Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Elastic Beanstalk : Amazon’s revolutionary approach to Cloud configuration management

Amazon recently announced an addition to their service portfolio  - Cloud Beanstalk. This service is as if it is magically simple to deploy application to the cloud. This simplicity is revolutionary approach from Amazon.

Usage scenario:
Cloud among other things promises scale up/scale down of hardware and software infrastructure. This means that cloud providers like Amazon (who are trend setters in the IaaS space) can appear as infinite source of hardware and software for cloud hosting service users.  However, all this infrastructure management can appear daunting to users who wants to deploy a typical JEE web application.
This is because of the fact that IaaS stack includes management of load balancers, security, firewall configuration and auto scale configurations. Beanstalk turns all this into bliss by simplifying the whole deployment and configuration management on Amazon Web Services.

Here’s what happens:
The application developer converts the web application into a WAR file and then selects the Amazon Beanstalk AMI. Then uploads the web application onto the instance. The entire groundwork of configuring load balancer, EC2 instance and Autoscaling configuration is managed by Amazon Beanstalk service in an integrated fashion. After uploading the application, it will be available in 5 minutes and can be accessed at

What this means for you:
You can use the AWS toolkit which can be downloaded from the Amazon Web site. This tool provides IDE features to develop the JEE application on Tomcat server. The Amazon beanstalk AMI consists of Apache Web server, Linux OS, Tomcat Server. Amazon has plans to introduce IBM and Oracle stack at a future date. For now, you can design, develop and implement your web application inside a comfortable IDE like Eclipse which works directly with Amazon Beanstalk and can deploy on / configure cloud infrastructure.
This means that you can focus on your core responsibility of design, development and testing of your JEE web application deliveries.
What to watch out for:
You can watch out for SOA integrated AMIs providing  Amazon Beanstalk service for popular stacks from IBM and Oracle. This will mean that application developers can focus on working and building their application and can leave the complicated IaaS configuration tasks to Amazon Beanstalk service.

For more information and further reading:


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