AWS free tier

Hey Everyone and welcome to the Episode #0, where I'd like to explain briefly what is AWS Free tier and why you shouldn't ignore this with your IT challenges.

Together with some of my workmates we launched AWSRus community in 2016, where the main goal is to evangelize AWS services along Russian speaking community. We are bi-quarterly gatherings either in St. Petersburg or in Moscow. Last meetup we did in Moscow October, 28th where we had several great talks about Serverless on AWS (delivered by @blessmepadre), KROK talked about infrastructure as a code and finally, me, talking about free tiers on AWS. The topic is pretty light, however opened some dark sides for number of attendees what they were not aware about. While Free tier is great for learning services, it also provide nice capabilities what we don't see other cloud providers offer. With that in mind, I'd like to start series of articles around this topic specifically focusing on some useful micro tasks, that everyone can cover using this absolutely free offer. So, let's take a look at the options closer before we dive into our tutorials.

Type of free tier

As of now Amazon offers over two thousand different services, which are highly available, durable and redundant! Every single task we can split into multiple smaller pieces and even further sub-tasks etc (need compute - we go EC2 or lambda, storage - S3, EFS, Snowball and others), Data structure (we go ahead and launch RDS, Dynamo, Redis, Redshift etc). And all they are very reliable since they are spread across multiple availability zone, kept in multiple storage facilities and "rack-ed" with independent network and power connectivities, so we don't have to worry about data loss and unavailability. All these serves bound and access between them is secured and controllable by different management services. That's why it is great for micro tasks.

There are two types of free tier: free forever (non-expiring offerings) and free for first 12 month since sign up.

AWS 12 month free tier offerings

  • Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2);
  • Simple Storage Service (S3);
  • Elastic File System (EFS);
  • Relational Database Service (RDS);
  • Cloud Directory;
  • Amazon Connect;
  • Amazon GameLift;
  • Data Transfer;
  • Data Pipeline;
  • ElastiCache;
  • CloudFront;
  • API Gateway;
  • Elasticsearch Service;
  • Pinpoint;
  • OpsWorks
  • Polly;
  • IoT;
  • Lex.

AWS forever free tier

  • DynamoDB;
  • Amazon Cognito;
  • CodeCommit;
  • CloudWatch;
  • X-Ray;
  • Mobile Analytics;
  • DMS (Database Migration Service);
  • Storage Gateway;
  • Amazon Chime;
  • SWF (Simple WorkFlow Service);
  • SQS (Simple Queue Service);
  • SNS (Simple Notification Service);
  • Elastic Transcoder;
  • KMS (Key Management Service);
  • Lambda;
  • CodePipeline;
  • Device Farm;
  • Step Functions;
  • SES (Simple Email Service);
  • QuickSight;
  • Amazon Glacier;
  • Amazon Macie;
  • Glue;
  • CodeBuild.

As you may see some of these offerings included into both sections.

What are we going to build?

I will structure the above list of services to the corresponding episode when they start to appear on website. We are going to make the following services soon:

  • SMS personal service for IOS (AWS SDK);
  • Email subscribe service for any website (Ruby on Rails and Wordpress examples to follow);
  • Simple twitter bot;
  • File backup for desktop computer (cross-platform backup software for Desktop comes for free as well);
  • Voice memos;
  • Docker machine for staging;
  • PBX with call records in hosted DB (RDS and DynamoDB) with S3 as storage backend for recorded calls;
  • and more to come..

If you are interested, check the first episode.


In short, this is about:
#free tier
#amazon

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