Azure Cosmos DB free tier makes it easy to get started, develop, test your applications, or even run small production workloads for free. When free tier is enabled on an account, you’ll get the first 1000 RU/s and 25 GB of storage in the account for free. The throughput and storage consumed beyond these limits are billed at regular price. Free tier is available for all API accounts with provisioned throughput, autoscale throughput, single, or multiple write regions.

Free tier lasts indefinitely for the lifetime of the account and it comes with all the benefits and features of a regular Azure Cosmos DB account. These benefits include unlimited storage and throughput (RU/s), SLAs, high availability, turnkey global distribution in all Azure regions, and more.

You can have up to one free tier Azure Cosmos DB account per an Azure subscription and you must opt-in when creating the account. If you do not see the option to apply the free tier discount, this means another account in the subscription has already been enabled with free tier. If you create an account with free tier and then delete it, you can apply free tier for a new account. When creating a new account, it’s recommended to enable the free tier discount if it’s available.

Free tier with shared throughput database

In shared throughput model, when you provision throughput on a database, the throughput is shared across all the containers in the database. When using the free tier, you can provision a shared database with up to 1000 RU/s for free. All containers in the database will share the throughput.

Just like the regular account, in the free tier account, a shared throughput database can have a max of 25 containers. Any additional databases with shared throughput or containers with dedicated throughput beyond 1000 RU/s are billed at the regular pricing. In a free tier account, you can create a max of 5 shared throughput databases.

Free tier with Azure discount

The Azure Cosmos DB free tier is compatible with the Azure free account. To opt-in, create an Azure Cosmos DB free tier account in your Azure free account subscription. For the first 12 months, you will get a combined discount of 1400 RU/s (1000 RU/s from Azure Cosmos DB free tier and 400 RU/s from Azure free account) and 50 GB of storage (25 GB from Azure Cosmos DB free tier and 25 GB from Azure free account). After the 12 months expires, you will continue to get 1000 RU/s and 25 GB from the Azure Cosmos DB free tier, for the lifetime of the Azure Cosmos DB account. For an example of how the charges are stacked, see Billing examples with free tier accounts.

Best practices to keep your account free

When using Azure Cosmos DB free tier, to keep your account completely free of charge, your account should not have any additional RU/s or storage consumption other than the one offered by the free tier.

For example, the following are some options that don’t result in any monthly charge:

  • One database with a max of 1000 RU/s provisioned throughput.
  • Two containers one with a max of 400 RU/s and other with a max of 600 RU/s provisioned throughput.
  • Account with 2 regions with a single region that has one container with a max of 500 RU/s provisioned throughput.


Last modified: August 5, 2021



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