Harness Integrates CI/CD Platform with Amazon ECS

Harness today announced it has added support for the Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) Application Orchestration to its namesake continuous integration/continuous delivery (CI/CD) integration.

Jim Hirschauer, senior director for platform marketing and sales enablement at Harness, says that capability will make it possible for organizations that rely on Amazon ECS rather than Kubernetes to orchestrate containers to employ Harness to build and deploy those applications. Amazon ECS is a managed service based on a container orchestration engine that AWS created before Kubernetes became a de facto standard.

Available now on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Marketplace, Hirschauer says this integration will eliminate the need for organizations that have standardized on ECS to integrate Harness without having to create scripts themselves. IT teams can, for example, run containerized DB Migration Workloads or Smoke Testing Workloads without scripting those steps.

In addition, IT teams can now pull and reuse ECS Task Definitions from GitHub along with native support for running ECS Tasks that are short-lived and terminated by ECS upon completion.

Harness will also make it possible for IT teams that have standardized on ECS to take advantage of canary, blue-green and basic deployments with failure strategy and automated rollback capabilities without having to script those tasks themselves.

Collectively, Hirschauer says those capabilities create a level of bi-directional synchronization that will advance an ongoing transition to configuration as code.

Hirschauer says that despite the rise of Kubernetes there are still many IT teams that prefer to continue to rely on Amazon ECS to orchestrate containers because they perceive it to either be easier to employ or they simply began using it before Kubernetes reached its current level of maturity. Overall, Hirschauer notes the total cost of employing Amazon ECS is still much less than relying on a more complex Kubernetes-based approach.

A recent survey conducted by Harness found 31% of respondents currently employ Amazon ECS for container orchestration. Some of those organizations have multiple teams so Hirschauer notes it’s not uncommon for some organizations to employ both Amazon ECS and Kubernetes. More than two-thirds of the respondents in the Harness (67%) survey said they are running Kubernetes.

In either case, Hirschauer says IT teams building applications are now transitioning to new CI/CD platforms as they embrace GitOps workflows. As part of that effort, Hirschauer says those organizations are looking to rely more on templates than custom scripts that are required to integrate legacy CI/CD platforms such as Jenkins.

AWS continues to invest in both Amazon ECS Anywhere and its Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS). At the online AWS re:Invent conference this week, AWS launched Amazon ECS Anywhere and Amazon EKS Anywhere, which enables IT teams to deploy both managed instances of a container orchestration platform in an on-premises IT environment. AWS is also making available Amazon Elastic Container Registry (Amazon ECR) Public service for sharing container images.

With more organizations relying on managed services to orchestrate containers, tightening integration between CI/CD platforms and those managed services should reduce friction in DevOps workflows that span a managed container orchestration platform. It’s unclear to what degree Amazon ECS will remain a leading managed container orchestration service as Kubernetes continues to rise. However, the number of organizations that will continue to employ Amazon ECS for many years to come is likely to be significant.

Regardless of the platform employed, however, the more organizations employ containers to build applications the more critical it becomes for IT organizations to mature their DevOps workflows.

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.

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