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AWS Elastic Beanstalk vs Docker: What are the differences?

Introduction:

In this article, we will discuss the key differences between AWS Elastic Beanstalk and Docker. Both AWS Elastic Beanstalk and Docker are popular tools used in the deployment and management of applications, but they have distinct features and use cases.

  1. Scalability and Management: AWS Elastic Beanstalk is a fully managed service that abstracts the underlying infrastructure, making it easier to deploy, scale, and manage applications. It automatically handles tasks such as capacity provisioning, load balancing, and scaling based on defined policies. On the other hand, Docker is a containerization platform that allows applications to run in isolated containers. Docker provides more fine-grained control over the infrastructure, allowing developers to manage scaling and orchestration using tools like Docker Swarm or Kubernetes.

  2. Portability and Dependency Management: Docker provides a standardized format for packaging applications and their dependencies into containers. This ensures that applications run consistently across different environments, making it easier to deploy and move them between different hosts or cloud platforms. AWS Elastic Beanstalk, although it supports Docker containers, is primarily focused on deploying and managing applications within the AWS ecosystem. This means it may have some limitations when it comes to portability and dependency management outside of AWS.

  3. Flexibility and Customization: Docker allows developers to create customized container images that contain the exact configuration and dependencies required by their applications. This level of customization provides more flexibility in choosing specific versions of software libraries or frameworks. In contrast, AWS Elastic Beanstalk provides a more standardized approach to deploying applications, with predefined platforms and configurations. While it offers some degree of customization, it may not be as flexible as Docker in terms of application configuration.

  4. Environment and Infrastructure Control: With Docker, developers have complete control over the environment and infrastructure that their applications run on. They can choose the operating system, networking settings, and resource allocation for each container. In contrast, AWS Elastic Beanstalk abstracts much of the infrastructure control, providing a simplified interface for deploying applications. This can be beneficial for developers who don't want to deal with the complexities of infrastructure management, but it may limit the level of control for applications that require specific configurations.

  5. Auto-scaling and Load Balancing: AWS Elastic Beanstalk includes built-in features for auto-scaling and load balancing. It can automatically scale the application based on predefined metrics and distribute traffic across multiple instances. Docker, on the other hand, requires the use of additional tools like Docker Swarm or Kubernetes to achieve auto-scaling and load balancing functionality. While Docker provides more flexibility in choosing the scaling approach, it also requires additional configuration and management.

  6. Monitoring and Logging: AWS Elastic Beanstalk provides integrated monitoring and logging features, allowing developers to easily track the performance and health of their applications. It collects and presents metrics such as CPU utilization, memory usage, and response times. Docker, being a containerization platform, does not provide built-in monitoring and logging capabilities. Developers need to use external tools like Prometheus or ELK stack to monitor and collect logs from Docker containers.

In Summary, AWS Elastic Beanstalk simplifies the deployment and management of applications within the AWS ecosystem, with built-in scalability and monitoring. Docker, on the other hand, provides more flexibility and portability, allowing developers to package and run applications consistently across different environments. The choice between AWS Elastic Beanstalk and Docker depends on the specific requirements of the application and the level of control and customization desired by the developer.

Decisions about AWS Elastic Beanstalk and Docker
Florian Sager
IT DevOp at Agitos GmbH · | 3 upvotes · 399.3K views
Chose
LXDLXD
over
DockerDocker

lxd/lxc and Docker aren't congruent so this comparison needs a more detailed look; but in short I can say: the lxd-integrated administration of storage including zfs with its snapshot capabilities as well as the system container (multi-process) approach of lxc vs. the limited single-process container approach of Docker is the main reason I chose lxd over Docker.

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Pros of AWS Elastic Beanstalk
Pros of Docker
  • 77
    Integrates with other aws services
  • 65
    Simple deployment
  • 44
    Fast
  • 28
    Painless
  • 16
    Free
  • 4
    Well-documented
  • 3
    Independend app container
  • 2
    Postgres hosting
  • 2
    Ability to be customized
  • 823
    Rapid integration and build up
  • 691
    Isolation
  • 521
    Open source
  • 505
    Testa­bil­i­ty and re­pro­ducibil­i­ty
  • 460
    Lightweight
  • 218
    Standardization
  • 185
    Scalable
  • 106
    Upgrading / down­grad­ing / ap­pli­ca­tion versions
  • 88
    Security
  • 85
    Private paas environments
  • 34
    Portability
  • 26
    Limit resource usage
  • 17
    Game changer
  • 16
    I love the way docker has changed virtualization
  • 14
    Fast
  • 12
    Concurrency
  • 8
    Docker's Compose tools
  • 6
    Easy setup
  • 6
    Fast and Portable
  • 5
    Because its fun
  • 4
    Makes shipping to production very simple
  • 3
    Highly useful
  • 3
    It's dope
  • 2
    Very easy to setup integrate and build
  • 2
    HIgh Throughput
  • 2
    Package the environment with the application
  • 2
    Does a nice job hogging memory
  • 2
    Open source and highly configurable
  • 2
    Simplicity, isolation, resource effective
  • 2
    MacOS support FAKE
  • 2
    Its cool
  • 2
    Docker hub for the FTW
  • 2
    Super
  • 0
    Asdfd

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Cons of AWS Elastic Beanstalk
Cons of Docker
  • 2
    Charges appear automatically after exceeding free quota
  • 1
    Lots of moving parts and config
  • 0
    Slow deployments
  • 8
    New versions == broken features
  • 6
    Unreliable networking
  • 6
    Documentation not always in sync
  • 4
    Moves quickly
  • 3
    Not Secure

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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 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

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What are some alternatives to AWS Elastic Beanstalk and Docker?
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.
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.
Heroku
Heroku is a cloud application platform – a new way of building and deploying web apps. Heroku lets app developers spend 100% of their time on their application code, not managing servers, deployment, ongoing operations, or scaling.
See all alternatives