7 Always Free AWS Resources You Should Know About

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 When learning cloud skills, getting hands-on experience can be crucial to your education and being a desirable job candidate. Luckily, AWS offers a variety of products that you can use at no cost with the AWS Free Tier.  

What is the AWS Free Tier?  

The AWS Free Tier provides you the ability to explore and try out AWS services free of charge up to specified limits for each service.   

The Free Tier is comprised of three different types of offerings, a 12-month Free Tier, an Always Free offer, and short-term trials.   

  • Services with a 12-month Free Tier allow you to use the product for free up to specified limits for one year from the date the account was created.   
  • Services with an Always Free offer allow you to use the product for free up to specified limits as long as you are an AWS customer.   
  • Services with a short-term trial are free to use for a specified period of time or up to a one-time limit depending on the service selected.   

If your application use exceeds the free tier limits, you simply pay standard, pay-as-you-go service rates.  

The Amazon AWS Free Tier applies to participating services across global regions. Your free usage under the AWS Free Tier is calculated each month across all regions and automatically applied to your bill – free usage does not accumulate.  

  What do I need to do to qualify for the AWS Free Tier?  

The AWS Free Tier is available to all types of customers. If you are linked to an Organization (under AWS Organizations), only one account within the organization can benefit from the Free Tier offers.   

To calculate the Organization’s use of AWS Services under any offers, usage is aggregated across all accounts in the Organization. You will be charged standard rates for use of AWS Services if it is determined that you are not eligible for the Free Tier or have exceeded the limits for a particular service.  

How many Free Tier – Always Free services are there?  

Currently, there are 35 Always Free services available globally that range from Compute to Database to Mobile, and many more.  

  Let’s examine some of the most popular and useful Always Free services:   

Amazon DynamoDB  

Amazon DynamoDB is a fast & flexible NoSQL database service for single-digit millisecond performance.   

Use Cases:  

  • Building internet-scale applications supporting user-content metadata and caches that require high concurrency and connections for millions of users, and millions of requests per second.  
  • Scaling throughput and concurrency for media and entertainment workloads such as real-time video streaming and interactive content, and delivering lower latency with multi-region replication across AWS Regions.  

What do you get per month?  

  • 25 GB of Storage  
  • 25 provisioned Write Capacity Units (WCU)  
  • 25 provisioned Read Capacity Units (RCU)  

 AWS Lambda 

AWS Lambda is a compute service that runs your code in response to events and automatically manages the compute resources.  

  Use Cases:  

  • Preprocessing data before feeding it to your machine learning (ML) model and combining it with Amazon Elastic File System (EFS) access, lets you achieve automated infrastructure management and provisioning to simplify scaling.  
  • Building event-driven functions for easy communication between decoupled services, allowing you to execute code at the capacity you need, as you need it, scaling to match your data volume automatically, and enabling custom event triggers.   

  What do you get per month?  

  • 1,000,000 free requests per month  
  • Up to 3.2 million seconds of compute time per month  

Amazon Macie 

Amazon Macie is a fully managed data security and data privacy service that uses machine learning and pattern matching to discover and protect your sensitive data in AWS.  

  Use Cases:  

  • Continuously identifying your sensitive data and evaluating security and access controls across your entire Amazon S3 environment, generating actionable findings that you can use to quickly respond where needed.  
  • Monitoring where sensitive data resides, protecting it properly, and providing evidence that you are enforcing data security and privacy to meet regulatory compliance requirements, while automatically sending all sensitive data discovery job outputs, including findings, evaluation results, time stamps, and a historical record of all buckets and objects scanned for sensitive data to an S3 bucket you own.  

  What do you get per month?  

  • 1 GB processed by the content classification engine  
  • 100,000 events  

Amazon Simple Email Service (SES)   

Amazon Simple Email Service (SES) is a cost-effective email service in the Cloud that enables developers to send mail from within any application.   

Use Cases:  

  • Transactional emails that allow for sending immediate, trigger-based communications from your application to customers, such as purchase confirmations or password resets.  
  • Bulk email communication that allows for the sending of bulk communications, including notifications and announcements, to large communities, and tracking of results using configuration sets.  

  What do you get per month?  

  • 62,000 Outbound Messages per month to any recipient when you call Amazon SES from an Amazon EC2 instance directly or through AWS Elastic Beanstalk.  
  • 1,000 Inbound Messages per month  

 AWS Glue  

AWS Glue is a simple, flexible, and cost-effective extract, transform, and load (ETL) that is serverless, providing data integration services that make it easy to discover, prepare, and combine data for analytics, machine learning, and application development.  

  Use Cases:  

  • Building event-driven ETL (extract, transform, and load) pipelines that can run your ETL jobs as new data arrives.  
  • Creating a unified catalog to find data across multiple data stores to quickly discover and search across multiple AWS data sets without moving the data; Once the data is cataloged, it is immediately available for search and query using Amazon Athena, Amazon EMR, and Amazon Redshift Spectrum.  

  What do you get per month?  

  • 1 million objects stored in the AWS Glue Data Catalog    
  • 1 million requests made per month to the AWS Glue Data Catalog  

AWS Storage Gateway  

AWS Storage Gateway is an integrating AWS Cloud storage with existing on-site workloads so you can simplify storage management via four different types of gateways – Amazon S3 File Gateway, Amazon FSx File Gateway, Tape Gateway, and Volume Gateway.  

  Use Cases:  

  • Providing low latency access for on-premises applications to cloud over standard storage protocols via a local cache that stores your most recently used data on-premises.  
  • Providing data protection and disaster recovery via a Volume Gateway configuration, allowing you to take snapshots of your local volumes and store those snapshots in Amazon EBS; In the event of a local site disaster, simply set up your applications in the cloud or in a different data center, and restore your snapshot to get back up and running.  

  What do you get per month?  

  • The first 100 GB per account is free  
  • No transfer charges into AWS  

AWS CloudFormation  

AWS CloudFormation is a model and provision all your cloud infrastructure resources with code to enable configuration compliance and faster troubleshooting.  

 Use Cases:  

  • Managing infrastructure with DevOps to automate, test, and deploy infrastructure templates with continuous integration and delivery (CI/CD) automations.  
  • Scaling production stacks to run anything from a single Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instance to a complex multi-region application.  

 What do you get per month?  

  • 1,000 handler operations per month per account  
  • $.0009* per handler operations over 1,000 per month  
  • *$.00008 per second for handler operation durations over 30 seconds  
  • Data transfer – billed at standard AWS data transfer rates  

  With these and the 28 others that are currently available, you can get your Organization’s AWS tenant up and running in no time, and start to consume and provide cloud services at scale.  

If you are looking for more information on AWS cloud services and how to deploy and manage them then check out ITProTV for all of your AWS training needs.