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AWS OpsWorks vs AWS Beanstalk vs AWS CloudFormation

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  • Difficulty Level : Easy
  • Last Updated : 27 Jul, 2021
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Overview :
AWS lists out a wide range of services when it comes to supporting DevOps. Be it in terms of Integration, Delivery, Strategies, Infrastructure as a Code. OpsWorks falls under Config management service, CloudFormation helps to maintain Infrastructure as a code and AWS Beanstalk offers easy web deployment. Let’s understand each one of them. 

AWS OpsWorks :

  • The service is an alternative to AWS SSM.
  • It provides AWS managed suite of Chef and Puppet.
  • Helps to manage application configuration and operate features like compliance management.
  • Chef – automates the task of configuration, deployment, and management of several servers.
  • Puppet – It is yet another powerful tool for automation and application management across various servers.
  • OpsWorks further offers three managed services, OpsWorks for Chef Automate, OpsWorks for Puppet Enterprise, and OpsWorks for Stacks.

AWS Beanstalk :

  • This is a Platform as a Service focused to provide developers with web deployment solutions.
  • It is more of a developer-centric service.
  • Developer can focus on the application, AWS Beanstalk takes care of higher-level resources like EC2 servers, Auto Scaling groups, RDS database, Docker with AWS ECS.
  • It requires minimum configuration and is one of the easiest ways to scale dynamic websites.

AWS Cloud Formation :

  • AWS CloudFormation is a great service for an enterprise to attain operational excellence, which is one of the five pillars of AWS Well Architecture Framework.
  • It is a low-level service that helps in modeling, version controlling of different AWS resources
  • It’s a template-based service and hence focuses on maintains infrastructure as a code
  • The template configured supports the modeling of resources, and the same resources can be easily deployed repeatedly across servers.
  • AWS CLOUDFORMATION supports AWS BEANSTALK resources and AWS OPSWORKS stack as well.

Parametric Comparison :


AWS OpsWorksAWS BeanstalkAWS Cloud Formation
Prime Functionality Managed Chef and Puppet, provides easy configuration management and automationSupports easy web application deployment, scales automatically, compatible with Go, Java, .NET, Node.js, PHP, Python, and Rubymaintains code as a template, and these templates are used to implement and configure services / AWS resources 
AvailabilityRegional resources, currently present in 9 regions Regional ResourceRegional

AWS OpsWorks for Chef Automate – price is calculated for the number of nodes the servers are connected to, the time duration of these running nodes, and also for the resources created. 

AWS OpsWorks for Puppet Enterprise – it costs for a number of nodes connected to the puppet master and the underlying EC2 instances

AWS OpsWorks Stacks – AWS charges for the underlying resources created ( EC2, Auto Scaling groups, RDS, etc)

There are no minimum fees, you pay for the underlying resources created. These resources would be to store the data, servers, Auto Scaling groups, health monitoring. AWS will charge per handler(action list) if it is a third-party resource provider(not AWS::*, Alexa::*, or Custom::*). Other than that, you pay for the underlying resources created like EC2, ELB, etc. 
Is it a Hybrid Service?yes, lets you manage both on-premise and cloud applications Not hybridNot suitable for in-house data center orchestration.
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