Devops

Smooth Your Deployment Process with AWS Elastic Beanstalk: Effortless Scaling and Management

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A PaaS (Platform-as-a-Service) service can be understood as a virtual environment where you create your applications—you can create them, test them, and deploy them for effective results. Instead of extensive use of physical components, all the work gets done in cloud platforms. The PaaS service provided by Amazon Web Services is known as Elastic Beanstalk and is widely preferred by developers worldwide.

Understanding AWS Elastic Beanstalk

AWS Elastic Beanstalk is a cloud PaaS service that can be used for deploying and scaling web applications, reducing manual moderation, and giving prominence to automated tasks. Elastic Beanstalk is a platform that can deploy and scale your web applications for you - the platform handles the architecture and resources needed to run the application. All you need to give is the code to run the web application.

Elastic Beanstalk acts as a pre-configured EC2 (Elastic Cloud Compute) Server, meaning the required configurations are set in the instance for the deployment of your application. Once you submit the code and the necessary configurations, the platform will incorporate it into the structure and identify the resources needed in the AWS environment to deploy and scale the code. Once identified, the resources are used, and the code is deployed effectively.

Often, questions arise about how much control the developers have over the configuration and code. With Elastic Beanstalk, the main goal is simple—it optimizes the deployment of web applications. However, it does not hinder the developers from accessing the code and adding required changes to it.  

What are the Major Components of Elastic Beanstalk?

Here are some of Elastic Beanstalk's primary components and features, which are explained in detail.

Application

The easy thing about AWS Elastic Beanstalk is, all you create is the code and configuration. This data gets stored in a folder. Once the code is processed by the platform, it figures the other services your application needs for efficient performance.

You can also update newer versions of your application on the platform. You can make changes to the code and upload it to the platform to deploy the latest version.

Application Environments

A new environment is created with each application you create and deploy on Elastic Beanstalk. This environment is crucial to your project as it hosts the resources needed to deploy your application. The resources include EC2 instances, load balancers, storage, etc. 

Developers might want to run and deploy their applications in varying environments like DAV or PROD. According to requirements, a developer can create and configure the environments to deploy the application in different stages.

Environment Health

Environment health in Elastic Beanstalk refers to the health or the working condition of a particular EC2 instance. AWS performs regular health tests on its Elastic Beanstalk platforms to ensure that the application deployed is still running properly. The results of the health tests are displayed in different color-coded results.

  • Red - The environment has failed the majority of tests.
  • Grey - The environment is currently updating.
  • Yellow - The environment has failed a few of the recent health tests.
  • Green - The environment is in good condition and has passed the recent tests successfully. 

Elastic Load Balancer

When an environment is created for an application to be deployed, multiple EC2 instances are positioned within the setting. An Elastic Load Balancer (ELB), as the name suggests, distributes the load requests across the instances for efficient functioning. 

Auto Scaling Group

The load sent to the different EC2 instances in your environment depends on the traffic your application receives. When you deploy an application, you can mention the number of EC2 instances you want in the environment to balance the load. The Auto Scaling Group is a feature that scales the number of instances in the environment based on the load. While configuring the environment, you can mention the number of instances you will allow the auto scaler to instantiate.

Host Manager

Every EC2 instance in an application environment has its own host manager, who monitors the application's functioning. The host manager also creates reports and sends logs to your dashboard based on the application's performance and the nature of the traffic. 

Why Choose AWS Elastic Beanstalk?

AWS Elastic Beanstalk is an excellent platform for developers looking for a one-stop solution to develop and deploy web applications and services. Some of the prime features and advantages of the platform are briefed below:

Effective Deployment

AWS offers a wide range of cloud services, and it might be challenging to configure every service you want when creating an application. The great advantage of Elastic Beanstalk is that you can just create the main code and the configurations and upload them to the platform. The platform automates the rest of the processes for a quick and efficient code deployment.

Cost-Effective

Since Elastic Beanstalk is a PaaS cloud service, there is no need for physical hardware. With AWS, you pay only for the services you use, so when working with this platform, you will pay for EC2 instances and S3 storage. As a platform, Elastic Beanstalk does not have any extra operation costs, making it an efficient financial option.

Scalable Functioning

One of the primary benefits of using this platform is its scalability. Without manual input, the environment scales and assigns the number of EC2 instances needed to handle the traffic.

Steps to Create an AWS Elastic Beanstalk Environment Using AWS CLI

Step 1: Make sure you have AWS CLI installed in your system.

Step 2: Initialize an Elastic Beanstalk Application

aws elasticbeanstalk create-application --application-name MyApp

Step 3: Create an Application Version

aws s3 cp app.zip s3://my-bucket/app.zip
aws elasticbeanstalk create-application-version --application-name MyApp --version-label v1 --source-bundle S3Bucket="my-bucket",S3Key="app.zip"

Step 4: Create an Environment

aws elasticbeanstalk create-environment --application-name MyApp --environment-name MyEnv --version-label v1 --solution-stack-name "64bit Amazon Linux 2 v3.1.3 running Python 3.8"

Step 5: Check Environment Status

aws elasticbeanstalk describe-environments --application-name MyApp --environment-names MyEnv

Step 6: Update Environment

aws elasticbeanstalk update-environment --environment-name MyEnv --version-label v2

Step 7: Terminate Environment

aws elasticbeanstalk terminate-environment --environment-name MyEnv

Example of Workflow

# Step 1: Create Application
aws elasticbeanstalk create-application --application-name MyApp

# Step 2: Upload Source Bundle to S3
aws s3 cp app.zip s3://my-bucket/app.zip

# Step 3: Create Application Version
aws elasticbeanstalk create-application-version --application-name MyApp --version-label v1 --source-bundle S3Bucket="my-bucket",S3Key="app.zip"

# Step 4: Create Environment
aws elasticbeanstalk create-environment --application-name MyApp --environment-name MyEnv --version-label v1 --solution-stack-name "64bit Amazon Linux 2 v3.1.3 running Python 3.8"

# Step 5: Check Environment Status
aws elasticbeanstalk describe-environments --application-name MyApp --environment-names MyEnv

# Step 6: Update Environment (if needed)
aws elasticbeanstalk update-environment --environment-name MyEnv --version-label v2

# Step 7: Terminate Environment (when no longer needed)
aws elasticbeanstalk terminate-environment --environment-name MyEnv

Useful commands for AWS Elastic Beanstalk

CommandDescription
aws elasticbeanstalk create-application --application-name MyApp
Creates a new Elastic Beanstalk application.
aws elasticbeanstalk create-application-version --application-name MyApp --version-label v1 --source-bundle S3Bucket="my-bucket",S3Key="app.zip"
Creates a new version of the specified application.
aws elasticbeanstalk create-environment --application-name MyApp --environment-name MyEnv --version-label v1 --solution-stack-name "64bit Amazon Linux 2 v3.1.3 running Python 3.8"
Launches a new environment for the application.
aws elasticbeanstalk describe-environments --application-name MyApp --environment-names MyEnv
Describes one or more environments for an application.
aws elasticbeanstalk update-environment --environment-name MyEnv --version-label v2
Updates an environment to a new version of the application.
aws elasticbeanstalk terminate-environment --environment-name MyEnv
Terminates the specified environment.
aws elasticbeanstalk describe-environment-health --environment-name MyEnv
Gets health information about an environment.
aws elasticbeanstalk list-available-solution-stacks
Lists the available solution stacks (platforms).
aws elasticbeanstalk describe-environment-resources --environment-name MyEnv
Describes the AWS resources for an environment.
aws elasticbeanstalk describe-instances-health --environment-name MyEnv
Provides info about the health of instances in the environment.
aws elasticbeanstalk create-configuration-template --application-name MyApp --template-name MyTemplate --solution-stack-name "64bit Amazon Linux 2 v3.1.3 running Python 3.8"
Creates a configuration template for an application.
aws elasticbeanstalk describe-configuration-options --application-name MyApp --environment-name MyEnv
Describes configuration options that are available for an environment.
aws elasticbeanstalk update-application --application-name MyApp --description "New description"
Updates the properties of an application.
aws elasticbeanstalk delete-application --application-name MyApp
Deletes the specified application along with all its versions.
aws elasticbeanstalk delete-application-version --application-name MyApp --version-label v1 --delete-source-bundle
Deletes the specified version of the application.
aws elasticbeanstalk list-platform-versions
Lists platform versions.
aws elasticbeanstalk rebuild-environment --environment-name MyEnv
Rebuilds the environment.
aws elasticbeanstalk restart-app-server --environment-name MyEnv
Restart the application server running in the environment.
aws elasticbeanstalk swap-environment-cnames --source-environment-name MyEnvA --destination-environment-name MyEnvB
Swaps the CNAMEs of two environments.
aws elasticbeanstalk describe-application-versions --application-name MyApp
Lists versions of an application.

The Bottom Line 

Elastic Beanstalk is a Platform-as-a-Service in the range of Amazon Web Services for developing and deploying web applications and services. The platform automates the number of EC2 instances needed in the application environment to handle the traffic of the deployed application. You can also check on the status of the application environment through the regular health tests that AWS runs on the platform. Cost-effectiveness and effective deployment are some of the advantages of using Elastic Beanstalk.

Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What is AWS Elastic Beanstalk used for?

Answer: AWS Elastic Beanstalk is used for deploying applications.

Question: Is Elastic Beanstalk a load balancer?

Answer: Elastic Beanstalk has the ability to create a load balancer.

Question: Is Elastic Beanstalk a SAAS or PaaS?

Answer: Elastic Beanstalk is a Paas.

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