Exploit the free tier

Amazon Web Service has a program that offers to new customers a free usage tier for most of its services. This program expires 12 months after you sign up – from what we know, only AWS Redshift is the exception here, free tier for this service being offered for only 2 months.

Basically, each service has its own limits for this program, but overall, being part of this program means you can have a small EC2 hosts running all the time, 5 Gb of data stored in S3, 25 reads and 25 writes per second in one or more DynamoDB tables, 100k SQS requests and so on. Maybe it’s not enough for running a big application, but at least you have for free the resources to test AWS solutions and to become familiar with them. For example, you read in the latest newsletter that a new service was launched and you want to see how it works, what benefits or drawbacks it has and so on. Or for example, you want to understand better what are the differences between SQS and SNS and Amazon MQ. With a little bit of cautions, you can do that for free.

We decided to write this post because we want to clarify some aspects and also we want to give you some tips:
– Setup a billing alarm with a very low value (2-3$), just to know if you exceed the free tier
– Monitor from time to time the Account activity page to see you usage
– Choose one AWS region and run all your experiments only there. In that way, it’s easier to monitor your costs and to avoid situations when you exceeded the free tier quota. Free tier program is available in all regions, but our advice is to use one close to you, where are available all service you want to use.
– Keep in mind that what wasn’t consumed in one month is lost and not added to the next month.

As always, we end our post by inviting you to discover more details on the official free tier page.
Looking forward to receive your feedback!