A Nice Comparison of the Free Tiers of Azure, Amazon AWS and Google Cloud

A nice comparison of what you get for free with the 3 big boys :

For the detailed comparison tables, click here

Google Cloud Platform

Google Cloud Platform announced an ‘always free’ tier in March 2017 for any organisations with modest usage needs, perfect for prototyping or private betas, as well as its old policy of offering credits for new users: $300 for the first 12 months to be exact, with no auto charge kicking in after the trial.

Always free offers up to 1GB of Google Cloud Datastore capacity, 28 instance hours per day for Google App Engine, one micro sentence per month for Google Compute Engine, 5 GB-months of Google Cloud Storage (regional only), 2 million Cloud Functions per month, 50GB of logs with Stackdriver for monitoring, as well as limited access to products like: Google Cloud Natural Language, Cloud Vision API, Kubernetes Engine and more.

Microsoft Azure

Microsoft Azure now offers a similar model but with fewer credits for new sign ups.

With an Azure free account you get £150 credit to explore services over 30 days, followed by 12 months of access to those services for free, with limits.

This includes 750 hours of Windows or Linux Virtual Machines for compute, 250GB of SQL database storage, 5GB of Blob or simple storage, 1 million functions a month, and 15GB of outbound networking bandwidth, as well as the always free services below.

Microsoft now also offers always free too, giving access to more than 25 Azure services for free year-round. However this doesn’t include core services like compute and storage, instead allowing limited access to more niche services like Bing Speech, Face API, machine learning studio, IoT Hub and more.


AWS still offers credits for students and startups, and has a free tier with similar limits to GCP, which is limited to 12 months, and an ‘always free’ tier which is more limited and doesn’t include core products like S3 storage and EC2 (elastic compute).

The 12 month option offers 1 million API calls per month, 750 hours a month of EC2, 5GB of S3 storage, 30GB of Elastic Block storage, 500MB of Elastic Container Registry, and access to machine learning products like: Lex, Polly, Rekognition, Translate and Transcribe.

The always free offering from AWS is more aimed at getting developers acquainted with developer tools like CodeCommit and X-Ray or CloudWatch monitoring, as well as 1 million Lambda functions a month and Glacier object storage.


As with any comparison like this it very much depends on what you are looking to do and a fair amount of personal preference.

Google certainly offers some of the more generous limits to allow developers to get some serious prototyping done, and it’s always free tier is by far the most full featured of the three. On the flip side, Azure looks the stingiest.

However Azure and AWS have their own unique products that users may want to get their hands on, like Lex for building voice interfaces, or Microsoft’s Face API for facial recognition, that’s not to say that Google hasn’t got machine learning expertise of its own.

Luckily all you need to do to get started is create an account.


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Note that Azure is absolute crap performance wise - even if they offered 3.5k for free, it would make exactly zero sense to use them.

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I have to say, Google is doing a great job lately, all works very smooth and fast, just make sure you only use what you need…

Google is still cheaper and less complicated than AWS if you want to step all up a bit.

Azure is just very expensive considering its low performance.

I’ve found that the performance of Azure Functions is quite good, at least for C#.


Haven’t tried C# there yet.

In general, most developers I have contact with use AWS, but not because they prefer it themselves.

Try Azure “Premium SSD”. Performance in the low tens of MB/s usually.

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How about IOPS?

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32GB P4 type SSD:

Seq_write_speed_64k  23.0 MB/s
Seq_write_speed_256k 32.0 MB/s
Read_iops_mean_64k   401.65
Write_iops_mean_64k  133.425
Read_iops_mean_256k  99.325
Write_iops_mean_256k 33.941667
Ioping_seek_rate     min/avg/max/mdev = 33.5 us / 231.8 us / 35.0 ms / 1.91 ms
Ioping_seq_read      generated 677 requests in 5.03 s, 169.2 MiB, 134 iops, 33.6 MiB/s

Source: https://gist.github.com/xenefix/117888940c928feafe726859b4273f4c#gistcomment-2855344

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If you’re looking for the highest IOPS, you can’t beat Upcloud


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update : on Google Cloud page it says :

“Making Cloud Development Easy. Get $300 To Try It”

They’ve always offered the $300 on sign-up?

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