Amazon offers new AWS users one year of free usage to their cloud platform.
- 750 hours of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) Linux Micro Instances;
- 750 hours of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) Microsoft Windows Server Micro Instances;
- 750 hours of Elastic Load Balancing and 15 Gigabytes (GB) of data processing using Elastic Load Balancing;
- 30 GB of storage in Amazon Elastic Block Storage plus 2 million input/output requests and 1 GB snapshot storage;
- 5 GB of storage in Amazon Simple Storage Solution (Amazon S3) plus 20,000 “get” requests and 2,000 “put” requests for objects stored in Amazon S3; and
- 15 GB of bandwidth out aggregated across all AWS services.
I think its an excellent deal to test out their cloud platform. The big advantage of using a service with a la carte pricing is that you can run multiple servers simultaneously (great for development/production setups) and ramp up storage costs according to need. Bandwidth is the big factor when considering Amazon EC2 since outgoing data is $0.12 per GB and incoming data is free.
For the trial, the biggest limitation is that you only have 15GB of bandwidth.
Comparing Amazon EC2 vs. Linode, this amounts to around 28GB of outgoing data before Linode becomes a better deal. If you have a site that uses between 28GB and 200GB of bandwidth per month, Linode is a great option with its fixed pricing since they offer 20GB space, 200GB bandwidth, and 512MB RAM for $19.95.
Tip: Micro instance of the EC2 does not have the swap space option. However, you can create a swap file in your filesystem to get the functionality of swap space. This is good for installing large files on your server/etc.
512MB Swap file instructions:
dd if=/dev/zero of=/swapfile bs=1M count=512