Cloud Computing

Amazon’s Beanstalk Eases Climb to the Cloud

Amazon wants to make your cloud computing simple. The company announced Elastic Beanstalk on Wednesday. The application makes it easier to use Amazon’s cloud computing platform, Amazon Web Services (AWS).

The new application lets developers quickly deploy and manage Web services such as storage, computing clusters, application health monitoring, load balancing and auto-scaling. The service is free for those using paid products such as EC2, S3, RDS and VPC.

Elastic Beanstalk helps developers simplify and automate applications while still retaining total control. Amazon notes Beanstalk is the first of several versions in the works. The current one supports Java with Apache Tomcat and Eclipse tools. Amazon plans to expand the tools with additional languages and application environments.

Amazon did not respond to the E-Commerce Times’ request for comments by press time.

Don’t Know Much about AWS

As part of the simplification, developers no longer need to be familiar with AWS in order to run applications on AWS technologies.

“Elastic Beanstalk is easy to begin and impossible to outgrow,” Adam Selipsky, vice president of Amazon Web services, said in making the Elastic Beanstalk announcement.

“It automatically scales up or down as needed,” he added, “and developers don’t need to worry about the configuration required to set up their infrastructure on AWS.”

The Smarts Are With Amazon

Amazon has plenty of IT oomph. This is the power that lets Amazon handle mega traffic during December with no threat of crackups.

“This is a pretty smart move on Amazon’s part and builds on their rapidly growing — and effective — suite of IT services,” technology project manager and Geek 2.0 blogger Steven Savage told the E-Commerce Times.

Beanstalk’s ease of use “will increase buy-in and customer satisfaction, and it will probably decrease the time that their personnel have to spend on support. It also sounds like Amazon has planned future expansion to support more languages.”

Not much fanfare has been made over Amazon using its computing power to match the wants of the marketplace, though the company is providing a significant cloud offering. In fact, Amazon expects paid services to overtake product sales at some point in the future.

“Amazon’s expansion into the service realm for IT has been successful and well done,” said Savage, “though it’s been oddly overlooked by much of the media. Clearly, Amazon gets the truth — outsourced IT services and cloud computing are the wave of the future, and Amazon wants to provide it. They have over 15 years of experience with their own, rapidly expanding IT needs and customer base, and are ideally suited to provide services in this space.”

The timing is right for Amazon, as cloud computing has become the rage.

“I am a strong believer that Corporate IT is going away,” said Savage. “It’s simpler to outsource, get off-the-shelf, use mobile, and use existing services. I’ve seen IT-light companies function effectively.”

The IT Future Looks Cloudy

Amazon saw the cloud computing future and hopped aboard.

“Amazon was clearly one of the first to market to the cloud platforms game,” said Al Hilwa, IDC program director, applications development software.

“Their services are popular with developers. However, the Java and Ruby cloud market is definitely getting more love these days with players such as VMware’s SpringSource and their Hyperic provisioning and deployment technology, and now with the Heroku acquisition,” he told the E-Commerce Times.

The Elastic Beanstalk is an easy in for new users, while still offering advanced features.

“This announcement by Amazon delivers some capabilities in the Amazon cloud that others have talked about,” said Hilwa. “Amazon’s partners like JBoss and EngineYard are also competing with the above players, though relying on Amazon for much of their infrastructure and application platform offerings capabilities.”

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