Starting November 1st, Amazon will grant all new customers one year of running an EC2 instance for free. They’ve got some side dishes too: You can leverage that free usage tier across Amazon S3, Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS), Amazon Elastic Load Balancing, and AWS data transfer. The sky’s the limit: launch new apps, see how your current apps stand up in the cloud, or sort out all of the hype surrounding AWS firsthand.
But what’s their angle? Some think Amazon may be taking notes from unlikely places, that “maybe it’s Amazon pushing the cloud like a drug dealer – get ’em hooked they stay hooked.” But others know better, as James Staten reports:
Before you jump to the conclusion that the free tier is just a promotion and loss leader for Amazon and thus they will never make it permanent, let me point out that the free tier will actually make money for AWS. It does this in two ways. First, if you know you can shrink your application down to the free tier, you have less incentive to switch platforms and that means AWS can count on you as a customer and can count on revenue when you’re busy. The free tier is teeny, tiny.
What do you think of Amazon’s new symbiotic relationship?
The Fine Print
- 750 hours of Amazon EC2 Linux Micro Instance usage
- 750 hours of Elastic Load Balancer with 15 GB data processing
- 10 GB of Amazon Elastic Block Storage, 1M I/Os, 1 GB of snapshot storage, 10k snapshot Get Requests and 1k snapshot Put Requests.
- 5GB of Amazon S3 storage, 20k Get Requests, and 2k Put Requests
- 30 GB of internet data transfer (15 GB in & 15 GB out)
Additional freebies will also be made available to current Amazon customers as well as trial users:
- 25 Amazon SimpleDB Machine Hours and 1 GB storage
- 100k Requests of Amazon Simple Queue Service
- 100k Requests, 100k HTTP notifications and 1k email notifications for Amazon Simple Notification Service
- Free access to the AWS management console to build and manage your application
Once your twelve month free subscription is up, you begin paying-as-you-go.