Amazon is continuing on their crazed march, adding yet another impressive set of features to AWS.
Today they announced the Beta launch of “Beanstalk”, which significantly reduces the complexity of service deployment and management. Previously, an AWS user had to deal with all the capacity issues: provisioning, deployment/rollback, instantiation, load balancing and service monitoring. (Note that there are commercial solutions to this like RightScale and open source projects like OpenStack)
The initial offering is tailored to Java developers and uses Tomcat as the app server. All that is required is a .war file uploaded to Beanstalk that you then deploy. Beanstalk handles load balancing of the service and includes monitoring. Based on the post, it looks like there is some ability to control the environment (JVM settings etc) and directly login to a provisioned instance.
Of course, for the auto-scaling functionality to work properly, a site needs to be architected to work in an ‘n’ app server framework. I’d suggest testing this out before turning over the keys to Beanstalk.
Pricing for Beanstalk is attractive (free). The basic deployment looks incredibly inexpensive as well.