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Google Cloud Calculator: Basic Usage and Examples

5 Min. Read

In today’s digital age, businesses and individuals are increasingly turning to cloud computing services to meet their data storage, processing, and analysis needs. Google Cloud, one of the leading cloud service providers, offers a powerful tool called the Google Cloud Calculator to help users estimate and manage their cloud costs effectively.

In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the basic and advanced usage of the Google Cloud Calculator, providing you with examples and valuable insights to harness its full potential.

What is Google Cloud Cost Calculator?

Google Cloud is a cloud computing platform provided by Google. It includes various managed services including compute, storage, platform as a service (PaaS) solutions, and software as a service (SaaS) applications.

Google Cloud pricing is complex, with multiple pricing options and combinations for each cloud service. If you are starting to use Google Cloud, or planning to expand your use, you can use the Google Cloud Calculator to define the services you plan to use and get expected monthly costs for different use cases.

Please note other cloud providers, such as the AWS Calculator and Azure Calculator offer similar pricing calculators.

How Google Cloud Pricing Calculator Works

The Google Cloud Pricing Calculator is a web-based application that lets you compare the cost of running different types of cloud services on Google Cloud.

Before you get started with the calculator, it is important to understand which cloud services you plan to use. Before adding components to your system, you need to understand what they are and how you plan to use them. For example, if you plan to run virtual machines on Google Cloud, you need to be familiar with the different options such as instance type, region, and time commitment.

Related: Setup and configure a cloud environment in Google Cloud.

To get started with the calculator, select the specific service you need and describe the components you want to add to your system. For example, you can get a monthly quote for Google Compute Engine services by choosing the instance type, region, hourly commitment, compute unit, and other options.

The Google Cloud Pricing Calculator uses Google Cloud APIs to query pricing data. If you’re designing a new system, you can use the calculator to quickly estimate the cost of the components you need. You can also divide your system into multiple environments and view each environment separately in the calculator. When you’re done, you can share it with your team via email or a direct link to your quote.

Basic Example: Calculate the Cost of a Standard VM and Database

Let’s see how to use the Google Cloud Calculator to estimate the cost of a standard VM, and see how adding storage and a database server impacts cost.

When you start the calculator, the default option is a basic standard VM with 2 vCPUs and 8GB RAM. Note that the Add Sustained Use Discounts option is checked by default. This gives you a discount for running the resources in Google Cloud for more than 25% of the month. We’ll keep it selected.

We’ll complete the configuration by selecting:

● 1 in the Number of instances of fields
● 500 in the Boot disk size (GiB) field

Google Cloud Calculate the Cost of a Standard VM
Google Cloud Calculate the Cost of a Standard VM

We’ll click Add to Estimate. An estimate appears on the right of the screen, showing the costs of the selected resources. You can email, save, or download the estimate using the buttons below.

Google Cloud compute engine estimated cost
Google Cloud compute engine estimated cost

We can now see that our standard VM will cost:

$48.92 per month for the compute resources
$98.92 per month for the 500 GB Zonal Balanced PD hard disk

Now, let’s add a database. We’ll search for Cloud SQL in the product search bar at the top, select Cloud SQL for MySQL, and select the following options:

● 1 for Number of instances
● Keep the default instant type, db-standard-1
● Select High Availability Configuration
● 100 GB under Storage (Provisioned Amount)
● 100 GB under Backup size

Google Cloud SQL
Google Cloud SQL

We’ll click Get Estimate, and the following block is added to the estimate on the right:

Google Cloud SQL for MySQL
Google Cloud SQL for MySQL

You can see that adding a highly available managed MySQL database added $140 per month to the bill.

Advanced Example: Calculating Storage and Query Costs on BigQuery

Google BigQuery is a managed data analytics service that lets you process read-only data sets at a large scale, using a SQL-like syntax. Let’s see how to estimate BigQuery costs using the Google Cloud Calculator.

BigQuery charges for queries based on:

● The quantity and type of storage you use (active storage, long-term storage, streaming inserts, or streaming reads)
● The number of bytes read during query operations during the month. BigQuery provides 1 TB per month of query processing free.

Let’s estimate the cost of queries by searching for BigQuery in the search bar at the top of the calculator, selecting BigQuery, and the On-Demand option.

We’ll select:

● Example under Table name — this is just a display name for the estimate.
● 10 TiB under Active Storage, to simulate a large-scale deployment with 10 TiB of data.
● 2.5 TiB under Query Pricing, because we estimate our queries will process this amount of data every month.

Google BigQuery
Google BigQuery

Here is the estimate:

Google BigQuery pricing estimate
Google BigQuery pricing estimate

This estimate shows that the large-scale deployment we defined will cost $242.79 per month.

Note that if you have negotiated a flat-rate cost for BigQuery, you can select Flat-Rate at the top of the estimate and add your agreed flat-rate pricing.


How accurate are the cost estimates provided by the Google Cloud Calculator?

The Google Cloud Calculator provides reasonably accurate estimates. However, actual costs may vary based on factors such as usage patterns and discounts. It’s advisable to monitor your billing statements regularly.

Can I use the Google Cloud Calculator without a Google Cloud Platform account?

No, you need a Google Cloud Platform account to access and use the Google Cloud Calculator.

Are there any additional resources or tutorials available for using the Google Cloud Calculator?

Yes, Google Cloud offers detailed documentation and tutorials on using the calculator effectively.

How often should I revisit my cost estimates?

It’s a good practice to revisit your cost estimates regularly, especially when your usage patterns change or your project scales up.

What steps can I take to optimize my Google Cloud expenses?

To optimize your Google Cloud expenses, consider using resources like Google’s Cost Explorer and implementing cost-saving strategies like rightsizing instances and using committed use contracts.

Can I get a historical view of my past usage and expenses?

Yes, the Google Cloud Console provides a historical view of your past usage and expenses, allowing you to track your spending over time.


The Google Cloud Pricing Calculator is a vital tool for individuals and businesses alike, aiming to gain a comprehensive understanding of the potential costs involved in utilizing Google Cloud’s vast array of services. The calculator enables users to get precise estimates based on their unique requirements, be it for compute resources, databases, storage, or large-scale data analytics with tools like BigQuery.

As demonstrated through the basic and advanced examples, the ability to break down costs by specific components and configurations provides transparency and empowers users to make informed decisions regarding their cloud investments. Whether you’re just starting with Google Cloud or are looking to optimize your existing deployments, leveraging the Google Cloud Calculator is an essential step in cost management and planning.

Thank you for reading my blog.

If you have any questions or feedback, please leave a comment.

-Charbel Nemnom-

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About the Author
Charbel Nemnom
Charbel Nemnom is a Senior Cloud Architect with 21+ years of IT experience. As a Swiss Certified Information Security Manager (ISM), CCSP, CISM, Microsoft MVP, and MCT, he excels in optimizing mission-critical enterprise systems. His extensive practical knowledge spans complex system design, network architecture, business continuity, and cloud security, establishing him as an authoritative and trustworthy expert in the field. Charbel frequently writes about Cloud, Cybersecurity, and IT Certifications.

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