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AWS Elastic Beanstalk

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AWS Elastic Beanstalk vs AWS Lambda: What are the differences?

Developers describe AWS Elastic Beanstalk as "Quickly deploy and manage applications in the AWS cloud". Once you upload your application, Elastic Beanstalk automatically handles the deployment details of capacity provisioning, load balancing, auto-scaling, and application health monitoring. On the other hand, AWS Lambda is detailed as "Automatically run code in response to modifications to objects in Amazon S3 buckets, messages in Kinesis streams, or updates in DynamoDB". AWS Lambda is a compute service that runs your code in response to events and automatically manages the underlying compute resources for you. You can use AWS Lambda to extend other AWS services with custom logic, or create your own back-end services that operate at AWS scale, performance, and security.

AWS Elastic Beanstalk can be classified as a tool in the "Platform as a Service" category, while AWS Lambda is grouped under "Serverless / Task Processing".

Some of the features offered by AWS Elastic Beanstalk are:

  • Elastic Beanstalk is built using familiar software stacks such as the Apache HTTP Server for Node.js, PHP and Python, Passenger for Ruby, IIS 7.5 for .NET, and Apache Tomcat for Java
  • There is no additional charge for Elastic Beanstalk - you pay only for the AWS resources needed to store and run your applications.
  • Easy to begin – Elastic Beanstalk is a quick and simple way to deploy your application to AWS. You simply use the AWS Management Console, Git deployment, or an integrated development environment (IDE) such as Eclipse or Visual Studio to upload your application

On the other hand, AWS Lambda provides the following key features:

  • Extend other AWS services with custom logic
  • Build custom back-end services
  • Completely Automated Administration

"Integrates with other aws services" is the top reason why over 74 developers like AWS Elastic Beanstalk, while over 121 developers mention "No infrastructure" as the leading cause for choosing AWS Lambda.

According to the StackShare community, AWS Lambda has a broader approval, being mentioned in 1023 company stacks & 614 developers stacks; compared to AWS Elastic Beanstalk, which is listed in 374 company stacks and 119 developer stacks.

Decisions about AWS Elastic Beanstalk and AWS Lambda

When adding a new feature to Checkly rearchitecting some older piece, I tend to pick Heroku for rolling it out. But not always, because sometimes I pick AWS Lambda . The short story:

  • Developer Experience trumps everything.
  • AWS Lambda is cheap. Up to a limit though. This impact not only your wallet.
  • If you need geographic spread, AWS is lonely at the top.
The setup

Recently, I was doing a brainstorm at a startup here in Berlin on the future of their infrastructure. They were ready to move on from their initial, almost 100% Ec2 + Chef based setup. Everything was on the table. But we crossed out a lot quite quickly:

  • Pure, uncut, self hosted Kubernetes — way too much complexity
  • Managed Kubernetes in various flavors — still too much complexity
  • Zeit — Maybe, but no Docker support
  • Elastic Beanstalk — Maybe, bit old but does the job
  • Heroku
  • Lambda

It became clear a mix of PaaS and FaaS was the way to go. What a surprise! That is exactly what I use for Checkly! But when do you pick which model?

I chopped that question up into the following categories:

  • Developer Experience / DX 🤓
  • Ops Experience / OX 🐂 (?)
  • Cost 💵
  • Lock in 🔐

Read the full post linked below for all details

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Pros of AWS Elastic Beanstalk
Pros of AWS Lambda
  • 77
    Integrates with other aws services
  • 65
    Simple deployment
  • 44
    Fast
  • 28
    Painless
  • 16
    Free
  • 3
    Independend app container
  • 3
    Well-documented
  • 2
    Postgres hosting
  • 2
    Ability to be customized
  • 126
    No infrastructure
  • 81
    Cheap
  • 68
    Quick
  • 57
    Stateless
  • 47
    No deploy, no server, great sleep
  • 9
    AWS Lambda went down taking many sites with it
  • 5
    Easy to deploy
  • 5
    Event Driven Governance
  • 5
    Extensive API
  • 4
    Auto scale and cost effective
  • 3
    VPC Support
  • 1
    Integrated with various AWS services

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Cons of AWS Elastic Beanstalk
Cons of AWS Lambda
  • 2
    Charges appear automatically after exceeding free quota
  • 0
    Slow deployments
  • 5
    Cant execute ruby or go
  • 0
    Can't execute PHP w/o significant effort

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What is AWS Elastic Beanstalk?

Once you upload your application, Elastic Beanstalk automatically handles the deployment details of capacity provisioning, load balancing, auto-scaling, and application health monitoring.

What is AWS Lambda?

AWS Lambda is a compute service that runs your code in response to events and automatically manages the underlying compute resources for you. You can use AWS Lambda to extend other AWS services with custom logic, or create your own back-end services that operate at AWS scale, performance, and security.

Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

What companies use AWS Elastic Beanstalk?
What companies use AWS Lambda?
See which teams inside your own company are using AWS Elastic Beanstalk or AWS Lambda.
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What tools integrate with AWS Elastic Beanstalk?
What tools integrate with AWS Lambda?

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What are some alternatives to AWS Elastic Beanstalk and AWS Lambda?
Google App Engine
Google has a reputation for highly reliable, high performance infrastructure. With App Engine you can take advantage of the 10 years of knowledge Google has in running massively scalable, performance driven systems. App Engine applications are easy to build, easy to maintain, and easy to scale as your traffic and data storage needs grow.
AWS CodeDeploy
AWS CodeDeploy is a service that automates code deployments to Amazon EC2 instances. AWS CodeDeploy makes it easier for you to rapidly release new features, helps you avoid downtime during deployment, and handles the complexity of updating your applications.
Docker
The Docker Platform is the industry-leading container platform for continuous, high-velocity innovation, enabling organizations to seamlessly build and share any application — from legacy to what comes next — and securely run them anywhere
AWS CloudFormation
You can use AWS CloudFormation’s sample templates or create your own templates to describe the AWS resources, and any associated dependencies or runtime parameters, required to run your application. You don’t need to figure out the order in which AWS services need to be provisioned or the subtleties of how to make those dependencies work.
Azure App Service
Quickly build, deploy, and scale web apps created with popular frameworks .NET, .NET Core, Node.js, Java, PHP, Ruby, or Python, in containers or running on any operating system. Meet rigorous, enterprise-grade performance, security, and compliance requirements by using the fully managed platform for your operational and monitoring tasks.
See all alternatives