All posts by Lavanya Shastri

Semantic versioning and auto updates: Your backbone to innovate


Versioning is a critical part of software development. It gains in importance as team sizes and complexity of projects scale. Tools like Perforce, Subversion, GitHub, which attracts the most users, address this challenge. Imagine the challenge of managing version control for software automation. In the soon to come release in ElasticBox, we addressed versioning challenges in a big way. Read More

Deployment policies give access to cloud infrastructure resources


I’m excited to talk about new features coming soon to ElasticBox. Whether you’re new or have been using ElasticBox for a while to auto-provision infrastructure or speed up automatic deployments, this post will interest you. Read More

Calling all AWS CloudFormation Power Users

AWS CloudFormation is a very useful deployment mechanism provided by AWS and fully supported by ElasticBox. We’ve recently made some changes to our product and one of the results is a very interesting AWS CloudFormation use case – splitting up gigantic and monolithic AWS CloudFormation templates into smaller, more manageable templates.

First, A Little Background

AWS CloudFormation is essentially a way to programmatically define and provision cloud infrastructure, via a JSON template. CloudFormation templates can be used for tasks such as setting up VPCs, creating autoscaling groups and launching EC2 instances into different network configurations.  Read More

Why are some Amazon Services labeled AWS?

I haven’t figured out why some services have the prefix Amazon while others have AWS. For instance it is “Amazon VPC” and “AWS CloudFormation.” Was it a length issue in the AWS UI? Are the AWS prefix services special? Thoughts?

Welcome to the last post in my ElasticBox-supported AWS services! In this blog post, I’d like to introduce you to the wonderful world of Amazon VPCs and AWS CloudFormation! Read More

Can’t survive without AWS S3, DynamoDB, and RDS? See how you can use them in ElasticBox

In my last blog post, I talked about how we support AWS EC2, EBS, Elastic IP Address, and ELB. In this post, I’ll cover S3, DynamoDB, and RDS. Read More

ElasticBox Support for AWS EC2, EBS, ELB, and IP Addresses

ElasticBox supports delivery of applications on a number of private and public clouds including AWS, GCE, Azure, VMware, CloudStack, OpenStack, and HP Cloud. Just supporting compute, however, is not unique. Several players in the market support compute. What’s great about ElasticBox is that it also gives you access to a large number of cloud provider-specific services such EBS, Route 53, SQL Services, App Engine, etc.  Read More

Multi-Tier Applications Done Right

One of the biggest problems facing software engineers since the dawn of the multi-tier application is, well, how to make it multi-tier.

It’s more than just having several supporting applications – it is about connecting the layers correctly and allowing them to communicate with each other. All this is to create a scalable and responsive deployment that can be easily updated and adapted to changing business needs.

It is about ensuring that your infrastructure can co-ordinate the order in which your application tiers are spun up, even when the apps themselves have not been designed to perform these critical dependency checks.

What Are You Looking For?

Intelligently handling your solution’s dependencies is an inherent problem in multi-tier deployments – at whatever scale you are operating. For instance,

As a developer working on a project:

“I want to ensure that my database is up and running before my web-server is deployed.”

As the CTO of a rapidly growing startup:

“I want to bootstrap on basic AWS services (such as managed cache, load balancing, and managed databases), but as the product evolves, I want to give myself the freedom to evolve the services I connect to and consume – experiencing as little downtime as possible.”

As the Head of IT Operations of a large-scale enterprise:

“I need to reign in a heterogenous environment where I have hundreds of highly inter-dependent applications that range from just-released to legacy and everything in between.”

At ElasticBox, we’ve found a way to solve this problem using the concept of Boxes, and now, Bindings, a feature we are launching today.


ElasticBox lets you build and deploy complex, multi-tier applications using boxes as basic building blocks. Specifying a ‘binding’ from one box to another is a way to declare that there exists a dependency between the boxes.

It is a construct that allows the different tiers of a multi-tier applications to communicate with each other and exchange data.

Bindings enable users to introduce not just structure, but also flexibility to their multi-tier deployments. For example,

Our developer’s Apache Web-server Box can use a required binding to specify, that to launch correctly it needs a connection to a running MySQL DB instance.

Our startup CTO, who has been trying to make a choice between AWS SQS (Simple Queue Service) and RabbitMQ, can simply switch bindings, with his business application experiencing little to no downtime.

Our Head of IT Operations, can chain his applications so that they come up in the right order. He has the flexibility to modify this chain at anytime – to accommodate new applications or possibly remove old ones, without having to bring the entire system down. If you are thinking about deadlocks – don’t worry, bindings are designed to handle these.

Multi-Tier Applications Done Right_BindingsAsVariablesOn-Prem? Cloud?

For enterprises, bindings can be a very powerful way to evaluate different cloud strategies for business solution with minimal disruption to the existing deployment. Bindings allow switching between an AWS RDS instance and an on-prem database all with a single click.

As you can see from some of the use-cases above, ‘bindings’ is a powerful concept that solves a very prevalent problem in advanced deployments and provides users a simple way to evaluate different strategies. To learn more about how to incorporate bindings into your deployment, please visit our documentation. For a free consultation about how bindings can benefit your particular use-case, please email us at

ElasticBox Supports AWS Elastic Load Balancer

Today, we officially pushed to production our newest supported cloud service: AWS Elastic Load Balancer.

The AWS Elastic Load Balancer, which automatically distributes incoming application traffic to the right set of EC2 instances, plays a vital role maintaining business continuity. Enterprises that often experience sudden surges in traffic, such as in media and marketing, rely on AWS Elastic Load Balancing to ensure greater levels of application fault tolerance.

With ElasticBox, users compose their applications by stacking together Boxes. At the time of deploying to a cloud provider such as AWS, the user can select from a set of provider-specific services that enhance the deployment.

Users now have the option to add AWS Elastic Load Balancer capabilities at the time of deploying their Box. We support the load balancing of applications using HTTP, HTTPS, TCP and SSL protocols and provide the ability to specify the certificates necessary for secure protocols. In addition to creating brand new load balancers at the time of deployment, we also support the reuse of existing load balancers that are associated with the user’s AWS account. This allows businesses to repurpose their existing infrastructure configurations.

With the addition of Elastic Load Balancer, we have expanded our current list of supported AWS services: EC2, RDS (MySQL and Oracle), ElastiCache, and S3 Block Storage.

Our philosophy at ElasticBox is steer away from a common denominator approach to cloud provider support. Whether it is AWS, VMware, GCE, OpenStack or Azure, our focus is to provide rich and in-depth support for the services that differentiate each of these cloud providers.

A “Best of VMworld 2013” Award Winner

Finalist in Public and Hybrid Cloud Computing Technologies

VMworld 2013 attendees talk about how ElasticBox can solve some of their biggest IT challenges and empower their cloud-ready enterprise.