Working with Quotas
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In this lesson you will learn how to diagnose database issues using Google’s Cloud Monitoring and Cloud Logging services.

Learning Objectives

  • Manage and minimize your system downtime
  • Optimize the performance of your Google databases

Intended Audience

  • Database administrators
  • Database engineers
  • Cloud architects
  • Anyone preparing for a Google Cloud certification


  • Some experience working with databases
  • Access to a GCP account

Between monitoring dashboards, alerts, and Logs Explorer, you should be able to root cause most issues.  Of course, actually fixing those issues is another matter.  You might need to change a configuration or update some code.  Or you might actually be running into a Google-enforced system limitation.

Now this can happen because Google Cloud Platform enforces certain quotas.  These quotas restrict how you can use their services.  For example, Cloud Firestore only allows you to have 200 composite indexes per database.  So you need to be aware of what operations are subject to a quota.  And you need to know what those quota limits are set to.

So in this lesson, I am going to show you how to find that out.  First, you need to log into the web console.  And then do a search for “IAM”.  Now if you try to search for “quotas” directly, you will get multiple matches and it is not going to be obvious which option to choose.  Next, scroll down on the left menu here until you find “Quotas”.  This is the page that is going to show you all your quotas.  Notice that there are often multiple quotas for each product.  You typically will need to use a filter to find the ones you are interested in.

Let’s say in this case, that I was using BigQuery.  And so, I want to look up all my BigQuery-related quotas.  To do that, I type in “bigquery” here.  And it looks like there are quite a few.  So let me pick one at random.  This one shows a limit on the number of IamPolicy requests I can make per minute.  You can see that it is currently set to 3000.  Now If I ever tried to exceed that amount, I am going to get an error.  So if you ever find that you have issues scaling a database service up, and you can’t figure out what the problem is, you might want to verify that you are not running up against a quota.

You can request a change by checking the appropriate entry, and then clicking on the “Edit Quotas” button up here.   Now you just enter the new maximum.  Let’s say I want to bump this up to 4000.  And then you also need to explain why you need the increase.  

Google can choose to approve or deny your request.  So you need to include a reasonable justification.   That means you want to come up with something a lot more compelling than what I have entered.  You also need to include your name and contact information.  And this is because someone at Google might need a way to respond or to ask further questions.

So that’s pretty much it for quotas.  If you are using a Google-managed service, you want to be sure to be familiar with any of your associated quotas.  It is also a very good idea to set up monitoring to let you know when you get close to exceeding a quota.  To get that information, just click on the “Show usage chart” icon.   In this case, I do not have any BigQuery instances, so there is no data to show.  But normally this should show you a nice graph that would compare your current usage to the maximum.

Google also allows you to set up quota alerts.  These alerts will notify you when you are getting too close to exceeding a limit.  This is going to set up an alert that will trigger at 80%, but you can further customize this if you wish.  Of course, you also have to select an appropriate notification channel.  Or you can choose multiple channels if you wish.  And once you click on the “Create policy” button, your alert will go into effect.

So it is very important that you review any applicable quotas for the services you are using.  You also might want to set up alerts to let you know if you get close to exceeding any quota.  And if you need to, you can use this tool to request an increase.


About the Author
Learning Paths

Daniel began his career as a Software Engineer, focusing mostly on web and mobile development. After twenty years of dealing with insufficient training and fragmented documentation, he decided to use his extensive experience to help the next generation of engineers.

Daniel has spent his most recent years designing and running technical classes for both Amazon and Microsoft. Today at Cloud Academy, he is working on building out an extensive Google Cloud training library.

When he isn’t working or tinkering in his home lab, Daniel enjoys BBQing, target shooting, and watching classic movies.