Amazon Elastic Beanstalk vs Google App Engine

The ever-growing dependence on the internet has led to app developers looking for ways to increase the pace of deployment and improve the finer aspects in post-production.

A lower time to market means the app can gain a significant competitive advantage, especially in highly competitive niches. Platform as a Service (PaaS) implementations helps to do exactly that, providing developers with the tools and services required to build scalable applications quickly.

Continue reading as we discuss two PaaS offerings from Amazon and Google, Elastic Beanstalk and App Engine, respectively. If you are looking to install one for your project, compare the features and advantages thoroughly to find one that best matches your requirements.

Key Takeaways

  • Elastic Beanstalk is the PaaS solution from AWS
  • App Engine is the PaaS solution from Google Cloud
  • Elastic Beanstalk is free to use and you only pay for the underlying AWS services
  • App Engine provides a free tier and charges under the pay as you go model
  • Key differences rely on logs, popularity, and app deployment

What is Amazon Elastic Beanstalk? 

AWS Elastic Beanstalk is an easy-to-use orchestration service that helps developers build and scale web apps and services using Amazon-managed infrastructure.

It natively supports several programming languages, including the likes of PHP, Python, Node.js, Go, Ruby, .NET, Docker, etc., and runs on several popular servers like Passenger, Nginx, Apache, and IIS.

Due to its underlying architecture, Beanstalk is better suited for rapidly developing applications that use standard compute platforms based on the popular programming languages mentioned above.

As a developer, you simply need to upload your code and the platform will automatically handle deployment and scaling, along with load balancing, server provisioning, auto-scaling, health monitoring, etc. That said, you retain full control over the underlying resources and can access them on-demand.

Amazon Elastic Beanstalk Core Features 

  • Application platforms and integrations

As stated earlier, AWS Elastic Beanstalk supports web applications written in almost all of the popular languages and frameworks, each with its own SDK runtimes.

So, when you migrate your code from the development machine to the cloud, you need to make minimal to no changes at all. Moreover, you can also integrate your app with various third-party services for additional functionality.

  • Various application deployment options

As a web developer, you also get access to multiple application deployment options – AWS Management Console, Visual Studio, Elastic Beanstalk CLI, and Eclipse.

Moreover, multiple deployment policies allow you to choose between speed and safety while app deployment, all while reducing the organizational burden.

  • Easy monitoring

With Elastic Beanstalk, you also get access to a unified UI for monitoring and managing the application health. It collects over 40 customizable key health metrics and displays them in an intuitive Health Dashboard. Moreover, EB is also integrated with CloudWatch and X-Ray for advanced logging and tracing.

Amazon Elastic Beanstalk Advantages

  • Fast and simple development

An orchestration service like Elastic Beanstalk makes it extremely easy to develop and host applications on AWS and integrate with other Amazon services like EC2, S3, CloudWatch, Elastic Load Balancers, etc.

As a developer, you can simply use the Management Console, an IDE like Visual Studio or a Git repository to upload your application to the cloud and EB will handle everything in the infrastructure for you.

  • Quicker time to market

AWS Elastic Beanstalk operates and provisions the backend infrastructure on your behalf, so that your developers can focus on writing and editing the code for the cloud and not waste precious time on managing the application backend, firewalls, load balancers, networks, etc.

Within minutes of uploading the code, your app stack will be ready for the end-user, and EB will also keep your app updated with the latest patches.

  • Complete resource control

While all the infrastructure is managed by AWS on your behalf, you have the freedom to select the AWS resources that you consider will be optimal for your project.

You get complete control for all the resources powering your application. After your app expands, if you decide to manually control some or all elements of the app, you can do so seamlessly using the Management Console.

What is Google App Engine? 

App Engine is a rather new PaaS implementation from Google that allows you to develop, test, and deploy highly scalable applications on Google-backed infrastructure and datacenters.

You get complete control over the application while Google manages the backend, scaling, orchestration, etc. App stacks are sandboxed in isolated containers for running on multiple servers, and GAE handles the security and scaling as well.

Being a completely managed serverless platform, Google App Engine is definitely easier to use compared to its competitors. Developers get the option to write and upload the code in their preferred language as it supports almost all the popular programming languages and provides the option to import custom frameworks and libraries through container files. 

Google App Engine Core Features 

  • Easier development and deployment

Similar to AWS, but more robustly, GAE handles the entire backend of an application. It supports multiple development languages, making it easier for developers to write and upload their code to the cloud without making many changes to it. Each language gets its own SDK runtime, and you can import your libraries.

  • API support and feature-rich

Developers can leverage GAE to improve the functionality of the application as they fit. You get access to a variety of APIs like Blobstore, Go Runtime, Google Cloud Endpoints, SQL, Storage Client Library, Java runtime, etc., that can improve the app’s functionality without bloating the code.

  • Diagnostic services

As part of the GCP, you get access to Cloud Monitoring and Cloud Logging, which can be used to track and report bugs and errors to the testers. Developers can then fix the issues quickly, ensuring zero downtime.

Google App Engine Advantages 

  • Effective traffic splitting

Another nifty way in which GAE ensures zero downtime is through effective traffic splitting. You can upload multiple versions of the app on the infrastructure and App Engine will route the traffic to different versions using built-in (Blue/Green) traffic splitting. The ability to split incoming traffic on the fly is significant for app deployment and A/B testing.

  • Smart scalability

With GAE, you also get access to Google’s proprietary scaling solution, which ensures a balance of performance and cost-efficiency. During traffic spikes, GAE will increase the number of active instances to ensure optimum performance, while it will reduce the number of instances when traffic is slow. More idle instances reduce the number of resources consumed.

App Engine vs Elastic Beanstalk Comparison

Elastic Beanstalk App Engine
DescriptionAWS’s orchestration servicePaaS solution from Google Cloud
Parent CompanyAmazonGoogle
CloudAWSGCP
Launch Date20112008
Free TierYesYes
PricingNo cost for Beanstalk, but only for the associated AWS services.Pay as you go model
Featured CustomersZillow
BMW
Samsung
Barilla
EDP
Khan Academy
Supported PlatformsDocker
Multicontainer Docker
Preconfigured Docker
Go
Java SE
Tomcat
.NET Core on Linux
.NET on Windows Server
Node.js
PHP
Python
Ruby
Python, Node.js, Java, Go, Ruby, PHP, .NET

Conclusion

Both the PaaS implementations bring their unique pros and cons, so you will need to evaluate the requirements of your project to select one.

Elastic Beanstalk is the orchestration service from AWS. It is free of additional charges, started in 2011, and supports customers like Zillow BMW and Samsung.

App Engine is the PaaS service from Google Cloud. It provides a generous free tier, started in 2008, and supports customers like Barilla, EDP, and Khan Academy.

If you cannot decide between the two, a professional app hosting company can help you evaluate your requirements and provide you with deeper insights into the same.

FAQ

What is Elastic Beanstalk?

Elastic Beanstalk is the orchestration service from AWS. It is free of additional charges, started in 2011, and supports customers like Zillow BMW and Samsung.

What is App Engine?

App Engine is the PaaS service from Google Cloud. It provides a generous free tier, started in 2008, and supports customers like Barilla, EDP, and Khan Academy.

What are the differences and similarities between App Engine and Elastic Beanstalk?

– Elastic Beanstalk is the PaaS solution from AWS
– App Engine is the PaaS solution from Google Cloud
– Elastic Beanstalk is free to use and you only pay for the underlying AWS services
– App Engine provides a free tier and charges under the pay as you go model
– Key differences rely on logs, popularity, and app deployment


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