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AWS plugs Node.js into Elastic Beanstalk

Opens another front in cloud language price war

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Amazon has plugged Node.js into its free platform-as-a-service, Elastic Beanstalk.

Elastic Beanstalk helps developers deploy applications by automating capacity provisioning, load balancing, health monitoring, and auto-scaling the company announced in a blog post on Monday

It also promises some Node.js-specific support features for Elastic Beanstalk, like being able to couple Elastic Beanstalk with the Amazon RDS tech, and to run the Node.js app inside Amazon's enterprise-friendly virtual private cloud. Elastic Beanstalk now also supports PHP, Python, Ruby, .NET, and Java, alongside Node.js.

The language update sees Amazon catch up to cloud competitors Cloud Foundry, Windows Azure, Engine Yard, OpenShift, and Heroku – the major PaaS's with support for the language.

Engine Yard and Heroku both cost money (and run on top of AWS); Cloud Foundry and OpenShift are currently free, and can be run in a variety of formats; and Azure is paid-for but has a free trial, and runs in Microsoft data centers.

With the update, Amazon has put further pressure on Engine Yard and Heroku, tempting developers of both of those platforms to go directly to Bezos's big yellow cloud, rather than use the paid-for services. It also sees it take a lead on the Node.js-less Google App Engine platform.

Platform-as-a-service clouds were meant to be the Next Big Thing several years ago, but the market didn't develop as quickly as expected – both Google and Microsoft pioneered the tech and were forced to both downshift into infrastructure-as-a-service clouds.

Judging by the recent spate of PaaS announcements the area is hotting up again, and Amazon seems to be chipping away at the positions of those companies that are unfortunate enough to rely heavily on its infrastructure.

And unless Heroku or Engine Yard want to start paying people to use their clouds, it's already won the price war. ®

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