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Free Programs for new Businesses to get into Cloud Computing

The fierce competition in the cloud marketplace today has resulted in some great deals for small business. Both Amazon and Microsoft currently have programs that offer a free tier of all their major cloud offerings for new accounts or new businesses. Amazon’s is very simple – a free tier of service is offered for the first 12 months once you sign up. There is no need for an application process and it’s open to individuals. To sign up, just go to http://aws.amazon.com/free/. The restrictions are as follows:

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
This should be more than enough for a basic website with typical database needs.
Google’s AppEngine continues to havea  free usage tier. As of this writing it is 500MB of storage and up to 5 million page views a month, but Google is making changes with the introuction of “Apps for Business” so it’s best to check directly for updates.
Microsoft’s has several programs for trying out its service, but if you’re a small starting business you MUST try to join BizSpark. In addition to the networking and visibility benefits, you get a  full MSDN subscription and the following impressive package of Windows Azure services:
  • Windows Azure Small compute instance 750 hours / month
  • Windows Azure Storage 10 GB
  • Windows Azure Transactions 1,000,000 / month
  • AppFabric Service Bus Connections 5 / month
  • AppFabric Access Control Transactions 1,000,000 / month
  • SQL Azure Web Edition databases (1GB) 3
  • SQL Azure Data Transfers 7 GB in / month, 14 GB out / month