Basic scenarios for creating managed instance groups (MIGs)

A managed instance group (MIG) is a group of virtual machine (VM) instances that you treat as a single entity. Each VM in a MIG is based on an instance template.

If you only need to create multiple VMs, but don't want them grouped together in a MIG, see the bulk instance API.

To learn about other Compute Engine options, see Choose a Compute Engine deployment strategy for your workload.

To get started with creating a MIG, read this document to find a basic configuration that works for you.

Basic scenarios for creating a MIG

MIGs have many configuration options. See the following guides to quickly get a MIG up and running for various scenarios:

Guide Scenario
Create a MIG with VMs in a single zone (zonal MIG) Your VMs can be deployed to a single zone.
Create a MIG with VMs in multiple zones in a region (regional MIG) You want to distribute your VMs across multiple zones in a region in order to protect against zonal failure or to automatically find zones with limited resource like Spot VMs.
Create a MIG from an existing VM You want to scale out a VM into a group of VMs and deploy them in a single zone or across multiple zones.
Create a MIG with autoscaling You want your MIG to automatically create VMs in the group when demand increases and delete VMs when demand drops.
Create a MIG that uses preemptible VMs Your workload can tolerate disruptions and you want to take advantage of the cost-savings associated with preemptible VMs.
Create a MIG with GPU VMs Your workload needs a group of GPU VMs all at once—for example, you want to run batch workloads, such as training machine learning models or high performance computing workloads, on GPU VMs.
Create a MIG with stateful configuration Your workload needs stateful configuration—for example, you need disks that must retain their data whenever VMs are autohealed, updated, or recreated.


MIGs have different limitations depending on which features you use. The following lists show general MIG limitations as well as additional limitations if you use regional or stateful features.

  • By default, you can create up to 1,000 VMs in a zonal MIG. If you need more, use one of the following options:

  • When updating a MIG, you can specify up to 1,000 VMs in a single request.

  • Once the MIG is created, you cannot change its networks or subnetworks. All VMs in the MIG are assigned to the same subnetworks.

  • Shared VPC on interfaces other than nic0 for managed instance groups is supported in gcloud CLI and the API, but not in Google Cloud console.

A MIG that is spread across multiple zones—a regional MIG—has the following limitations:

Load balancing with a regional MIG doesn't support the max-rate target capacity in RATE and UTILIZATION balancing modes. To learn more about the usage guidelines for each load balancer, see Balancing modes and target capacity settings.

A MIG with stateful configuration—a stateful MIG—has the following limitations:

  • You cannot use autoscaling if your MIG has stateful configuration.
  • If you want to use automated rolling updates, you must set the replacement method to RECREATE.
  • For stateful regional MIGs, you must disable proactive redistribution (set the redistribution type to NONE) to prevent deletion of stateful instances by automatic cross-zone redistribution.
  • If you use an all-instances configuration to override instance template properties, you cannot specify those properties in any per-instance configuration and at the same time in the group's all-instances configuration.

If you want to configure an autoscaler for your MIG, review the autoscaler specifications, too.

IPv6 support

If you want your MIG to include VM instances that use IPv6 addressing, you must use the dual-stack setting when you create your instance template. For more information, see Create an instance template with IPv6 addresses.

Additional MIG tasks

After you've created a MIG, you might want to do the following:

Learn about the group and its VMs

Resize the group

Change the group's VM configuration

Add MIG features


Try a tutorial: