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The Benefits of Managed Kubernetes vs. Amazon ECS

In a previous post, we discussed the pros and cons of solutions like AWS Elastic Container Service (ECS) for container orchestration. As of 2019, Kubernetes has become the front-and-center solution for running containers in production. For customers on AWS ECS, this has forced a decision around the business benefits of Kubernetes. 

A 2018 CNCF survey cites 83% of organizations use Kubernetes as their container orchestration solution vs. 24% for ECS. AWS added Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) in 2018 in response to the growing customer use of Kubernetes on AWS. Kubernetes also enables companies to shift their workloads between on-premise and cloud environments, enabling new use cases with the technology, but also adding additional operational overhead. EKS aims to streamline some of these tasks, making AWS a major player in the growing Managed Kubernetes market.

Here’s where Kubernetes can help:

  • No lock-in, fully open source: Kubernetes can be used both on-premise or in the cloud without having to re-architect your container orchestration strategy. The software is fully open source and can be redeployed without incurring traditional software licensing fees.
  • Powerful flexibility: In addition, if you have an important revenue-generating application, Kubernetes is a great way to meet high availability requirements, without sacrificing the need for efficiency and scalability. With Kubernetes, you have granular control over how your workloads can scale. This allows you to avoid vendor lock-in with ECS or other container services when you need to make the switch to a more powerful platform.
  • High availability and scalability: Kubernetes includes built-in high availability features that help with load balancing and self-healing. Autoscaling ensures your workloads always have the right amount of compute available.
  • Vibrant community: Kubernetes is an active community with a breadth of modular, open source extensions that have the backing of major companies and institutions like the CNCF. Several thousand developers and many large corporations contribute to Kubernetes, making it the platform of choice for modern software infrastructure. 
  • Long term solution: Given the rise of Kubernetes, many cloud providers are shifting their R&D focus to expanding their managed Kubernetes services over legacy options. Consider Kubernetes as you develop your long term IT strategy.

Key Considerations for Adopting Kubernetes

Kubernetes does come with a learning curve. Existing Managed Kubernetes services such as Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS), and AWS Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) do a good job of keeping the Kubernetes control plane available, but still require Ops teams to make a set of technical decisions. For example, Ops must still add monitoring, logging, auditing, deployment validation, DNS, and ingress capabilities, to name a few. On top of this, Ops teams stay up-to-date on the latest best practices for configuring, upgrading, and patching each add-on. All of this can be taxing on Platform Engineering teams who juggle multiple infrastructure and DevOps priorities.

Fairwinds ClusterOps solves this problem for Platform Engineering and DevOps teams by providing expertly-managed cloud native infrastructure leveraging containers and Kubernetes. ClusterOps is a Fully Managed Kubernetes platform that delivers production-grade clusters managed 24x7 by a team of site reliability engineers. ClusterOps operates between the cloud infrastructure layer and the customer’s workloads, and integrates Fairwinds’ engineering expertise as well as our open source software and automation products. It provides all of the services and management controls necessary to ensure deployments are continuously optimized, highly available, and secure. 

If Fairwinds ClusterOps is something that interests you, be sure to download a solution sheet for more information.