Cloud platforms are a big investment. Giving them that credit card number is the start of what could be a long relationship and many tens of thousands of dollars. So it’s a good idea to try before you buy, and if you’re using the cloud as a departmental developmental solution, it’s an even better idea to find a service that won’t cost you a penny while you get your applications and services up to speed.
That makes it well worth your time to use the various trial, test, and low-volume cloud services out there. They’ve been available for some time — especially Google’s free tier for its App Engine platform-as-a-service — and Amazon has now joined the club with a free tier for test and development. Low cost and free services like these make particular sense for individuals and teams wanting to try building their own apps.
You might still need a credit card to get started, but it won’t get billed if you stay within the services limits; so don’t use too many resources, or forget about any time limits. And if it does get billed, you can quickly cancel the service and move on.