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AWS Elastic Beanstalk

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AWS Elastic Beanstalk vs Terraform: What are the differences?

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; Terraform: Describe your complete infrastructure as code and build resources across providers. With Terraform, you describe your complete infrastructure as code, even as it spans multiple service providers. Your servers may come from AWS, your DNS may come from CloudFlare, and your database may come from Heroku. Terraform will build all these resources across all these providers in parallel.

AWS Elastic Beanstalk can be classified as a tool in the "Platform as a Service" category, while Terraform is grouped under "Infrastructure Build 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, Terraform provides the following key features:

  • Infrastructure as Code: Infrastructure is described using a high-level configuration syntax. This allows a blueprint of your datacenter to be versioned and treated as you would any other code. Additionally, infrastructure can be shared and re-used.
  • Execution Plans: Terraform has a "planning" step where it generates an execution plan. The execution plan shows what Terraform will do when you call apply. This lets you avoid any surprises when Terraform manipulates infrastructure.
  • Resource Graph: Terraform builds a graph of all your resources, and parallelizes the creation and modification of any non-dependent resources. Because of this, Terraform builds infrastructure as efficiently as possible, and operators get insight into dependencies in their infrastructure.

"Integrates with other aws services" is the top reason why over 76 developers like AWS Elastic Beanstalk, while over 101 developers mention "Infrastructure as code" as the leading cause for choosing Terraform.

Terraform is an open source tool with 26.4K GitHub stars and 6.54K GitHub forks. Here's a link to Terraform's open source repository on GitHub.

According to the StackShare community, Terraform has a broader approval, being mentioned in 1372 company stacks & 7411 developers stacks; compared to AWS Elastic Beanstalk, which is listed in 589 company stacks and 1263 developer stacks.

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Pros of AWS Elastic Beanstalk
Pros of Terraform
  • 77
    Integrates with other aws services
  • 65
    Simple deployment
  • 44
    Fast
  • 28
    Painless
  • 16
    Free
  • 3
    Independend app container
  • 3
    Well-documented
  • 2
    Ability to be customized
  • 2
    Postgres hosting
  • 108
    Infrastructure as code
  • 72
    Declarative syntax
  • 44
    Planning
  • 27
    Simple
  • 24
    Parallelism
  • 7
    Cloud agnostic
  • 6
    It's like coding your infrastructure in simple English
  • 5
    Well-documented
  • 4
    Automates infrastructure deployments
  • 4
    Immutable infrastructure
  • 4
    Platform agnostic
  • 3
    Portability
  • 3
    Extendable
  • 3
    Automation
  • 2
    Scales to hundreds of hosts
  • 2
    Lightweight

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Cons of AWS Elastic Beanstalk
Cons of Terraform
  • 2
    Charges appear automatically after exceeding free quota
  • 1
    Lots of moving parts and config
  • 0
    Slow deployments
  • 1
    Doesn't have full support to GKE

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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 Terraform?

With Terraform, you describe your complete infrastructure as code, even as it spans multiple service providers. Your servers may come from AWS, your DNS may come from CloudFlare, and your database may come from Heroku. Terraform will build all these resources across all these providers in parallel.

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

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What are some alternatives to AWS Elastic Beanstalk and Terraform?
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