Amazon Web Services: Try us free for a year

Amazon Web Services said Thursday that it will offer a free tier beginning Nov. 1 so new customers can try the cloud before they buy into it.

Amazon Web Services said Thursday that it will offer a free tier beginning Nov. 1 so new customers can try the cloud before they buy into it.

The approach boils down to try before you buy. Under the arrangement, a new developer or business can use a free EC2 instance and its associated services for a year at no charge. Services include S3, Elastic Block Store, Elastic Load Balancing and data transfer.

Amazon's bet is simple: Get new customers in the door and then convert them to paying customers. Amazon portrayed the move was a way for potential customers to launch applications, get hands-on knowledge and get new developers in the AWS ecosystem.

Under the free tier new customers get:

  • 750 hours a month of a micro Linux Amazon EC2 instance;
  • 750 hours a month of load balancing;
  • 10 GB a month of elastic block storage;
  • 5 GB a month of S3 storage;
  • 30 GB a month of data transfer (15 GB in and out);
  • 25 machine hours of SimpleDB;
  • 100,000 requests a month each of Amazon's simple queue service, requests and notifications over HTTP.