Amazon Elastic Beanstalk: Get Started Guide - InformationWeek
Cloud // Platform as a Service
10:38 AM

Amazon Elastic Beanstalk: Get Started Guide

Interested in using the cloud-based, all-in-one, rapid deployment environment that lives on top of the Amazon Web Services infrastructure? Check out this step-by-step advice.

In a previous article, I offered tips on Getting Started With The Cloud: Amazon Web Services, an infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) offering that provides total control over all aspects of an architecture, from its hardware resources to its OS flavor and version, and ultimately to any and all software required (think databases, application servers, etc.). This low level of control is what many software development and operations teams require and even desire. However, this level of control often equates to complexity and a resultant slowdown of a development-deploy cycle.

It's not surprising then to see competitors attacking Amazon's cloud market share with higher-level offerings, known as platforms as a service (PaaS), which abstract a lot of the intricacies of a system architecture--ranging from hardware configurations all the way down to what software is provided or not provided. In essence, PaaS offerings are a lot like a sandbox (that is, you are free to play within their bounds, but if you want to go outside of them, you're out of luck). Thus, they facilitate rapid development and deployment because development teams don't need to deal with a lot of system details--it's all just there. Examples of such successful PaaS offerings include Google App Engine (GAE) and Heroku.

A PaaS like GAE makes rapid deployment a breeze, provided you play within Google's sandbox. All aspects of memory allocation, space allocation, and even mundane things like load balancing are handled for you by Google's team of engineers. GAE (which has been extensively covered this year on Dr. Dobb's in Allen Holub's series of GAE how-to articles) scales without manual intervention. That is distinctly different from leveraging a raw EC2 environment, where scaling, among other things, is handled by you. Not surprisingly, many development teams have opted to go with PaaS offerings--even if they do in some ways restrict aspects of the development cycle. In essence, development teams are willing to live with restrictions if they provide a benefit. In the case of GAE, it does--rapid deployment.

Nevertheless, Amazon does offer a PaaS that abstracts away a lot of the low-level system details, but also provides you with a high degree of control that isn't apparent in competing PaaS offerings. Thus, with AWS, you have the opportunity to have your cake and eat it too!

Introducing Elastic Beanstalk

Amazon's Elastic Beanstalk is a cloud-based all-in-one rapid deployment environment that lives on top of the Amazon Web Services infrastructure. Elastic Beanstalk packages up EC2, S3 (Amazon's cloud-based storage service), RDS, SimpleDB, and a host of other Amazon offerings into one easy to configure and use product. Thus, you don't need to make a lot of choices or have sysadmin skills to put a viable Web application that's capable of mass scalability on the AWS platform into production.

Read the rest of this article on Dr. Dobb's.

Meet top cloud computing technology companies in Cloud Connect's ever-growing Expo Hall, and learn about the latest cloud services, applications and platforms. It happens in Santa Clara, Calif., Feb. 13-16. Sign up now.

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Annual IT Salary Report 
Base pay for IT professionals has remained flat this year with a median annual salary of $88,000 for staff and $112,000 for management. However, 58% of staff and 62% of managers who responded to our survey say they're satisfied with their compensation. Download this report to find out which positions earn the highest compensation.
Twitter Feed
InformationWeek Radio
Archived InformationWeek Radio
Join us for a roundup of the top stories on for the week of November 6, 2016. We'll be talking with the editors and correspondents who brought you the top stories of the week to get the "story behind the story."
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll