I have been using Amazon’s Elastic Beanstalk for deploying Java applications for some time now. I find it is a perfect solution as it is simple to use and takes care of load balancing, server instance management and all the low level maintenance that is necessary but tedious to perform when running scalable, high availability applications. As a software developer, a Platform as a Service (PaaS) such as this really does enable you to focus your efforts and energies on building great applications. In the Java world Beanstalk allows the deployment of any standard Java Web application to the platform as a war file.
This week I was interested to see that Amazon have announced Elastic Beanstalk support for PHP. This is great news for any PHP developer. The good news does not stop there though. What is really elegant about the PHP support is that it allows deployments from Git. Git has, certainly from what I have seen, become the defacto standard for source control. Being able to deploy changes from Git to a PHP PaaS is a really powerful tool for developers. Any changes are automatically deployed to all running instances. The development process for and PHP developer wishing to use ElasticBeanstalk is:
Applications deployed are available within minutes. One of the features of Beanstalk is that it monitors the application instances using a health check URL and if the instance does not respond will start another instance, terminating the non responsive one.
If you are a developer and are interested in how PaaS may be used for deploying your applications, check out Learning Tree’s Cloud Computing curriculum. The introductory course covers all aspects of Cloud Computing with a significant section dedicated to PaaS, detailing what to expect from PaaS as well as what the major vendors such as Amazon, Microsoft and Google provide. Two hands-on exercises together with instructor led deployments to the cloud highlight the business and technical benefits of PaaS. Hopefully I will see you there soon.