New Container Capabilities in AWS for Devs

Amazon Web Services, Inc. (AWS) announced four new innovations that should get the attention of developers working with containers. The company's new container capabilities were designed specifically to help with the development, deployment, and scaling of modern applications, the company says.

AWS is making it possible for its customers to run Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) or Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) in their own datacenters with a new service for automated container and serverless application development and deployment, and by providing a new container registry that gives developers an easy and highly available way to share and deploy container software publicly.

"For developers who most prioritize using the open source Kubernetes orchestration engine, AWS offers Amazon EKS," the company explained in a statement. "For developers who most prioritize the deepest integration with the rest of AWS and the comfort of AWS-style APIs and streamlined configurations for cluster management, scheduling, and monitoring, AWS offers Amazon ECS."

For developers who prefer to run containers without having to think about servers or clusters at all (i.e. serverless), AWS is offering AWS Fargate, the company added.

Containers provide a standard way for developers to package and run applications quickly and reliably in any environment, while also improving resource utilization and reducing cost. The AWS offerings allow them to run their applications in containers without having to deal with different deployment and management processes for on-premises applications and cloud applications.

They get a fully-managed solution that works in their own datacenters and in AWS with the same monitoring, cluster management, and deployment pipelines they use in Amazon ECS and Amazon EKS, the company said.

The list of new capabilities includes:

  • Amazon ECS Anywhere, which provides developers with the ability to run Amazon ECS in their organizations' own datacenters using the same cloud-based, fully-managed, and highly-scalable container orchestration service they currently use in AWS. "Amazon ECS Anywhere provides customers with consistent tooling and APIs for all container-based applications, and the same Amazon ECS experience for cluster management, workload scheduling, and monitoring both in the cloud and in their own data centers," the company said. "With Amazon ECS Anywhere, customers no longer need to run, update, or maintain their own container orchestrators on-premises, making it easier to move their containers to the cloud and manage their hybrid environment.
  • Amazon EKS Anywhere allows devs to run Kubernetes in their organizations' own datacenters and in the cloud using the same consistent Amazon EKS experience. "Amazon EKS Anywhere works on any infrastructure (bare metal, VMware vSphere, or cloud virtual machines) and provides customers with consistent Kubernetes management tooling optimized to simplify cluster installation with default configurations for OS, container registry, logging, monitoring, networking, and storage," the company explained. Amazon EKS Anywhere uses Amazon EKS Distro, the same Kubernetes distribution deployed by Amazon EKS, allowing users to create clusters consistent with Amazon EKS best practices.
  • AWS Proton is a new application management service designed to make it radically simpler to provision, deploy, and monitor applications when the unit of compute is small and dynamic, as with container and serverless. "AWS Proton allows customers to define application components as 'stacks' (i.e. the different combinations of chunks of code used in an application)," the company explained in a statement. Proton comes with a set of curated application stacks with built-in AWS best practices for security, architecture, and tools, allowing infrastructure teams to distribute trusted stacks to development teams quickly and easily. "AWS Proton enables infrastructure teams to make the stacks available to development teams for different use cases, and ensures that the stacks stay standardized and up-to-date even as multiple teams deploy stacks simultaneously," the company said.
  • Amazon Elastic Container Registry (ECR) Public allows developers to share and deploy container software publicly. Amazon ECR customers download more three billion images each week, the company says, enabling developers to deploy containers for use in their own applications. But when developers want to publish popular software as images publicly (e.g. language libraries, web servers, databases, etc.), they can't currently download it from Amazon ECR. Amazon ECR has added a public registry for developers to store, manage, share, and deploy container images for anyone to discover and download.

AWS made the announcement at the recent AWS re:Invent virtual conference. AWS Proton and Amazon ECR Public are available in preview today. ECS Anywhere and Amazon EKS Anywhere will be available in the first half of 2021.

About the Author

John K. Waters is the editor in chief of a number of sites, with a focus on high-end development, AI and future tech. He's been writing about cutting-edge technologies and culture of Silicon Valley for more than two decades, and he's written more than a dozen books. He also co-scripted the documentary film Silicon Valley: A 100 Year Renaissance, which aired on PBS.  He can be reached at [email protected].