Amazon Web Services aims to make life easier for Windows developers

Elastic Beanstalk helps developers roll out ASP.NET applications in Amazon's cloud

Amazon Web Services (AWS) now allows ASP.NET developers to take advantage of Elastic Beanstalk, which has been developed to make it easier to roll out cloud-based applications, the company said on Tuesday.

Using the AWS Toolkit for Visual Studio, developers can upload their ASP.NET applications to Amazon's cloud, and Elastic Beanstalk then automatically takes care of deployment details such as capacity provisioning, load balancing, auto-scaling and application health monitoring, according to the company.

A Beanstalk environment using default settings will run on a single Amazon EC2 micro instance and an Elastic Load Balancer. More resources can be added using the auto scaling feature or the management tool.

Elastic Beanstalk, which is still a beta version, uses the Windows Server 2008 R2 AMI (Amazon Machine Image) and IIS (Internet Information Services) 7.5 to run .NET applications.

To get started, developers install the Visual Studio toolkit and make sure they have signed up for an AWS account. They can then deploy any Visual Studio Web project to AWS Elastic Beanstalk, including ASP.NET MVC projects and ASP.NET Web Forms, Amazon wrote in a blog post.

Elastic Beanstalk is compatible with Java and PHP applications, as well.

There is no additional charge for using Elastic Beanstalk, but enterprises still have to pay for the AWS resources needed to store data and run their applications, unless they qualify for a free usage tier, according to Amazon.

Amazon has also launched Amazon RDS for SQL Server, which is compatible with Express, Web, Standard and Enterprise Editions of SQL Server 2008 R2. Amazon also plans to add support for SQL Server 2012 later this year, it said.

For users that want try out the service, Amazon offers a free usage tier that includes 750 hours per month of a Amazon RDS micro instance with SQL Server Express Edition, 20GB of database storage and 10 million requests per month for up to a year.

Beyond that there is a plethora of service and payment options, with prices starting at US$0.035 per hour.

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