Google Cloud Compute Engine can start an instance in 10s, while the exact same instance will take 1m29s to delete! There is only one boot disk and it doesn't persist after instance deletion.

Similarly, stopping the instance is also very slow (compared even to starting it).

It doesn't matter if the boot disk is 2000-GB or just 10-GB (in case erasing it is what takes time).

The point of this is using the cloud resources only when needed while testing, experimenting, and writing code. Normally, Google Colab would be an excellent way to play around. When Colab disconnects from the server, it can very quickly reconnect and there is no problem.

However, I need to run multiple languages, etc. I need bash/root access. When I want to execute code, the instance should quickly go up, and then back down.

It appears that years ago google cloud had a diskless server option, but now, you apparently must have a boot disk. Why is diskless boot (e.g. into RAM disk) not possible?

Anyway, why should instance deletion be so slow (1m29s) when even starting the instance is 10 times faster?


If you are concern about GCE instance's shutdown period I'd suggest you Preemptible VM instances instead.

  • Thanks for that link! I tried OS system shutdown before doing an instance stop. That way, stopping took only 40s instead of 55s. Also, you're completely right that preemptible instances are much cheaper. But this question still bothers me! This may be off-topic, but these latency issues are really very important. A trivial browser refresh of Cloud Console web page (no instances running) takes more than 10s! CNN.com is faster! Gmail can search 10 years of emails in 1s. So, I'm really surprised that this kind of latency on the google cloud front page doesn't bother people. – Reza Roboubi Feb 7 '20 at 21:32
  • You're welcome. You might want to file a Feature Request for this. – DuniX33 Feb 10 '20 at 9:03

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