Let engineers learn cloud without jeopardizing their personal well-being.
THIS is exactly why I stopped early with AWS. Too confusing as to what you could and couldn't get yourself into, and my sense was they wanted it that way. No thanks.
I had an incident when I was a junior developer where I accidentally pushed my free aws account credentials on github. We had a 15k$ billing no more than 24 hours later. We stopped everything, shut down everything the bad guy put to keep using it. I screamed and cried for God knows how long thinking my mistake will be the downfall of the little company of 3 people I adore that accepted to give me an internship there.
I called AWS knowing they had the future of our startup in their hand. The power balance was so strongly in their favor and me being in this position and so young and unexperienced, it was an awful experience. We didn't pay a penny in the end, but it was a traumatic experience and I would have prefer them to prevent someone from putting ourselves in this position in the first place.
Or we could do what I've been saying all cloud provider's should do for years, and that's have a pay as you go model.
And not just cloud provider's either, the entire subscription based accidental billing business model needs a shame up too.
With a pay account, the owner adds funds, when those funds are consumed everything shuts down, if the user wants to restart, they add funds/credit what ever you want to call it.
Yes there are still going to be cases where not shut down things use that credit up, but if you could only afford to add £100 to your account, then a you've only lost what you already paid, you don't have to pay an unexpected bill, while you deal with the provider to get your credit back.
Also replying credit to an account is a lot less messy than trying to issue a refund financially and in some ways would be easier for the provider to handle.
It's the same model mobile telecoms has used for years, they don't like it, they would prefer everyone to be on monthly contracts, but by having it available, they have many more customers than they would otherwise including folks scared of running bills up.
tbh this is a problem (and probably the biggest fear for newcomers to the cloud) on other platforms as well, e.g. GCP - lesser problem because one can hard stop by deleting the project, but the problem of overspending remains.
All cloud platforms prefer to shrug and say "it's your responsibility" because let's be honest, they want to make money so there's little incentive for them to enforce strict budget controls for customers, and particularly to worry about hobbyists, unfortunately.
It looks like an attempt to masquerade the problem instead of solving it. AWS implies a lot of hidden charges that should be more explicit and intuitive. In the provided example, the main problem isn't $200 bill which, as was pointed out by the author, was refunded or canceled, but the fact that student did not know what they did wrong and how to stop the counter ticking.
AWS should make a global change around how they bill and how the advertise the billing.
People who wants to learn AWS should be able to learn that it is not for free and how to deal with that. Stories about free cheese are told by dead mouses.
> “AWS Support is great about refunding these types of claims, there’s no reason to be alarmed.”
> You know that. I know that.
Except when they don't and you're stuck with a bill you can't afford. I don't build properties I own to AWS on principle. Developers demand memory safe languages, concurrency safe languages, even type safe languages. Is it really too much to ask for a billing safe cloud?
I’ve got a 10,000$ bill remaining in my aws account which I’ve been using for a set of servers which I was using for a coupon. There was no way to set limits and I’ve missed certain bill calculations and had went over 15,000$. The coupon was applicable for only 5000$ 💔😂. The case is still under investigation where I’ve filed a complaint that they were not transparent about the bill estimates or limitations for spending. So confusing to use aws as well as super moduler and manageable if learnt in the right way.
Every month I get a $0.64 bill from AWS. I set up my own VPN during the free trial period but shut it down and deleted it. That was 10 years ago nd I still have no idea what I'm being charged for.
A while back I thought I would start learning AWS and, like this student, got hit with a hefty bill. After a lot of searching around I figured the only way to stop getting billed was, as pointed out in the article, to delete my AWS account.
Even after years of the account being disabled, I cannot re-enable it in any way so, even if I wanted to learn AWS for a job or anything there is no way I can (yes, even contacted the support and they were totally useless).
I've had a lot more success with GCP but, I feel like AWS dominates the space and it seems like every company is looking for people who know AWS. It's infuriating that so many companies are looking for people to utilize the platform but, there's no easy way to learn to use the platform without incurring massive charges.
Luckily, most of the things I would use AWS for I can self-host and develop on my own machine without the fear of incurring costs I won't be able to cover.
Although they use MFA and generally good security practices, a small non-profit organization with which I'm affiliated had a hacker break into their AWS account and run up over $20,000 in charges. AWS was pretty unsympathetic and it has been a nightmare.
Well, I had kind of same experience with the service SageMaker. I did use it for only 1 hour but I was billed around 130$ (I am from India, currently a student and it's a lot of money as per Indian standards). Fortunately, the support guy came through and waved it off.
With https://github.com/infracost/infracost (free open source) we're trying to educate developers about cloud pricing BEFORE they launch stuff. It probably wouldn't have helped in this case as I doubt the student used Terraform to spin-up the resources but we plans to support CloudFormation and other IaC tools. The status quo feels like going shopping online without ever seeing a checkout screen - doesn't make sense.
I think the free-tier one year eligible is a joke as well. Set hard limits but remove the 12 month term as well. I have been studying for multiple AWS certs and always have to create a new account cause my free-tier membership expires.
Google is no better. Firebase is a nightmare. The horror stories!! People racking up thousands over night.. because they just won't impliment a limit on spend.. Like shit that shit down the moment you hit your cap... end of! But Amazon, Google(including Firebase).. don't include the ability to cap expenses... rather.. the supply alerts systems instead.. it's a joke..
Burnt by this one! Then I learnt to set up Billing alarm ;)
*All* accounts on any system like that should have not only hard spending limits that are set low BY DEFAULT, but the possibility of a prepaid balance that can't possibly be overspent. That's basic functionality.
Yet another reason to stay the hell away from The Cloud(TM).