7 Ways to Get Azure Credits

by | Feb 11, 2020 | Microsoft Azure Management | 0 comments

7 Ways to Get Azure Credits

Azure credits are a perk offered by Microsoft that help you save money on your cloud bill. Like a gift card for a retail store, credits are applied to your account to help cover costs until they are exhausted or expire. In a sense, these credits act as a spending limit because any usage of resources or products that are not free will be deducted from the credit amount. We found 7 different ways that you can earn credits and start saving on your Azure bill.

1. Visual Studio Subscription

If you’re a Visual Studio subscriber, you get monthly Azure credits that can be used to explore and test out different Azure services. The amount of Azure credits that you receive will depend on the type of Visual Studio subscription that you have.

With a Visual Studio Enterprise subscription, you get a standard of $150 in monthly credits. For subscriptions through MSDN Platforms you get $100 a month. For Visual Studio Professional and Visual Studio Test Professional, you get $50 a month.

2. Azure for Students

Full-time students at an accredited, two or four-year educational institution in a STEM-related field are eligible for these credits.

When a student signs up with their school email address, Microsoft gives them $100 in credit in order to help them further their career and build their skills in Azure thanks to the free access to learning paths, labs, and professional developer tools.

3. Azure Free Account

With a free account, you get access to a number of popular Azure services for no cost. In addition to access to free services, you’ll also get a $200 credit. It’s important to note that while the free account lasts for 12 months, your credits must be spent in the first 30 days.

Whether you’re just getting started in Azure or are looking to further your knowledge, a free account is always a great way to test the waters without having to make a long term commitment.

4. Microsoft Partner Network

In the Partner Network, those that are members of Microsoft’s Action Pack program receive $100 of Azure credits every month. Based on your computing needs, you can use these credits for any Azure service; some examples include, Virtual Machines, Web Sites, Cloud Services, Mobile Services, Storage, SQL Database, Content Delivery Network, HDInsight, Media Services, and more.

The great part about this is that there are a handful of usage scenarios that won’t consume all of the $100 credit – you can use this pricing calculator to estimate how much you could use with a $100 credit.

Any of the unused monthly credits can’t be carried over to succeeding months or transferred to other Azure subscriptions, so make sure to use it while you can!

5. Microsoft for Startups

This global program is designed to help startups as they build and scale their organizations. Part of the technical enablement features that are always free and available to all startups is $200 of Azure credits that can be used towards any service for 30 days. This is a great option for startups because it’s free and gives you the ability to explore all the different offerings without having to spend any money.

6. Azure for Education

With Azure for Education, users are given access to the learning resources and developer tools that educators and students need in order to build cloud-based skills. This program is available to students, educators and institutions – once signed up, educators get $200 of Azure credits.

Whether you’re teaching advanced workloads, interested in building cloud-based skills, or just getting started in your Azure learning journey, this program provides guidance and resources for individuals looking to further their knowledge in Azure.

7. Microsoft for Nonprofits

In an effort to make their technology more affordable and accessible for nonprofit and nongovernmental organizations, Microsoft offers donated and discounted products. Each year, approved organizations receive $3,500 in Azure credits which can be used to purchase all Azure workloads created by Microsoft (excluding Azure Active Directory, which is licensed under EM+S).

No matter the industry you’re in or learning level you’re at, there are a wide variety of credits and resources offered that can help make Azure an affordable option for you.

Further Reading:

Top 3 Ways to Save Money on Azure

How to Save Money with Microsoft Azure Enterprise Agreements

9 Ways to Get AWS Credits

4 Ways to Get Google Cloud Credits

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Nicole Bavis is a Marketing Associate at ParkMyCloud. Nicole is responsible for running ParkMyCloud's social media accounts, link building, prospect research, and other marketing tasks. She earned a BS in Sociology from James Madison University. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, and playing in local sports leagues.


11 Ways to Get AWS Credits

by | Nov 17, 2020 | How to Save on AWS | 0 comments

11 Ways to Get AWS Credits

AWS credits are a way to save on your Amazon Web Services (AWS) bill. Credits are applied to AWS cloud bills to help cover costs that are associated with eligible services and are applied until they are exhausted or expire. Essentially, credits are a coupon-code like mechanism used by Amazon on your bill. If you want to see how to redeem your AWS promotional credits, look here.

So how do you get these credits? There are a number of ways – here are 11 that we have either used ourselves or that have been successfully used by our customers.

AWS Activate

With AWS Activate, companies can build or scale with up to $100,000 in AWS promotional credits. AWS Activate is ideal for startups because they get access to resources as quickly as possible, and AWS provides them with a low cost, easy-to-use infrastructure to help them grow.

This is a big help for startups, knowing they are getting their money’s worth with these credits lets them focus on one thing – growth. If you are looking to get started on AWS definitely check this out.

AWS Activate offers two packages designed for startups, AWS Activate Founders (for startups without funding) and the AWS Activate Portfolio (for startups associated with an AWS Activate Provider).

AWS Activate Founders

Offered as part of the AWS Activate program, AWS Activate Founders is designed as a package for bootstrapped and self-funded startups that haven’t raised any venture capital, seed, or angel funding. If your organization isn’t affiliated with any accelerators or incubators then you are eligible to apply. This package provides credits, resources, as well as dedicated technical and business support to help startups build, test, and deploy on AWS.

After applying and getting approved, startups will receive up to $1,000 in Activate Credits and $350 in Developer Support Credits. The $1,000 credit is valid for two years and the $350 credit is valid for one year, this way you can get started building and experimenting with AWS.

AWS Activate Portfolio

The AWS Activate Portfolio package differs from the other package offered in the Activate program because these startups are affiliated with an AWS Activate Provider, meaning some kind of seed/VC firm, accelerator, incubator, or other startup-enabling institutions.

This package offers startups up to $100,000 in AWS Activate Credits – different portfolio offers will have different benefits. With the portfolio, you can either receive AWS Activate Credits that cover AWS services, or AWS Activate Business Support credits that cover technical support.

Publish an Alexa Skill

For all you developers, each Alexa skill that you publish, you can apply to receive a $100 AWS promotional credit. Take advantage of these credits to get all your skills potential!

AWS Marketplace

Discover, purchase, and deploy cloud-based networking and security solutions or Big Data solutions offered on AWS Marketplace and get $200 in AWS promotional credits once you subscribe to a qualifying product.

AWS Webinars & Events

Attending AWS webinars, events, and conferences can get you AWS credits. In order to be awarded the credits, you’ll have to provide proof that you actually attended. Make sure to keep an eye on their events page, as new stuff is being added all the time.

AWS Educate

In an effort to educate the next generation of cloud professionals, AWS has made AWS Educate available to institutions, educators, and students. It provides institutions with the resources educators and students need for training resources, cloud-related learning, and content for courses. Students have the opportunity to receive credits by getting hands-on experience with AWS tech, training, content and career pathways.

At member institutions, educators earn $200 in AWS credits compared to non-member institutions they earn $75. Students receive an AWS Educate starter account with up to $100 in credits at a member institution and $30 at a non-member institution. To make this even more appealing, AWS will award students and staff with more credits if you sign up as a member institution.

During these times of virtual learning, AWS is also providing free resources such as webinars and workshops to help users continue to develop cloud skills.

AWS for Nonprofits & NGOs

Amazon offers three different programs for nonprofits; AWS Nonprofit Credit Program, AWS Imagine Grant Program and AWS Cloud Credit for Research. These programs are designed to help organizations of all sizes to overcome barriers to technology adoption, by enhancing the scale, performance, and capabilities of mission operations.

AWS Credit Program for Nonprofits

Through TechSoup Global, eligible nonprofit organizations can request one grant of $2,000 AWS credits once per fiscal year.

AWS Cloud Credits for Research

AWS Cloud Credits for Research evaluates academic research from researchers at accredited institutions around the world. Researchers that apply for this program take an initiative to build a cloud-hosted service, software, or tools and/or want to migrate a research process or open data to the cloud. The credit amount awarded will vary depending on the cost model and usage requirements documented in the research proposal.

AWS Imagine Grant Program

This program is a public grant that’s open to registered 501(c) nonprofit organizations that are using technology to solve the world’s most critical problems. The AWS Imagine Grant Program is offered as a way to have organizations prioritize technology as a mission-critical component of their projects.

Grants are given once, annually for up to to $100,000 in AWS Promotional Credit.

AWS EdStart

AWS focuses on education technology startups’ long term success with their AWS EdStart program.  AWS is looking to provide businesses with the resources they need to get started as quickly and easily on AWS to ensure they have every opportunity to prosper. After applying and getting approved, businesses will receive their credit validation. The credit amount awarded is based on the business’s needs.

AWS Free Tier

As always, the AWS Free Tier is a great option to get access to AWS products for no cost. Customers can use the product for free up to specified limits for one year from the date the account was created.

This includes 750 hours of Amazon EC2 Linux t2.micro instance usage, 5 GB of Amazon S3 standard storage, 750 hours of Amazon RDS Single-AZ db.t2.micro Instances, one million AWS Lambda requests and you can build and host most Alexa skills for free.

You only have access to promotional credits for a limited time, so make sure you take advantage of all these opportunities if you can! Whether you are just getting started with AWS or have been using it for a while, there are plenty of credits and resources available to make AWS an affordable option for you.

Further Reading:

4 Ways to Get Google Cloud Credits

7 Ways to Get Azure Credits

AWS vs Azure vs Google Free Tier Comparison

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Nicole Bavis is a Marketing Associate at ParkMyCloud. Nicole is responsible for running ParkMyCloud's social media accounts, link building, prospect research, and other marketing tasks. She earned a BS in Sociology from James Madison University. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, and playing in local sports leagues.


4 Ways to Get Google Cloud Credits

by | Feb 18, 2020 | Google Cloud | 0 comments

4 Ways to Get Google Cloud Credits

Google Cloud credits are an incentive offered by Google that help you get started on Google’s Cloud Platform for free. Like Amazon and Microsoft, Google is trying to make it easy and in some cases free to get started using their Cloud Platform or certain services on their platform that they believe are “sticky” –  which is beneficial if you’d like to try the services out for personal use or for a proof-of-concept. There is both a spend and a time limit for Google’s free credits, but then they also offer “always free” products that do not count against the free credit and can be used forever, or until Google decides to pull the plug, with usage limits.

1. Google Cloud Free Tier

The most basic way to use Google Cloud products is the Google Cloud Free Tier. This extended free trial gives you access to free cloud resources so you can learn about Google Cloud services by trying them on your own.

The Google Cloud Free Tier has two parts:

  • A 90 day free trial with a $300 credit to use with any Google Cloud services.
  • Always Free, which provides limited access to many common Google Cloud resources, free of charge.

90 Day Free Trial

The Google Cloud 90 day free trial and $300 credit is for new customers/trialers. Be sure to check through the full list of eligibility requirements on Google’s website. (No cryptomining – sorry!)

Before you start spinning up machines, be sure to note the following limitations:

  • You can’t have more than 8 cores (or virtual CPUs) running at the same time.
  • You can’t add GPUs to your VM instances.
  • You can’t request a quota increase.
  • You can’t create VM instances that are based on Windows Server images.

Your free trial ends when 90 days have elapsed since you signed up and/or you have spent your $300 in Google Cloud credit. When you use resources covered by Always Free during your free trial period, those resources are not charged against your free trial credit.

At the end of the Free Trial you either begin paying or you lose your services and data, it’s pretty black and white, and you can upgrade at any time during your Free Trial with any remaining credits being applied against your bill.

Google Cloud Always Free

The Always Free program is essentially the “next step” of free usage after a trial. These offerings provide limited access to many Google Cloud resources. The resources are usually provided at monthly intervals, and they are not credits — they do not accumulate or roll over from one interval to the next, it’s use it or lose it. The Always Free is a regular part of your Google Cloud account, unlike the Free Trial.

Not all Google Cloud services offer resources as part of Always Free program. For a full list of the services and usage limits please see here – a few of the more popular services include Compute Engine, Cloud Storage, Cloud Functions, Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), Big Query and more. Be sure to check the usage limits before spinning up resources, as usage above the Always Free tier will be billed at standard rates.

2. Google Cloud for Startups

Google is motivated to get startups to build their infrastructure on Google Cloud while they’re still early stage, to gain long-term customers. If you work for an early-stage startup, reach out to your accelerator, incubator, or VC about Google Cloud credit. You can get up too $100,000 in credit – but it will come at the price of a large percentage of equity.

Options that don’t require you to give up equity include Founder Friendly Labs, StartX if you happen.

3. Education Offerings

Google offers several options for students, teachers, and researchers to get up and running with Google Cloud.

  • GCP Credits for Learning – Faculty can apply for $100 in credits and $50 per student. This offering is intended for students who are learning GCP for career purposes.
  • Research credits – Research faculty can apply for $5,000 in credits for Google Cloud resources to support academic research, or $1,000 for PhD candidates. The research can be in any field. Learn more here.

There are also several offerings related to making education accessible without associated credits. See more on the Google Cloud Education page.

4. Vendor Promotions and Events

Various vendors that are Google Cloud partners run occasional promotions, typically in the form of a credit greater than $300 for the Google Cloud Free Trial, although we’ve also seen straight credits offered. For example, CloudFlare offers a credit program for app developers.

Also check out events that might offer credit – for example, TechStars startup weekends offers $3,000 in Google Cloud credits for attendees. Smaller awards of a few hundred dollars can be found through meetups and other events.

Google Cloud Credits do offer people and companies a way to get started quickly, and the Always Free program is a unique way to entice users to try different services at no cost, albeit in a limited way. Be sure to check out the limitations before you get started, and have fun!

Further reading:

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About Jay Chapel

Jay Chapel is the CEO and co-founder of ParkMyCloud. After spending several years in the cloud management space, Jay saw that there was no simple solution to the problem of wasted cloud spend - which led him to start ParkMyCloud in 2015. Before that, he spent 10+ years with Micromuse and IBM Tivoli, a provider of business infrastructure management software. After an acquisition by IBM, he led the successful sales integration and subsequent growth of the IBM Tivoli/Netcool business in Europe. He also held several regional and worldwide sales roles in Switzerland, the UK and the US. Jay earned both a BA in Finance and an MBA from West Virginia. Those few hours a month that Jay’s not busy with ParkMyCloud’s growth and success, you can find him on the ski slopes, on the soccer field, or on the golf course often accompanied by his three kids.