Try out Amazon EC2

Amazon EC2 offered for free. Without further analysis, though, it may not really be a better offer. This just might be the enticement needed to get some to join the cloud trend.
Written by Dan Kusnetzky, Contributor on

While doing my morning news scan, I came across an interesting step taken by Amazon Web Services, one of the big boys in the platform as a service (PaaS) market. They're offering customers the ability to use EC2 at no charge for a year. The offering, of course, is limited in a number of ways.

Here is what AWS has to say about its offering

Amazon Web Services LLC (AWS), an Amazon.com Company (NASDAQ: AMZN), today announced that developers and businesses will be able to take advantage of a new free usage tier for a full year. Beginning November 1, new AWS customers will be able to run a free Amazon EC2 instance for a year, while also leveraging a new free usage tier for Amazon S3, Amazon Elastic Block Store, Amazon Elastic Load Balancing, and AWS data transfer. This will enable developers to launch new applications, broaden their AWS knowledge, or simply gain hands-on familiarity with the services -- all while incurring no charges.

Below are the highlights of AWS's new free offering. All are free for one year (except the last three which are free indefinitely):

  • 750 hours per month of micro Linux Amazon EC2 instance usage -- enough to run continuously (there are approximately 750 hours in a month)
  • 750 hours per month of an Amazon Elastic Load Balancer
  • 10 GB per month of Amazon Elastic Block Storage
  • 5 GB per month of Amazon S3 Storage
  • 30 GB per month of internet data transfer (15 GB of data transfer "in" and 15 GB of data transfer "out" across all services)
  • 25 Machine Hours per month of Amazon SimpleDB
  • 100,000 Requests per month of Amazon Simple Queue Service
  • 100,000 Requests per month, 100,000 Notifications over HTTP per month, and 1,000 Notifications over
  • Email per month for Amazon Simple Notification Service

To learn more about the new AWS free usage tier, visit http://aws.amazon.com/free/.

Snapshot analysis

Amazon has come up with a very interesting proposition for those considering deploying a cloud-based solution that will be hard for small to medium size organizations as well as state and local governments to pass up - try it for free for a year.

Without furtther analysis, it is hard to say if this offer will really offer a lower cost option to what others provide as part of their standard service model. It would still be wise to consider the overall cost of such a service for a 3 year run and compare that cost to what others may offer.

That being said, this might be just the enticement that some need to try out cloud computing.

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