AWS Elastic Beanstalk vs dotCloud: What are the differences?
What is AWS Elastic Beanstalk? 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.
What is dotCloud? Deploy, manage and scale any web app. Build your ideal application stack by combining powerful cloud services. Experiment for free, then go live and only pay for what you need. dotCloud enables developers and IT organizations to deploy, manage and scale their applications with unprecedented ease and flexibility by assembling and customizing powerful pre-configured stacks and services.
AWS Elastic Beanstalk and dotCloud can be categorized as "Platform as a Service" tools.
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, dotCloud provides the following key features:
- Develop faster- Don’t waste time with servers. Just select the services you need, combine them in a stack, and get back to writing code. It’s like playing lego!
- Don't worry about ops- We keep your app running 24/7 with built-in load-balancing, monitoring and failover. Scale in seconds to handle surges in traffic - and only pay for what you need.
- Not just for throw-away apps- Create maintainable, future-proof applications with a service-oriented architecture. Build custom services and network topologies. Need custom support, pricing or SLAs? We do that too.
What is AWS Elastic Beanstalk?
What is dotCloud?
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When creating the web infrastructure for our start-up, I wanted to host our app on a PaaS to get started quickly.
A very popular one for Rails is Heroku, which I love for free hobby side projects, but never used professionally. On the other hand, I was very familiar with the AWS ecosystem, and since I was going to use some of its services anyways, I thought: why not go all in on it?
It turns out that Amazon offers a PaaS called AWS Elastic Beanstalk, which is basically like an “AWS Heroku”. It even comes with a similar command-line utility, called "eb”. While edge-case Rails problems are not as well documented as with Heroku, it was very satisfying to manage all our cloud services under the same AWS account. There are auto-scaling options for web and worker instances, which is a nice touch. Overall, it was reliable, and I would recommend it to anyone planning on heavily using AWS.
We initially started out with Heroku as our PaaS provider due to a desire to use it by our original developer for our Ruby on Rails application/website at the time. We were finding response times slow, it was painfully slow, sometimes taking 10 seconds to start loading the main page. Moving up to the next "compute" level was going to be very expensive.
We moved our site over to AWS Elastic Beanstalk , not only did response times on the site practically become instant, our cloud bill for the application was cut in half.
In database world we are currently using Amazon RDS for PostgreSQL also, we have both MariaDB and Microsoft SQL Server both hosted on Amazon RDS. The plan is to migrate to AWS Aurora Serverless for all 3 of those database systems.
Additional services we use for our public applications: AWS Lambda, Python, Redis, Memcached, AWS Elastic Load Balancing (ELB), Amazon Elasticsearch Service, Amazon ElastiCache
I use Gunicorn because does one thing - it’s a WSGI HTTP server - and it does it well. Deploy it quickly and easily, and let the rest of your stack do what the rest of your stack does well, wherever that may be.
uWSGI “aims at developing a full stack for building hosting services” - if that’s a thing you need then ok, but I like the principle of doing one thing well, and I deploy to platforms like Heroku and AWS Elastic Beanstalk where the rest of the “hosting service” is provided and managed for me.
Elastic Beanstalk gives us a managed platform for our front end servers to make sure that traffic is never overloading our servers and that deployments are always successful.
Elastic Beanstalk manages our environments. We rely on it to manage rolling out new versions of services.
Easy to get started. Essentially a package of several AWS products integrated for you.
For convenience I use Elastic Beanstalk to host all my sites.