The Terra Free Credits Program is an opportunity for you to use GATK on Terra (formerly FireCloud), the Broad's cloud-based analysis portal. This will allow you to try out the GATK4 Best Practices pipelines at no cost, as well as learn to use various GATK tools through online tutorials. All the main GATK pipelines have been preconfigured into Terra workspaces according to our Best Practices, so it'll be just a matter of a few clicks to run any pipeline you like on the preloaded example datasets -- or, with a few more (simple) steps, to run them on your own data.
This credits program is funded by our partners at Google Cloud. We at the Broad Institute are not getting any share of any revenue that may be generated by GCP as a result of this program. By that we mean that if you continue using Google Cloud for your work on your own dime after you have exhausted your credits, we will not get a cut of the money you pay to Google.
For us (the GATK team), the Terra portal and cloud-based platforms in general present an unparalleled opportunity to make our tools available in a format that is much easier to support, since it removes a lot of the complexity involved with dealing with lots of different local infrastructures. The more people use this kind of platform to run our pipelines, the easier it becomes for us to help ensure that the pipelines are running smoothly and correctly for everyone. We are very aware that to many of you, moving your work to the cloud is a big logistical and cultural shift, so we hope that this program will grease the wheels and make it easier for you to try the cloud (and GATK4 itself) on for size. If you find it doesn't suit you, you'll still be able to go back to the traditional method of downloading the software and deploying it on your own infrastructure.
There is no obligation to continue using Terra after your free credits expire, and you will be presented with options to save any work you got done during that time.
For sign-up information and FAQs, please see the Terra Free Credits Program documentation in the Terra knowledge base.
You can read more about how and why you can get started with GATK in Terra in this series of blog posts: