Unsure about the cloud? Try it for a year free from Amazon

Written by Mike on October 22, 2010

AWS logoIf you’ve been hesitant to try out the cloud and some of the services that Amazon offers, you may want to pay attention to this.

Beginning November 1, new Amazon Web Services customers will receive an unprecedented amount of services for free to introduce you to their services and how you can implement these into your web workflow.

Here’s what you get.

  • 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**

Seriously – you get all this. I’m stunned. That’s basically a free server for a year from Amazon, storage, load balancing and more.

So how can you integrate these into your web workflow?

1. Backups and content delivery

With 5 GB of free storage, use it to backup your blog or website. There are automated plugins for many CMS and blog systems, especially WordPress.

If you run WordPress, use the TanTan S3 plugin to have media that you or your content creators upload go right to S3 and be served from there. Why? Bandwidth and storage space mostly.

2. Try out a new plugin, code framework, blogging tool, CMS, etc.

With the micro server, you can fire up whatever you want and try it out – especially if you’ve always wanted to run, say, Ruby on Rails on a CentOS server, this is your opportunity to try it out.

3. Get out of your comfort zone.

I’m a pretty heavy AWS user, and I’ve never used their SimpleDB or Simple Notification Services before. I’m going to use this free tier (on a new account, naturally) to put them through their paces and see if they are things might make my job easier on any given day. I’m especially interested in the notification service.