10 IaaS providers who provide free cloud resources

All these providers take your credit card details when you sign up and store them, ready to start taking your money when you transition from freeloader to regular customer.

1. AWS Free Tier

1-aws.pngSign up for the big daddy of cloud with the big free offer. Amazon Web Services offer a wide range of infrastructure services and many of them include a free usage offer. These are all bundled together to provide the AWS “free tier”.

2. GoGrid’s Cloud Hosting

2-gogrid.pngGet to know GoGrid. Rather than give you free snacks, they give you $100 credit. Applications for GoGrid’s free offers are handled by support people, not by support software.

3. HP public cloud test flight

3-hp.pngSet up an HP account and check out this big player. The enterprise-class OpenCloud is a key component in HP’s infrastructure.

4. Microsoft's Windows Azure

4-azure.pngMicrosoft give you $200 credit and a month to burn through it. And no, they don’t just do Windows Server virtual machines.

5. Take Joyent For a Spin

5-joyent.pngGrab $125 worth of free Joyent resources. Interact with SmartOS, a rare descendant of the extinct SunOS operating system, in its natural habitat.

6. ProfitBricks Cloud Computing 2.0

6-profitbricks.pngSign up for ProfitBricks and play with their drag-and-drop data center designer.

ProfitBricks and CloudSigma are the left-handers of this list. Both have a presence in the US but are European, neither require a credit card for the free trial, and neither are on Gartner’s 2013 “Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure as a Service” diagram (although both got a favourable mention in the report).

7. SoftLayer’s CloudLayer trial

7-softlayer.pngSoftLayer specialize in bare metal IaaS, but this free trial covers a virtual machine from its CloudLayer service. IBM stopped offering free trials of its own SmartCloud after it bought SoftLayer.

8. A week with CloudSigma’s most advanced cloud ever

8-cloudsigma.pngHave a look at your fund balance in the rather beautiful CloudSigma web interface. Your balance of 0.00 CHF tells you were this company’s from – Switzerland.

9. Dimension Data’s limited offer

9-dimension-data.pngNot all cloud providers offer permanent free stuff. Even if they don’t, you may find a limited time offer. Dimension Data are offering – for a while - a $200 promotional discount. Dimension Data built their IaaS on VMware.

10. Elastichosts free 5 day trial

10-elastichosts.pngWhile elastichosts offers the shortest free trial on this list, you do get instant access to a full account and you don’t need a credit card.