Google Cloud SQL Pricing : Costs and Fees Explained

One of the top reasons why businesses are migrating to the cloud is  to experience the benefits of database services. Google Cloud is one of the top and highly recognized providers around the world. 

Google Cloud SQL is the cloud version of MySQL which contains all the specifications of the said database along with other features. Unlike with other platforms, this does not require any maintenance and installation since Google Cloud itself will do these. 

This makes it a highly efficient solution compared to the traditional and typical database management activities. 

What is Google Cloud SQL?

One highly acknowledged relational database service that can be managed by users is called Google Cloud SQL. It's especially advantageous when reducing time, especially when handling one or more databases. 

This solution ensures proper maintenance and updates while providing logging and monitoring. Along with other offered features, Cloud SQL will be a time and money-saver in the long run. 

What are the features of Google Cloud SQL? 

Cloud SQL presents a wide range of benefits. If you’re operating a business, having this service helps put you at ease since you won’t be doing much work. 

Let’s further find out what makes it more interesting. 

  1. 1

    Reliable backups 

    Through the backup feature, lost data is retrievable. In addition, you can overwrite the current state if you’re having a problem with it by using backups. 

    Another thing about backup is that it can be automatically configured. By default, it has a 1 year retention period. If you think that 1 year is too long or too short, the retention period can be adjusted. 

  2. 2

    Efficient Logging 

    Besides having restoration points, Cloud SQL also uses cloud logging. This allows you to view SQL queries that are executed on the database. 

    Knowing what queries were executed helps your team to identify troubleshooting patterns. As a result, it’s much easier to control situations and avert untoward circumstances. 

  3. 3

    Maintenance and updates 

    As a managed service, it can update instances which ensures that your OS, databases, and hardware are reliable and updated. Although there is downtime, the routine updates will ensure that you'll have top-tier features, patches, and upgrades. 

  4. 4

    Export and Import 

    With this database service, importing and exporting activities are possible. Regardless of what kind of DBMS systems, effectively determine the safe and best practices when importing and exporting. 

    If these are done correctly, chances are performance impact and cost can be reduced at an acceptable rate. Again, know which approaches have low associated risks. 

Understanding Google Cloud SQL Pricing

For Cloud SQL pricing, you will be looking into 3 different factors. 

  • Instance 

    With this pricing, you’ll be charged for every second it runs. Additionally, the price changes depending if you’re using shared or dedicated core instances. 

  • Storage and network 

    Unlike instance pricing, the prices for storage and network depend on which region your instance is situated in. This implies varying prices for each unique destination. In addition to that, licensing protocols might also be applied. 

  • CPU and memory 

    Based on your desired memory and the count of available CPUs, pricing differs. The good thing is that Cloud SQL offers discounts to help you use your database instance for the long term. 

    When making a decision, especially with discounts, read the agreement terms and take different considerations into account. 

Check out some pricing examples to determine how much costs you will be paying. Use the pricing calculator to get quotations for your Google Cloud SQL. Estimates will help you compare use cases, configuration details, and monthly expenses.  

Types of pricing models offered by Google Cloud SQL

Ideally, Cloud SQL offers different pricing models that are suitable for your business requirements. Each model is different from the rest, so it’s only smart to compare different types before making the final decision.

Here are 4 pricing models to further evaluate. 

  • Free 

    This pricing model lets you pay for the resources you will be utilizing. However, this mostly comes with limited features that might not be good when you’re a service provider. 

  • Subscription-based

    In this kind of pricing, clients are only charged a fixed monthly rate. You can provide better service levels and features that are unavailable with a free pricing model. 

    To start your subscription-based pricing, it’s important to define the specific plans that you’re offering. This type comes with standard, pro, and enterprise plans, each comes with different costs and features. 

  • Combined 

    Another pricing option is called combined. With this model, customers will only have to pay a base subscription fee based on the software they’re using. 

    You could also be charged extra fees if you’ve extended your usage. This is one reason why it’s practical to identify the features that you need from the get-go. 

  • Usage-based 

    If you’re choosing this over other options, Google will measure and also obtain usage information of your applications. It’s equally important to define your pricing structure. Identify whether you’ll be charging for a tiered or single price for customers. 

Comparing Google Cloud SQL pricing to other cloud providers

Another daunting task is comparing the prices of Cloud SQL with other similar providers such as Azure, Oracle, and AWS. 

In Western regions, Cloud SQL ranks 2nd to Azure when it comes to cost-effective options. But there are varying factors that affect the rate per cloud provider. Here are some examples:

  • Azure charges $0.021 per GB/ Month while Google Cloud SQL offers $0.023 per GB/ Month based on storage options. 

  • For cloud pricing based on demand rates, Google Cloud costs $0.15 more than AWS which is $0.13, but less than Azure which is $0.16. 

  • If it’s for a discounted price with a 1 year commitment, the discount is higher in Google Cloud which is 63%. On the other hand, AWS and Azure only offer 41% discount rate. 

Optimizing cost is indispensable. Despite the cost disparity, consider different factors to get what you deserve. 

Tips for reducing Google Cloud SQL pricing 

Without a doubt, Cloud SQL has a variety of features that helps streamline database operations and maintenance. But with the pricing solutions it presents, it might be best to regard some recommendations which will help maximize savings. 

  • Take advantage of the discounts 

    As mentioned, Google offers discounts to its customers. Leverage the 25% committed use discounts to avoid paying more. But for optimal results with the discounts, a thorough analysis of your project is crucial. 

    Check whether using the discounts would be a practical approach to cutting down on your expenses. 

  • Stop all idle instances 

    Abandoned resources are a waste of your cloud use. If they’ve been idle for too long, chances are you’ll continually spend more money. To remediate such a problem, distinguish which instances are already inactive and would require further assessment. 

  • Rightsize instances that are overly allocated 

    One contributing factor to why the cost is high is being unable to determine if the database instance is too large for your workload.

    To make it simpler to rightsize your instances, use the cost recommendation feature of the Google Cloud platform. 

    This helps reduce instances which eventually implies bigger savings and better allocation of resources. 

Common use cases for Google Cloud SQL  

Besides being a fully managed database service, Google Cloud SQL is highly recognized for being compatible with many database management systems such as SQL. This means that it features an alternative to your local DBMS software. 

Several applications that are currently running their services in Google cloud now mainly use the Cloud SQL as their primary storage. 

Cloud SQL has common use cases that cater on-demand requirements of numerous clients across the globe. Here are some use cases you should know:

  • Deployment and also the development of microservices. 

  • Lift of on-premise SQL to the cloud.

  • Large-scale data analytics.

  • Database management using IaC.

  • Supports CMS data storage and scalability.

Overview of Google Cloud SQL pricing plans 

If you’re currently using the Structured Query Language (SQL) as your primary database management system, there are pricing factors to look into. 

Below is a summary of Google Cloud SQL pricing plans based on different options:

  • Licensing 

    In terms of SQL service, Google cloud charges an hourly rate. Cost also varies based on what product edition you’re using.

    For example, for a web license, the price is set to $0.01134/ hour while enterprise and the standard license are charged at $0.47/ hour and $0.13/hour respectively.  

  • CPU and Memory 

    Know that the cost for the CPU and also the memory varies on what you’re using. For vCPUs, Google cloud charges $0.0590/ vCPU while it costs $0.1180 per vCPU for HA vCPUs. 

  • Network 

    When it comes to network costs, there are free options that can be availed while there are also that are charged per GB. Network Ingress and Egress to Google Compute engine, for instance, are free while others are charged from $0.010 to $0.19. 

  • Storage 

    For starters, the price of storage is the same for all types of DBMS software. But the higher the storage, the higher the cost associated with it. It’s only wise to assess the storage capacity that you need before investing. 


Google Cloud SQL is a contributing factor to consider when improving database management and operations. But before migrating your SQL to the cloud, it is essential to assess what features, pricing options, and services you want to avail yourself of. 

Start your journey by contacting Google Cloud customer service. Alternatively, discuss with some IT experts or do plenty of research before finalizing your decision. Being prepared will come a long way in helping you get more than what you pay. 


Where can I find information on billing and pricing? 

Whether you want to ensure discounts or simply ask for estimates, visit the Google Cloud pricing and billing questions page to learn more about how much money you will pay. 

You might also want to highlight the requirements of your business, so it’s easier to determine the features to avail. That way, the scope and limitations of pricing can be initially defined.

Is there an SLA available?

Having a service level agreement is very important to ensure that you are eligible for the right service. 

Ideally, Google Cloud observes SLA for their clients which allows you to inform Google of financial eligibility. 

Is it necessary to enable billing? 

Enabling your billing is important, especially when creating your buckets with data in them. But billing can be disabled if you were only granted access to someone else’s bucket. 

Are there available support options for me? 

Google cloud comes with different support packages. You can also submit your feedback or get help from the community for your questions. Either way, you will likely receive a quick response to your concerns. 

About the author


Youssef is a Senior Cloud Consultant & Founder of

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