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Compute Costs and Credits

jneffjneff BostonMember, Broadie admin
edited July 2017 in Archive

Compute Costs and Credits

Does FireCloud cost money?
FireCloud charges all usage costs, including compute and cloud storage, to FireCloud Billing Projects. Go here for more information. Currently, in order to create or clone your own workspace, and run analyses using pre-loaded TCGA data, you must create or gain access to a FireCloud Billing Project.

Now until September 27, 2017: Registered FireCloud users can apply for cloud credits to cover usage costs up to $10,000.

How do cloud credits work?
Cloud credits are available at three Tiers:

  • Tier 1: Credit of $300. Open to all registered users. Upon approval, users will receive a FireCloud Billing Project, seeded with $300 in credits. Apply here.

  • Tier 2: Credit of $1,000. Available after Tier 1 credits. Users must provide a description of intended use. Apply here.

  • Tier 3: Credit of up to $10,000. Available after Tier 2 credits for work on a large collaborative project involving two or more researchers. Only a very limited number of Tier 3 credits will be available and priority may be given to proposals that demonstrate collaborative research on FireCloud. Apply here.

Will I be charged after my credits run out?
No. You will receive a notification before your credits run out, prompting you to apply for additional credits or provide a payment method. If you do not request additional credits or provide a payment method, your FireCloud Billing Project will be temporarily suspended, and you will not incur additional charges.

Can I use credits if I already have a FireCloud Billing Project?
Yes. A separate FireCloud Billing Project will be set up for you to receive credits. You can continue using your own FireCloud Billing Project concurrently.

How do I determine costs in FireCloud?
FireCloud usage costs are billed through Google Cloud Platform (GCP). Below is a summary of the GCP Pricing Structure.

  • Data upload to GCP is free.

  • Data download from GCP is $120/TB with a 30% discount if over 10TB.

  • Compute costs about $0.05/core hour if less than 6.5GB RAM/core. More
    RAM will require running with more cores and will cost more.

  • Disk space (used only while VM is running) costs $40/TB/Month of total
    quota reserved.

  • General storage costs $26/TB/month.


  • You want to run a MuTect analysis on 1089 tumor/normal pairs.

  • Compute: At $0.05/core hour and 23,305.4 core hours, the cost is $1,165.27 ($1.07/run).

  • Storage: There are 1089 output files with a total size of 0.001141 TB. At $26/TB/month, the storage/month is $0.03. Note: In this example, the BAMs reside in the TCGA Open Access bucket, so no storage costs are incurred by you.

  • Download: To download these files, at $120/TB, the cost is $0.14.

  • Estimating: We are in the process of developing cost estimation tools. If you want to estimate costs, you could first run the analysis on a few pairs and calculate the core hours per run.

For more information, you can check out these links:
- Google Compute Pricing
- Google Storage Pricing
- FireCloud Projects and Billing Accounts

Post edited by Tiffany_at_Broad on
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