This page explains pricing for compute resources and cluster management in Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE).

Autopilot mode

Autopilot clusters accrue a flat fee of $0.10/h per cluster for each cluster after the free tier, plus the CPU, memory and ephemeral storage compute resources that are provisioned for your Pods. The amount of pod resources provisioned is based on the resource requests of the Kubernetes PodSpec. You are not charged for system Pods, the operating system overhead, or unallocated space. All Autopilot resources are charged in 1 second increments, there is no minimum charge.

Autopilot offers highly granular pricing for Pods, you can request CPU in increments of ¼ vCPU cores. Memory can be provisioned in the range 1GB to 6.5GB per vCPU. If you request resources outside of these increments and ranges, the resource values will be rounded up to meet our requirements. If you don’t specify Pod resource requests, default values are used.

GKE includes a Service Level Agreement (SLA) that's financially backed providing availability of 99.95% for the control plane of Autopilot clusters, and 99.9% for Autopilot pods in multiple zones.

Standard mode

Clusters created in Standard mode accrue a management fee of $0.10 per cluster per hour, irrespective of cluster size or topology, after the free tier. GKE cluster management fees do not apply to Anthos clusters.

In Standard mode, GKE uses Compute Engine instances worker nodes in the cluster. You are billed for each of those instances according to Compute Engine's pricing, until the nodes are deleted. Compute Engine resources are billed on a per-second basis with a one-minute minimum usage cost.

GKE includes a Service Level Agreement (SLA) that's financially backed providing availability of 99.95% for the control plane of Regional clusters, and 99.5% for the control plane of Zonal clusters.

Cluster management fee and free tier

The cluster management fee of $0.10 per cluster per hour (charged in 1 second increments) applies to all GKE clusters irrespective of the mode of operation, cluster size or topology.

The GKE free tier provides $74.40 in monthly credits per billing account that are applied to zonal and Autopilot clusters. If you only use a single Zonal or Autopilot cluster, this credit will at least cover the complete cost of that cluster each month. Unused free tier credits are not rolled over, and cannot be applied to any other SKUs (for example, they cannot be applied to compute charges, or the cluster fee for Regional clusters).

The following conditions apply to the cluster management fee:

  • The fee is flat, irrespective of cluster size and topology—whether it is a single-zone cluster, multi-zonal cluster, regional or Autopilot cluster, all accrue the same flat fee per cluster.

  • The fee does not apply to Anthos clusters.

The following example demonstrates how the cluster management fee and free tier credit is applied for an organization’s billing accounts. In this example, the organization’s regional and zonal cluster hours are listed excluding Anthos clusters hours. The total billable amount is calculated per month, with the monthly free tier credit applied.

Organization's billing accounts Autopilot cluster hours per month Regional cluster hours per month Zonal cluster hours per month Free tier credit used Total monthly GKE cluster management fee
(at $0.10/hour per cluster)
account_1 744 0 0 $74.40 $0
account_2 0 1000 500 $50 $100
account_3 1000 1000 1000 $74.40 $225.60

Pricing calculator

You can use the Google Cloud pricing calculator to estimate your monthly GKE charges, including cluster management fees and worker node pricing.