With OpsWorks, AWS aims for Herokus lunch
Amazon have added an application management service over the top of AWS. Should PaaS providers be worried?
Amazon has taken its next
major steps into the world of PaaS hosting with the launch of
OpWorks, a free
application management service that runs over the top of its
existing AWS products.
The service is advertised as an “integrated experience for managing
the complete application lifecycle”, allowing users to “provision
AWS resources, manage their configuration, deploy applications to
those resources, and monitor their health”.
Application stacks are visualised as ‘layers’, which can each be
quickly configured with standard technologies of choice, including
PHP, Rails and MySQL servers and HAProxy as a load balancer.
Applications are uploaded from a Git repository, and Chef recipes
can be set to trigger with certain ‘lifecycle events’, such as
deploying or shutting down instances.
It’s far from the first time Amazon has attempted to simplify AWS’
notoriously complex interface: having begun exclusively as a
command-line API, it now features a customisable dashboard, and
Beanstalk, launched just over two years ago, provides an
abstracted interface for deploying applications on AWS.
However, OpWorks is more of a power tool for managing applications,
designed for IT admins with large and complex infrastructures.
Scaling in particular is highly simplified, and can be automated
based on time and load – unsurprising, considering that it was
originally developed under the name Scalarium until the acquisition
of Berlin-based startup Peritor.
While the service has a few quirks that need ironing out – some
have questioned the choice of Chef over Puppet, for instance – it’s
a solid base on which Amazon can now build. The dozens of PaaS
providers that have sprung up over the past few years may be about
to have their party crashed by a tough new competitor.