If you’re responsible for the development and deployment of web applications within your AWS environment for your organization, then it’s likely you’ve heard of AWS Elastic Beanstalk. If you are new to this service, or simply need to know a bit more about the service and the benefits that it can bring, then read on!
In this article, we’ll cover the basics about deployment orchestration. To dive deeper and understand how to use AWS Elastic Beanstalk to deploy and scale your applications and services with ease, take a look at my new course, Deployment Orchestration with AWS Elastic Beanstalk.
What is AWS Elastic Beanstalk?
AWS Elastic Beanstalk is an Amazon Web Services (AWS) managed service that allows you to upload code of your web application along with environment configurations. This allows Elastic Beanstalk to automatically provision and deploy the appropriate and necessary resources required within AWS to make your new web application operational. These resources can include other AWS services and features, such as EC2, Auto Scaling, application health-monitoring, and Elastic Load Balancing in addition to capacity provisioning.
The automaton and simplification makes it an ideal service for engineers who may not have the familiarity or the necessary skills within AWS to deploy, provision, monitor and scale the correct environment themselves to run the developed applications. Instead, this responsibility is passed on to AWS Elastic Beanstalk to deploy the correct infrastructure to run the uploaded code. This provides a simple, effective, and quick solution to deploying your web application.
Once the application is up and running, you can continue to support and maintain the environment as you would with a custom built environment. You can additionally perform some of the maintenance tasks from the Elastic Beanstalk dashboard itself.
AWS Elastic Beanstalk is able to operate with a variety of platforms and programming languages, making it a very flexible service for your DevOps teams. Elastic Beanstalk is compatible with the following:
- Packer Builder
- Single Container Docker
- Multicontainer Docker
- Preconfigured Docker
- Java SE
- Java with Tomcat
- .NET on Windows Server with IIS
One important point to note is that the service itself is free to use. There is no cost associated with Elastic Beanstalk, however, any resources that are created on your application’s behalf, such as EC2 instances, you will be charged for as per the standard pricing policies at the time of deployment.
What are the core components of AWS Elastic Beanstalk?
You should now know at a high level what AWS Elastic Beanstalk is and what it does. Now, let me explain some of its core components that creates this service.
Application Version: An application version is a very specific reference to a section of deployable code. The application version will point typically to simple storage service (S3) where the deployable code may reside.
Environment: An environment refers to an application version that has been deployed on AWS resources. These resources are configured and provisioned by AWS Elastic Beanstalk. At this stage the application is deployed as a solution and becomes operational within your environment. The “environment” is comprised of ALL the resources created by Elastic Beanstalk and not just an EC2 instance with your uploaded code.
Environment Configurations: An environment configuration is a collection of parameters and settings that dictate how an environment will have its resources provisioned by Elastic Beanstalk and how these resources will behave.
Environment Tier: This component reflects on how Elastic Beanstalk provisions resources based on what the application is designed to do. If the application manages and handles HTTP requests, then the app will be run in a web server environment. If the application does not process HTTP requests, and instead pulls data from an SQS queue, then it would run in a worker environment. I cover more on these differences between the web server and worker environments in the Deployment Orchestration with AWS Elastic Beanstalk course.
Configuration Template: This is the template that provides the baseline for creating a new, unique, environment configuration.
Platform: A platform is a culmination of components in which you can build your application upon using Elastic Beanstalk. These are comprised of the OS of the instance, the programming language, the server type (web or application), and components of Elastic Beanstalk.
Applications: Within Elastic Beanstalk, an application is a collection of different elements, such as environments, environment configurations, and application versions. In fact, you can have multiple application versions held within an application.
Check out my Deployment Orchestration with AWS Elastic Beanstalk course to learn more about AWS Elastic Beanstalk, including:
- Environment tiers to understand the difference between web and worker environment tiers and the typical infrastructure used within each.
- Deployment options to gain insight into the four different deployment options that are available to help you update your applications.
- How to configure Elastic Beanstalk.
- Monitoring and health checks to understand the different methods that AWS Elastic Beanstalk uses to monitor your environment.