Free Cloud Server
A Free Cloud Server is a bit of a different, but it can be done. Certainly the Software can be free. Our Free Cloud Desktop AMI can be used for some needs and be free to run. However, if your Non Profit Organization or Business Server is for more than a few concurrent users or some other process intensive applications, you will likely need to use a different, pay as you go, Amazon Web Services (AWS) Tier.
That said, you can certainly try our recommended Cloud Server for free here by just reading a bit more in a couple of different ways. Then see what’s right for you.
We recommend that you consider launching our favorite Free Linux Cloud Server AMI on Amazon Web Services and give that a go if you understand the Linux Command Line. We will be adding some detailed instructions on how to do that to this page very soon.
Or, for an easier quick look, you can try out our Free Cloud Desktop which is free and just takes a few steps. Then, adding something like Webmin for user management and making a change or two beyond that.
We will are considering building a new AMI specifically for a Cloud Server application but, if you are going to run a Cloud Server and administer it, these instructions should be enough to get going (we will be adding more detailed suggested steps to help get you started soon):
- Sign up for AWS (new accounts tend to come with their Free Tier but pay as you go can be very affordable)
- Pick your favorite Linux Cloud Server AMI (We like 16.04 LTS Ubuntu which, among others can be found here)
- Launch on AWS selecting either a Free or Lower Tier to get a feel for performance (be careful to pay attention to any Billing on AWS Services as all are NOT free)
- Set up the Desktop Environment (if you want that)
- Add the software and configuration that suits your needs
Getting a Cloud Server running Ubuntu 16.04 (or whatever Free Linux Server Distro you like) is pretty easy. Doing the above steps (if you know how) or launching our Free Cloud Desktop (latest version below) if you don’t, will get you started. Then all you have to do is secure your server, configure everything, do all the policy stuff, add some Free Software (maybe LibreOffice, Webmin, etc.), create user profiles, establish the data architecture and backup plan, understand much of the server manual like the Ubuntu 16.04 Server Guide, etc. Then just start adding users from the command line (sudo adduser user1, sudo adduser user2, etc.) and you have yourself a Free Cloud Server.
Look, it all depends on what you are trying to do. It is one thing to tinker and do a simple deployment that is for a applicable purpose. It is quite another to deploy a production environment with confidential data on a critical infrastructure. And, a vast cavern between those two things.
Do your best to make sure that the level of expertise matches the requirements of what you are trying to do. Spinning up an AMI and adding users using Amazon Web Services and a Linux Server AMI can literally be done in minutes, with minimal knowledge, to get a feel for what is possible and have a great start towards a deployment of great Cloud Server Desktops for you and your organization. Just don’t forget that few have the expertise to actually run it efficiently, properly, and securely and you can get yourself in a lot of trouble if unless you have the experience you need to run it. It ain’t a smartphone, but you can access from one.
That said, the value of a free Linux Cloud Server can be extreme. And, it isn’t as if paying Microsoft for software is going to make things easy (quite the contrary, but you can do it as explained on our Windows Cloud Desktop page). It is such a fast and easy learning experience and will help you understand what you really need from a Cloud Server, whether free or not, and explore some of the options for Virtual Cloud Servers as you go to get you where you are trying to go. You can try it out for yourself here:
Our Latest Version 3.13 of the Free Cloud Server is available now.
To register or request an upgrade from an older version:
There is a great deal of value and options here so here is a bit more info to help flesh this out for you a bit. For the novice in Cloud Server technology, this might really open your eyes. For the expert, hopefully at the least a new implementation method and a few new ideas that will be of value to you. Both Windows Server and Ubuntu can be done for Free (sans licensing) with Microsoft (trial). Both options for most actual usage would require more than the Free Tier and Microsoft licensing ain’t free. But, if you need something beyond Google Docs or something similar and still haven’t at least fired up our Free Cloud Desktop, read on.
Free Cloud Server Options:
Well, basically Linux is the license Free option. Microsoft Server Software can be spun up free and both can be run on Amazon Web Services Free Tier, so that is what we will be exploring here.
For the Linux Free Cloud Server, we will be Using Ubuntu 16.04 LTS with our resident Free Cloud Server. The term “Free Cloud Server” vs. “Free Cloud Desktop” is moot in many cases. Of course, Amazon Web Services is our favorite environment/AWS Region. As an example you can see quite a few flavors to launch and try here with your AWS account:
If that looks confusing, click on the graphic below and it should help you understand better.
Note: While there are practical reasons to try and spin up a Windows Free Cloud Server on the Free Tier, it is not recommended unless you have a lot of time and can’t afford to run a larger server instance on Amazon for a few hours. That said, you can just log on to your AWS Console Free Tier Account or sign up for one as the AMI above qualifies for t2.micro which is Free tier eligible. Just click the Launch button in AWS, find the aforementioned AMI (or whatever works best for you) and walk through the few configuration steps. If you have not seen what AWS can do I expect your reaction is: Wow!
Feel encouraged to ask questions here. We will answer them if we can.