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What is AWS Elastic Beanstalk? The Complete Guide for 2024

AWS Elastic Beanstalk is becoming a go-to service for deploying and scaling applications. This blog will give you an in depth understanding of Amazon's Elastic Beanstalk.

In this AWS Elastic Beanstalk tutorial, we will learn what is Elastic Beanstalk in AWS, its benefits, and more. Further, we will also learn how to create an Amazon Elastic Beanstalk Environment.

Following is the list of all the topics which are discussed in this AWS Elastic Beanstalk tutorial:

Watch this Amazon Elastic Beanstalk tutorial video

What is Elastic Beanstalk in AWS?

AWS Elastic Beanstalk is a compute service that makes it easier for the developers to quickly deploy and manage applications that you upload to the AWS cloud. Developers simply upload their application to the AWS cloud, and then let the AWS Beanstalk provision and handle the configuration for you. Your application will be provided with Capacity Provisioning, Load Balancing, AWS Auto-Scaling, and Health monitoring.

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How does Elastic Beanstalk in AWS work?

beanstalk demo

Before using Amazon’s elastic beanstalk service, you have to create a local application of any platform. It can be Python, PHP, Node.js, etc. After that, you have to create an application in Elastic Beanstalk with an environment where you can upload your local application. Then you deploy it and use the URL provided for it to launch it.

There are no costs applied for Elastic Beanstalk in AWS separately, you only pay for the only resources you use to run your application like for storage you use Amazon S3. Also, the cost is not fixed, it can vary with the number of EC2 instances, size of the S3 bucket, and the configuration of the database instances.

beanstalk demo

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AWS Elastic Beanstalk Components

Let us now look at some key concepts of the elastic beanstalk environment.

Application

In Amazon Elastic Beanstalk, you upload your application as a zip file with all the contents in it. An Elastic Beanstalk application is logically considered equivalent to a file containing the source code. The file is the application in the Elastic Beanstalk environment.

Application Version

Application Version refers to the web application which you have uploaded and will upload its next upgraded version. For example, you upload your application to AWS Beanstalk at first and then you have updated the source code of your application. Instead of overwriting your previous version of the application, you can give it a new version name which you could use to compare them both.

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Environment

The collection of AWS resources is an environment and an environment can only run one application version at a time. You may run multiple applications in multiple environments at the same time.

Whenever an environment is created, Amazon Elastic Beanstalk automatically provisions required EC2 instances and S3 buckets.

Environment Tier

You can also mention the tier of your environment. Basically, there are two environment tiers available and they are Web Server Environment and Worker Environment.

An application using PHP or requires HTTP requests runs in a Web Server Environment.

An application using Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS) runs in a Worker Environment.

Environment Configuration

The configuration of an environment is a set of parameters like security group, Instance type, and platform version. If you change the configuration, Amazon Elastic Beanstalk implements it dynamically. It either applies the new changes or deletes and deploys new resources.

Saved Configuration

You can create a template that contains the basic functionalities and use it as a starting point for your environment configurations. You can also modify the configurations whenever you need them and use them while creating a new environment.

Platform

A platform is a combination of all the AWS Beanstalk components, an Operating system, a programming language runtime, and a webserver to run the applications. You can choose your platform while creating your application or environment. You don’t need to update it or include software patches, AWS takes care of that. Just try to make your application as good as possible.

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Now that we have a clear understanding of AWS Elastic Beanstalk and its components let’s move on and get to the hands-on part.

Hands-on: Creating an Elastic Beanstalk Application

Step 1: Logon to the AWS management console

Step 2: Click on the Elastic Beanstalk service under the services dropdown

beanstalk demo

Step 3: Click on Get Started on the opening page and then create a Web Application by providing the required details.

beanstalk demo
beanstalk demo

Step 4: Now, you have created an Elastic Beanstalk environment and a sample application. Also, the configuration of your application will be provided in the right end.

Beanstalk demo
beanstalk demo

Step 5: Use the URL provided at the top of the page and run it.

Beanstalk demo

Now we have created a running sample PHP application using Elastic Beanstalk! You can now create applications on whatever platform you want and upload them to Elastic Beanstalk.

Hope this Elastic Beanstalk tutorial has helped you learn the concepts of AWS Elastic Beanstalk. If you would like to dive deeper into AWS then do check out our AWS Certified Solutions Architect Program. Keep visiting for more tutorials on AWS Services.

Elastic Beanstalk Features

Elastic Beanstalk is a handy tool AWS provides for deploying and managing applications in the AWS cloud. It handles a lot of the operational heavy lifting for you automatically, like capacity provisioning, load balancing, auto-scaling, and application health monitoring. Some key features include:

  • Automatic Scaling: Elastic Beanstalk can automatically increase or decrease the number of EC2 instances your application runs on based on demand or metrics. This ensures your application always has enough resources without you having to manage it.
  • Easy Deployment: Deploying new application versions or configuration changes is as simple as uploading your code or a configuration file. Elastic Beanstalk takes care of the rest like deploying to EC2 instances.
  • Load Balancing: Behind the scenes, Elastic Beanstalk sets up an Application Load Balancer or Classic Load Balancer to distribute traffic across your instances. This improves application availability and performance.
  • Auto Healing: The platform regularly checks the health of your application and the components it depends on. If any issues are detected, problematic instances are terminated and replaced automatically.
  • Monitoring: You can easily monitor requests, errors, latency, and other metrics for your application directly from the Elastic Beanstalk management console or via CloudWatch.

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AWS Elastic Beanstalk Architecture

The AWS Elastic Beanstalk architecture automatically handles the deployment and management of applications in the AWS cloud. When an environment is launched, Elastic Beanstalk provisions the necessary infrastructure including an EC2 instance to run the application code, an Application Load Balancer, Auto Scaling policies, and any required add-on services like RDS databases. The load balancer distributes traffic evenly across the EC2 instances while Auto Scaling ensures the optimal number of instances are running based on demand or performance metrics. 

Elastic Beanstalk also integrates with other AWS services transparently to provide the full stack required to run the application. For example, application code and configuration files are stored in S3 while logs and data can be placed in S3, EBS volumes, or RDS databases. This allows Elastic Beanstalk to abstract away the complexity of managing underlying AWS resources so developers can focus solely on coding and deploying applications.

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Supported Elastic Beanstalk Platforms

AWS Elastic Beanstalk supports different platforms that you can choose to run various types of applications. The platforms handle setting up and configuring the necessary runtime environments automatically.

Some common platforms supported include:

  • Java: For Java developers, Elastic Beanstalk provides a seamless environment to deploy applications built on Java technologies. Whether it’s servlet containers like Apache Tomcat or application servers like GlassFish, Elastic Beanstalk has you covered, simplifying the deployment process for Java-based applications.
  • Python: Developers using Python may utilize the flexibility of Elastic Beanstalk to deploy their applications. With support for various Python frameworks like Django and Flask, Elastic Beanstalk ensures a smooth deployment experience for Python-based projects.
  • Node.js: Node.js applications find a reliable deployment partner in Elastic Beanstalk. It supports Node.js developers to deploy scalable and resilient applications built on this popular JavaScript runtime environment effortlessly.
  • Ruby: Elastic Beanstalk extends support for Ruby developers, enabling them to deploy web applications written in Ruby on Rails or other Ruby-based frameworks with ease.
  • PHP: Developers working with PHP can benefit from Elastic Beanstalk’s support, simplifying the deployment process for PHP applications, including popular frameworks like Laravel and Symfony.
  • .NET: For developers using .NET technologies, Elastic Beanstalk provides a robust platform to deploy .NET applications, easing the deployment journey for .NET Core and .NET Framework applications.
  • Docker: Elastic Beanstalk simplifies the deployment of Docker containers, offering a convenient way to deploy containerized applications without managing the underlying infrastructure.

AWS Elastic Beanstalk Pricing

AWS Elastic Beanstalk pricing is based on the underlying AWS resources used to run applications, such as EC2 instances, load balancers, Auto Scaling actions, storage, and database services. There are no additional fees for Elastic Beanstalk itself. The free tier includes common resources like 750 hours per month of a T2 Micro instance, 30GB of S3 storage, and 1 million load balancer requests. After the free tier, costs depend on factors like instance type, size, load balancer, and database configuration. For example, On-Demand EC2 instances start at around $0.008 per hour for a T2 Micro. Load balancers are $0.025 per million requests. 

Auto Scaling actions are $0.007 each. This pay-as-you-go model makes pricing transparent and allows scaling resources up or down flexibly based on application usage, helping to control costs. Budgeting is also simplified since you only pay for what you use each month.

AWS Elastic Beanstalk Benefits

Now that we understand AWS Elastic Beanstalk and how it works, let us now understand its benefits. So, Elastic Beanstalk provides the user with several benefits, and they are:

  • Easy to start with
  • Autoscaling options
  • Developer productivity
  • Customization
  • Cost-effective
  • Management and updates

benefits of elastic beanstalkbenefits of elastic beanstalk
Let’s discuss all the benefits in detail.

Easy to Start with

  • The fastest and easy way to upload your application and keep it running is by uploading it to Elastic Beanstalk.
  • You need not worry about the platform of your application, you can create it on your local system and upload it.

Autoscaling Options

  • Beanstalk takes care of scaling up or down whenever required. If your application’s traffic increases or decreases, beanstalk automatically scales it accordingly.

Developer Productivity

  • Developers don’t need to think much about uploading their application online, they only have to concentrate on keeping their application more secure and user friendly.

Customization

  • AWS Elastic Beanstalk allows you to select the configuration of the AWS services that you have used with your application. For example, consider Amazon EC2, you can change the AWS EC2 instance types which is optimal for your application. Also, if you want to take control of some services manually, you can change the settings according to it.

Cost-Effective

  • There is no cost involved in creating a Beanstalk environment. When there is a need for making it into the production of the application, then you can create your application bigger.

Management and Updates

  • You don’t need to worry about updating your application according to the change in the platform. The software patches, platform updates, and infrastructure management are taken care of by the AWS professionals.

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