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Google Compute Engine Future Reservations in Public Preview

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Google recently introduced a new future reservation feature in public preview for its Compute Engine, allowing users to request compute capacity for a future date.

Google Compute Engine is an Infrastructure as a Service Solution in the Google Cloud. It allows users to create and run virtual machines in various configurations ranging from pre-built to custom types for workloads like compute-intensive, scale-out, and ultra-high memory. Resources can be reserved on-demand and through future reservations.

With future reservations feature in place, users can request capacity via either the Google Cloud console, API, or CLI for Compute Engine and secure the capacity required for a planned and expected scale-up event.

Future reservations are basically a capacity request for the future reviewed and approved by the company. Once approved, future reservations deliver capacity by auto-creating reservations in the requester's project, and the billing cycle starts at that reservation time.

The authors of a Google blog post on the feature explain:

You create a future reservation request by specifying the total number of VMs you expect to use for a machine type in a zone at the future start time, also indicating the end time. The chances of approval may be higher for future reservation requests that are for longer duration.


After you submit your future reservation request, your request is sent to Google Cloud for review and approval. The request is reviewed to ensure the request can be fulfilled with high confidence in light of other commitments. Once approved and during the "lock period" — a period in which you can't update or delete the request — Google Cloud will start the necessary steps required to reserve the capacity to fulfill your need.

Future Reservations Screenshot (Source: Google blog post)

When Google Cloud approves a future reservation request, then on the date the user requested to have the reserved capacity available, Compute Engine subtracts any matching, existing reservations and automatically creates reservations to reach the requested capacity specified in the future reservation.

Furthermore, according to the same blog post, the feature provides users with the following benefits:

  • Assurance that through a request in advance, they will have the necessary capacity available when needed. In the background, Google will prioritize resource reservations over on-demand requests.
  • A self-service capability to specify what, where, and by when they need the capacity and receive a request approval from Google Cloud. The request date is maximized to one year from the date of the request.
  • The ability for users to apply it on existing Google Compute Engine VMs, once approved by Google.

Google’s main competitors in the Cloud, Microsoft Azure, and AWS, offer similar features to Google Compute Engine’s Future Reservations. For instance, Microsoft Azure offers a feature called Reservations, while AWS provides its customers with On-Demand Capacity Reservations.

Lastly, reservations are billed at the same rate as their reserved resources, including the same on-demand prices and 1-minute minimum charges as unreserved, running VMs. More details on pricing are available on the pricing page.

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