Containers are extremely popular today because they enable developers to package an application with all of its dependencies into a single standardized unit for software development. This bundling makes an application portable, scalable, and easy to manage, which is vital in a cloud environment like AWS.

Container orchestration is a process that automates the deployment, management, scaling, networking, and availability of container-based applications. It’s especially beneficial when you’re managing numerous containers that make up large distributed applications.

Amazon provides multiple services for container orchestration, such as the Elastic Container Service (ECS) and Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS).

Table of Contents

Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS)

Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) is a fully managed, scalable and secure container management service using Docker containers. It simplifies running containers at any scale, and allows you to choose to run your ECS clusters using AWS Fargate, a serverless compute engine for containers.

ECS is deeply integrated with other services like Amazon RDS, AWS Lambda, and Amazon API Gateway. ECS supports Docker Compose, a tool for defining and running multi-container Docker applications. This means you can use your existing Docker Compose files without much change.

ECS also supports task definitions, which are a JSON file specifying the containers that need to be on the same host to share a life cycle.

Pros and Cons of Using ECS

Pros Cons
Easily integrates with other AWS services The learning curve as not many external resources
Excellent scaling ability The lack of flexibility resulting from being AWS-specific
Offers tight security controls Less community support compared to Kubernetes

Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS)

Amazon EKS is also a managed service allowing you to run Kubernetes on AWS without needing to install, operate or maintain your own control plane. Kubernetes is an open-source container orchestration tool designed to automate, deploying, scaling, and network operation of application containers.

With Amazon EKS, you can use Kubernetes APIs and plugins, enabling you to move your K8s applications to AWS without any code changes.

The great thing about EKS is users get a managed Kubernetes master node: EKS will handle all the patching, updating and providing a generally highly available master node.

Pros and Cons of Using EKS

Pros Cons
Kubernetes compatibility Costs more
Large community supporting Kubernetes More complex
Can work in AWS and non-AWS environments More manual configuration


Choosing between ECS and EKS depends on your specific needs.

ECS may be the better choice if you’re already using other AWS services, need tight integration and find Docker Compose files convenient. It might be a more straightforward option since it eliminates the need to manage Kubernetes master nodes, reducing the administrative burden.

EKS would be more advantageous if you’re already using Kubernetes orchestration, have Kubernetes proficiency, or need the ability to work across multiple cloud environments.

Either way, both services offer reliable, scalable container orchestration services which could effectively manage your containerized applications on AWS. To prepare yourself for the AWS Certified Solutions Architect – Associate (SAA-C03) exam, get hands-on practice with both services to understand when and how to use each.

Practice Test

True or False: Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) is used to manage Docker containers on Kubernetes clusters.

  • True
  • False

Answer: False

Explanation: Amazon ECS is used to manage Docker containers but it is not necessarily linked with Kubernetes clusters. Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) is used to manage containers on Kubernetes clusters.

Which of these services is designed specifically for managing Kubernetes clusters?

  • a) AWS Lambda
  • b) Redshift
  • c) Internet of Things
  • d) Amazon EKS

Answer: d) Amazon EKS

Explanation: Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) is a managed service that makes it easy for you to run Kubernetes on AWS without needing to stand up or maintain your own Kubernetes control plane.

Amazon ECS supports Docker networking and multiple types of storage. Is this true?

  • a) Yes
  • b) No

Answer: a) Yes

Explanation: Amazon ECS supports Docker standard networking and storage models which includes binding to host ports, binding to container ports and multiple storage options including AWS EBS.

True or False: Amazon EKS automatically manages the availability and scalability of your applications using the Kubo architecture.

  • True
  • False

Answer: False

Explanation: Amazon EKS runs the Kubernetes management infrastructure across multiple AWS availability zones, automatically detects and replaces unhealthy control plane nodes, and provides on-demand upgrades and patching. It does not use the Kubo Architecture.

Which among these can be integrated with Amazon EKS to manage user permissions and encryption?

  • a) AWS Secrets Manager
  • b) AWS IAM
  • c) AWS KMS
  • d) All of the above

Answer: d) All of the above

Explanation: Amazon EKS can be integrated with AWS IAM for user permissions, AWS KMS for encryption, and AWS Secrets Manager to store and retrieve secrets.

True or False: The ECS container agent is included in the Amazon ECS-optimized AMIs, but it can also be installed on any EC2 instance that supports the ECS specification.

  • True
  • False

Answer: True

Explanation: The ECS container agent is included in the Amazon ECS-optimized AMIs, and can also be installed on any EC2 instance that supports the ECS specification.

In managing containers, Amazon ECS eliminates the need for you to operate your own cluster management and configuration management systems or worry about scaling your management infrastructure.

  • a) Yes
  • b) No

Answer: a) Yes

Explanation: Amazon ECS does eliminate the need to operate your own cluster management and configuration management system. It also manages the scalability of the infrastructure.

Amazon EKS does not support Kubernetes Network Policies.

  • a) True
  • b) False

Answer: b) False

Explanation: Amazon EKS does support Kubernetes Network Policies for task networking.

Auto Scaling groups cannot be used with Amazon EKS.

  • a) True
  • b) False

Answer: b) False

Explanation: Amazon EKS can make use of AWS Auto Scaling groups to ensure the number of instances matches the current demand.

True or False: ECS tasks can use IAM roles.

  • True
  • False

Answer: True

Explanation: ECS tasks can use IAM roles to provide AWS credentials to the containers in the task, allowing those containers to access AWS services and resources.

With Amazon ECS, you can use AWS Fargate to launch your containers without having to manage the underlying infrastructure.

  • a) True
  • b) False

Answer: a) True

Explanation: AWS Fargate allows you to run containers without managing the underlying infrastructure. This is fully integrated with Amazon ECS.

Interview Questions

What is Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS)?

Amazon ECS is a highly scalable, high-performance container orchestration service that supports Docker containers and allows you to easily run and scale containerized applications on AWS.

What is Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS)?

Amazon EKS is a fully managed Kubernetes service. Customers such as Intel, Snap, Intuit, GoDaddy, and Autodesk trust EKS to run their most sensitive and mission critical applications because of its security, reliability, and scalability.

What integration does Amazon ECS have with other AWS services?

Amazon ECS integrates with AWS services such as AWS Fargate, AWS Batch, AWS CodeStar, AWS CloudFormation, Amazon CloudWatch, Amazon CloudTrail, AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM), and AWS PrivateLink.

How can Amazon EKS aid in the orchestration of containers?

Amazon EKS provides a Kubernetes control plane that is highly available and fully managed. It takes care of the underlying infrastructure, allowing the user to focus more on building their application.

What security features does Amazon ECS offer?

Amazon ECS offers several security features like task isolation with Amazon EC2 and AWS Fargate, IAM roles, and security groups for tasks, and encryption and security for data in transit.

What are the key benefits of using AWS Fargate with Amazon ECS?

It provides serverless compute for containers, eliminates the need to provision and manage servers, improves security through application isolation, and simplifies the scaling and right-sizing of applications.

How does Amazon EKS help with automated scaling?

Amazon EKS can integrate with Kubernetes native auto-scaling features and AWS auto-scaling groups which monitor your applications and automatically adjust capacity to maintain steady and predictable performance.

What types of applications are best suited for orchestration with Amazon ECS?

Amazon ECS is best suited for microservices architectures, batch processing, machine learning applications, and backend services for web applications.

How can Amazon EKS and AWS Fargate work together?

Amazon EKS can leverage AWS Fargate to launch pods (the basic unit in a Kubernetes cluster) without having to manage the underlying EC2 instances, making it truly serverless.

How does AWS ensure reliability and high availability in Amazon ECS?

Amazon ECS ensures high availability and reliability by integrating with services such as Amazon EC2, multiple Availability Zones, and AWS Auto Scaling.

What developer tools does AWS offer for container orchestration?

AWS provides several developer tools for container orchestration, including AWS CLI, AWS SDKs, AWS Copilot CLI, AWS Management Console, and Amazon ECS plugins for Jenkins.

Can you integrate Amazon EKS with AWS CloudFormation?

Yes, AWS CloudFormation provides templates for Amazon EKS that describe the resources to be used, allowing you to manage and provision the resources in an automated and secure manner.

What is the role of Amazon CloudWatch in Amazon ECS?

Amazon CloudWatch provides monitoring services for AWS resources and applications, allowing you to collect and track metrics, collect and monitor log files, and set alarms.

How is cost efficiency achieved in Amazon EKS?

With Amazon EKS, you only pay for what you use. There are no minimum fees or upfront commitments. AWS also offers savings plans for Amazon EKS usage.

Can I use both Amazon ECS and Amazon EKS concurrently for different applications?

Yes, depending on the application requirements and your orchestration preferences, you can use both Amazon ECS and Amazon EKS concurrently for different applications.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *