With over 200 feature-packed services available from data centers around the world, Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the most extensive and widely used cloud platform in the world. It has significantly more features and services than any other cloud provider, whether it be from infrastructure technologies such as computing, data storage, and databases or emerging technologies such as ai and machine learning, data lakes and analytics, and other things. As a result, it is much faster, simpler, and more cost-effective to move your existing applications to the cloud and to build nearly anything you can imagine.
Because it provides its users with a wide variety of capabilities, AWS has grown into the world’s most popular and dynamic community, with over millions of active customers and thousands of partners all over the world. Plus the fact that it also offers AWS Free Tier, allowing you to get hands-on experience with AWS services such as Amazon EC2, Amazon S3, and Amazon RDS at no cost, allowing more users to use their service. While this may seem enticing, it can actually harm your organization over time.
Now, let’s have a look at some of the horrible truths of the AWS Free Tier and the reasons why this might not be the most excellent decision for your company in the long term.
Truth 1: The more you use AWS, the more it costs you
Although free tiers allow users to test a proof of concept or experiment without spending a single dime, their ultimate objective is to convert you into a paying customer.
Once your business grows and utilizes a greater amount of resources and bandwidth, or when the time limit on your trial period is up, you will begin to be billed at the usual rate. And you’ll be surprised at how much this will end up costing you; at some point, you’ll find that the amount you’re paying is four times greater than what you would spend elsewhere for services of equivalent quality.
Truth 2: Surprise Charges
As you are aware, AWS Free Tier is subject to certain limitations and restrictions, and the only way to keep your account in the free zone is to maintain usage below those limits for each service you use. However, you should also be aware that AWS offers hundreds of services, and each service comes with its own pricing and limitations. Even though one AWS service might be free, it is possible to combine it with another AWS service that is either not free or does not have the same free threshold, which can sometimes result in unexpected charges.
Although you will be notified when you are getting close to the limit, this does not guarantee that you will not exceed it. The billing alarms for the AWS Free Tier do not happen immediately. It’s possible that it will happen after you’ve already gone above the limit. And secondly, not all services provide alerts, and even those that do may not all function similarly.
Fortunately, you can put yourself in a better position to prevent obtaining unexpected charges by taking a few of the steps listed above, which are as follows:
- Before starting up servers or uploading test data, read all the terms and conditions.
- Search for sandboxed settings that do not permit you to exceed costs beyond a particular level or that allow you to set limitations that automatically cut off services if those limits are surpassed.
- Before you start spinning up services, proceed with caution and make sure you understand how alerts function.
Truth 3: Switching to another service can be hard when you start with AWS
It might not appear that way at first, but the longer you continue using AWS, the more challenging it will be for you to transition away from its offerings. At the moment, this is one of Amazon’s most significant issues, and it, along with the company’s habit of locking in vendors, is turning into a huge cause for concern.
AWS uses Platform Specific Language (PSL), which forces you to learn a new language. The problem with this is that not all cloud services use PSL, making it challenging for you to switch to another platform. Basically, it limits your choices of external vendors, keeping you locked into using AWS. To illustrate this point, let’s say you’ve been using AWS for free for the past year. When you decide to switch providers, you find that none of the experience you or your team have gained will be transferred, and on top of that, you possibly won’t even be able to avoid starting from square one when making the switch. This is the point where the majority of companies give up on moving and decide to continue using AWS.
Even though AWS provides a free tier of service, you should keep in mind that what they are doing is a business, and as such, it will not always be free. AWS has both advantages and disadvantages, just like any other platform would. Therefore, for you to make the most of the platform without having to give any thought to the fees, you need always be conscious of the services that you make use of. Before exploring various AWS services, you should make sure that they are covered by the AWS free trial.