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Introducing Preemptible VMs, a new class of compute available at 70% off standard pricing

Many developers are going beyond web services and are leveraging the cloud’s scalability and pay-as-you-go nature for other compute-intensive workloads. They’re accomplishing tasks such as video encoding, rendering for visual effects, and crunching huge amounts of information for data analytics, simulation, and genomics. These use cases are a great match for cloud computing, as they consume a large volume of compute resources but typically only run on a periodic basis.

Today we are introducing Google Compute Engine Preemptible Virtual Machines, in beta for all customers in all regions. Preemptible VMs are the same as regular instances except for one key difference – they may be shut down at any time. While that may sound disruptive, it actually makes them a great choice for distributed, fault-tolerant workloads that do not require continuous availability of any single instance. By not guaranteeing indefinite uptime, we are able to offer them at a substantial discount to normal instances. Preemptible VM pricing is fixed. You will always get low cost and financial predictability, without taking the risk of gambling on variable market pricing. The savings begin with your first minute of usage, with prices as low as $0.01 per core hour.

Some of our customers are already saving money with Preemptible VMs:
  • Citadel is using Preemptible VMs as part of their overall cloud solution: “This is efficiency, innovation and execution at its best,” said Joe Squeri, CIO of Citadel. “We are a major consumer of cloud compute resources and welcome Google Cloud Platform’s Preemptible VM offering as it provides competitive pricing without the complexities of navigating multiple geography-based pricing models that lack transparency.“
  • Descartes Labs, a deep learning AI company focused on understanding satellite imagery, recently completed a massive experiment using almost 30,000 CPUs to process 1 petabyte of NASA imagery in just 16 hours. Mark Johnson, CEO and co-founder said, “The Preemptible VM pricing model is a game changer for a seed-funded startup like ours, because of the significant cost reduction. We’re excited to continue using them in the future as we increase the amount of data we process to identify and determine the health of global crops.”
  • Google’s own Chrome security team runs their Clusterfuzz tool to perform non-stop randomized security testing in the cloud against the latest code in Chrome running on thousands of virtual machines. Having more compute power means they can find (and then fix) security bugs faster. Using Preemptible VMs, they were able to double their scale while decreasing their costs.
We carry spare capacity in our datacenters for a variety of reasons. Preemptible VMs fill this spare capacity, but let us reclaim it if needed, helping us optimize our datacenter utilization. In exchange we’re able to offer these VMs at a big discount. The tradeoff is that Preemptible VMs are limited to a 24 hour runtime, and will sometimes be preempted (shut down) earlier than that. Other than that you get all the same features of Google Compute Engine, such as fast and easy provisioning, consistently great performance, and always encrypted data written to persistent disk.

Creating a Preemptible VM works with our current tools: it’s as easy as checking a box in the Google Developer Console, or adding “–preemptible” to the gcloud command line. When Preemptible VMs are terminated, they’ll receive a 30 second notice allowing you to shutdown cleanly (including saving work, if applicable).

For customers using Hadoop on Google Compute Engine, we’ve made things even easier. Our open-source bdutil tool helps you create a Hadoop cluster that gets data directly from Google Cloud Storage via the Connector for Hadoop. You can now use bdutil to mix in Preemptible VMs: just add “–preemptible .25 to run 25% of your cluster (or whatever portion you desire) as Preemptible VMs.

For more details about using Preemptible VMs, please check out the documentation. For more pricing information (including our pricing calculator tool and details on how to get a true cost comparison between cloud providers), you can consult our Compute Engine pricing page.  If you have questions or feedback, head over to the getting help page to get in touch with us.

We hope you will find Preemptible VMs useful in getting the most value out of Google Cloud Platform, and we look forward to hearing all about the great new applications you build with them!

-Posted by Paul Nash, Senior Product Manager

Feed Source: Google Cloud Platform Blog
Article Source: Introducing Preemptible VMs, a new class of compute available at 70% off standard pricing

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