Frederic Lardinois
February 17, 2016

Custom Machine Types on Google’s Cloud Platform allow you to choose exactly how many CPU cores and how much memory you want in a virtual machine to run your applications. Google first introduced this feature last November and today it is taking it out of beta.

In addition, Google today introduced support for running both Red Hat’s Linux distribution and Windows on these machines. That’s on top of Google’s existing support for CentOS, CoreOS, Debian, OpenSUSE and Ubuntu. If you need a custom setup, you can always bring your own Linux distribution to the service, too.

With today’s update, both Google’s Container Engine and Deployment Manager now gain support for Custom Machine Types, too.

The advantage of Custom Machine Types is that you pay a flat fee per virtual CPU core ($0.03492 per core per hour in the U.S.) and GB of memory ($0.00468 per GB per hour). If, for some reason, you need three cores and 15 GB of memory, you can now choose this combination instead of stepping up to a pre-set — and more costly — machine type that would lock you into four cores and 20 GB of memory.

Google says its customers are saving an average of 19 percent (and up to 50 percent) after switching to custom machine types, but this obviously always depends on the individual use case. The company says Wix, for example, cut the compute cost for powering its media platform by 18 percent and marketing personalization service Lytics saved between 20 and 50 percent.

Pricing for these machine types follows Google’s standard model and includes support for per-minute billing and sustained use discounts.