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Amazon EC2 vs Beanstalk: What are the differences?

Developers describe Amazon EC2 as "Scalable, pay-as-you-go compute capacity in the cloud". Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) is a web service that provides resizable compute capacity in the cloud. It is designed to make web-scale computing easier for developers. On the other hand, Beanstalk is detailed as "Private code hosting for teams". A single process to commit code, review with the team, and deploy the final result to your customers.

Amazon EC2 and Beanstalk are primarily classified as "Cloud Hosting" and "Code Collaboration & Version Control" tools respectively.

Some of the features offered by Amazon EC2 are:

  • Elastic – Amazon EC2 enables you to increase or decrease capacity within minutes, not hours or days. You can commission one, hundreds or even thousands of server instances simultaneously.
  • Completely Controlled – You have complete control of your instances. You have root access to each one, and you can interact with them as you would any machine.
  • Flexible – You have the choice of multiple instance types, operating systems, and software packages. Amazon EC2 allows you to select a configuration of memory, CPU, instance storage, and the boot partition size that is optimal for your choice of operating system and application.

On the other hand, Beanstalk provides the following key features:

  • Setup and manage repositories- Import or create Subversion and Git repositories that are instantly available to your team.
  • Invite team members, partners & clients- Restrict access to certain repos and provide read-only or full read/write permissions.
  • Browse files and changes- Every version of every file you’ve committed to Beanstalk is just a click away. See a timeline of who made changes and view the differences between revisions. Syntax highlighting for over 70 languages.

"Quick and reliable cloud servers" is the primary reason why developers consider Amazon EC2 over the competitors, whereas "Ftp deploy" was stated as the key factor in picking Beanstalk.

Airbnb, Uber Technologies, and Netflix are some of the popular companies that use Amazon EC2, whereas Beanstalk is used by Accenture, Docplanner, and UNION. Amazon EC2 has a broader approval, being mentioned in 3607 company stacks & 1619 developers stacks; compared to Beanstalk, which is listed in 21 company stacks and 8 developer stacks.

Decisions about Amazon EC2 and Beanstalk
Jerome/Zen Quah
Shared insights
on
Amazon EC2Amazon EC2DigitalOceanDigitalOcean

DigitalOcean was where I began; its USD5/month is extremely competitive and the overall experience as highly user-friendly.

However, their offerings were lacking and integrating with other resources I had on AWS was getting more costly (due to transfer costs on AWS). Eventually I moved the entire project off DO's Droplets and onto AWS's EC2.

One may initially find the cost (w/o free tier) and interface of AWS daunting however with good planning you can achieve highly cost-efficient systems with savings plans, spot instances, etcetera.

Do not dive into AWS head-first! Seriously, don't. Stand back and read pricing documentation thoroughly. You can, not to the fault of AWS, easily go way overbudget. Your first action upon getting your AWS account should be to set up billing alarms for estimated and current bill totals.

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Craig Finch
Principal Consultant at Rootwork InfoTech · | 6 upvotes · 134.3K views

We first selected Google Cloud Platform about five years ago, because HIPAA compliance was significantly cheaper and easier on Google compared to AWS. We have stayed with Google Cloud because it provides an excellent command line tool for managing resources, and every resource has a well-designed, well-documented API. SDKs for most of these APIs are available for many popular languages. I have never worked with a cloud platform that's so amenable to automation. Google is also ahead of its competitors in Kubernetes support.

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Stephen Fox
Artificial Intelligence Fellow · | 2 upvotes · 137.3K views

GCE is much more user friendly than EC2, though Amazon has come a very long way since the early days (pre-2010's). This can be seen in how easy it is to edit the storage attached to an instance in GCE: it's under the instance details and is edited inline. In AWS you have to click the instance > click the storage block device (new screen) > click the edit option (new modal) > resize the volume > confirm (new model) then wait a very long time. Google's is nearly instant.

  • In both cases, the instance much be shut down.

There also the preference between "user burden-of-security" and automatic security: AWS goes for the former, GCE the latter.

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Most bioinformatics shops nowadays are hosting on AWS or Azure, since they have HIPAA tiers and offer enterprise SLA contracts. Meanwhile Heroku hasn't historically supported HIPAA. Rackspace and Google Cloud would be other hosting providers we would consider, but we just don't get requests for them. So, we mostly focus on AWS and Azure support.

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Pros of Amazon EC2
Pros of Beanstalk
  • 647
    Quick and reliable cloud servers
  • 515
    Scalability
  • 393
    Easy management
  • 277
    Low cost
  • 270
    Auto-scaling
  • 89
    Market leader
  • 80
    Backed by amazon
  • 79
    Reliable
  • 67
    Free tier
  • 58
    Easy management, scalability
  • 13
    Flexible
  • 10
    Easy to Start
  • 9
    Widely used
  • 9
    Web-scale
  • 9
    Elastic
  • 7
    Node.js API
  • 5
    Industry Standard
  • 4
    Lots of configuration options
  • 2
    GPU instances
  • 1
    Extremely simple to use
  • 1
    Amazing for individuals
  • 1
    All the Open Source CLI tools you could want.
  • 1
    Simpler to understand and learn
  • 14
    Ftp deploy
  • 9
    Deployment
  • 8
    Easy to navigate
  • 4
    Code Editing
  • 4
    HipChat Integration
  • 4
    Integrations
  • 3
    Code review
  • 2
    HTML Preview
  • 1
    Security
  • 1
    Blame Tool
  • 1
    Cohesion

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Cons of Amazon EC2
Cons of Beanstalk
  • 13
    Ui could use a lot of work
  • 6
    High learning curve when compared to PaaS
  • 3
    Extremely poor CPU performance
    Be the first to leave a con

    Sign up to add or upvote consMake informed product decisions

    What is Amazon EC2?

    It is a web service that provides resizable compute capacity in the cloud. It is designed to make web-scale computing easier for developers.

    What is Beanstalk?

    A single process to commit code, review with the team, and deploy the final result to your customers.

    Need advice about which tool to choose?Ask the StackShare community!

    Jobs that mention Amazon EC2 and Beanstalk as a desired skillset
    What companies use Amazon EC2?
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    See which teams inside your own company are using Amazon EC2 or Beanstalk.
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    What tools integrate with Amazon EC2?
    What tools integrate with Beanstalk?

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    Blog Posts

    Jan 26 2022 at 4:34AM

    Pinterest

    Amazon EC2RocksDBOpenTSDB+3
    3
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    Dec 22 2020 at 9:26PM

    Pinterest

    Amazon EC2MemcachedC lang+4
    10
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    May 21 2020 at 12:02AM

    Rancher Labs

    KubernetesAmazon EC2Grafana+12
    4
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    What are some alternatives to Amazon EC2 and Beanstalk?
    Amazon LightSail
    Everything you need to jumpstart your project on AWS—compute, storage, and networking—for a low, predictable price. Launch a virtual private server with just a few clicks.
    Amazon S3
    Amazon Simple Storage Service provides a fully redundant data storage infrastructure for storing and retrieving any amount of data, at any time, from anywhere on the web
    Amazon EC2 Container Service
    Amazon EC2 Container Service lets you launch and stop container-enabled applications with simple API calls, allows you to query the state of your cluster from a centralized service, and gives you access to many familiar Amazon EC2 features like security groups, EBS volumes and IAM roles.
    Microsoft Azure
    Azure is an open and flexible cloud platform that enables you to quickly build, deploy and manage applications across a global network of Microsoft-managed datacenters. You can build applications using any language, tool or framework. And you can integrate your public cloud applications with your existing IT environment.
    Google Cloud Platform
    It helps you build what's next with secure infrastructure, developer tools, APIs, data analytics and machine learning. It is a suite of cloud computing services that runs on the same infrastructure that Google uses internally for its end-user products, such as Google Search and YouTube.
    See all alternatives