Compute Engine

High-performance, scalable VMs
Scalable and high-performance virtual machines

Compute Engine delivers configurable virtual machines running in Google’s data centers with access to high-performance networking infrastructure and block storage.

  • Select the right VM for your needs, whether general purpose, or workload optimized, in predefined or custom machine sizes
  • Integrate compute with other Google Cloud services such as AI/ML and data analytics
  • Make reservations to help ensure your applications have the capacity they need as they scale. Save money just for running compute with sustained-use discounts, and achieve greater savings when you use committed-use discounts

General purpose (N2)

N2 machine types provide a balance between price and performance. These VMs are well suited for most workloads, including line-of-business applications, web serving, and databases.

Compute optimized (C2)

C2 machine types offer consistent high-end vCPU performance. These machine types are great for AAA gaming, EDA, HPC, and other applications.

Memory optimized (M2)

M2 machine types offer the highest amount of memory. These VMs are well suited for in-memory databases, such as SAP HANA, real-time analytics, and in-memory caches.

Key features

Live migration for VMs

Compute Engine virtual machines can live-migrate between host systems without rebooting, which keeps your applications running even when host systems require maintenance.

Preemptible VMs

Run batch jobs and fault-tolerant workloads on preemptible VMs to reduce your vCPU and memory costs by up to 80% while still getting the same performance and capabilities as regular VMs.

Sole-tenant nodes

Sole-tenant nodes are physical Compute Engine servers dedicated exclusively for your use. Sole-tenant nodes simplify deployment for bring your own license (BYOL) applications. Sole-tenant nodes give you access to the same machine types and VM configuration options as regular compute instances.

Customer Stories


  • Faster infrastructure provisioning helped launch more new experiences in less time

  • Pilot MVP ground-up rewrite of core supply-chain system was live in a matter of weeks

  • CIO: “Today I don’t worry that much about system stability”


  • Retail and consumer goods

View all customers

What’s new


Google cloud basics
Compute Engine pricing

See pricing for all Compute Engine resources including VM machine types.

Quickstart using a Linux VM

Create an instance and connect to that instance using SSH.

Google cloud basics
Boot disk images

Learn about the public images that you can use to create your VMs, or learn how to create and import your own custom images to Compute Engine.

Using the Compute Engine API through client libraries

Use client libraries to create and manage Compute Engine resources in Go, Python, Java, Node.js, and other languages.

Create managed-instance groups

Managed-instance groups support stateless applications that can run across multiple VMs. Use autoscaling to automatically add or remove instances depending on the size of your workload.

Google cloud basics
Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) network overview

Virtual networking connects your Compute Engine VMs to each other and also allows you to connect VMs to other Google Cloud services. Configure your VPC network and firewalls to handle network traffic for your applications.

Google cloud basics
Identity and Access Management (IAM) overview

Use IAM roles and permissions to control access to your Compute Engine resources. To access your cloud resources, each project member and application service account must have the necessary IAM permissions.

Common use cases

VM Migration

Compute Engine VMs can run a variety of workloads and are flexible enough to handle your existing applications with minimal changes. Bring your existing systems to Compute Engine to gain the flexibility and reduced costs of running in the cloud.

Move your existing systems to Compute Engine

Compute Engine provides tools to help you bring your existing applications to the cloud. You can have your applications running on Compute Engine within minutes while your data migrates transparently in the background. Bring your existing applications from your physical servers, VMware vSphere, Amazon EC2, or Azure VMs.

Architecture, showing all components of the infrastructure

All features

Predefined machine types Compute Engine offers predefined virtual machine configurations for every need from small general purpose instances to large memory-optimized instances with up to 11.5 TB of RAM or fast compute-optimized instances with up to 60 vCPUs.
Custom machine types Create a virtual machine with a custom machine type that best fits your workloads. By tailoring a custom machine type to your specific needs, you can realize significant savings.
Preemptible VMs Low-cost, short-term instances designed to run batch jobs and fault-tolerant workloads. Preemptible VMs provide significant savings of up to 80% while still getting the same performance and capabilities as regular VMs.
Live migration for VMs Compute Engine virtual machines can live-migrate between host systems without rebooting, which keeps your applications running even when host systems require maintenance.
Persistent disks Durable, high-performance block storage for virtual machine instances. Data is stored redundantly for integrity, flexibility to resize storage without interruption, and automatic encryption. You can create persistent disks in HDD or SSD formats. You can also take snapshots of your persistent disk and create new persistent disks from that snapshot. If a VM instance is terminated, its persistent disk retains data and can be attached to another instance.
Local SSD Compute Engine offers always-encrypted local solid-state drive (SSD) block storage. Local SSDs are physically attached to the server that hosts the virtual machine instance for very high input/output operations per second (IOPS) and very low latency compared to persistent disks.
GPU accelerators GPUs can be added to accelerate computationally intensive workloads like machine learning, simulation, medical analysis, and virtual workstation applications. Add or remove GPUs to a VM when your workload changes and pay for GPU resources only while you are using them.
Global load balancing Global load-balancing technology helps you distribute incoming requests across pools of instances across multiple regions, so you can achieve maximum performance, throughput, and availability at low cost.
Linux and Windows support Run your choice of OS, including Debian, CentOS, CoreOS, SUSE, Ubuntu, Red Hat Enterprise Linux, FreeBSD, or Windows Server 2008 R2, 2012 R2, and 2016. You can also use a shared image from the Google Cloud community or bring your own.
Per-second billing Google bills in second-level increments. You pay only for the compute time that you use.
Commitment savings With committed-use discounts you can save up to 57% with no up-front costs or instance-type lock-in.
Container support Run, manage, and orchestrate Docker containers on Compute Engine VMs with Google Kubernetes Engine.
Sustained-use savings Sustained-use discounts are automatic discounts for running Compute Engine resources for a significant portion of the billing month.
Reservations Create reservations for VM instances in a specific zone. Use reservations to ensure that your project has resources for future increases in demand. When you no longer need a reservation, delete the reservation to stop incurring charges for it.
Right-sizing recommenda­tions Compute Engine provides machine type recommendations to help you optimize the resource utilization of your virtual machine (VM) instances. Use these recommendations to resize your instance’s machine type to more efficiently use the instance’s resources.


Pricing for Compute Engine is based on per-second usage of the machine types, persistent disks, and other resources that you select for your virtual machines. You can try Compute Engine for free.

View pricing details