Service Tiers

This page explains how to manage your Basic or Premium service tier for your Stackdriver account. Quick links:

  • Get started: All new Stackdriver accounts are given a free 30-day trial of Premium service. Create a new Stackdriver account and get started.
  • Service tier issues?: If you were directed to this page by the Stackdriver Monitoring console, see Troubleshooting.
  • Stackdriver account issues? For more information about managing Stackdriver accounts, see Managing Stackdriver accounts.

Choosing a service tier

Stackdriver has two tiers of service, Basic and Premium, which are associated with individual Stackdriver accounts:

  • The Basic Tier is free. It provides basic features, a moderate allotment of logs, and access to built-in metrics. If you agree to pay overage charges, then you can exceed your allotments. You cannot use Stackdriver with AWS if your Stackdriver account is in the Basic tier.

  • The Premium Tier is billed according to how many chargeable resources you have in your Stackdriver account. It provides access to all Stackdriver features, lets you use Stackdriver with AWS accounts, and has a larger allotments for logs and metrics. You are automatically billed for overages.

All new Stackdriver accounts are given a free, 30-day Premium Tier trial. When the trial expires, your service is reduced to the Basic Tier unless you upgrade to the Premium Tier.

To view your service tier, go to the Account settings > Billing or Account settings > Resource usage pages for your Stackdriver account under the project pulldown in the Stackdriver Monitoring console.

Accepting overage charges

If your Stackdriver account is in the Basic service tier, you must agree to accept overage charges before Stackdriver allows your account to exceed the Basic Tier's allotment of logs or metrics.

If your Stackdriver account is in the Premium service tier, Stackdriver bills you for using logs, custom metrics, or logs-based metrics beyond your allotment.

Stopping overage charges

If you previously accepted overage charges in the Basic service tier, you can stop those charges in your Stackdriver account's Billing page. When you disallow overages, your use of logs and user-defined metrics is capped at the Basic Tier allotment.

Projects not in Stackdriver Accounts

GCP projects that are not associated with a Stackdriver account are limited to the Basic Tier allotments of logs and metrics. In addition, those projects might be prohibited from using some Stackdriver features permitted in the Basic Tier. For example, you can presently use the Logs Viewer to view your project's logs, but you cannot use the Stackdriver Monitoring console to view your project's metrics.

Controlling costs

There are three sources of Stackdriver costs:

  1. Chargeable resources in Premium Tier Stackdriver accounts.

  2. Overage charges for logs ingestion.

  3. Overage costs for custom and logs-based metrics.

Overage charges apply if you exceed your monthly allotment of logs or custom metrics. The charges are billed automatically in Premium Tier accounts, but in Basic Tier accounts you have to sign up to accept them. If you do not sign up for overage charges in the Basic Tier and you exceed your allotment, you might lose some logs or data. At the beginning of each billing month, Stackdriver gives you a fresh allotment to begin using.

Chargeable resources

Tier Charge
Basic No charge
Premium $8.00 per month per chargeable resource

If you determine that you are paying for resources that you don't actually monitor and for which you don't need the larger Premium Tier allotments, then you can move those resources out of your Premium Tier Stackdriver accounts to save costs. Here are some things to consider before doing that:

  • If your GCP projects, AWS accounts, and Stackdriver accounts reflect the logical or physical structure of your system, changing that structure could make your system harder to understand and increase maintenance costs.

  • If you monitor AWS resources, they must be kept in Premium Tier Stackdriver accounts or you lose all monitoring and logging data from them.

  • If you don't keep all your resources in a single Stackdriver account, you lose the ability to monitor them together. Dashboards, alerting policies, group definitions, custom metrics, and the Logs Viewer in one Stackdriver account cannot display or use resources in other accounts.

For more information about moving resources among Stackdriver accounts, see Managing Accounts.

Logs ingestion

Tier Allotment Overage charge Logs retention
Basic 5 GB per month per project $0.50 per GB (opt-in) 7 days
Premium 10 GB per month per chargeable resource $0.50 per GB 30 days

In the Basic Tier, you can guard against exceeding your logs ingestion by paying the overage charges or by exporting your logs out of Stackdriver Logging. If you don't do either, Stackdriver discards all log entries received after you exceed your allotment. At the start of the next billing month, you begin to receive new log entries again. To avoid losing logs, do one of the following:

  • Pay for Stackdriver's logs overage charges. This is the simplest solution. You see all your logs in Stackdriver during the seven-day retention period. For more information, see Accepting overages.

  • Export your logs to Google Cloud Storage, Google BigQuery, or Google Cloud Pub/Sub. You must pay any external storage fees, but there is no limit to how long you can keep your logs. Log entries over the allotment are discarded from Stackdriver Logging, but only after they are exported. For more information, see Exporting your logs.

By both paying for overages and exporting your logs, you get the advantages of using Stackdriver Logging to filter and search your recent logs while also retaining the logs for a longer time.

In the Premium Tier, overages are billed automatically. To reduce your costs, try to configure servers to send fewer logs to your projects so that you stay within the allotment.

Custom and logs-based metrics

Tier Allotment Overage charge
Basic None $0.10 per time series per month; $1.00 per custom or logs-based metric descriptor per month
Premium 500 time series per chargeable resource; 250 custom or logs-based metric descriptors per project $0.10 per time series per month; $1.00 per custom or logs-based metric descriptor per month

If you are not familiar with metric descriptors and time series, here is an example:

You have a small GCP project with 9 VM instances. You create a new metric descriptor, Software on each instance writes its utilization data to your metric; the data consists of a "cache" utilization number and a "cpu" utilization number.

Each VM instance generates two time series—cache and cpu—for a total of 18 time series for all 9 instances. In the Basic Tier, if you sign up to pay metric overage charges, the cost of this example is $2.80 per month ($1.00 + 18*$0.10). In the Premium Tier, you are under the custom and logs-based metrics allotment but the chargeable resource cost is $72.00 per month. Estimate your costs using the Stackdriver Pricing Calculator. For more information about time series and metric descriptors, see Metrics, Time Series, and Resources.


Following are some paraphrased error messages you might see in the Stackdriver Monitoring console, along with instructions about how to resolve the problems.

"Your project is not enabled for Stackdriver"

Equivalent messages for this problem include "No Stackdriver project," "No Stackdriver account," and "Your project is not associated with a Stackdriver Account."

You are trying to use Stackdriver services on a Cloud Platform project, but your project is not yet known to Stackdriver. Enable your project for Stackdriver by creating a Stackdriver account and associating your project with that account.

  1. Go to the Google Cloud Platform Console.

    Go to the Google Cloud Platform Console

  2. Select your project in the drop-down menu at the top of the page.

  3. In the navigation menu, select Stackdriver > Monitoring to go to the Stackdriver Monitoring console. You should see the following dialog, with your project's name inserted:

    Your project is not in a Stackdriver account

  4. Select Create a new Stackdriver account and click Continue.

  5. Follow the instructions to create a Stackdriver account. For more information, see Creating a Stackdriver account.

"This request is only available in the Premium Tier."

You are trying to perform a Stackdriver operation on a project, but that project's Stackdriver account is signed up for the Basic service tier. You should either use a different project and Stackdriver account, or upgrade the Stackdriver account to the Premium Tier. For more information on upgrading, see Choosing a Service Tier.

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