topics: gcp (woops)

Google Cloud Platform Always Free and the Standard Network Tier

A billing alarm triggered for the GCP project hosting this Blog. Google Cloud Platform provides a free tier which I had hoped this blog would operate within.

Looking at the billing details, there was a charge for “Network Egress via Carrier Peering Network - Americas”. Googling around led me to several opinions, open statements of confusion and ultimately no conclusive answer. The GCP free tier documentation states:

“1 GB network egress from North America to all region destinations (excluding China and Australia) per month”.

Network Egress was bellow 1GB with no Chinese or Australian traffic, so why was I being charged ?

I contacted Google Cloud support and was sent several seemingly conflicting replies that did not appear to make much sense.

These replies included:

I did not see how statements from support reconciled with the GCP Free Tier documentation.

A Hacker News member suggested it may be due to the selection of Network Tier.

In the Free Tier documentation for Network Tiers it clearly states:

Always Free usage limits apply to Premium Tier.
Always Free usage limits do not apply to Standard Tier.

Was I using the Standard Network Tier ?

The project level configuration was set to Premium as expected.

However, I discovered the NIC for the VM running the blog was set to “Standard Tier”.

Mystery solved!