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Try a free sandbox space

Try a free sandbox space

Anyone with a U.S. federal government email address (.gov, .mil, or .fed.us) can evaluate cloud.gov for free using a sandbox space.

A sandbox is a free, limited way to try cloud.gov and see if it might suit your team’s needs. The sandbox gives you a sense of how cloud.gov would work for the applications your team builds. From the setup process through deploying an app, it works similarly to using a paid access package, with some limitations.

Get a sandbox

Anyone with a U.S. federal government email address can sign up for a free sandbox space. No paperwork is required from us. (It’s up to you to determine whether you may need permission from your organization.) If you have other questions or comments, see Contact.

Then, if you’re interested in purchasing full access (whether for Prototyping or for production systems at the Open Data, FISMA Low, or FISMA Moderate levels), fill out this interest form or email us again.

To keep in mind before you try your sandbox

  • If your agency has not already integrated its single-sign on authentication provider with cloud.gov (only GSA, EPA, and FDIC have done this so far), you will access your sandbox through a cloud.gov account in the GovCloud environment. This account requires multi-factor authentication using a mobile app such as Google Authenticator or Authy. If you cannot install or use these apps, such as if your workplace prohibits mobile phones or mobile phone cameras, you might not be able to set up access. (Paid access packages support integration with your agency single sign-on authentication provider.)
  • If your organization prohibits installing the cloud.gov command line interface on your computer, you won’t be able to deploy applications in your sandbox. (For paid access packages, we can coordinate with your agency to help them approve this tool.)

A few things you can try in your sandbox

On a technical level, a sandbox is a specially-limited “space” within a sandbox-only “organization” that is managed by cloud.gov.

You can:

Sandbox limitations

Sandboxes are limited because cloud.gov is a cost-recoverable service. They’re a free trial to help you evaluate whether to purchase cloud.gov.

Limitations include:

  • Resource usage is capped at 1 GB of memory total, for all the applications in your space combined.
  • Currently sandbox applications may run indefinitely, but soon we will delete sandbox content once a month. We will send notice emails to all sandbox users before we implement this.
  • Sandboxes can only use free managed services.
  • Sandboxes do not have an “org manager” role available. (You can control access and permissions for your own sandbox space.) If you want to manage an org of prototyping spaces for people at your agency, consider purchasing prototyping-tier access.
  • You can’t set up custom domains for your applications. By default, your applications receive a *.app.cloud.gov domain.

Don’t put production applications or production data in sandboxes; that’s not what they’re for.