ECS and Kubernetes are two popular container orchestration platforms, but they differ in terms of cost, learning curve, community support, and features. In this blog post, we will compare the cost of ECS and Kubernetes and discuss some additional considerations to help you choose the right platform for your needs.
Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) is a fully managed container orchestration service that helps you to deploy, manage, and scale containerized applications. ECS provides a simple way to run Docker containers on AWS, without the need to set up and manage your own container infrastructure.
ECS clusters are made up of EC2 instances, which are the underlying compute resources that your containers run on. ECS also provides a variety of features to help you manage your containerized applications, including:
Kubernetes is an open-source container orchestration platform that automates many of the manual processes involved in deploying, managing, and scaling containerized applications. Kubernetes provides a declarative approach to container orchestration, which means that you tell Kubernetes what you want, and Kubernetes takes care of the rest.
Kubernetes clusters are made up of a variety of components, including:
ECS and Kubernetes are both powerful container orchestration platforms, but they have different strengths and weaknesses.
Here is a high-level overview of the key differences between ECS and Kubernetes:
ECS is a good choice for teams that:
Kubernetes is a good choice for teams that:
Both ECS and Kubernetes provide core container orchestration features, such as container scheduling, load balancing, and auto-scaling. However, Kubernetes offers more flexibility and control in how these features are implemented.
ECS and Kubernetes both provide simple ways to deploy and scale containerized applications. ECS uses task definitions and services to define and manage your applications, while Kubernetes uses pods, deployments, and services.
ECS and Kubernetes both provide load balancing features to distribute traffic across multiple containers. ECS uses Elastic Load Balancing (ELB), while Kubernetes uses kube-proxy.
ECS and Kubernetes both provide service discovery features to help containers find each other. ECS uses the Elastic Container Registry (ECR) as its default service registry, while Kubernetes uses etcd.
ECS does not have a built-in service mesh, but it can be integrated with third-party service meshes such as Istio and Linkerd. Kubernetes has a built-in service mesh called Istio that provides features such as load balancing, service discovery, and fault tolerance.
ECS and Kubernetes both provide auto-healing features to restart failed containers. ECS uses a health check mechanism to identify and restart failed containers, while Kubernetes uses liveness and readiness probes.
ECS provides a simple way to manage persistent storage for your containers using Elastic Block Store (EBS) volumes. Kubernetes offers more flexibility in how persistent storage is managed, with support for a variety of storage providers and storage types.
ECS and Kubernetes both provide networking features to connect your containers to each other and to the outside world. ECS uses the Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) for networking, while Kubernetes uses a variety of networking plugins, such as Calico and Weave.
ECS and Kubernetes both provide a variety of security features to help protect your containerized applications. ECS integrates with AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) to provide role-based access control (RBAC) for your applications. Kubernetes also provides RBAC, as well as other security features such as network isolation and pod security policies.
ECS and Kubernetes both provide observability and logging features to help you track the performance and health of your containerized applications. ECS integrates with AWS CloudWatch for logging and monitoring, while Kubernetes provides a variety of logging and monitoring tools, such as Prometheus and Grafana.
ECS and Kubernetes both have large and active ecosystems of tools and plugins. Kubernetes has a particularly large ecosystem, thanks to its open-source nature. ECS and Kubernetes also have large and active communities that provide support and resources to users.
ECS is a good choice for small-scale projects because it is easy to use and manage. It also provides a variety of features that can help you to deploy and scale your applications quickly and easily.
Kubernetes is a good choice for large-scale projects because it offers more flexibility and control than ECS. It also has a larger ecosystem of tools and plugins, which can help you to manage your applications more effectively.
Kubernetes is a good choice for multi-cloud projects because it is supported by multiple cloud providers. This means that you can deploy your applications to the cloud provider of your choice, or you can deploy them to multiple cloud providers.
Kubernetes can be used to deploy and manage containerized applications on-premises. However, it is more complex to set up and manage than ECS.
Here are some specific examples of use cases for ECS and Kubernetes:
ECS is a good choice for teams that are new to container orchestration or that want a managed service from AWS. Kubernetes is a good choice for teams that need more flexibility and control, or that want to use a platform that is supported by multiple cloud providers.
ECS is a free service to use, but you will need to pay for the underlying AWS resources that your ECS cluster uses, such as EC2 instances and EBS volumes. The cost of your ECS cluster will depend on a number of factors, including the size and type of EC2 instances you use, the amount of EBS storage you need, and the network traffic generated by your applications.
Here are some examples of the on-demand hourly pricing for ECS clusters using t2 instances:
You can use the AWS Pricing Calculator to estimate the cost of your ECS cluster.
Kubernetes is an open-source platform, so there is no direct charge for using it. However, you will need to pay for the underlying infrastructure that you use to run Kubernetes.
If you are running Kubernetes on AWS, you will need to pay for EC2 instances, EBS volumes, and EBS snapshots. You may also need to pay for other AWS services, such as Elastic Load Balancing (ELB) and Route 53.
The cost of your Kubernetes cluster will depend on a number of factors, including the number of nodes in your cluster, the size and type of servers you use, the amount of storage you need, and the network traffic generated by your applications.
In general, ECS is a more cost-effective option for small and medium-sized projects. This is because ECS is a managed service, so AWS takes care of the underlying infrastructure and management of your ECS cluster.
However, Kubernetes can be a more cost-effective option for large and complex projects, especially if you are using reserved instances or running Kubernetes on-premises. This is because Kubernetes offers more flexibility and control than ECS, which can help you to optimize your resource usage.
In addition to the cost of the underlying infrastructure, there are a few other factors to consider when comparing the cost of ECS and Kubernetes:
When you deploy an application to Five, Five uses Kubernetes to create a Docker container image of your application and then deploys that container image to a cluster. Five automatically provisions and manages the resources needed to run your application, such as compute, storage, and networking.
Five also provides a number of features that make it easy to deploy and manage your applications, such as:
Overall, Five’s use of Kubernetes provides a number of benefits for developers, such as scalability, availability, security, and ease of use.