A number of companies used Amazon's IaaS as their starting point to build their own value-added layers for language-specific hosting, or whatever. Even Amazon.com did that with Amazon RDS. It is pretty obvious that "Platform as a Service" (PaaS) companies are starting to become attractive. Heroku.com (Ruby/Rack PaaS) is based on Amazon AWS and it was just acquired for $212 million. Cloudcontrol.com (PHP PaaS) is also based on Amazon AWS. I'm sure there are others. So why should Amazon provide the service and let the others gain the benefits of building a PaaS platform on top of Amazon IaaS? They shouldn't. An to this end, Amazon just announced Amazon Elastic Beanstalk. Here is some of what they have:
- Java/Tomcat application stack,
- Any of the databases in Amazon RDS.
- Auto-scaling so that your application will automatically start up new application servers in response to heavy traffic, and shut them down when the traffic lightens up.
- Pre-configured load balancer and JVM/Tomcat setup.
- An application subdomain, (e.g. yourapp.amazonelasticbeanstalk.com), which should eventually be mappable to a subdomain in your application via a CNAME record at your domain host.
- Access to log files.
- Single-command application server restart.
They don't seem to offer as much as heroku.com, but they offer a lot of control at the lower layers of the application stack if you need it.