AWS Marries Fargate to Kubernetes

Amazon Web Services (AWS) today at its re:Invent 2019 conference announced it is making available an instance of its Fargate managed serverless computing service for containers on top of the distribution of Kubernetes it manages on behalf of customers.

AWS now offers no fewer than four separate container services, including an existing Fargate service, an Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS), a managed Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) and AWS Fargate for EKS.

Of course, many IT organizations are deploying containers on AWS without any help from AWS. In fact, AWS CEO Andy Jassy told conference attendees 81% of all containers in the cloud run in AWS and 84% of all Kubernetes in the cloud run on AWS.
In addition, Jassy noted 40% of all new AWS customers deploying containers are getting started with the existing Fargate service.

Fargate provides IT teams with an option to deploy containers on a serverless computing service that eliminates the need for organizations to manage their own servers and clusters. Jassy concedes that retrofitting the existing Fargate serverless service to support Kubernetes proved to be a significant challenge.

The company also made it clear it wants to expand the types of workloads running on its container services. The company this week launched Amazon SageMaker Operators for Kubernetes, which employs a set of SageMaker tools to enable organizations to train, optimize and deploy machine learning models that run natively on Kubernetes clusters by creating jobs using the Kubernetes application programming interface (API) and command-line tools such as ‘kubectl’. Developers can also extend the Kubernetes API by creating custom resource definitions (CRDs) that contain their application-specific or domain-specific logic and components. AWS is also including Operators software for Kubernetes to allow users to natively invoke these custom resources and automate associated workflows.

Finally, AWS announced that ECS and EKs will be available on AWS Outposts, an instance of a hyperconverged server that can be deployed in an on-premises IT environment that is managed by AWS. AWS Outposts are now generally available, according to the company.

More than a few IT organizations are employing multiple AWS services to deploy containers based on the nature of the workload and their preference for maintaining control over the IT infrastructure on which containerized applications run. Multiple departments within the same organization may opt to employ different types of container services.

There is no doubt that rival cloud service providers are playing catch-up with AWS. In theory, the rise of containers and microservices created an opportunity for Microsoft, Google and others to close the gap. However, while every cloud service provider is benefiting from the shift to containers, it doesn’t appear AWS is losing any ground to rival platform providers in terms of workloads or number of containers being deployed.

Of course, containers also make it a lot easier to move applications between cloud platforms as well as between the cloud and on-premises IT environments, so no cloud service provider should feel as comfortable as they once might have been when monolithic applications were locked into a specific virtual machine platform.

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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