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Today Kevin, Barry, Erik and Tim attended an Amazon AWS Elastic Beanstalk webinar. Beanstalk is a new AWS service from Amazon that allows you to deploy Tomcat hosted applications using a Platform-as-a-Service model. Beanstalk is similar in scope to the Google Apps Engine and Heroku (among other PaaS providers) but is a bit different in that it also provides access to the underlying instance and configuration options.

The system has some pretty interesting features including automatic monitoring, scaling, application versioning and system security. Beanstalk uses existing Amazon resources including EC2, S3 and database services. At its best Beanstalk provides a method to more easily deploy and monitor certain types of applications.

At the moment I don’t know that we will turn to Beanstalk for our production services but the support for Tomcat means that some of our applications including Dspace and potentially Vufind could be good matches for this approach in the future.

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