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Persistent Disks

  • Are durable network storage devices that you can provision to host your virtual machine instances.
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  • Data on each persistent disk is distributed across several physical disks and is designed for high durability. It stores data redundantly to ensure data integrity.
  • Persistent disks are resizable to accommodate larger storage requirements.
  • It can be attached to virtual machines running on Compute Engine (GCE) or Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE).
  • You cannot attach a persistent disk to an instance on another project.
  • Your storage is independent of your virtual machine instances so you can detach or move your PDs to keep your data even after you delete your instances.
  • You can only change the size of a Persistent Disk incrementally.

Zonal and Regional Persistent Disks

You can configure your PD to be zonal or regional.

  • Zonal Disks
    • Are relatively faster than Regional disks and are found in a zone.
  • Regional Disks
    • Provides replication of data between two zones in the same region.
    • Is designed for building robust and highly available systems on Compute Engine.

Persistent Disk Types

  • Standard (pd-standard)
    • Backed by standard hard disk drives (HDD).
    • Efficient and economical for handing sequential read/write operations but they aren’t optimized to handle high rates of random input/output per second (IOPS).
  • Balanced and SSD Disks
    • Backed by solid state drives (SSD)
    • SSD persistent disks are designed for single-digit millisecond latencies


  • Data on persistent disks are automatically encrypted at rest and in transit by system defined encryption keys or with customer-supplied keys.
  • To control your data encryption, you can create PDs with your own encryption keys.


  • Persistent disk snapshots can be created to protect against data loss.
  • Snapshots are incremental and take only minutes to create even if you snapshot disks that are attached to running instances.
  • You can set up a snapshot schedule to back up your data on a regular basis.


  • Provisioning persistent disks incurs cost based on the following factors:
    • Amount and location of provisioned space per disk
    • Snapshot Storage
    • Network charges for snapshot creation


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