Digital Ocean App Platform vs Google Cloud Run Pricing (2024)

Date: 2024-01-11 | create | tech | business | google-cloud | digital-ocean | cloud-run | app-platform |

I've primarily used Google Cloud Run to host my sites for the past few years. I am a big fan of Platform as a Service (PaaS) managed container hosting and Cloud Run has proven to be very reliable and easy to use for my low-traffic purposes (I run this site on it for ~$1 / month).

I recently calculated Google Cloud Run prices by month and was surprised to find out how expensive it is when used in an always-on configuration. I was curious about how this compared to other PaaS providers so in this post we'll be comparing Google Cloud Run prices with that of Digital Ocean's App Platform.

Comparing PaaS Services

Google Cloud Run and Digital Ocean App Platform are relatively similar PaaS offerings which makes them a good fit for comparison. They both provide a managed container service that allows you to ship your code as a container and configure how it will be run on the platform.

Some differences to call out:

  • Cloud Run offers more configuration options (CPU, RAM, region)
  • Cloud Run offers scale-to-zero and auto scaling out of the box while App Platform is a little more manual
  • Both seem to use the idea of vCPUs (shared cores) unless specifically configured but it's unclear if their idea of vCPU is completely synonymous across platforms

Cloud Run vs App Platform Pricing

In my previous post we crunched the numbers to get Cloud Run pricing per month. For this comparison we're going to be reusing several assumptions to make these calculations easier to compare:

  • Free tier / discounts don't exist
  • Requests / transfer payloads are free
  • Using compute resources for the full month (so not factoring in scaling / sleeping)
  • Comparing against GCP Cloud Run Always-Allocated, Tier 1 pricing which is the cheapest option and thus most comparable
  • These figures are correct as of 2024.01.01 when they were calculated from the Cloud Run pricing page and App Platform pricing page

Digital Ocean - App Platform Pricing

Digital Ocean - App Platform Pricing

GCP - Cloud Run pricing

Google Cloud - Cloud Run Pricing

With those assumptions, we can compare pricing for available standard configurations:

DO App Platform vs GCP Cloud Run pricing

DO App Platform vs GCP Cloud Run pricing

1 vCPU, 0.5 GB RAM

  • DO App Platform: $5
  • GCP Cloud Run: $49.40 (9x more expensive)

1 vCPU, 1 GB RAM

  • DO App Platform: $12
  • GCP Cloud Run: $52 (4x more expensive)

1 vCPU, 2 GB RAM

  • DO App Platform: $25
  • GCP Cloud Run: $57.20 (2x more expensive)


  • DO App Platform: $50
  • GCP Cloud Run: $114.40 (2x more expensive)

Picking between App Platform and Cloud Run

From these numbers it appears Google Cloud Run comes out to about 2x more expensive for small PaaS servers.

Does that mean you should switch?

Well it depends on your workload.

I've personally been able to host several small side projects and this website on Cloud Run for less than $10 / year because my sites don't get much traffic. This means they can leverage Cloud Run's scale-to-zero feature to sleep when they aren't doing anything which makes it very cheap to run. If I tried to do the same thing on App Platform, I'd be paying $5 / month for each - even if they didn't get any traffic!

That said, if my sites were to get more traffic and require Cloud Run to provision servers for longer it's clear that I'd be paying quite a bit more for the same amount of compute.


Personally I think I'll be sticking with Cloud Run for my existing projects as there's no real reason for me to switch right now.

But for new projects, especially those I hope to scale into small businesses, I think I'll explore a bit more of what DO has to offer.

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