Earlier this year, Google Cloud announced an improved always-free tier, as well as a free trial that gives you $300 in credits that you can use however you want over the course of 12 months. This has a huge impact on AWS (Amazon Web Services), and we all know that once Google comes onboard, they mean business.
So we gave it a shot and tried setting up our VPS on Google Cloud to see how it works. Not surprisingly, it works much better than we had expected! In summary, we now have created a few VPS that is able to run multiple MT4 (MetaTrader 4) platforms on each on them, and our algorithmic trading systems are running on them without any glitch so far.
Below, we detail down exactly how we did it, and you are encouraged to give it a try if you feel up to it! Feel free to pull your friendly IT friend along if you need some assurance.
Please note however that this article is meant as a reference only, and we are not liable for any material losses whatsoever that may result after following this article.
If this article has helped you in any way, please help us spread the word along so that more people can benefit from this extremely useful service from Google Cloud.
Step 1 – Signing up for Free Trial:
Go to https://cloud.google.com, log in to your account at the top right corner if you haven’t. Then click on the “TRY IT FREE” button:
Then fill up accordingly for the next page, and click on “Agree and continue”.
On the page after that, note that the Account type defaults to “Business”, do change it to “Individual” unless you are setting this up for your business. Then fill up accordingly and click “Start my free trial”:
Step 2 – My First Project:
After a short setup time. you will next be welcomed to the home console of your Google Cloud Platform. Notice at the top that your first project titled “My First Project” is automatically created for you. You can rename that if you want by clicking on “Go to project settings”:
Next, click on “Compute Engine”:
Step 3 – Compute Engine:
On the next page, you will see that the Compute Engine is initializing for the first time. Let it complete:
Next, click on “Create”:
Step 4 – VPS Configuration:
You will next see the configuration page for your new VPS. See comments below:
Specifically for setting the “Machine type”, we have tried running as many MT4 platform instances as we can on “micro” and “small” separately. The maximum we can squeeze in for “micro” is about 4 MT4s running concurrently (assuming that your EA is efficient, and you have “Hide All” for the Market Watch window within MT4), and about 12 (yes twelve!) for “small”. Must say I’m pretty impressed with Google Cloud myself to be honest! To be on the safe side, if you intend to squeeze as many MT4 instances on it as it can take, test it out first, and finally deploy lesser MT4 instances to be safe. Squeeze more in at your own risk!
Once you have selected the above settings, you will notice that there is a new error message:
You can safely ignore this. Next, click on the “Create” button at the bottom.
Viola! Your “free” VPS is now up!
Step 5 – Connecting to your VPS:
You should see something similar to this now:
Although it seems like your VPS is all ready (no spinning circle this time), however the initial setting up of the VPS is still taking place in the background. Give it about 3-5 mins, go grab a coffee or something (you deserve it!)
After 5 mins is up, click on the arrowhead beside “RDP”, then select “Set Windows password”:
Change the Username accordingly and click “SET”, and your password will then be shown. Please note this password down somewhere NOW.
After that, click on the arrowhead beside RDP again, and select “Download the RDP file”:
Double-click on the RDP file you have just downloaded. If you get the following warning, check the box and click “Connect”:
Enter your log-in credentials and click OK. You should get another error message, check the box and click “Yes”:
And you are in!
Lastly, you might notice after a few days of usage, there will be an alert on your Google Cloud that says that your VPS is overutilised:
If you are only running one or two instances of MT4, you will find that it’s still running as fast as it can get on a VPS. Thus it is safe to simply click the “Dismiss” button so as to acknowledge and remove the alert.
Alright this concludes our comprehensive guide on how to effectively set up a free VPS on Google Cloud.
There are still quite a number of steps that needs to be performed in order to set up your MT4 platform properly. Common mistakes which many algo traders make includes not turning off Windows Update (either not knowing how or simply missing out on it totally), and not setting up auto-recovery when the VPS crashes or reboots due to any reasons in the future.
Check out our continuation guide on how to do that here:
How To Set Up Your New Google Cloud VPS To Run MT4 Robustly
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