AWS EKS vs. ECS: The Ultimate Guide

AWS EKS vs. ECS_ The Ultimate Guide

When it comes to container orchestration, two of the most popular AWS offerings are AWS Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) and AWS Elastic Container Service (ECS). In this blog, we will look at the differences between EKS and ECS and explore the pros and cons of each. We will also discuss the various use cases and scenarios where each would be the best choice. Finally, we will look at pricing and other considerations to help you make the right decision.

What Is EKS?

EKS is Amazon’s managed Kubernetes service. It allows you to quickly and easily deploy, manage, and scale containerized applications using Kubernetes. EKS is a fully managed service, which means that you don’t have to worry about managing or maintaining the underlying infrastructure.

EKS is based on the open-source Kubernetes project, which means that you can use the same APIs and tools that you would use with any other Kubernetes cluster. This also means that you can easily migrate existing workloads to EKS.

EKS is designed for high availability and scalability, and it supports Auto Scaling, rolling updates, and self-healing. It also integrates with other AWS services, such as Amazon Relational Database Service (RDS), Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS), Amazon Simple Queue Service (SQS), and Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS).

What Is ECS?

Amazon ECS (Elastic Container Service) is a container orchestration and management service provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS). It enables users to run and manage containers on AWS. With Amazon ECS, users can quickly and easily deploy, manage, and scale containerized applications, using the same simple APIs and underlying infrastructure that power Amazon’s own applications.

Amazon ECS is a fully managed service that provides the ability to run application containers on the AWS cloud. Amazon ECS allows users to define a set of tasks with Docker containers, create a cluster of EC2 instances, and launch and manage the tasks within the cluster. Amazon ECS also provides a web-based service console, allowing users to view, manage, and monitor their application containers.

The Amazon ECS service is supported by a wide range of AWS services, such as Amazon EC2, Amazon S3, Amazon CloudFormation, Amazon VPC, and Amazon IAM. This enables users to take advantage of the scalability and cost-effectiveness of AWS for their containerized applications.

Comparing EKS and ECS

Now that we have a basic understanding of EKS and ECS, let’s look at how they compare in terms of features, performance, and cost.

  • Portability and Compatibility: Both EKS and ECS are managed services offered by AWS. ECS is an AWS-specific service, while EKS is a Kubernetes-as-a-platform service. Applications running on an EKS cluster can be transferred to any other Kubernetes cluster with minimal or no changes, but applications deployed on ECS must use the proprietary container platform of AWS. It is easy to migrate applications from EKS to a self-managed or other cloud provider’s Kubernetes cluster, but this is not possible with applications deployed on ECS.
  • Features: Both EKS and ECS offer similar features, such as support for auto-scaling, rolling updates, self-healing, and integration with other AWS services. However, EKS offers a few additional features, such as support for the Kubernetes API, which makes it easier to migrate existing workloads.
  • Performance: When it comes to performance, EKS and ECS both offer excellent performance. EKS is designed to be highly available, and it can scale to meet your needs. ECS is also highly available and can scale, but it is not as efficient as EKS.
  • Cost: Both EKS and ECS offer similar pricing models. EKS is slightly more expensive than ECS, but it may be worth the extra cost if you need the additional features that EKS offers. Amazon EKS is composed of a control plane and infrastructure, either AWS Fargate or Amazon EC2, to run containerized applications. The cost of both ECS and EKS also varies based on the infrastructure (AWS Fargate or Amazon EC2) being used to host containerized applications. Additionally, one must pay an hourly rate of $0.10 per Amazon EKS cluster for its control plane.
  • Networking : When comparing Amazon ECS vs EKS, one of the major differences is the amount of Pods or tasks that can be housed on a single instance. EKS allows for up to 750 Pods per instance, while ECS only allows for a maximum of 120 tasks per instance.
  • Ease of Use : ECS is easy to understand and does not require a lot of knowledge to use, in comparison to EKS which relies on the more complicated Kubernetes, necessitating more experience for successful deployments. Additionally, EKS has a control plane, while ECS does not.
  • Community support: Kubernetes has gained more popularity due to its open-source nature, allowing for a large community and support to be available. Many helpful documentation and how-to guides are also available for the technology. However, ECS has the advantage of having greater official support from AWS, although the community support is not as strong as that of Kubernetes.

Use Cases of EKS and ECS


Now that we’ve looked at the features and performance of EKS and ECS, let’s look at some of the use cases where each would be the best choice.

  • EKS: If you need to deploy and manage complex, large-scale applications, then EKS is the best choice. It is also a good choice if you need support for the Kubernetes API, or if you need to migrate existing workloads.If you are looking for a cost-effective and efficient way to deploy containers across multiple infrastructures and take advantage of the flexibility of Kubernetes, then EKS is the perfect choice for you. EKS provides the latest technology and ensures that you are at the forefront of the tech world. Furthermore, EKS is a future-proof and versatile solution, so you can rest assured that you are making the right choice for your organization. Additionally, EKS is a great option if you don’t mind investing in the control plane in exchange for the full capabilities of Kubernetes.
  • ECS: If you need a simple, easy-to-use solution for deploying and managing applications, then ECS is the best choice. It is also a good choice if you don’t need the additional features that EKS offers.


If you want to work exclusively on AWS and have limited expertise and resources to invest in learning Kubernetes, Amazon ECS is the ideal choice for you. ECS offers more in-depth AWS integration and is great for when you don’t have the time to build, deploy, or migrate your containerized applications successfully to Kubernetes.

Conclusion

When it comes to choosing the right cloud platform, there is no easy answer. But one thing is certain: Amazon Web Services (AWS) is the leading cloud provider. When it comes to container orchestration, two of the most popular options are AWS Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) and AWS Elastic Container Service (ECS).

EKS is Amazon’s managed Kubernetes service. It is designed for high availability and scalability, and it supports Auto Scaling, rolling updates, and self-healing. ECS is Amazon’s container orchestration service. It is designed to be simple and easy to use.

How nOps can help with EKS Cost Management


Ultimately, the decision of which service to use will depend on your specific needs and requirements. But with this blog, you now have the information you need to make an informed decision. Want sharper visibility into the cost of your Kubernetes deployment on AWS and see how much you can save? You can explore more at nOps.io.