skip to content
Notes && Anecdotes
A decorative, semi-related stock photo that adds less value than this comment.

AWS Elastic Beanstalk


By using Elastic Beanstalk, developers can focus on developing their application and are freed from deployment-oriented tasks, such as provisioning servers, setting up load balancing, or managing scaling. – AWS.

Here’s a few general notes on what AWS Elastic Beanstalk (or just Beanstalk) is, pricing etc.

  • Beanstalk is PaaS (Platform as a service) as opposed to EC2 instances which are IaaS (Infrastructure as a service). This means you don’t need to know (much) about infrastructure, and if you do: it means less work.

  • Beanstalk does not cost anything in itself. You only pay for the resources you use.

  • With Beanstalk, you get (easier) access to deploying, through the awsebcli: eb deploy or via AWS Code Deploy, as opposed to when you set up ELB and EC2 instances yourself.

  • Beanstalk is a support service around your app that “takes care” of the underlying infrastructure. You provide the app, optionally specifies a VPC, sets which EC2 instance types to use, when to scale up or down, when to trigger an alarm, specify a CNAME domain (at aws) to use, and Beanstalk takes care of creating those resources and connecting the components. I.e. Beanstalk autosets up stuff you’d otherwise set up yourself.

    • Will create EC2 instances
    • Will create ELB (optional)
    • Will create Route53 DNS
    • Will create Roles
    • Will create RDS (optional)
    • Will create SNS and S3 for logging and alarms.
  • Beanstalk supports the following application types (updated list here):

    • Go
    • Java with Tomcat
    • Java SE
    • .NET on Windows Server with IIS
    • Node.js
    • PHP
    • Python
    • Ruby (Passenger Standalone)
    • Ruby (Puma)
    • Single Container Docker
    • Multicontainer Docker
    • Preconfigured Docker (Glassfish)
    • Preconfigured Docker (Python 3.x)
    • Preconfigured Docker (Go)


  • Q: When would I not want to use Elastic Beanstalk?

    • If you have multiple services that you want to run on the same server. Elastic Beanstalk wraps around one application, with one endpoint. You don’t get to run cron bash jobs and setting up mini-services on the same instance as your Beanstalk app (to my knowledge). EDIT: I think this is a misunderstanding on my part.

    • If you need greater control of configuration, you could look at OpsWorks instead, which uses Chef as a configuration management tool. This allows you to have more control over software packages, updates, database setups, software configuration etc.