What is AWS Elastic Beanstalk?
What is AWS Elastic Beanstalk?

AWS Elastic Beanstalk can help you deploy and scale your applications and services with ease and without you having to worry about provisioning components and implementing high availability features such as elastic load balancing and auto-scaling.  All of this and more is managed and handled by Elastic Beanstalk, and this course is designed to take you through those features.

Learning Objectives

The objectives of this course are to provide you with:

  • The ability to explain what AWS Elastic Beanstalk is and what it is used for
  • The knowledge of the different environments that Elastic Beanstalk provides allowing you to select the most appropriate option for your needs
  • An explanation of how to configure the service and some of the parameters that you can alter to meet your application requirements
  • The knowledge of the different monitoring options available for assessing your environment and resources health

Intended Audience

This course would be beneficial to those who are responsible for the development and deployment of Web Applications within your AWS environment.  Also, for those who would like to gain a greater understanding of deployment options in AWS and anyone looking to take the Developer certifications with AWS.


Familiarity with the following AWS services would be beneficial to get the most out of this course, but it is not essential for a thorough understanding of AWS Elastic Beanstalk:

  • Amazon Route53
  • Elastic Load Balancing
  • Auto Scaling
  • EC2


If you have thoughts or suggestions for this course, please contact Cloud Academy at


Hello and welcome to this short lecture which will provide you with an overview of the AWS Elastic Beanstalk service. AWS Elastic Beanstalk is a managed service that allows you to upload code of your web application along with environment configurations, which will then allow Elastic Beanstalk to automatically provision and deploy the appropriate and necessary resources required within AWS to make the web application operational. These resources can include other AWS services and features, such as EC2, auto scaling, application health monitoring, and elastic load balancing, in addition to capacity provisioning. This automation and simplification makes it an ideal service for engineers who may not have the familiarity or the necessary skills within AWS to deploy, provision, monitor, and scale the correct environment themselves to run the developed applications. Instead, this responsibility is passed on to AWS Elastic Beanstalk to deploy the correct infrastructure to run the uploaded code. This provides a simple, effective, and quick solution to deploying your web application. 

Once the application is up and running, you can continue to support and maintain the environment just as you would with a custom-built environment. You can additionally perform some of the maintenance tasks from the Elastic Beanstalk dashboard itself. AWS Elastic Beanstalk is able to operate with a variety of different platforms and programming languages, making it a very flexible service for your devops team. Currently, at the time of writing this course, Elastic Beanstalk is compatible with the following: Packer Builder, Single Container Docker, Multicontainer Docker, Preconfigured Docker, Go, Java SE, Java with Tomcat, .NET on Windows Server with IIS, Node.js, PHP, Python, and Ruby. 

One important point to note is that the service itself is free to use. There is no cost associated with Elastic Beanstalk. However, any resources that are created on your application's behalf, such as EC2 instances, you will be charged for as per the standard pricing policy at the time of deployment. 

So now we know at a high level what AWS Elastic Beanstalk is and does. Let me run through some of its core components that creates this service. 

The application version. An application version is a very specific reference to a section of deployable code. The application version will point typically to S3, the Simple Storage Service, to where the deployable code may reside. 

The environment. An environment refers to an application version that has been deployed on AWS resources. These resources are configured and provisioned by AWS Elastic Beanstalk. At this stage, the application is deployed as a solution and becomes operational within your environment. The environment is comprised of all the resources created by Elastic Beanstalk and not just an EC2 instance with your uploaded code. 

Environment configurations. An environment configuration is a collection of parameters and settings that dictate how an environment will have its resources provisioned by Elastic Beanstalk and how these resources will behave. 

The environment tier. This component reflects on how Elastic Beanstalk provisions resources based on what the application is designed to do. If the application manages and handles HTTP requests, then the app will be run in a web server environment. If the application does not process HTTP requests and instead perhaps pulls data from an SQSQ, then it would run in a work environment. I shall cover more on the differences between the web server and the work environments in the next lecture. 

The configuration template. This is a template that provides the baseline for creating a new, unique environment configuration. Platform. A platform is a combination of components in which you can build your application upon using Elastic Beanstalk. These comprise of the operating system of the instance, the programming language, the server type, web or application, and components of Elastic Beanstalk itself, and as a whole can be defined as a platform. 

Applications. Within Elastic Beanstalk, an application is a collection of different elements, such as environments, environment configurations, and application versions. In fact, you can have multiple application versions held within an application. 

You should now have a greater understanding of what Amazon Elastic Beanstalk is and a high-level awareness of some of the elements used within the service. 

In the next lecture, I will be talking more about both the web server and the worker tiers mentioned previously.

About the Author
Learning Paths

Stuart has been working within the IT industry for two decades covering a huge range of topic areas and technologies, from data center and network infrastructure design, to cloud architecture and implementation.

To date, Stuart has created 150+ courses relating to Cloud reaching over 180,000 students, mostly within the AWS category and with a heavy focus on security and compliance.

Stuart is a member of the AWS Community Builders Program for his contributions towards AWS.

He is AWS certified and accredited in addition to being a published author covering topics across the AWS landscape.

In January 2016 Stuart was awarded ‘Expert of the Year Award 2015’ from Experts Exchange for his knowledge share within cloud services to the community.

Stuart enjoys writing about cloud technologies and you will find many of his articles within our blog pages.