Affordable Virtual Machine Instances in GCP



13 May 2019

We all know that GCP provides lots of cloud services to reduce our work. Here, we pay only for those services which we use. Don’t you think it would be great if we get more discounts for the services? Well, Preemptible VM instances are those which can save up to 80% on VM instances. They offer the largest savings across the board.

Use cases

Preemptible VM instances provide the same machine types as well as other configurations like regular VM instances. They complete batch processing tasks and are best for fault-tolerance workloads like rendering, genomics, media transcoding, manufacturing design, etc.

Limitations of Preemptible VM Instances

  • They cannot stay alive during software updates and set to restart automatically when a maintenance event occurs.
  • They get terminated by the Compute Engine after 24 hours of running.
  • These instances might not always be available as there are limited Compute Engine resources.
  • These are not included in the GCP Free Tier.

How to create a preemptible vm instance

Using Console

  1. Click on VM instances present under Compute Engine (Compute Engine -> VM Instance).
  2. To start creating an instance, click Create Instance.
  3. Fill the properties.
  4. After this, click on the Management, security, disks, networking, sole tenancy link.
  5. Here, you can find the Availability policy, set the option for Preemptibility to On.
  6. Now, click on the Create button. It will create your preemptible VM instance.


Using gcloud command

The command will be the same as we use to create a normal VM instance but, we need to add –preemptible flag to make it preemptible.

Command is:

gcloud compute instances create [INSTANCE_NAME] --preemptible

where [INSTANCE_NAME] represents the name of your instance.


How to check if an instance is preemptible or not

Using Console

  1. Click on VM instances present under Compute Engine.
  2. Here, you can find your created instances. Click on the name of the instance. This will open a details page.
  3. Under the instance details, check the Availability policies section. Here, you can find the preemptible status.


Using gcloud command

In gcloud compute, instance describe provides the detail of the VM instance.

Command is:

gcloud compute instances describe [INSTANCE_NAME]

where [INSTANCE_NAME] represents the name of your instance.



So, a Preemptible VM instance is a GCP VM instance that is made to be purchased for a high discount as long as the customer accepts that these instances will get terminated after 24 hours.

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