3 Ways to Manage Kubernetes on AWS and How to Get Started

Talha Khalid
Minute Read

AWS is one of the most popular choices for container orchestration due to its reliability and efficiency. In this article, we will look at some of the most popular tools and ways to manage Kubernetes on AWS.

Containers With AWS

There are various tools that are of great help to developers. Today, one of the most important tools is a container, since applications can be implemented and packaged through them. Because they are lightweight, they provide a consistent software environment. Also, they very easily run applications that can be scaled to any location.

Containers are used to build and deploy microservices, run batch jobs, learn applications, and port previously existing apps to the cloud.

AWS offers different types of container services that help in managing Kubernetes. Let’s look at some of them.

1. Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS)

Amazon Elastic Container Service, or ECS, is a container control service that the client fully manages. Once Amazon ECS is installed, you don't need to install or run your Kubernetes container control software, manage or scale clusters, or schedule virtual machine containers.

Amazon ECS was designed to be integrated with the entire AWS platform, which means you can count on all of its services. Furthermore, Amazon ECS is a very reliable solution that offers a native AWS API experience for Kubernetes, much like EC2 offers for virtual machines.


Benefits of Amazon ECS

There are several advantages to why using Amazon ECS to manage Kubernetes is an excellent decision. These are some of the most relevant:

Run Containers Without Provisioning Servers

Through AWS Fargate, which Amazon ECS offers, you can deploy and manage containers without the need to provision or manage servers. Also, Fargate gives you the freedom to focus on building and running applications.

Containerize Everything

You can easily create all containerized applications and migrate Linux or Windows apps from on-premises environments to the cloud. Then, you can run them as Amazon ECS containerized applications.


Amazon ECS offers a high level of isolation. This allows you to create secure and reliable applications because Amazon ECS has its own Amazon VPC. Through this virtual private cloud, it launches its containers. This then allows the use of VPC network security groups and ACLs.

Performance at Scale

Amazon ECS is based on technology developed from a solid track record in the execution of services.

Usability With Other AWS Services

Amazon ECS integrates with various AWS services, such as Amazon VPC, IAM, Batch, CloudFormation, and more.

2. Elastic Kubernetes Service on AWS

Amazon's Elastic Kubernetes Service, or EKS, is a service that helps make it easy to deploy and run Kubernetes on AWS. That means you can do so without being an expert. Amazon EKS fully manages the solution and Kubernetes control plane scalability for each cluster.

It is in charge of automatically performing each cluster operation, its updates, the scale of the masters, and the persistence layer. Additionally, it detects and replaces problem masters.

Moreover, Amazon EKS also integrates with a variety of AWS services. This way, it can provide security and scalability for your applications. These include Elastic Load Balancing for load balancing, IAM for authentication, and AWS CloudTrail, which is the keeper of the record.

EKS always runs the latest version of Kubernetes, so you can use all of its plugins, consequently making it possible to migrate any standard Kubernetes application to Amazon EKS without any code modifications.


Benefits of Amazon EKS

There are several benefits of using Amazon EKS.

High Availability Fully Managed Service

Amazon EKS makes it easy to run highly available Kubernetes clusters by automatically running and managing three master nodes spread across three zones for each cluster.


Among other things, Amazon EKS integrates IAM with Kubernetes, allowing you to register IAM entities with the native authentication system. You can also use PrivateLink to access Kubernetes masters from your Amazon VPC.

Kubernetes Community Tools

As Amazon EKS typically runs the latest version of Kubernetes software, all existing features, plugins, and applications are supported.

3. AWS Fargate

Fargate is a service that deploys and manages containers without the need to manage the underlying infrastructure. You don't have to provision, scale, or configure clusters for virtual machines to run containers. In other words, AWS Fargate allows you to focus only on building and running your application without worrying about your infrastructure.

Available for Amazon ECS and Amazon EKS

Amazon ECS and EKS have two modes: Fargate and EC2 launch types.

In the Fargate launch type, you only need to containerize the applications, specify the CPU and memory requirements, define the IAM access policies, and launch the application.

In the EC2 release type, you can have more granular and server-level control over the application infrastructure, which is grouped on that server. Also, with this type of launch (EC2), it is possible to use ECS and EKS to manage a cluster of servers and schedule the placement of containers.

Running Kubernetes on AWS Fargate - AWS Online Tech Talks

Both ECS and EKS monitor the CPU, memory, and all other resources of the cluster. Additionally, they find the best server for running a container. ECS and EKS handle provisioning, scaling, and patching of clusters. Also, they can decide what kind of server to use, which applications to use, and how many containers they should run in a cluster to optimize their use and decide when to add or remove servers.

The EC2 release offers more control over clustering and a greater range of customization. In turn, this allows for meeting requirements in specific applications or in compliance with government regulations.


Benefits of AWS Fargate

Here are some of the benefits of AWS Fargate.

No Need to Manage Clusters

You can focus on containers and on building and running your application.

Seamless Scalability

Scaling your applications will be much easier, as you will not need to provide resources for your applications since AWS manages everything.

Integration With Amazon ECS and EKS

Fargate integrates seamlessly with Amazon ECS. Moreover, since 2018, it has also integrated with Amazon EKS.

Useful Tools for Managing Kubernetes on AWS

There are some useful tools for managing Kubernetes on AWS that are worth discussing too.

Amazon Elastic Container Registry (ECR)

ECR is a fully managed Docker container registry. With ECR, it's easy to store, manage, and deploy images to those containers using it. Amazon ECR integrates with ECS, making it easier to develop workflows. Using Amazon ECR automatically hosts your images on a highly available and scalable architecture, giving you the freedom to deploy reliable containers for your applications. Additionally, it also integrates with AWS Identity and Access Management, which provides resource controls for each repository. Amazon ECR costs are calculated per amount of data stored and per amount of data received, so there are no predefined quotas.

Amazon CodePipeline

AWS CodePipeline is a continuous integration and delivery service that executes application and infrastructure updates quickly and reliably. Also, it can be used with Kubernetes to create a continuous deployment pipeline.

CodePipeline is in charge of compiling, testing, and deploying the code each time there is a change, as long as it complies with the processing models previously defined in the publication. Besides, it also enables fast and reliable delivery of features and updates.

Using CodePipeline, you can easily create an end-to-end solution using third-party plugins like GitHub or by integrating your plugins at any release stage. With AWS CodePipeline, you pay only for your use, with no up-front fees or commitments.


AWS CloudWatch Logs

CloudWatch Logs is the functionality of CloudWatch. It allows us to consolidate and analyze logs of the execution of your Kubernetes containers. Thus, it becomes an essential tool for recording execution data since containers are stateless and will not store information locally.

Final Words

All in all, AWS provides several different ways to manage Kubernetes containers. The choice of which service to opt for comes down to the specific requirements of your project, your budget, the dev team's experience, and other variables.

This post was written by Talha Khalid. Talha is a full-stack developer and data scientist who loves to make the cold and hard topics exciting and easy to understand.

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