Cloud Updates Optimization Tips

8 Tips To Drive Down GCP Costs

If your business has a presence on Google Cloud Platform (GCP), it is likely you are constantly battling to drive down GCP costs. Our eBook offers practical advice on how you can reduce GCP bills by applying cost-saving measures and then taking advantage of policy-driven automation to maintain lower GCP bills. 

Despite Google Cloud Platform being cheaper than AWS in many circumstances, businesses can still find themselves in a battle to drive down GCP costs.  Part of the battle is attributable to the misconception you only pay for what you use in the cloud, whereas what you actually pay for is what you provision. Consequently, if you provision assets with more capacity than you need, or forget to stop/terminate assets and their components when you have finished using them, GCP costs continue to accrue.

There are also costs associated with deploying assets on GCP you may not be aware of, or you may have deployed assets with components that are individually inexpensive to run, but cumulatively drive up costs beyond an acceptable level. 

8 tips to drive down GCP costs

Before attempting to take advantage of our tips in order to drive down GCP costs, we recommend you have visibility of your Google Cloud environment. Depending on how many assets you have deployed in Google Cloud, it may be possible to get away with using a tool such as Stackdriver. However, due to Stackdriver’s limitations, we recommend using our CloudHealth cloud management platform if you have a significant presence on Google Cloud in order to ensure total visibility. 

1. Delete unattached block storage discs

When you launch a Virtual Machine (VM) in Google Compute Engine, a block storage disc is usually attached to the VM. When the VM is terminated, the disc can continue running even though it isn’t attached to anything. Unattached block storage discs need to be identified and terminated immediately.

2. Delete obsolete snapshots

Snapshots are a good example of assets that are individually inexpensive, but that can drive up GCP costs if they’re allowed to accumulate. Our second tip to drive down GCP costs is to identify obsolete snapshots that no longer serve a useful purpose and delete them.

3. Delete disassociated IP addresses

IP addresses are assigned to VMs so they can communicate with other resources and be accessed via the Internet. When you reserve a static external IP address, there’s no charge when you are using it; but, as soon as it is no longer being used, Google charges for it. Best to locate and delete them.

4. Terminate zombie assets

Zombie assets are infrastructure components that are running in your cloud environment but not being used for any purpose. Typically they’re components attached to a VM that failed to load, but they can also include idle load balancers and SQL databases. Again, locate and terminate them.

5. Rightsize Compute Engine VMs

The overprovisioning of Compute Engine VMs is a common cause of higher-than-anticipated GCP bills and can be deliberate due to developers giving their applications a little “wiggle room”, or accidental due to the performance requirements of a workload not being known.  

6. Put non-production VMs on a schedule

Scheduling non-production VMs to run only during normal working hours can save a business more than 65% on the cost of QA, development, staging, and testing. Some businesses save more than 80% on the cost of non-production VMs by using utilization data to apply more aggressive schedules. 

7. Take advantage of committed use discounts

If your business runs VMs with predictable workloads around the clock, it’s possible to save up to 57% on Pay-as-You-Go GCP pricing by committing to a one-year or three-year level of service. No upfront payments are required to take advantage of these discounts, so they’re well worth investigating.

8. Migrate cold data to lower cost storage

Google Cloud Platform offers different tiers of storage depending on how often data is accessed and the speed at which you would want to access it (for example if it was required for data recovery). A lot of infrequently accessed data can be migrated to lower-cost storage to drive down GCP costs.

Maintaining lower GCP costs

Driving down GCP costs has to be ongoing to extract any real benefit from our 8 tips above; however, it isn’t humanly possible to monitor your cloud environment around the clock to ensure every opportunity is taken to drive down GCP costs. The solution is to automate monitoring with CloudHealth policies. Policies can be applied to costs, performance, and the security of your GCP environment; and, if a policy violation occurs, you’re immediately notified by the CloudHealth platform.

Additionally, maintaining lower GCP costs can be achieved also by creating a Cloud Financial Management team. Cloud Financial Management (CFM), also known as FinOps or Cloud Cost Management, is a function that helps align and develop financial goals, drive a cost-conscious culture, establish guardrails to meet financial targets, and gain greater business efficiencies. Learn more about establishing a Cloud Financial Management practice here