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Amazon Web Services Embraces Kubernetes, Debuts Fargate Serverless Containers Service

By Sean Michael Kerner (Send Email)
Posted November 29, 2017


Amazon Web Services (AWS) made a long list of announcements on the first day of its re:Invent conference in Las Vegas on Nov. 29, including the long-awaited news that it will offer its own managed Kubernetes service.

The new Amazon Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes (EKS) is a flavor of the Elastic Container Service (ECS) that Amazon has had in market since April 2015, when the service first became generally available. When AWS initially built ECS, Kubernetes was not a popular option, but times have changed, and AWS is changing along with them.

"This (EKS) makes running Kubernetes as a managed service on top of AWS much, much easier," Andy Jassy, CEO of AWS, said during his keynote.

Jassy said EKS is running the latest open-source version of Kubernetes and as such will be a familiar experience for existing Kubernetes users. From a deployment perspective, Jassy said EKS deploys Kubernetes master nodes across multiple AWS availability zones so there will not be any single point of failure. Automatic patching and upgraded are also part of Amazon EKS. Additionally, he noted that EKS is integrated with other AWS features.

Amazon joined the CNCF on Aug. 9, which foreshadowed the news of the new EKS service.Amazon EKS

"We're working hard with the CNCF [Cloud Native Computing Foundation] and the community to make changes that will enable EKS to work well with all ECS services," Jassy said.

With EKS, Jassy said users now have two container management systems they can choose: the new Kubernetes service and the existing ECS system. Going a step further, Jassy also announced a new serverless approach to deploying containers as well, which is where the new AWS Fargate service comes into play.

"AWS Fargate allows you to run containers without having to manage servers or clusters," Jassy said. "It totally changes the way that you can run containers."

Jassy said people want to be able to run containers at the task-level rather than at the server level. With Fargate, applications are packaged up into tasks, with the system automatically handling provisioning and auto-scaling.

New Instance Types

For those that still want or need to run more traditional types of virtual machines, AWS announced a series of new instance types.

Among the new instance types announced by AWS are the I3 Bare Metal types that provide users with direct access to Intel Xeon E5-2686 v4 processors, 512 GiB of memory, 36 hyperthreaded cores, and 15.2 TB of local, SSD-based NVME storage.

AWS also announced the new H1 storage optimized instances for big data workloads with up to 16 TB of magnetic storage. Finally, AWS's EC2 General Purpose instances are also getting a boost with more compute power of up to 96 vCPUs and 384 GB of memory.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at ServerWatch and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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