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One of the most important services offered by the Cloud Computing technology is the cloud hosting. It allows an unlimited number of machines to act in unison as compared to other hosting solutions, which depends on one machine only. Due to this feature, security of cloud hosting services is enhanced many folds. Resources like memory, are also easily integrated to enable the growth.

Free Cloud Hosting – Some Benefits!

Following are some of the benefits of hosting a website over the Cloud:

  • Enhanced performance due to multiple machines
  • High availability of resources
  • Data storage redundancy
  • Multiple points of failure
  • Growth flexibility
  • Economical

This type of hosting is usually preferred in the enterprise environment. Contrary to the shared hosting and dedicated hosting, cloud hosting sites operate through interconnected web servers contrary to cloud hosting sites that basically operate across various web servers that are interconnected to each other.

Free Cloud Hosting – The List!

Rank Provider Free Trail Visit
1 Amazon Yes visit provider visit rank
2 Rackspace Yes visit provider visit rank
3 FireHost Yes visit provider visit rank
4 GoogleComputeEngine Yes visit provider visit rank
5 Softlayer Yes visit provider visit rank
6 ElasticHosts Yes visit provider visit rank
7 ZuniCore Yes visit provider visit rank
8 Flexiant Yes visit provider visit rank
9 WindowsAzure Yes visit provider visit rank
10 GMOCloud Yes visit provider visit rank

Cloud Hosting – Apt Option for Applications

Cloud hosting is particularly preferential for web applications. It is particularly preferred for the following applications:

  • Resource-driven applications

These types of applications require more processor, memory and other resources. Often an application may require more time to complete. In such cases cloud hosting offers a much more economical solution.

  • Middle level needs

A forum with say 100,000 users and around 100 or more user on-line concurrently can be managed by a cloud server efficiently.

  • Special server configuration applications

Sometimes a web application may require non-standard settings (for example PHP running as an Apache module). Again a cloud server can be deployed and configured as per requirements.  Nowadays, there is a lot of buzz about free cloud hosting. Indeed a lot of service providers are offering free cloud hosting services. But there is always a catch. Take for example Amazon Web Services. Starting November 01, 2012, they are offering a free service with the following resources:

  • Monthly 750 hours of usage
  • Monthly 5 GB of storage
  • Monthly 30 GB per of Internet data transfer

But Amazon Web Services is offering this hosting, storage and bandwidth for a year only. What will happen after one year? Well! After one year, if the application use exceeds the free usage tiers, the customer has to pay standard, pay-as-you-go charges.

Take another example of “Server Intellect Web Hosting Services”. They are offering the following cloud hosting services free for a period of one month including Hosted website, Hosted statistics, Hosted database and Hosted e-mail 

The reason for this offer is their confidence in the product and service. If the customer is not satisfied he/she can cancel the service on 29th day and will not be charged.

An Added Feature(s) To Stand Out

They claim to offer the following additional benefits to their customers:

  • High scalability and redundancy
  • High availability and response
  • Value for time & money in terms of services
  • Data security
  • Intrusion prevention system
  • Advanced network monitoring
  • Free managed firewall
  • Antivirus protection
  • Graphically redundant DNS

Free Cloud Hosting – A Number of Features

A number of companies claim to offer free cloud web hosting services. These services include:

  • Self-Managed with Console
  • Email
  • Free storage
  • Multiple Applications on a single server
  • Easy application deployment
  • Production ready apps
  • Cloud hosts (IaaS)
  • 24 by 7 support
  • Automatic backup & recovery
  • Heterogeneous development platform
  • Server resizing
  • Migration facility
  • Portability
  • Cloud portability
  • Free bandwidth

Bottom Line

Free Cloud Hosting

But are these services really free from the customer’s point of view? For one thing, it is to be remembered that there no such thing as a free lunch. Indeed some individuals and non-profit companies do offer free cloud hosting facilities, but they have limited resources, minimal impact in the market and a very basic cloud infrastructure.

Then there are companies who offer cloud hosting services including web hosting. They also claim to offer their services for free giving an impression that the complete package is free.  In reality, the free portion is only part of the deal or some basic service package which in not sufficient to manage the requirements of an organization.

Sometimes, the registration is free, while in some cases the services are free for a limited period of time, and in some cases usage of resources up to certain thresh hold value is free. Beyond that, one has to pay on pay-as-you-use basis. It can be safely stated that one should read all the terms and conditions to determine what part of package/service is actually free. If at all it is really free.