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Assign an Availability Policy to a Compute Instance

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1h 21m

*** NOTICE: This course is outdated and has been deprecated ***




This course has been designed to teach you how to deploy network and compute resources on Google Cloud Platform. The content in this course will help prepare you for the Associate Cloud Engineer exam.

Learning Objectives

  • To understand key networking and compute resources on Google Cloud Platform
  • Be able to explain different networking and compute features commonly used on GCP
  • Be able to deploy key networking and compute resources on Google Cloud Platform

Intended Audience

  • Those who are preparing for the Associate Cloud Engineer exam
  • Those looking to learn more about GCP networking and compute features


To get the most from this course then you should have some exposure to GCP resources, such as VPCs and Compute Instances. However, this is not essential.


Just like any other cloud platform, Google Compute Engine performs regular maintenance on its underlying infrastructure. To ensure that your GCP-based solutions remain up during these maintenance events, you can configure instance availability options that control the behavior of VM instances when these types of maintenance events occur. 

Certain maintenance events that occur will sometimes require Google to move a VM off the host that's undergoing maintenance. When this is necessary, Compute Engine will automatically handle the scheduling behavior of these instances. If an instance's availability policy is configured to use live migration, Compute Engine will live migrate the VM instance during maintenance in order to prevent any applications that are running on that instance from experiencing a disruption during the maintenance event. Now that said, you can also opt to terminate your instances during these types of maintenance events instead of live migrating them. If you opt to do this, any apps that are running on those instances will obviously experience an outage. 

The availability policy assigned to a compute instance will determine how the instance behaves when a maintenance event requires Google to move the instance to another underlying host. To configure an instance's availability policy, you need to configure two settings. You need to set the instance's maintenance behavior and you need to configure the instance's restart behavior. An instance's maintenance behavior controls whether or not the instance is live migrated or terminated whenever there's a maintenance event. 

The restart behavior controls whether or not the instance automatically restarts if it crashes or gets terminated. By default, maintenance behavior is set to live migrate. However, if you prefer to terminate instances during maintenance events, you can change the behavior to terminate the instance during maintenance events instead. If you choose to terminate an instance during maintenance, you can either opt to leave the instance terminated or you can set it to restart automatically after termination. If you choose to do this, what Google Compute Engine will do is tell the instance to shut down. It will then wait a short period of time to ensure that the instance shuts down cleanly. Google Compute Engine will then terminate the instance and then restart it on hardware that's not part of the maintenance event. 

In the next lesson, I'll show you how to set the availability policy of an existing VM instance.

About the Author
Learning Paths

Tom is a 25+ year veteran of the IT industry, having worked in environments as large as 40k seats and as small as 50 seats. Throughout the course of a long an interesting career, he has built an in-depth skillset that spans numerous IT disciplines. Tom has designed and architected small, large, and global IT solutions.

In addition to the Cloud Platform and Infrastructure MCSE certification, Tom also carries several other Microsoft certifications. His ability to see things from a strategic perspective allows Tom to architect solutions that closely align with business needs.

In his spare time, Tom enjoys camping, fishing, and playing poker.

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