Want To Get Your New Web Idea Off The Ground For Free, Amazon Web Services Has You Covered

The sad part is that most people still don’t know that Amazon is this heavily into the web game.  Amazon is known as a place that you can go to buy just about anything and for their highly successful e-Reader the Kindle but when it’s all said and done something called Amazon Web Services(AWS) may prove to the their biggest success ever. AWS is just what it sounds like, it’s a collection of web services across 11 major categories: Compute, Content Delivery, Database, E-Commerce, Messaging, Monitoring, Networking, Payments & Billing, Storage, Web Traffic, and Workforce. Within each of these categories multiple services that you can leverage to build almost any kind of web presence you can imagine. The best part about all of this is that you can do it a very fair cost and you have the comfort of knowing that your website or solution is running on Amazon’s highly available and highly robust infrastructure.


Now some of you have never heard of AWS and some of you have but didn’t quite know what to make of it so you haven’t tried it. This is where Amazon is putting their money where their mouth is with the “AWS Free Usage Tier”. AWS is a large collection of things and with the free usage tier Amazon is giving you access to tons of these solutions for free for a year. New AWS customers will be able to run a free Amazon EC2 Micro 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. AWS’s free usage tier can be used for anything you want to run in the cloud: launch new applications, test existing applications in the cloud, or simply gain hands-on experience with AWS.

Here’s what you get with AWS’s new free usage tiers. All are available for one year (except Amazon SimpleDB, SQS, and SNS which are free indefinitely):

AWS Free Usage Tier (Per Month):

  • 750 hours of Amazon EC2 Linux Micro Instance usage (613 MB of memory and 32-bit and 64-bit platform support) – enough hours to run continuously each month
  • 750 hours of an Elastic Load Balancer plus 15 GB data processing
  • 10 GB of Amazon Elastic Block Storage, plus 1 million I/Os, 1 GB of snapshot storage, 10,000 snapshot Get Requests and 1,000 snapshot Put Requests
  • 5 GB of Amazon S3 storage, 20,000 Get Requests, and 2,000 Put Requests
  • 30 GB per of internet data transfer (15 GB of data transfer “in” and 15 GB of data transfer “out” across all services except Amazon CloudFront)
  • 25 Amazon SimpleDB Machine Hours and 1 GB of Storage
  • 100,000 Requests of Amazon Simple Queue Service
  • 100,000 Requests, 100,000 HTTP notifications and 1,000 email notifications for Amazon Simple Notification Service
  • 10 Amazon Cloudwatch alarms

*In addition to these services, the AWS Management Console is available at no charge to help you build and manage your application on AWS.

Guys I have to be honest, this is a sweet deal. We don’t currently use any of the services be we are seriously looking into leveraging EC2 and Cloudfront to deliver even better performance to our users across our family of sites. Now you do have to put in a valid credit card, but it will only be charged if you exceed the specified data limits and even then trust us its more than reasonable. I won’t lie it isn’t as pretty as what you will get from some web hosting companies, but in terms of raw power and capability for your money it’s hard to beat. At this point, it geared more towards hardcore developers but you don’t have to be one to see how this could be useful. This is definitely a set of services that anyone could be comfortable building the next great killer app on. So what’s your excuse now? Carpe Diem.

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