Thursday, December 15, 2011

Can free tiers be tear free?

Many of the cloud computing services offer some kind of free tier these days. Most of them are time-limited (e.g., Amazon's free tier lasts for 1 year, Microsoft's 90 days), but some are not including Google. How do they stack up?

Cloud providers vary greatly and so do their plans. Generally, the IaaS players have to offer more because you would be running an entire system image on their nodes whereas the PaaS providers can get away with a lot less, and still enable you to at least bootstrap a development version of your webapp. Because of this, one cannot compare, say, Amazon's 10 GB of EBS with Heroku's 5 MB of shared DB storage because in Amazon's case, you'll have to load a lot more of your infrastructure software into that 10 GB.

ServiceStorage (GB)BandwidthTimeSource
Google App Engine5 (blob)
1 (high replication)
1 in/1 out daily
56 MB/min
14,400 max
Official Quotas
Amazon Web Services10 EBS
5 S3
1 SimpleDB
15 out/month750Free Tier
Microsoft Azure 1 DB
20 Storage
20 out750 * 3 mosFree Trial Page
Heroku0.005750 hrsPricing
DotCloud0.01 disk
0.01 RAM
Pricing FAQ
EngineYard500 hrsPricing
There is a blog spot on BlueScripts blog about the costs for scaling up some of the cloud offerings versus dedicated hosting.


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