About VM tenancy

The tenancy of a virtual machine (VM) instance indicates whether the VM shares its Compute Engine server with VMs from other Google Cloud projects. If a VM shares its Compute Engine server with VMs from other Google Cloud projects, it is a multi-tenant VM. If a VM doesn't share its Compute Engine server with VMs from other projects, it is a sole-tenant VM.

VMs are multi-tenant by default. After you create a VM, Compute Engine places it on a multi-tenant server. Compute Engine allows users in other Google Cloud projects to create VMs on that server.

Sole-tenancy is suited for workloads that require exclusive access to a Compute Engine server. Sole-tenancy lets you have exclusive access to a sole-tenant node, which is a Compute Engine server that is dedicated to hosting VMs from only your Google Cloud projects.

Pricing considerations

For multi-tenant VMs, you pay for the type of machine that you create the VM on, so pricing for multi-tenant VMs is based on that VM's machine family.

For sole-tenant VMs, you pay for all of the hardware resources on the server because you are reserving an entire physical server. Pricing for a sole-tenant node is based on the price of the sole-tenant node type that you specify when you create a sole-tenant node template. This price includes a premium because you are reserving the entire physical server.

Workload considerations

For typical workloads, create multi-tenant VMs. However, if you have workloads with any of the following characteristics, consider using sole-tenant nodes:

  • Gaming workloads with specific computing performance requirements.
  • Finance or healthcare workloads with security and compliance requirements.
  • Windows workloads with licensing requirements.
  • Machine learning, data processing, or image rendering workloads. For these workloads, consider reserving GPUs.
  • Workloads requiring increased input/output operations per second (IOPS) and decreased latency, or workloads that use temporary storage in the form of caches, processing space, or low-value data. For these workloads, consider reserving Local SSDs.

For more information about workloads that might benefit from using sole-tenancy, see Workload considerations for sole-tenant nodes.

Maintenance event considerations

For maintenance events on multi-tenant servers, Compute Engine live migrates VMs to another server in the same zone.

For maintenance events on sole-tenant nodes, Compute Engine migrates VMs according to how you configure the maintenance policy on the sole-tenant node group.