AWS Elastic Beanstalk vs Gunicorn: 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 Gunicorn? A Python WSGI HTTP Server for UNIX. Gunicorn is a pre-fork worker model ported from Ruby's Unicorn project. The Gunicorn server is broadly compatible with various web frameworks, simply implemented, light on server resources, and fairly speedy.
AWS Elastic Beanstalk can be classified as a tool in the "Platform as a Service" category, while Gunicorn is grouped under "Web Servers".
"Integrates with other aws services" is the primary reason why developers consider AWS Elastic Beanstalk over the competitors, whereas "Python" was stated as the key factor in picking Gunicorn.
Gunicorn is an open source tool with 5.96K GitHub stars and 1.12K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Gunicorn's open source repository on GitHub.
According to the StackShare community, AWS Elastic Beanstalk has a broader approval, being mentioned in 374 company stacks & 118 developers stacks; compared to Gunicorn, which is listed in 184 company stacks and 51 developer stacks.
What is AWS Elastic Beanstalk?
What is Gunicorn?
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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.
Gunicorn is WSGI container that we used to run our Tornado code as it supports Asynchronous operations on tornado.
Elastic Beanstalk manages our environments. We rely on it to manage rolling out new versions of services.
Gunicorn runs as the HTTP application server. Serves the django application in WSGI mode.
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.
All server-side deployments go to one of 5 EB environments.