AWS launches Amazon Elastic Container Services for Kubernetes

Following its cloud competitors, Amazon Web Services (AWS) announced it has added Kubernetes to its Amazon Elastic Container Services (ECS), enabling the container management platform to be used on AWS.

Kubernetes is the most popular container orchestration platform on the market today. Containers are a lightweight piece of software, which includes all the resources needed to run it, such as code, memory, system libraries and settings. Developers use containers to launch multiple applications on a single operating system. The purpose of the platform is to enable users to deploy container clusters with advanced native cloud features. According to a 2017 Portworx survey consisting of 491 IT professionals, 43% of respondents said they use Kubernetes, with 32% leveraging it as their primary orchestration tool.

AWS users have long awaited the adoption of Kubernetes by the cloud computing company. Competitor cloud company Google originally developed the platform prior to unleashing it to the open source community. While AWS supported Kubernetes on its services, it did not provide a managed service to enable customers to set up and run the open source project. Amazon ECS for Kubernetes (Amazon EKS) will support the newest versions of the platform, while AWS oversees and updates the service.

“While we have over a hundred thousand active Amazon ECS clusters running on AWS and more customers running Kubernetes on AWS than on any other cloud, customers have also asked us to build a managed Kubernetes service like we have with Amazon ECS,” said Deepak Singh, director of computing services at AWS. “Not only have we delivered on this request with Amazon EKS, but we’ve also made managed containers easier to use than ever before by launching AWS Fargate to allow developers to run containers at the task level rather than having to think about servers or clusters.”

Applications currently running on Amazon EKS are compatible with applications running on different Kubernetes environments, from data centers to public clouds. This allows Kubernetes applications to be transferred to Amazon EKS without having to alter the code. Users are also able to use AWS networking and security services, including Application Load Balancer, AWS Identity and Access Management (AWS IAM), AWS PrivateLink and AWS CloudTrail.

“This makes running Kubernetes as a managed service on top of AWS much, much easier,” said AWS CEO Andy Jassy. “At AWS, we saw this as an opportunity to remove some undifferentiated heavy lifting. We want to let you take full advantage of the speed, agility, and immutability that containers offer so you can focus on building your applications rather than managing your infrastructure.”

In addition to EKS, the Amazon subsidiary rolled out AWS Fargate as a way to ease the container deployment process on AWS. Fargate is similar to Amazon EC2, a web service that provides compute capacity in the cloud, but provides a container instead of a virtual machine. It is currently available for Amazon ECS, and will be available for Amazon EKS next year.

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