Amazon Web Services Introduces 'Elastic Beanstalk' For Easier App Deployment

Amazon Web Services, the cloud computing business of, this morning announced a new offering dubbed AWS Elastic Beanstalk, aimed to simplify the deployment and management of AWS cloud applications developed by third parties.

AWS Elastic Beanstalk is designed to let developers upload their application and then keep their hands off while the system automatically handles the deployment details of capacity provisioning, load balancing, auto-scaling, and health monitoring, although AWS points out that they can still access and fully control the underlying resources at any time.

Best part of the announcement is the price: there is no extra charge – customers pay only for the AWS resources needed to run their applications.

Elastic Beanstalk evidently leverages other AWS services such as Amazon EC2, Amazon S3, Amazon Simple Notification Service, Elastic Load Balancing, and Auto-Scaling. For more information, check out the FAQ and Documentation sections.

The first release of Elastic Beanstalk is built for Java developers using the Apache Tomcat software stack, which AWS says ensures easy portability if developers decide to move their applications at any point in the future.

The company specifies that the system was designed so that it can be extended to support multiple development stacks and programming languages in the future.

AWS says it is actively working with solution providers on the APIs and capabilities needed to create additional Elastic Beanstalk offerings.

John Dillon, CEO of Engine Yard, is quoted in the press release thusly:

“We’re working with AWS to provide an Elastic Beanstalk Ruby on Rails container that leverages the optimized Engine Yard stack which has been battle-tested by thousands of high-growth companies.”

Amazon Web Services acknowledges that there are plenty of app containers or platform-as-a-service solutions available today, but claims they not only reduce the amount of programming required but also significantly “diminish developers’ flexibility and control”.

Developers, speak up.