Original article published by blog.jelastic.com / 16.4.2013

Jelastic is growing rapidly, and we are constantly asked how we differ from other Platform as a Service applications on the market. A while back we did a comparison of Heroku and Google App Engine vs Jelastic, and today we’ll compare Jelastic to AWS Elastic Beanstalk.

What is AWS Elastic Beanstalk?

AWS Elastic Beanstalk enables you to deploy and manage applications in the AWS cloud. You simply upload your application, and Elastic Beanstalk automatically handles the deployment details of capacity provisioning, load balancing, auto-scaling, and application health monitoring.

What is Jelastic?

The Jelastic platform offers a Java and PHP server hosting platform for developers and hosting service providers. Jelastic is the only Platform-as-a Service (PaaS) offering designed specifically for hosting service providers to deploy and make available to their customers. Jelastic automatically scales Java and PHP applications and allocates server resources, thus delivering true next generation Java and PHP cloud computing.

To identify the main differences, we examined Jelastic and Elastic Beanstalk solutions based on the top concerns we hear from our customers: auto-scaling, supported software stacks, plugins, replication, building projects in the cloud, GUI, global availability, pricing and SLA.

AWS Restrictions:

  • It’s a significant amount of work to deploy your app to Amazon cloud for the first time. The spacial toolkit requires manual installation and code changes.
  • In order to use a database, you need to use Amazons RDS service (which provides a MySQL, Oracle or SQL Server database), and that comes with various additional charges.
  • Amazon started with Beanstalk and never really finished it.  They are attempting to redo the whole thing from scratch with OpsWorks, with no guarantees.

How Jelastic is Different:

  • It automatically installs, configures and interconnects your server instances with your selected software stacks.
  • You don’t need to code to our APIs – just upload your application and select your stack. Mix and match your software stacks.
  • Jelastic is also blazingly fast. CPU and RAM changes take place in just a few seconds, so when the load goes up, your environment gets the resources it needs automatically and instantly.
  • Jelastic provides a rich tool set to analyze and monitor your application.


  • AWS can automatically scale applications horizontally only. BTW Amazon’s version of “auto-scaling” is a chargeable optional extra.
  • Jelastic supports both horizontal and vertical scaling.

Supported software stacks 

  • AWS supports only Apache for PHP and Tomcat for Java. For some reason Amazon’s PaaS provides support only for SQL solutions, such as MySQL, Oracle and Windows SQL Server.
  • Jelastic provides a choice between Apache and NGINX for PHP and allows Java developers to use Tomcat and Jetty, as well as two enterprise-ready application servers – GlassFish and TomEE. Also Jelastic supports both SQL (MySQL, MariaDB, PostgreSQL) and NoSQL (MongoDB, CouchDB) database types, and even MariaDB 10.0, which combines the two database types.

Replication and High Availability 

  • AWS requires you to create a custom Elastic Beanstalk AMI (Amazon Machine Image) for your application to set up session replication.
  • Jelastic sets replication between pairs of application servers using multicast replication; these pairs form clusters. If one of the instances fails, the users who were on that instance get automatically switched to the other instance in the cluster.

Build in the cloud

  • AWS Elastic Beanstalk supports only Git deployment for Java and PHP applications.
  • Jelastic has an embedded building tool Maven, which can take application source code directly from your version control repositories via Git or SVN protocols.

Global availability

  • AWS has datacenters in the US and APAC, and only one in Europe (Ireland).
  • Jelastic is available through a global network of hosting service providers (USA , Germany, Russia, Japan, Finland, UK and Ireland, Brazil, Sweden, Switzerland and the Netherlands). And more importantly, provides users with the freedom to choose a hoster they want.


  • AWS claims that there is no additional charge for Elastic Beanstalk – you only pay for the underlying AWS resources that your application consumes.  Customers have to guess the amount of resources they need. Elastic Beanstalk itself is free, but you pay for bandwidth, storage, database, backups etc.
  • Jelastic recently introduced a revolutionary pricing model designed explicitly for production applications and extensive scaling. It includes up to 55% discounts for reserved resources and volume usage. Jelastic’s automatic volume discounts make scaling cheaper: discounts for usage are automatic, depending on the amount of resources that the application consumes. Unlike with per-machine or other models, users can let Jelastic add memory, CPU and disk space on the fly. And they pay only for their actual hourly consumption.