AWS Elastic Beanstalk vs Jelastic

| April 16, 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.
elastic beanstalk high availability

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 great 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.


Amazon only provide their uptime Service Level Agreement. If the annual uptime percentage for a customer drops below 99.95 percent for the service year, that customer is eligible to receive a service credit equal to 10% of their bill (excluding one-time payments made for reserved instances) for the eligible credit period. There is no personal support at all included for free. Even business hours email support is an extra cost, and all you get for that extra cost is a 12 hour response time target. If you pay to access their support service, even though they have response time targets, there is apparently no SLA available for support delays - even on your most critical issues.

elastic beanstalk support

AWS Outages:

  • April 20, 2011 - some parts of Amazon Web Services suffered a major outage. A portion of volumes utilizing the Elastic Block Store service became "stuck" and were unable to fulfill read/write requests. It took at least two days for service to be fully restored.
  • June 29, 2012 - several websites that rely on Amazon Web Services were taken offline due to a severe storm of historic proportions in the Northern Virginia area where Amazon's largest datacenter is located.
  • October 22, 2012 - a major outage occurred, affecting many sites such as reddit, Foursquare, Pinterest, and others. The cause was a latent bug in an operational data collection agent.
  • Christmas Eve 2012 - Amazon AWS again suffered an outage, causing websites such as Netflix instant video to be unavailable for some customers, particularly in the North-eastern US. Amazon later issued a statement detailing the issues with the Elastic Load Balancing service that led up to the outage.

But Jelastic is far more advanced. Our hosting partners offer very competitive policies. Dogado tech support packages come in Standard, Silver, Gold and Platinum versions. The respective versions promise maximum response times to technical issues of from 24 hours to two hours, depending on the severity of the issue and the contracted support level. Layershift are challenging established cloud hosting industry norms by including their comprehensive SLA at no extra charge, offering full 24x7 support as standard for all ticket severities. The SLA includes a target response time of just 5 minutes for high severity issues, with penalties of up to 10 percent of the customer's monthly fees if the maximum guaranteed times are not met.

Compare Jelastic to AWS by singing up for a free trial today!