ECS utilizes underneath theimpact of compute resources. The EC2 instances are deployed and managed within your AWS resources and registered to an ECS Cluster that you define.

The ECS Cluster can be set up in an already existing VPC, taking advantage of the AWS infrastructure you may have in place, and manages the deployment of containers to the EC2 instances.

  • Elastic Container Service (ECS)

ECS Tasks detail the repository for the Docker image, port mappings, environment variables, and volumes to attach. Everything used in a command line run from Docker will be mapped to the Task definition. Once your Tasks are defined, ECS Services detail the auto-scaling nature of the Tasks. If a Task is stopped, the corresponding ECS Service can restart the Task or launch a new instance to replace it.

  • AWS Container Orchestration 101

Choosing AWS as cloud platform is an important decision. Once you’ve set your mind to that path, the next step is to select the right managed services for your infrastructure. If you’re implementing a micro service approach on AWS, there are multiple options for hosting your containerized services. Here is a high-level overview of ECS, Fargate, and EKS and tips for choosing the best container orchestration option for your organization.

  • Fargate

ECS has two launch types that can define how the compute resources will be managed. The traditional EC2 launch type detailed in the overview above utilizes your own EC2 instances. Fargate removes the responsibility of provisioning, configuring and managing the EC2 instances by allowing AWS to manage the EC2 instances.

Fargate eliminates the need to manage servers, but also puts a requirement of your Task definitions to be stateless. Currently, no volumes can be attached to the containers defined in your Tasks which eliminates some types of containers (such as data stores requiring persistent storage) to be able to run in the ECS environment.

  • Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes (EKS)

EKS is the managed Kubernetes hosting environment supported by AWS. If you are already using an on-premise or cloud provided host for Kubernetes, or are looking to utilize a defect industry standard for open source orchestration of containers, EKS can provide many benefits of Kubernetes without the operations responsibility of hosting and configuring the Kubernetes environment.

Once your EKS Cluster is configured, the management, monitoring, and deployment of infrastructure will move away from the custom AWS specific processes to the open source Kubernetes processes. For example, a majority of the configuration of your cluster and monitoring of your pods will be handled by the Cabernets command line, kubectl.

If you’ve chosen a cloud-native micro services approach, selected your platform, and are all in on containers, one of the first decisions you’ll run into is what to use for orchestration.

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