1-b goes offline. You should also consider hosting your resources across regions. For example, consider hosting backup instances in a zone in europe-west3 in the unlikely scenario that the europe-west1 region experiences a failure. For more tips on how to design systems for availability, see Designing Robust Systems.

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