AWS launches two fully managed container services, finally supports Kubernetes

Amazon Web Services has launched two products to help customers deploy containers 'as-a-service' including a much-anticipated Kubernetes integration – Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes – and Fargate, designed to free customers from provisioning and managing infrastructure when deploying containers.

In a blog post introducing Amazon Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes (EKS), chief evangelist Jeff Bar writes: "We have a lot of AWS customers who run Kubernetes on AWS. In fact, according to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, 63 percent of Kubernetes workloads run on AWS."

Customers have been asking for better support for the popular open source orchestration platform Kubernetes for some time now. Google – where Kubernetes was incubated – and Microsoft Azure already support the container technology.

As Jon Topper, CTO of DevOps and infrastructure consultancy The Scale Factory told Computerworld UK before the event: "This container orchestration platform has become the de facto industry standard, and with both Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft's Azure providing support for it, this may be the first example of Amazon being behind the curve in quite some time."

Now with EKS, developers can deploy, run and manage Kubernetes on AWS infrastructure without the manual configuration previously required to do so.

Users of EKS will get the latest version of Kubernetes, it will work and integrate with what they are already running, and will automatically deploy Kubernetes with three masters across three availability zones so there is no single point of failure. Customers will also have access to automatic patches and version upgrades but with control over just when they may want to do that.

EKS also comes with AWS features out of the box like Elastic Load Balancing for load distribution, IAM for authentication, Amazon VPC for isolation, AWS PrivateLink for private network access, and AWS CloudTrail for logging.

Read next: Docker announces Kubernetes integration

Then there is AWS Fargate, which takes things a step further in terms of easing container consumption. As AWS CTO Werner Vogels tweeted: "As cool as EKS is, #AWS Fargate is a massive shift in making containers easier to use. No container cluster is easier to manage than no cluster at all!"

With Fargate, developers can package up their apps and tasks, specify the amount of CPU and memory required, define networking and identify access management (IAM) policies, and upload to the service to be deployed automatically. Fargate takes care of autoscaling across availability zones, as-a-service. So there is no provisioning of infrastructure when deploying these containers.

Read next: Containers explained: What businesses need to know about the next wave of virtualisation

As put in a blog post by senior technical evangelist Randall Hunt, Fargate is "an easy way to deploy your containers on AWS. To put it simply, Fargate is like EC2 but instead of giving you a virtual machine you get a container."

As AWS CEO Andy Jassy said during his re:Invent keynote, this allows customers to take their "hands off the wheel, to really change the way you run containers at the task level, not the server level."

Availability and pricing

The EKS service will be available through the AWS management console and is currently available in preview with general availability scheduled for 2018. Pricing will be made available at that time.

AWS Fargate is generally available today out of the US East (Northern Virginia) region. AWS plans to support launching containers on Fargate using Amazon EKS in 2018.

It is priced according to a typical on-demand model. You pay per per-second for the amount of vCPU and memory resources consumed by your applications. Price per vCPU is $0.00084333 per second ($0.0506 per hour) and per GB memory is $0.00021167 per second ($0.0127 per hour).

Copyright © 2017 IDG Communications, Inc.

Shop Tech Products at Amazon