AWS, Azure, and Google Cloud: Which free tier is best?
The main cloud service provides its products to everyone from independent developers who use credit cards to businesses that cut 7-digit SLAs. The three giants- Amazon AWS , Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure-also offer free trial versions of various individual services with their banners. Free products are not always enough to complete all the production work, but they are enough to let people understand how the service works without spending money.
Please note that the list of always free services varies greatly between clouds. One cloud provides content in some form for free, other clouds may always charge. In this article, we will explain how the free tier works on AWS, Google Cloud, and Microsoft Azure, and discuss their similarities, differences, and limitations. Finally, we will point out some notable products that are always free for each cloud, and their service limitations.
Free on AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure
The free products of AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure are divided into two basic categories:
- The “free limited time” level can provide you with some services that are free for 12 months, but the number is limited and can only be used when registering or registering the service for the first time. After the end of these 12 months, you will be required to pay for these services at normal cost.
- The “Always Free” layer provides services that are always free, but only if your monthly usage does not exceed a certain amount. It can usually be managed by monitoring your usage. For example, AWS has budgets and alerts to help you solve this problem.
Both Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure provide service points during registration. Google Cloud provides a credit of $300, which can be used for any Google Cloud Platform service. However, if you spend all $300 of credit during this time, your 12-month free trial period will end early. Microsoft Azure will provide a credit of $200 when registering, but it can only be used within the first 30 days. On the bright side, spending all these points will not end your 12-month free trial period.
Free tier restrictions for AWS, Google Cloud and Microsoft Azure
The main limitation is the service time and usage limit-only so much per month, while the free trial version is only available for 12 months. But other restrictions usually apply.
- Software and operating system. Free software usually does not provide commercial software and operating system licenses. For example, for AWS, certain variants of Windows (such as Microsoft Windows Server 2019 with SQL Server 2017 Standard) are not available in the 12-month tier or the always free tier. However, in the instance of the type of restrictions as long as you are in the free layer, Microsoft Windows Server 2019 Base you can use the free layer.
- Operational restrictions. The services in the free tier usually have fixed limits, which can only be removed by switching to the paid version of the product. For example, for Google Cloud, there is an upper limit on the number of virtual CPUs that can be used at one time . You also cannot add GPUs or use Windows Server instances.
- No extension. If you do not use all available resources for free within a given month, then do not expect to carry forward the balance to the next few months. Free services are basically “stop-and-go” transactions.
AWS Free Tier Highlights
- Amazon Chime: From March 4, 2020 to June 30, 2020, Amazon’s business communication services-chat, audio and video calls-are completely free for new customers. Basic functions including text chat and voice calls are always free.
- AWS CodeBuild: Use build.general1.small instance type for 100 build minutes for free every month.
- AWS CodeCommit: Up to five users with 50 GB of storage space and 10,000 Git requests per month.
- AWS CodePipeline : There is an activity pipeline for free every month.
- Amazon DynamoDB: Amazon’s NoSQL database provides 25 GB of storage space and 25 units of free read and write capacity per month . Amazon claims this is “enough to process up to 200 million requests per month.”
- Amazon Glacier: You can retrieve up to 10 GB of data for free from Amazon’s long-term data storage service.
- AWS Lambda: Amazon’s feature-as-a-service products can deliver up to one million requests and 3.2 million seconds of computing time for free every month.
- Amazon RDS: As long as you use Single-AZ db.t2.micro, Amazon’s managed database services (MySQL, MariaDB, PostgreSQL, Oracle database (you must provide your own license) or SQL Server Express) can run uninterrupted every month. Examples, as well as 20 GB of SSD-supported database storage and 20 GB of backup.
- AWS step function: Provide 4,000 state transitions for free every month.
Google Cloud Free Tier Highlights
- Google App Engine: Free instances of Google App Engine can use up to 5 GB of Google Cloud Storage, can run up to 28 front-end instance hours and 9 back-end instance hours per day, and provide 1 GB of outbound data, using 1000 search operations (Up to 10 MB search index) and send 100 emails. Please note that the only environment supported by the free instance of Google App Engine is the standard environment.
- Google BigQuery: Free to include up to 1 TB of queries per month and 10 GB of storage space.
- Google Cloud Build: Free for 120 minutes every day.
- Google Cloud Function: Provide 2 million background and HTTP calls for free every month. It also includes 5 GB of outbound network data, 400,000 GB-sec and 200,000 GHz-sec calculation time .
- Google Cloud Source resource library: Up to five users, 50 GB of storage space and 50 GB of outbound data for free.
- Google Cloud Storage: Every month Google Cloud Storage will provide you with 5 GB of U.S. regional storage for free, 5,000 Class A and 50,000 Class B operations, and 1 GB of outbound data (based on Compute Engine limits).
- Google Compute Engine: Provide a f1-micro VM for free in the US. There is an additional charge for using GPU or TPU.
Microsoft Azure Free Tier Highlights
- Azure Active Directory: Provide up to 50,000 authentications for free every month.
- Azure Application Service: You can create up to 10 Web, mobile or API applications for free.
- Azure Cosmos DB: Provide up to 500 GB of storage per month and 400 request units per second for free.
- Azure DevOps: Up to 5 users are provided for free , and each user has an unlimited private Git repository.
- Azure function: Up to one million requests can be submitted for free every month.
Azure also provides 5 GB of outbound data for free every month.
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