10 Top Places to Get Free Cloud Computing

Are you looking to get started with cloud computing but don’t want to pay? There are numerous places that provide free cloud computing services, including Amazon Web Services, Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure, just to name a few. These three platforms have an excellent reputation in the IT community and each have their own advantages and drawbacks depending on your specific needs as an individual or business. Use this list of 10 top places to get free cloud computing to decide where best to start your own free cloud computing project!

1) AWS Free Tier

When it comes to free cloud computing, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is by far your best bet. AWS offers several free services that allow you to get going with cloud computing on a shoestring budget. For example, you can use their AWS Free Tier service for twelve months and receive 50 hours of EC2 compute time, 20 GB-months of S3 storage, and 750 million API requests each month at no charge.

2) IBM Watson

IBM has built Watson, a system designed to look at vast amounts of data and come up with answers. The company has made IBM Watson available as a cloud service, meaning users can tap into its capabilities by signing up for a free account. It’s not just an intelligence-gathering tool: Watson comes with APIs that allow developers to build apps on top of it. The code for one such app is now publicly available, giving would-be developers plenty of material from which to start building their own apps.

3) NetApp AFF (Another Free Option)

Available via NetApp’s Data OnTap 8.0 operating system, another free cloud computing alternative called AFF, short for All-Flash Fabric, can be used as a shared storage tier of sorts in enterprise storage environments. Similar to how Amazon Web Services offers EBS volumes that are attached to its EC2 instances, NetApp allows virtual machines (VMs) on NetApp storage appliances or servers to be provisioned with a number of AFF pools for hosting VMs’ associated data.

4) Rackspace

Rackspace is a top choice for free cloud computing, but you’ll have to earn 10 industry points to become eligible. Industry points are earned by signing up, writing reviews, referring friends and publishing your own blogs or videos on Rackspace. Earning your first 10 industry points earns you a $50 credit; after that, each 100 industry points will earn you another $50 credit.

5) ZenDesk

ZenDesk is a cloud-based customer service platform that enables its users to automate, scale and respond to customer service requests in real time. Unlike other services on our list, ZenDesk focuses specifically on customer service, but it also allows companies to integrate their CRM and project management systems with their help desk software. ZenDesk’s free version includes unlimited support agents and up to 5 public tickets at one time; paid plans start at $5 per month.

6) Google App Engine Standard Tier

Google App Engine provides you with a powerful cloud computing infrastructure: virtually limitless storage, automatic scaling up and down, access to Google’s security infrastructure, and more. It’s all free until your application generates over 25GB of traffic per day. Thereafter, pricing is based on usage. (Free)

7) Microsoft Azure

One of Microsoft’s largest cloud offerings, Azure offers both Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) and Platform as a Service (PaaS). PaaS is designed for apps, while IaaS is ideal for storage. Pricing is fairly simple: You pay per hour of usage. If you use an allotment one month, you have it another month. It’s also free if you set up your account during certain promotional periods, or as part of certain programs.

8) Aliyun OS Service Tiers

Aliyun provides its users with three service tiers: Compute, Storage and CDN. The lowest tier, Compute, is free of charge; it allows customers to access Aliyun’s VM servers in China. If a company wants a location other than China, they can upgrade to one of two other service tiers; each tier comes with additional storage space and bandwidth.

9) Docker Datacenter for Enterprise

If you have a few containers that need high availability, Docker Datacenter for Enterprise will automatically provision your containers across multiple hosts in your enterprise. Docker Datacenter also gives you 24×7 support from Docker and enterprise  grade security from Dell.  And if you’re looking for more than just container management, it can be used with other tools like Kubernetes or Mesos. There are no limits on compute resources or storage capacity, but it is only available on select platforms. You can find out more about how to get started with Docker Datacenter here .

10) Joyent Public Cloud

According to their website, Joyent offers virtual machines, high-speed networking and security. Pricing is available on request. The Joyent Public Cloud API allows users to easily create new applications that can use cloud computing from within any software written in any language. No code changes are required. It also allows developers to build apps with a RESTful interface that is compatible with other cloud providers’ APIs.


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