Oracle Adds 13 New Services to Its Always Free Cloud Infrastructure Tier

The expansion of the Always Free portfolio will provide an accessible space for learning, exploring and operating on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure.

Oracle has expanded its Always Free portfolio within the Oracle Cloud Free Tier with the addition of 13 new services. This allows developers to work within and deploy workloads on Oracle Cloud Infrastructure without spending a dime, or committing themselves to any subscriptions. The 13 new additions to the Always Free services are:

  1. Ampere A1 Compute
  2. Autonomous JSON Database
  3. NoSQL
  4. APEX Application Development
  5. Logging
  6. Service Connector Hub
  7. Application Performance Monitoring
  8. Flexible Load Balancer
  9. Flexible Network Load Balancer
  10. VPN Connect v2
  11. Oracle Security Zones
  12. Oracle Security Advisor
  13. Oracle Cloud Infrastructure Bastion

Oracle has announced the addition of 13 new Always Free services.

These 13 new services are also available with Always Free services like:

  • Compute virtual machines
  • Object Storage
  • Block Storage
  • Load Balancing
  • Autonomous Data Warehouse
  • Autonomous Transaction Processing services

Always Free has included these services since its launch in September 2019. All together, this makes Always Free one of the largest free offerings on the market. Oracle hopes to leverage this new playground to expand its customer base and showcase the power of its portfolio.

Always Free services will allow users to learn the basics as well as the far-reaching capacities of the Oracle Cloud Infrastructure (OCI), which users will be able to expand and build on with paid OCI accounts. All Always Free services are already included for customers who have an active Oracle Cloud account.

Oracle has launched the Ampere A1 Computer instances in the cloud to prepare for the Arm architecture that will soon be coming to its servers. By creating an ecosystem where Arm developers can build, test and run their applications on OCI Arm instances, Oracle showcases the full power of the new, efficient Ampere processors. As a result, developers can try out the power of the Ampere A1 Compute to see if they want to use them in commercial applications. The Always Free Arm Ampere A1 Compute resources come with four OCPUs with 24 GB memory to allow developers to run real apps and test the power of the OCI infrastructure for themselves.

The addition of Autonomous JSON Databases Oracle Cloud resources to the Always Free services portfolio will allow developers to run up to two databases with different workload types ranging from Autonomous Data Warehousing to Autonomous Transaction Processing and Autonomous JSON Databases. The Always Free suite also includes a fully managed NoSQL database cloud service created to help database operations who require simple, predictable and fast (single-digit millisecond latency) responses to quick queries.

The Always Free Oracle Autonomous JSON Database is a cloud document database with a toolkit that allows for the creation and operation of JSON applications and workloads. The database features full SQL access, simple JSON document APIs, serverless scaling, ACID (atomicity, consistency, isolation, and durability) transactions as well as security. As a branch of the Oracle Autonomous Database family, the database automates tasks like encryption, patching, configuring and other database management. The free offering comes with up to 1 OCPU (shared) and 20 GB of storage, which is certainly enough to create small- to medium-sized applications.

The Oracle NoSQL Database Cloud allows developers to build applications that deliver predictable single-digit millisecond response times, with data replication, along with full compatibility with any existing on-site Oracle NoSQL Databases. The service offers up to 133 million reads and writes per month, as well as three tables with 25 GB of storage per table.

The Always Free service tier now gives users access to Oracle’s application development service where they can create and manage low-code applications (via Oracle).

The Always Free service tier now gives users access to Oracle’s application development service where they can create and manage low-code applications (via Oracle).

One of the more interesting additions to the Always Free Oracle portfolio is the APEX Application Development service, which enables developers to quickly produce and deploy low-code apps in the Oracle Cloud free of charge. This new mode of creating data-centric applications is reportedly up to 38 times faster than coding, allowing developers to get the most of their time. These apps are embedded within the Oracle Cloud portfolio and can integrate relational, JSON, spatial, and graph data from Oracle Autonomous Database as well as nearly every REST endpoint. Developers can build on these applications by integrating existing Oracle or third-party APEX plug-ins as well as have access to add custom SQL and JavaScript logic. The Always Free version delivers Oracle APEX running in the Oracle Cloud as an all-inclusive, fully managed service with up to 1 OCPU (shared) and 20 GB of storage, supporting 3 to 6 users accessing the system simultaneously, with no limit on the number of applications, developers or user accounts.

The Always Free APEX is supported by Oracle’s Application Performance Monitoring (APM) services to provide application developers and managers with a full understanding of the user experience. APM implements a distributed tracing system, tracking each transaction from beginning to end, thus enabling developers with raw data that does not rely on sampling or aggregation that may not necessarily be indicative of actual user experiences. The data collected through APM is compatible with cloud native open standards and includes 1,000 hourly events to help developers with distributed tracing, end-user monitoring as well as server monitoring capabilities to provide a full picture of application and system performance.

The Always Free OCI Logging service comes with scalable managed logs that can be ingested and searched. The logging service gives users access to a variety of OCI made log resources, which provide them with critical information that developers can transform into actionable or archived events for long-term storage and retention. OCI logs come equipped with Oracle’s enterprise-level system security. The logs are encrypted throughout the archival and storage process and use the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) standard for log ingestion and events.

The robust logging services included in Always Free give developers a rich user experience, analytics for applications and database management (via Oracle).

The robust logging services included in Always Free give developers a rich user experience, analytics for applications and database management (via Oracle).

The OCI Service Connector Hub included in the Always Free service tier moves data between a user’s services, within OCI and to service outside of the OCI ecosystem. The service can be set up with functions for custom data processing that are tailored to a developer’s reporting needs. This can notify users about changes to cloud resources, eliminating the need for manually building and managing data flow between services. These reports allow developers to see the full data flow between the various sources and stores of data.

There are also three new networking and infrastructure additions to the Always Free service tier: Flexible Load Balancer, Flexible Network Load Balancer, and VPN Connect v2. The first two services allow developers to optimize their bandwidth and network loads to each situation, enabling engineers to set up parameters and ranges for bandwidth, and various traffic flow situations that are responsive to each situation. This avoids the expansion of any additional resources while also giving applications the flexibility to manage and survive instances that would otherwise put great strain on networks and systems. The Always Free tier gives customers access to Oracle’s VPN Connect v2, which provides them with industry-standard security and encryption protocols for data traffic and back-end access.

Always Free also comes with Oracle’s Security Zones, Security Advisor and the OCI Bastion. The Security Zones and Advisor allow developers to set up and manage security policies within the OCI, providing users with access to a policy library that can be used as a reference when designing policies. Together, with other built-in features of the OCI, these new security features will allow developers to semi-automatically (and thus quickly) build out secure cloud infrastructure. These security management services are bolstered with OCI Bastion, a fully managed service that provides secure access that delivers resources within the OCI, thus eliminating the need for complex networking tasks on the developer’s end, allowing them to focus their time and attention on application and asset development while Oracle takes care of the all the back-end authentication and authorization needs.