gcpSo I’m working on a project for a new customer. There is one aspect of the project that makes it attractive to store the data on one of the big three cloud systems (Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure or Google Cloud). I need a https route to catch Ajax submits from a single webpage. This is a small application, but if the money is right perhaps we can make this work.

I do a bit of research, and I was pleasantly surprised to see that Google offers a pretty decent free tier. Hmmm. Well that looks cool. So I do a bit of coding. I create a decent node.js server application with access to a Mongo DataBase. That works for me.

So the problem is the pricing I’m seeing on the console don’t at all match my inexpensive expectations. I end up doing a whole lot of research, trying to figure out exactly where the charges I’m seeing are really coming from.

So here is the deal. The free tier for Google Cloud App Engine Standard Environment only (Java 7, Python 2.7, PHP 5, Go). It does NOT apply to Google Cloud App Engine Flexible Environment (Node, Java 8, Python 2.7/3.5, PHP 5/7, Ruby, Go, Custom Runtimes). If you use a flex environment, the minimum number of instances is set at two. And if you add those costs up, it comes to $1.26 per instance per day… no matter how many web hits the site sees. For a 30 day month, that comes to $75 as month just to sit at idle. Add an other $6/ month for the mongo db. Cool service yes. Low cost, no.

But I will say… I’m not giving up yet. PHP or Java or Python or Go are still possibilities. Stay tuned.