December 15, 2017

Amazon Web Services, at the AWS re:invent 2017 conference, moved to make it much simpler to employ containers on its public cloud with the launch of AWS Fargate, a service that provides direct access to a container so DevOps teams can specify CPU and memory requirements, define networking and security policies and launch.

Pricing for AWS Fargate is based on per-second basis for both the amount of vCPU and memory resources consumed. Specifically, pricing per vCPU is $0.0506 per hour and per GB memory is $0.0127 per hour. There are more than 50 configuration options for vCPU and memory.

In addition, AWS announced that it is now providing a managed container service based on Kubernetes clusters dubbed Amazon Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes (EKS). This service automatically deploys version 8.0 of Kubernetes across three master nodes running in three different availability zones to eliminate any single point of failure.

In both cases, AWS CEO Andy Jassy says AWS is moving to reduce the complexity associated with deploying containers and Kubernetes by enabling DevOps teams to either rely on higher levels of abstractions to manage containers themselves or rely on AWS to do it on their behalf.

AWS for the first time is presenting a container as the atomic unit of computing rather than a virtual machine. That move coincides with its newly implemented bare-metal server offering. It’s not clear yet how many IT organizations employing containers might opt for a bare-metal option versus relying on hypervisors to provide more isolation between applications in the cloud, as currently most containerized applications use hypervisors when they are deployed on-premises and in the cloud.

Citing statistics compiled by the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF), the governing body that oversees development of Kubernetes, AWS says that 63 percent of all Kubernetes workloads run on AWS. The cloud service provider claims to have AWS more than 100,000 active ECS clusters, with hundreds of millions of new containers being launched each week. That represents a more than 400 percent growth since the first container service was launched in 2016.

AWS also noted that applications running on Amazon EKS are fully compatible with applications running on any standard Kubernetes environment. That means IT organizations can easily migrate existing Kubernetes applications to Amazon EKS with no code changes. But it also means that applications running on Kubernetes on AWS can also be easily migrated somewhere else—it’s not uncommon for IT organizations to migrate applications out of AWS to be deployed in a production environment elsewhere. Kubernetes will also make it possible to migrate applications under development as well as those deployed in production out of AWS if IT organizations become disenchanted with their total costs. In short, competition for container workloads running on Kubernetes is about to become fiercer than ever.

Mike Vizard

Mike Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist with over 25 years of experience. He also contributed to IT Business Edge, Channel Insider, Baseline and a variety of other IT titles. Previously, Vizard was the editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise as well as Editor-in-Chief for CRN and InfoWorld.