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For free, you'll be getting one micro instance, 5GB of Cloud storage. There are 15 total Google services which you'll be able to run without paying anything. This VPS is made for people who want to build. It's not the place if you wish to make a WordPress blog. But it's ideal for those who want to use Google's vast resources to make something brilliant.
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So that could be either a virtual machine - an operating system running inside another operating system, or a virtual private server - you rent a virtual server from a company, so you have your own internet-facing server running 24/7 relatively cheap (since it's not a real server, but one of many virtual server running on an actual server). I think he might have meant the later, since you'd have to run a snartnofe (btw I love that name) non stop to benefit from it.
Partitioning a single server to appear as multiple servers has been increasingly common on microcomputers since the launch of VMware ESX Server in 2001. The physical server typically runs a hypervisor which is tasked with creating, releasing, and managing the resources of "guest" operating systems, or virtual machines. These guest operating systems are allocated a share of resources of the physical server, typically in a manner in which the guest is not aware of any other physical resources save for those allocated to it by the hypervisor. As a VPS runs its own copy of its operating system, customers have superuser-level access to that operating system instance, and can install almost any software that runs on the OS; however, due to the number of virtualization clients typically running on a single machine, a VPS generally has limited processor time, RAM, and disk space.