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AWS Containers and AWS Container Services

Building advanced applications in the cloud requires taking advantage of the technologies born in the cloud. Technologies like containers have become common to ensure consistency with various deployments and avoid problems. Amazon Web Services also offers containers that work with cloud infrastructure.

With three specific cloud services, AWS allows you to execute containerized apps. Amazon Fargate, Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS), and Elastic Container Service (ECS) are the three major AWS container services.

In this article, we’ll explain AWS containers and discuss the three AWS container services.

Why are Containers Important?

Developers may deploy their applications and package them effectively using containers. They are transportable, lightweight, and offer a standard software environment that makes it simple for applications to function and scale everywhere. Common use cases for containers include:

Uses of Containers

Microservices
Containers offer process isolation, which makes it simple to divide applications into smaller, independent units known as microservices.

Batch ProcessingΒ 
Batch processing and ETL tasks can be packaged into containers for quick startup and scaling.

Machine Learning
On every platform, machine learning models may be quickly scaled for training and inference using containers.

Hybrid Programs
Containers make it simple to create workflows for apps that run on both on-premises and cloud settings by standardizing how code is distributed.

Features of AWS Containers

AWS offers several resources that make running containerized apps in the cloud simpler and safer. AWS container services assist in managing your core infrastructure, whether on-premises or in the cloud, to save time for innovation and business requirements. Currently, AWS powers around 80% of all cloud-based containers.

For security, dependability, and scalability, companies like Expedia, Samsung, Expedia, and Snap chose to operate their containers on AWS. Let's look at a few of these features in AWS containers.

Security
AWS provides 210 services and essential security, compliance, and control features. The platform also guarantees that you are running the most recent security updates and offers you the flexibility to specify granular access rights for each container.Β 

Reliability
The best global infrastructure is used to power AWS container services, spanning 69 Availability Zones (AZs) across 22 Regions. Hence, there is no doubt about its reliability. Additionally, Service Level Agreements (SLAs) exist for all three AWS container services, which are: Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS), Fargate, and Elastic Container Service (ECS).

Integrations
The flexibility and security of the cloud may be combined with the speed of containers with ease. In addition, your container applications may benefit from the breadth and depth of AWS, from security and networking to diagnostics, thanks to the way that AWS container services are strongly connected with other AWS services.

Variety of ChoicesΒ 

You can select the best compute and container orchestrator for your requirementsΒ Β through AWS. To run your containers, you have the widest selection of services.

For instance, if you want serverless compute for containers, you can use AWS Fargate, or if you need complete control over the setup, management, and configuration of your computing environment, you can go with Amazon Elastic Compute CloudΒ (EC2).

Similarly, you can pick from Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) or Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) for container orchestrators. With the wide variety of choices that AWS gives, you can choose the best container for your business.

AWS Container Services

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AWS ECS
To solve the difficulty of container administration on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances, Amazon released Amazon ECS in 2014. It can essentially be called a container management service. With the help of Amazon ECS, containers can be quickly deployed, each isolated from the other and distributed across numerous endpoints conveniently.

AWS Management Console, AWS SDKs, AWS Command Line Interface (AWS CLI), AWS Copilot, and AWS CDK are just a few of the interfaces that Amazon makes available for the creation, management, and access of its ECS resources. Additionally, Amazon ECS provides an application program interface (API) and task definitions that let developers install and control scalable applications running on clusters.

The containers in a cluster may be quickly started, managed, and stopped by developers using ECS. They can set up containers in task definitions created with Amazon ECS, which may be used to operate services or tasks separately. Service, in this sense, is a configuration that you may use to manage and run a specified amount of tasks consecutively in a cluster.

You can use a serverless infrastructure that AWS Fargate maintains to run your services and tasks. You can also execute your processes and services on a cluster of managed Amazon EC2 instances as a substitute for more supervision and authority over your infrastructure.

  • Features of Amazon ECS
    With the help of Amazon ECS's strong features, developers can advance from operating a single Docker container to supervising the entire business application portfolio. Moreover, they can package apps as local containers and distribute them without changing configuration, thanks to Docker containers. Some of the key features of Amazon ECS include:

  • Serverless
    Amazon ECS allows teams to concentrate on more vital tasks with infrastructure and scaling management control. You don't need to maintain servers, deal with capacity planning, or separate container workloads for safety while using Amazon ECS. Depending on your resource requirements, isolation regulations, and availability needs, you may plan where your containers should be placed within your cluster.

  • Amazon ECS Anywhere
    Developers can execute and control workloads for container-based apps on customer-managed infrastructures thanks to Amazon ECS Anywhere. ECS Anywhere enables developers to scale their operations and adhere to compliance requirements without compromising their on-premises investments.

  • AWS Identity and Access Management integration
    Through ECS, you can give every one of your containers granular permissions. When creating your apps, this enables a high isolation level. Essentially, you may launch your containers while maintaining the high standards of security and compliance that AWS has been reported to give.

  • Control Plane Operations
    An autonomous control plane, nodes, or add-ons are included in Amazon ECS, with AWS configuration and integrated operational best practices. By eliminating the hassle of controlling a control plane or nodes, such solutions help teams concentrate on developing applications.

  • Uses of Amazon ECS
    Amazon ECS plays a huge role in enabling AWS Batch to send out jobs across containers, Websites, microservices, video processing services, machine learning, and other fields are only a few of its uses. Below is a list of some of its applications:

Container-based microservices alter how DevOps tests and delivers apps or services. An easy and secure approach to upgrading and deploying any service without affecting other services is provided by Amazon ECS. It also makes it simple to launch microservices and allows service discovery.

With Amazon ECS Anywhere, container-based applications may run in the cloud or on-premises and offer standardized tooling, activity scheduling, administration, and reporting across environments.

Amazon ECS is employed in different availability zones to operate web applications with the speed, stability, scale, and reliability of AWS.

Amazon ECS enables batch processing, scheduling, and planning, across the entire range of AWS services, such as Amazon Fargate, Amazon EC2, and Amazon EC2 Spot Instances.

AWS Fargate

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The serverless compute resources to run AWS ECS, and EKS containers are provisioned through the AWS Fargate service. According to AWS, Fargate enables you to concentrate on developing your applications by managing and provisioning the necessary infrastructure.

When hosting containers, Fargate eliminates the need to build, scale, or supply virtual machine clusters. As a result, you are not required to choose server types, maximize cluster packing, or decide when to scale your clusters. With Fargate, you avoid overprovisioning and spending on unnecessary servers because you only invest in the resources used to operate your containers as they are used.

Fargate tasks operate in their kernels, creating a safe and secure computing environment. As a result, there is an isolated workload and increased security. Fargate is used by some significant AWS clients, including Vanguard, Ancestry, Accenture, and Foursquare, to operate their mission-critical applications.

With built-in interfaces of other AWS services like Amazon CloudWatch Container Insights, AWS Fargate offers a good degree of observability. In addition, countless third-party tools are available that you can use to collect logs and stats.

Fargate enables teams to develop and run applications using EKS or ECS containers without having labor-intensive infrastructure management operations, such as securing and scaling servers and patching operating systems.

AWS Fargate also offers better observability with built-in integrations with other Amazon Web Services, such as Amazon CloudWatch Container Insights. This allows the user to gather logs using different third-party tools and observe metrics.

Fargate will always deploy and scale computing resources to fit the requirements you define for the container to avoid over-provisioning and avoid paying for resources you aren't utilizing. You can construct a savings plan and receive a spot. Although the Fargate Spot option can save customers up to 70% off the usual prices, it works best with interruptible applications.

  • Versions of the AWS Fargate Platform The Fargate platform version is a mixture of the kernel version and the container runtime version, and it describes the runtime environments that are available for the task structure. You can choose a specific version, like 1.4.0, or specify LATEST when giving a platform version.

If your services need to expand after being launched and having tasks running, new tasks are created by using the same version as the parent deployment. You can upgrade your service, alter the platform edition, and force a new deployment when a new platform version is available. This updates your tasks to the most recent version.

Amazon EKS

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A managed AWS Kubernetes service - Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service, often called Amazon EKS, grows, manages, and delivers containerized applications. It can be implemented on-site but commonly operates in the Amazon public cloud. Amazon EKS's Kubernetes management system uses multiple Availability Zones. Due to AWS EKS's certification as Kubernetes-conformant, you can use it in conjunction with your current tools. Let's have a look at how Amazon EKS works and what its components are.

  • Working of Amazon EKS A control plane and worker nodes make up the two primary components of an EKS cluster. Each cluster operates in a comprehensive managed VPC (Virtual Private Cloud) of its own. The control plane is made up of three master nodes, each of which is running in a separate availability zone. The AWS NLB (Network Load Balancer) receives incoming traffic directed for the Kubernetes API.

Worker nodes are run on Amazon EC2 instances housed in a VPC that is not under AWS management. The VPC designated for worker nodes is within your control and configuration. You can provision worker nodes or grant access to your current automation using SSH.

There are two primary methods of deployment. One cluster can be set up for each application or environment, or you can use Kubernetes namespaces and IAM security settings to deploy one cluster for a number of apps.

EKS has Amazon VPC network policies that can be used to limit traffic between a cluster and the control plane. Control plane components can only be seen by approved clusters and accounts, as determined by Kubernetes role-based access control.

Final Thoughts

A wide range of services is available from AWS for managing, maintaining, and operating containers. Everything from minor experiments to essential production applications can be made simpler if you select the appropriate AWS service for your workload. As your requirements become more complex, AWS Container Services ensure this remains management.

You can use different AWS container services depending on your needs. They have more flexibility compared to their predecessor with less complexity so it’s worth using them.

Top comments (3)

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tanmaygi profile image
Tanmay Shukla

Helo brother, can you tell me how can I also be aws community builder. I applied 2 times but not selected

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luqmanbello profile image
Luqman Bello Olalekan

It's not that difficult. You can read throught this content by @ssennettau dev.to/aws-builders/how-to-become-...

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tanmaygi profile image
Tanmay Shukla

Thanks

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