I am deploying a Laravel app (content management system) on GCP App Engine but I am not sure what are the advantages or disadvantages of standard vs flexible environment and how it would impact a Laravel application. The application will not have many users (low traffic) but will require to read the database and show outputs etc. for a number of rows. Could someone please highlight differences and provide suggestions. I am sorry if this question doesn't fit here as I am new to this StackExchange.


That’s a great question. Both environments have their pros and cons, and at the end of the day, you’ll decide what best suits your needs.

App Engine Standard

TL;DR: Super fast startup, scales to zero, priced by the number of instance hours somewhat restrictive


  • The app can scale to zero when it is idle
  • Deploys quickly
  • Autoscales in seconds
  • Can run for free or at very little cost


  • Only specific languages are supported
  • No Background processes
  • Can’t consume VM resources
  • No flexibility in the runtime
  • No SSH

App Engine Flex

TL;DR: Super customizable and high performing environment at the cost of scalability overhead and cost


  • Everything is customizable. Runtime and Infrastructure
  • Instances can be accessed via SSH, unlocking more potential
  • Performance is SOLID as it runs on the VMs that suit your needs. Background processes and thread exist


  • Does not scale to 0. You need to have 1 instance at all times
  • Takes significantly longer to deploy
  • Scaling instance takes longer
  • Costs a more than standard


Use App Engine Standard if you don’t need to customize the runtime or infrastructure.

In your case, I would suggest you use App Engine Standard as your app isn’t going to have many users and you can connect to Cloud SQL.

I hope that this helps.


  • Thanks, my current setup is GAE standard with Cloud SQL. I tried Flex for a day but it got very expensive in comparison. I think I will stick to standard considering there will be significant idle time. – Coola Jul 26 '20 at 13:05

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