EKS vs. ECS: Orchestrating Containers on AWS


AWS announced Kubernetes-as-a-Service at re:Invent in November 2017: Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes (EKS). Now, EKS is generally available. I discussed ECS vs. Kubernetes before EKS was a thing. Therefore, I’d like to take a second attempt and compare EKS with ECS.

Before comparing the differences, let us start with what EKS and ECS have in common. Both solutions are managing containers distributed among a fleet of virtual machines. Managing containers includes:

  • Monitoring and replacing failed containers.
  • Deploying new versions of your containers.
  • Scaling the number of containers based on load.

What are the differences between EKS and ECS?

Load Balancing

Usually, a load balancer is the entry point into your AWS infrastructure. Both EKS and ECS offer integrations with Elastic Load Balancing (ELB).

On the one hand, Kubernetes — and therefore EKS — offers an integration with the Classic Load Balancer. When creating a service Kubernetes does also create or configure a Classic Load Balancer for you.

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