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If your organization is trying to avoid various commercial and technical traps and paying close attention to the consumption of resources, we suggest that you choose a fairly useful free Amazon cloud server.

The best way to view the free tier of Amazon Web Services is to regard it as a stepping stone to your enterprise. It can let you find a little feeling about the basic mechanism of AWS and EC2; Have a preliminary understanding of Amazon's processing of virtual machine instances, storage, data and networks; and create a project that can eventually be hosted on a fully mature and paid AWS instance. It also allows you to learn how to manage and restrict the use of AWS. After all, if you are not careful, you may eventually have to pay for your enterprise's "free" use of AWS.

In this article, we will take a look at what services and the attached conditions are provided by the free tier of Amazon Web Services; then take a closer look at what is possible or practical within these constraints. In the long run, any serious AWS users will make full use of the services provided by Amazon cloud-but why not make full use of its free resources during this period? With its free tier, you can find some feelings of using AWS, start some projects, even build a functional application or even implement the three at the same time.

As a side illustration, let's take a look at one of Amazon's more vague descriptions about free tier in its document: "We may stop accepting new registered users of the product at any time." This may be a formulaic model in Amazon, but if you are considering establishing a free-tier account, you may as well go right now while it is still available.

What can you get from $0 a month?

AWS Free Usage Tier provides sufficient access to start and run many AWS components. But even if it does not provide you with all the resources you want, or does not provide you with the assembly required by the server you dream of, you can also create something useful. But don't expect it to be well extended to unrestricted public use. The following is a programmatic description of some of the most useful AWS components and what you can obtain from the free tier.

Computing. You can run a Linux mini instance or Windows Server mini instance on EC2. you can configure 1GB of RAM for 750 hours per month. This is a free and continuous CPU usage for a whole month.

Amazon has a Amazon Machine Images (AMIs) directory, which allows your enterprise organization to run a series of different Linux and Windows systems, including Ubuntu Server 12.04 and 14.04, Microsoft Windows Server 2008 and 2012, containerization of micro dynamic distribution, such as RancherOS and Amazon's own Amazon Linux AMI.

Not every AMI is qualified to run on free tier (even if your enterprise uses miniature instances), only those that have been clearly labeled. AWS also has a large number of third-party application devices and servers in the market, which can be used as AMI instances-but similarly, not all of them can run on the free tier.

A wide range of machine instances are available for AWS. Click the check box in the sidebar to filter images for free tier.

Storage. There is no storage space and an EC2 instance is of little use. In free tier, you are allowed to use 30GB of Elastic Block storage, 5GB of Amazon S3 storage, and 50GB of outbound data transmission from Amazon CloudFront. However, please note that Amazon limits I/O usage for each service, and fees will be charged when the usage of your enterprise organization exceeds. S3 allows 20000 GET and 2000 PUT requests. EBS allows 2 million I/O instances. CloudFront allows 2 million requests.

I/O fees may eventually become one of the largest hidden costs. For example, with the help of EBS, Amazon has become charged per GB; And sometimes even charged per million I/O requests (per-million-I/O-request), this depends on the style and characteristics of the EBS used by your enterprise organization. (We provide skills for managing I/O utilization below.)

the database. In Amazon's Relational Database Service (RDS), you can choose MySQL/MariaDB, PostgreSQL, Oracle BYOL, or Microsoft SQL Server. Each database service is used for 750 hours per month, with 20GB of storage, 10 million I/O and 20GB of backup storage.

For those enterprise customers who prefer NoSQL, Amazon provides DynamoDB with 25GB of storage and 25 units of read and write functions. Amazon also provides ElastiCache and Redshift products for such users. Each product provides users with 750 hours of use in free tier-although it limits specific machine types.

For storage, estimating I/O for databases may be difficult, but it may be more than enough to try to use low-traffic, database-driven sites and not run in the main range.

Analysis. Amazon Elasticsearch can run 750 hours in free tier and has 10GB of optional EBS storage. AWS data pipeline provides three low-frequency precondition and five low-frequency activities in free tier every month.

Mobile services. There are many free services to choose from, but the most striking one is Amazon's Simple Notification Service (Amazon Simple Notification Service,SNS), which allows one million push deliveries in free tier, 100,000 HTTP/S deliveries and 1,000 emails. Most importantly, these free services will not expire at the end of the free period; However, for Amazon Cognito, the number of user authentication and Identity Generation that your enterprise organization receives is not limited; for Amazon's Mobile analysis (Amazon Mobile Analytics), 0.1 billion free event analysis per month; Less generous is AWS Device Farm, your enterprise organization will only get a one-time free trial of 250 devices.

IoT. Amazon's free tier provides 250,000 messages for its IoT service, whether released or pushed.

Developer Tools. Developers who use GitHub for open-source projects are now accustomed to having little or no restrictions on storage or use. AWS code tools have limitations in free tier, but their storage capacity is relatively high: 50GB of storage per month and 10,000 Git requests. Unfortunately, AWS provides only one activity CodePipeline per month, while there are only five active users CodeCommit each month.

Management tools. Amazon's CloudWatch generously provided millions of API requests, 5GB of log intake and archiving, 10 custom indicators, and 10 alerts for the duration of free tier, add three dashboards. Each dashboard provides up to 50 metrics per month. AWS Trusted Advisor provides only four best practice checks.

Key management. Amazon's encryption key management service can provide up to 20,000 free requests per month.

Application services. There are many free services available under this general framework:

· API Gateway: 1 million API calls per month. As a frontend for application creation services, such as AWS Lambda, it is quite useful.

· AppStream: Windows applications can be delivered to any device, and the monthly free service duration is up to 20 hours.

· Elastic Transcoder: includes 20-minute audio and SD video transcoding and 10-minute HD transcoding every month.

Simple Mail Service (Simple Email Service): Amazon's e-mail Service provides 62000 outgoing emails and 1,000 incoming emails per month.

Simple Queue Service (Simple Queue Service): Amazon's scalable Queue system provides you with 1 million requests at the free tier.

Simple Workflow Service (Simple Workflow Service): the task coordination and status management Service in Amazon Cloud provides 10,000 activity tasks, 30000 Workflow days (Workflow Day) and 1,000 initial executions.

Data transmission. This part is very simple. Your Enterprise can obtain an outbound bandwidth of 15GB across all AWS. From my personal point of view, my own website has 5,000 visits per month, consuming about 1.2GB of bandwidth. For a relatively simple-or non-public website, 15GB should be more than enough.

Rules beyond limits

the bad news now is that Amazon has attached a series of regulations to limit its free tier. In addition to the restrictions listed above, you should also be aware of other restrictions.

The free term of core services is only 12 months. Most of AWS's most critical service options, including EC2, S3, and RDS -- after your initial registration, you are limited to only 12 months of free access. After that, fees are usually paid in the pay-as-you-go mode. On the other hand, other services, such as DynamoDB, simple workflow, Simple Queue Service, simple notification service, Amazon Elastic Transcoder, and CloudWatch, are still eligible for free tier after the first year of registration.

We expect that the CPU (and bandwidth) of your enterprise will be throttled. Miniature instances are designed to provide maximum CPU for intermittent emergencies. They do not provide a complete, continuous instance (Amazon calls it a "computing unit")-you need to migrate to M1 small instances for this. This makes a miniature instance "very suitable for applications and websites with low throughput, and requires additional computing cycles on a regular basis", every Amazon document said.

It is acceptable if the application running in your enterprise occasionally reaches 100% CPU usage. However, if you are running an application that takes up 100% of the CPU usage for a long time, you need to be throttled. Please note that your internal statistics on throttling machines will still report that the CPU is running at 100%, so do not be fooled.

You can monitor the use of statistics through Amazon's EC2 dashboard, but you will get better and more detailed data from internally running machines.

Windows server instances can work closely in free tier. Depending on what tasks you plan to perform, the amount of memory allocated to Windows server instance may not be sufficient to run an ambitious and massive project. However, if what you are doing is only a static web page, it should be fine. Instances on the free tier only provide 613MB of memory. I can install MySQL/Apache (through the AMPPS network stack) on such instances and run about 20% of the memory. With 1GB of RAM memory, you may do better, but you still cannot run too frequently.

On the other hand, if your enterprise is using a database through an AWS-hosted database instance (RDS), the database is completely detached from the running machine. With RDS, you do not have to worry about running the database server you are using on the EC2 instance.

You do not obtain consistent IP addresses by default. Because AWS configures an IP address, the instance does not have a static IP address or a consistent dedicated DNS automatic name. Therefore, without DNS fraud, it is difficult to host free websites that are used by the outside world, because resetting the EC2 instance will cause its IP address to be reset.

Fortunately, this restriction is easy to overcome. If you want a machine to be continuously accessed by the general public, you can use an EC2 elastic IP address to provide a static IP address for a free instance. Keep in mind that if you keep an address and do not associate it with an instance, your enterprise will be charged a small fee.

Best practices for free tier

obviously, free tier has many traps. Due to resource restrictions, you can easily be charged if you are not careful. Therefore, when you try to deploy your enterprise's micro-instances, remember the following guidelines.

Pay attention to the Bill of your enterprise. There is no need to remind you of this. However, be sure to check your enterprise's AWS account page regularly to see if your enterprise has incurred fees for running. If the use of your enterprise organization is beyond the scope of free tier, Amazon will not remind you, on the contrary, your Enterprise will only be billed for any resources that are not covered by the free tier. If your enterprise wants to track your estimated use of resources or create alert alerts that may exceed your enterprise's budget, you need to look at Amazon's Bill alert system. However, the number of alerts and notifications that you can create is limited by the free tier.

Pay attention to the I/O usage of your enterprise. If your enterprise uses its own server, it is unlikely that your enterprise will generate a large I/O bill. However, if you make your server public, all this may change dramatically.

It is not difficult to figure out the I/O usage of specific instances of your enterprise, but this requires diligent and strict review. The EC2 console provides monitoring tools, although it is not as detailed as in paid services on free tier. You cannot obtain a free instance within a five-minute interval. However, you can obtain an instance within a one-minute interval through the paid service.

You can also use operating system tools to obtain I/O usage from instances. This is a method obtained on Linux. In Windows, you can use the disk transfer/Sec performance counter.

You can track the service billing of your enterprise through Amazon's reporting system, which also allows you to download in CSV/XML format for detailed details about your enterprise service fee.

Assign an elastic address to solve your problem. An elastic address does not lead to a significant increase in your business bills, and it allows easier connection to your system. This brings double value to Windows instances because the Remote Desktop Connection tool stores the connection address and password together. Every time your website is configured with a new IP address, you must create a new remote desktop to connect to it.

Back up projects in the cloud. You never know when the server you are using may fail or reinitialize. Therefore, it is best to store relevant data in Amazon's cloud, instead of tirelessly uploading relevant data repeatedly. An EBS snapshot is a convenient way to achieve this, although your enterprise only has 1GB of snapshot storage in the free tier. In addition, you can attach an EBS volume and back up files directly to it. In the same way, you can back up files from a traditional system to an external drive. Note that you can get 30GB of general EBS storage in the free tier, which is much more than the snapshot storage you get, but the backup and recovery process is completely manual.

Where will we go next?

Once you have mastered the relevant tips in AWS free tier, you may want to climb the Amazon food chain. Then, the next step after deploying the mini instance is the T2 Small, T2 Medium, and T2 Large instances, which provide 2 to 8GB of memory and one or two Amazon "virtual CPU" units. The starting price of a T2 Small instance is about USD 18.72 per month.

If the boss of your enterprise is a miser and does not need to run servers 24/7 hours a day, you can consider using a spot instances service, your enterprise needs to bid for the highest price of computing power that you are willing to pay per hour, if the current hourly price of spot instances rises to exceed your enterprise's bid (price fluctuations are based on supply and demand), your instances will stop running.

Finally, if your enterprise wants to run some sporadic things, such as backup servers, check the Reserved Instances. A reserve instance allows your enterprise to pay a one-time fee for a fixed window-one to three years-and get a significant discount on the hourly usage fee. In the writing process of this article, the annual cost of a single T2 Small reserved instance on Linux is 151 USD, plus 2.6 cents per hour, assuming 100% utilization rate, the annual fee is about $170.

T2 Smalls, spot instances, and reserved instances are all very affordable. When you graduated from free tier, you have accumulated a lot of practical experience in using Amazon tools and can ensure the cost control of your enterprise.

Spot instances enables your enterprise to run a machine on unused capacity through bidding. This is a useful option to run a machine intermittently with a small investment.

Serdar Yegulalp, the author of this article, is a senior writer on InfoWorld website. His article mainly focuses on the InfoWorld fields of science and technology news observation, blog analysis and regular evaluation.  

This article is forwarded from d1net (reprinted)

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