Cloud server hosting is typically only offered free of charge during an initial introductory trial, prompting payment for services after a pre-defined period. Google Cloud Platform, for example, offers a free 60-day no-obligation trial period as of October 2015.
Rates for cloud server hosting services vary by company but generally entail several measurable factors such as the number of central processing units, amount of random access memory, storage capacity and bandwidth of the server being used. The CPU capacity is measured by how many processors are tasked to a specific server task, while the RAM is gauged in megabytes or gigabytes. Storage capacity is, as of October 2015, typically measured in gigabytes, while bandwidth is measured per terabyte of data transfer.
Digital Ocean, for example, offers rates between $5 and $80 per month for cloud server hosting. The cheap end of this range offers a single server CPU, 512 megabytes of memory, a 20 gigabyte solid-state drive and 1 terabyte of bandwidth, while the most expensive option offers 8 gigabytes of memory, four processors, 80 gigabytes of storage and 5 terabytes of data bandwidth. The company also offers a per-hour hosting service ranging from a fraction of a cent to $.11.