Google Cloud Platform improves its Free Tier

Few days ago I received an email saying that my trail period was extended from 60 days to 12 months. GCP’s improved free tier is a very nice feature, 60 days was a bit too short to test out all the G goodies. It looked very poor compared to AWS Free Plan which allows to run all their services for free for 12 months (with limits like micro instances etc of course).

Free 12 month GCP email about Free Tier

And my console view:
My current GCP 12 month free plan

Free Trial expanded to 12 months

It’s my 2nd attempt with testing out the GCP on my private account. At Scoota we started using it a few months ago but on a much bigger scale than my private needs. This time I want to have a look at all GPC services, start them and see how it works. 60 days was just too short for me. When I first tried it I was familiar only with AWS and didn’t know anything about GCP. So I simply set up the account and was given the free trial. I started to play around with AppEngine and CloudSQL and Django. Then the same on GCE.

After a few days I had to leave it. A new project was coming and I didn’t have time to test it more. 3 months later I came back to it – but the free trial was over. I really wanted to know it better and use it in 1 of my projects but didn’t want to spend money at that time. It was too early, I abandoned it.

Free trial extended automatically

When I decided to start this blog I was sure of 1 thing – it will run on Google Cloud Platform. I wanted to use these 60 days the best I could. I started this blog, tried out 3 ways of running WordPress (AppEngine, GCE, GKE), set up Cloud Storage and CloudSQL (will post about it soon). And then, few days later I received that email.
The good thing is that after a few months I’ll be able to tell you how much it really costs, without spending anything 😉
I was curious if it’s random and I was the chosen one (too good to be truth) or it’s the new policy. After some reading I found it’s the latter one.

This is a good move from Google – who knows how many developers like me are out there? How many of them want to try things out but 60 days is too short for them? $300 is not enough to run a serious application but it’s definitely enough for a small blog like this or for making the infrastructural concepts.

Google Cloud Platform always-free tier

The second thing I found out was the fact that Google has improved the GCP Free Tier (find the details here). This should offer enough power to run a small app in Google’s cloud. The free tier now includes 15 services. You can for example run a small instance in Compute Engine (which I use to run this blog), 5 GB-months of Regional Storage (US regions only) and many others. You can find all the limits here.
Keep in mind that the free tier is only available in Google’s us-east1, us-west1 and us-central1 regions.

The idea behind it is probably the same – get people familiar with the platform. Maybe it targets more towards developers running their side projects in GCP who will convince the business to move over. Maybe it’s for startups can also benefit – small free instances is a perfect solution for them to experiment with the cloud and their solutions.
It now looks very similar to what AWS free tier offers. The difference is that AWS doesn’t give VMs in their always free plan. It’s interesting – let’s wait for Amazon move.

Always free plan should be sufficient to run a blog, a small Django app or even an open-source demo app. I’ll definitely use it to run services and solutions I wan to describe on this blog.

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