Free Cloud Computing Offer

Geffers

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If anyone is in to Cloud computing Oracle.com/uk are offering an Always Free scheme, on the site just search for OCI Cloud Free Tier.

Tried it, get 200GB of space, how they can offer that for free I don't know, the space can be used for storage (I think) but has to form part of an operating system. Seems to run Wondows too but think there is a cost involved for that.

Geffers
 

Arantor

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I’m always deeply sceptical of anything from Oracle, because they are *very* good at stitching people up on licensing and pricing, though they seem to have respected the situation of the things they acquired from Sun (VirtualBox, MySQL etc.)

I had a read looking for the gotcha and couldn’t see it - but I have to say it smells a bit. The promises on price and performance vs AWS seem in the category of almost too good to be true.

I suspect if you stay in the free tier comfortably you’ll be fine but if you step over the boundaries of the free tier you’ll get uncomfortably quoted.
 

Arantor

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They’re not really buddies either, Oracle only ended up with MySQL after MySQL AB sold itself to Sun Microsystems then Oracle bought Sun out.

That final acquisition is why MariaDB exists, because its founder didn’t like that Oracle owned it. Oracle stands to gain out of driving MySQL’s roadmap to not compete with its own (vastly more) expensive RDBMS.

You can see which of Sun’s things Oracle cared about: OpenOffice has been handed off to Apache, Solaris was mostly put out to pasture I believe, VirtualBox is getting some love, as is Java, but MySQL got the most love of all. Because Larry needs another yacht.
 

Geffers

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They say - the charge/credit card used to register for the Free Tier is just used for authentication and no details are kept, there seems no details of any payment method (to alter or delete) if registered for the free service, apparently this is only recorded if you upgrade.

For the time being I am just practicing with the cloud based creating so not using anywhere near 200GB - warnings noted though highlighted in this thread, there is no such thing as a free lunch :cool:

Geffers
 

Retro

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You can also try AWS if you want to get into cloud. They have free for a year and always free services that might be just enough to have a play and get a feel for the service.

Be very careful when you enable anything though, as you can be stung for hundreds of dollars a month if you enable the wrong thing. ALWAYS check the pricing page for everything before enabling it.
 

Geffers

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Well, I've signed up and having a go. Terminology bit confusing (found Digital Ocean quite easy) but I've created a couple of usable systems, deleted, recreated. Got a simple web site going.

So far looks useful.

Also set up a proxy for the Signal messenger group, enables users to bypass any Government blocking. This can run 24/7, at this stage not sure if it survives a reboot as it runs in a Docker container. The only containers I know are usually on the back of an artic.

Geffers
 

Retro

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Oh, you've got it going, excellent! I assume you've selected some flavour of Linux and Apache? Is it a LAMP server, perhaps?

Terminology bit confusing (found Digital Ocean quite easy)
It's definitely at an "advanced" level and I had to concentrate a fair bit to learn it, too. If you need help with your AWS adventures, I'm sure I can help. If stuff is a little sensitive, like IP addresses etc, just PM me.
 

Geffers

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Oh, you've got it going, excellent! I assume you've selected some flavour of Linux and Apache? Is it a LAMP server, perhaps?
They have their own version of Linux under the banner of Oracle-Linux but also have Ubuntu, Centos and a couple of others. Oddly not Debian although Ubuntu based on Debian.

As for LAMP, I installed apache manually but don't need (yet anyway) MySQL and PHP so that will do me.

Geoff
 

Arizona

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"Comparing the free tier offers of the major cloud providers like AWS, Azure, GCP, Oracle Cloud etc."



"Overview of free web hosting offers. A good collection can be found at https://free-for.dev/"

Collect them all :D
 
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Retro

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I've found AWS's free tiers to be very useful, especially the EC2 server and database which I used to set up this site.

Great to see you back @Arizona :)
 

Arizona

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I'm in the process of signing up for the free offerings at IBM Cloud and to try some of their vision AI. However, I am now having to send them my driver's license, which exemplifies why IBM almost goes out of its way to be unpopular among individual users/consumers compared to Amazon, Google, Microsoft, etc:

Greetings from IBM Cloud,

Thank you for choosing IBM Cloud as your cloud services provider. We were unable to verify important details about your IBM Cloud account and are requiring additional information from you. At this time your IBM Cloud account is on hold pending verification. Please complete the verification process on or before February 8th to avoid full account closure due to noncompliance. During this process, IBM Cloud reserves the right to expedite account closure.

Please send two forms of government-issued photo identification (i.e. Driver's License, Passport, etc.). If the owner of the payment method is different from the IBM Cloud account holder, please provide two forms of government-issued photo identification for both. Be sure to scan the front and back of the document, in full color, and attach them to an email to us, verify@us.ibm.com.

In your email, include the following details:

The billing address of the payment method on the IBM Cloud account
The billing phone number of the payment method on the IBM Cloud account
Business name and phone number (if applicable)
The URL for your website (if applicable)
A contact phone number where you can be reached for additional information
Your reasons for using IBM Cloud
We appreciate your assistance and patience with our request to provide a secure and trusted cloud. We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused. Thank you for your immediate attention to this matter and for allowing us to be your service of choice.


Best regards,

IBM Cloud

But I still enjoy a mystique about IBM since my first computer was a PS/2, which my parents purchased for me from a former department store that mostly sold clothes (Burdines).
 
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Retro

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With all those hoops I just wouldn't bother unless I really needed the service. Nothing like that with AWS. As long as you have a functioning credit card they're happy.
 

Arizona

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I don't have any experience yet with Kubernetes, but I was thinking of using something like that to have an application powered by multiple servers, including free servers from AWS, Oracle, Google, Microsoft, and IBM Cloud.
 
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Arantor

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I don't know if that would work - I suppose in theory it should but I imagine the kubes being connected to the mesh will have to fight their way through the firewall, and the network isn't going to help.

Meanwhile I am reminded of
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- start at 40:30 if does not figure this out otherwise.
 

Arizona

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Arantor, that is a great point about firewalls. I now see there are multi-cloud security issues, namely a lack of firewall protection.


On the positive side, it could be easier to manage a DDoS attack.

For "multi-cloud management," I just found Google Anthos:

1675474485013.png

why-anthos-multi-cloud.png

Anthos provides some level of firewall-based security: "Each instance uses Google’s Container-Optimized OS as the operating system on which to run Kubernetes and its components. By default, Container-Optimized OS implements a locked-down firewall, a read-only filesystem, and limited user accounts (with root disabled)."

But you pay per virtual CPU/cluster that is being managed. So I'm not feeling paying for Anthos except on a limited basis, such as paying by the hour or using Anthos for my paid servers that have some real power. But Anthos does seem a lot better than dealing directly with the complexity of multi-anything.

Similar, competing products for multi-cloud management are Azure Arc and IBM Cloud Satellite:


 
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Arantor

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Can’t speak for the other clouds but stuff like S3 is kinda by default behind a firewall - unless you’re requesting something in a public bucket (or given a public permission) it’s locked behind some kind of “needs authentication” route which is free unless you’re actually able to authenticate with valid credentials.

Any of the other stuff, you normally need to wire up behind one of their load balancers because it just doesn’t give you access externally otherwise - e.g. you’re not getting at the database directly on Aurora. EC2 might be an exception, I don’t remember if you can route directly at it or not but even if you *could* you probably wanted to set up a load balancer and run a service across multiple containers (even if on a single EC2 host) just to allow for seamless switchover of resources (assuming the application can do so)
 

Arizona

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IBM promo code for up to $1,000 USD in free virtual hosting (during a 4-month period from what I remember):


IBM's virtual hosting also includes GPU options (at $4 USD an hour for two P100 GPUs). (But with these GPU servers costing almost $100 per day, I would be tempted to use a low-balance credit/debit card in case of surprise charges at the end of the monthly billing period, such as from forgetting to delete a GPU server after a few hours. IBM's virtual servers can be suspended/paused, and there is apparently no additional charge for suspension if the overall normal usage exceeds 25 percent of the total time.)

For the long term, one may be better off with IBM's notebooks, which have GPU options: https://dataplatform.cloud.ibm.com/...te-customize-env-definition.html?audience=wdp

There is also Google Colab for free GPU access:


Other free GPU options include Gradient and Kaggle:


But for paid options, the best GPU server prices I see so far are at Lambda, which has A100 GPU servers as well.
 
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Geffers

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So far pretty happy with Oracle's free option. Terminology and site navigation in my opinion difficult compared to Digital Ocean but like everything, use it and get used to it.

Got two instances running, both Ubuntu.

1. This is merely for running a Signal proxy server to offer a way for users blocked by their country to bypass the blocking.

2. Runs a small web server plus Virtual Radar Server, the latter allows sharing of aircraft ads-b data and to be shown on a map.

Both also are encrypted using the free letsencrypt system.

Geffers
 

Arizona

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That's for the well-heeled, then. Blimey.
Haha. Yeah, they are mostly for business, which has become more and more obvious as I have explored IBM's cloud pricing.

Even when I signed up for IBM Cloud, they couldn't automatically verify my identity or credit card or whatever. So they asked for TWO forms of photo ID. I told them I didn't have a passport, so they accepted just a driver's license. So it took a day or two with the back and forth for me to get a cloud account setup with IBM, as opposed to a few seconds with Microsoft, Google, or Amazon.

IBM obviously missed the cloud boat, so they are focused on "hybrid" solutions for large enterprises like airlines, governments, etc. Surprisingly, most credit card transactions are still processed at some point by an IBM mainframe. Their mainframes though are pretty cool though -- literally too since they have cooling systems built in.

So far, I have spent only $3, and that was paid for by another signup credit for $200.

But I almost had a stroke yesterday (metaphorically) because I thought I may have been billed $800 for signing up for some AI service with IBM Watson. But I was fine. For example, IBM's Watson Discovery (which is closest to what IBM featured on the game show Jeopardy!) is $500 per month plus usage fees if you use their paid service (rather than the limited free tier). So obviously I will only use the free tier for IBM Watson Discovery.

On the positive side, you can't accidentally use more than the free tier since you have to sign up separately for paid tiers.
 
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