Overview: AWS Container Management
The AWS Marketplace offers a large variety of commercial and open source offerings to augment container management within the AWS ecosystem. Sumo Logic’s AWS Marketscape looks at the pros and cons of the most common container management tools and solutions from the Marketplace.
Virtualization and cloud computing have revolutionized the way that software is designed, developed, and deployed. The pace of change continues to accelerate thanks to fresh approaches to software development, along with new ways of implementing applications such as containers and serverless architectures.
Container technologies like Docker represent a particularly exciting advance that makes it possible to scale distributed applications while consuming far fewer resources than would have been required with virtualization. However, taking full advantage of the benefits of container-hosted solutions requires proper administrative tooling.
AWS Container Management Solutions and Tools
Amazon has compiled an outstanding collection of complementary technologies that recognize the growing importance of container architectures. First, the Amazon EC2 Container Service (ECS) streamlines the job of running containerized applications in production. Now, all that’s required is to allocate the necessary underlying EC2 compute resources and upload container images.
AWS ECS will then assume responsibility for distributing the containers across a cluster of EC2 instances and supervising critical operational details once the application is live. Amazon also designed ECS to smoothly interact with other AWS scalability and security solutions such as Identity and Access Management (IAM), AWS CloudFormation, auto scaling, and AWS Elastic Load Balancing.
Finally, developers and administrators turn to the Amazon EC2 Container Registry (ECR) for the important task of storing, managing, and deploying Docker container images. AWS ECR works closely with AWS ECS, fostering secure, cross-team collaboration for container-based development, testing, and production environments.
AWS Container Management Pricing
The Amazon Marketplace offers container-friendly pricing policies:
- AWS ECS imposes no additional surcharges. The only costs that will be incurred are the foundational AWS resources that drive the containerized application.
- AWS ECR mandates no upfront fees or commitments either. Instead, expenses are linked to the amount of data that is stored in repositories combined with the quantity of data transferred to the Internet. To help encourage utilization, Amazon provides a free AWS ECR tier of 500 MB per month.
AWS Container Management Limitations
Amazon’s container management solutions are well-designed and field an impressive, ever-expanding array of capabilities. This makes them an excellent choice, especially for businesses that are standardizing on AWS infrastructure.
However, many organizations have elected to implement containerized architectures that go beyond AWS to incorporate assets from other cloud computing platforms and/or on-premise installations. It’s quite likely that these enterprises will gain value by executing a ‘best-of-breed’ strategy that applies technologies from third party vendors in concert with Amazon’s offerings to arrive at an optimal arrangement.
Third Party Container Management Solutions
Container technologies—notably Docker—are at the heart of a dynamic, rapidly evolving ecosystem that’s served by both open source and proprietary products. These offerings go beyond basic capabilities to provide enterprise-grade administrative and security enhancements. Most importantly, they don’t tie customers to a particular cloud vendor.
For example, an enterprise may elect to employ Kubernetes with Docker containers: both are open source and vendor independent solutions. These products are meant to support the entire IT portfolio—including on-premise container assets—while still supplying solid integration with cloud computing providers like Amazon Web Services.
Third Party Container Management Features
|Automatic binpacking||Batch execution||Secret and configuration management|
|Storage orchestration||Automated rollouts and rollbacks||Horizontal scaling|
|Multiple scheduling options||Service discovery and load balancing||Self-healing|
|High availability||Linear scalability||Pluggable isolation|
|Support for multiple operating systems||Web user interface||Plug-and-play integration with third party backend technologies|
Third Party Container Management Software and Apps
|Apache Mesos||Apache Mesos abstracts CPU, memory, storage, and other compute resources away from machines (physical or virtual), enabling fault-tolerant and elastic distributed systems to easily be built and run effectively.|
|Docker Swarm||Docker Swarm provides native clustering capabilities to turn a group of Docker engines into a single, virtual Docker Engine. With these pooled resources, applications can be scaled out as if they were running on a single, huge computer.|
|Docker Trusted Registry||Docker Trusted Registry (DTR) is the enterprise-grade image storage solution from Docker. It can be installed behind the firewall or in a virtual private cloud, making it possible to securely store and manage the Docker images used in applications.|
|Docker Universal Control Plane||Docker Universal Control Plane (UCP) is the enterprise-grade cluster management solution from Docker. It’s installed behind the firewall, and provides a GUI for administering the cluster—even for thousands of nodes—from a single location.|
|Kubernetes||Kubernetes is an open-source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. It groups containers that make up an application into logical units for easy management and discovery. It builds upon 15 years of experience of running production workloads at Google, combined with best-of-breed ideas and practices from the community.|