Elastic Container Service

Updated: 2023-09-01
3 min read


Highly secure, reliable, & scalable way to run contai­ners

Amazon Elastic Container Service Flow


  • Google Container Engine (GKE)
  • Azure Container Service
  • IBM Bluemix Container Service
  • Jelastic Multi-Cloud PaaS


Amazon ECSTerm Definition
ClusterLogical Grouping of EC2 Instances
ContainerInstance EC2 instance running the ECS agent
Task DefinitionBlueprint that describes how a docker container should launch
TaskA running container using settings in a Task Definition
ServiceDefines long running tasks – can control task count with Auto Scaling and attach an ELB


  • Microservices are built in multiple programming languages
  • Containers simplify deployment of microservices:
    • Step 1 : Create a self contained Docker image
      • Application Runtime (JDK or Python), Application code and Dependencies
    • Step 2 : Run it as a container any where Local machine OR Corporate data center OR Cloud
  • Use On-Demand instances or Spot instances
  • Launch type: EC2 or Fargate
  • Data volumes attached to containers
  • Deployment type:
    • Rolling update
    • Blue/green deployment (powered by AWS CodeDeploy)
  • Task Placement Strategies:
    • binpack - Leave least amount of unused CPU or memory. Minimizes number of container instances in use
    • random - Random task placement
    • spread - Based on specified values:
      • Host (instanceId)
      • (OR) Availability Zone(attribute:ecs.availability-zone)
      • (Alowed) Combine strategies and prioritize
  • How do you manage 100s of containers?
  • ECS - Fully managed service for container orchestration
    • Step 1 : Create a Cluster (Group of one or more EC2 instances)
    • Step 2: Deploy your microservice containers
  • AWS Fargate: Serverless ECS. DON’T worry about EC2 instances.
  • Cloud Neutral: Kubernetes
    • AWS - AWS Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS)
  • Load balancing:
    • Performed using Application Load Balancers
      • Dynamic host port mapping: Multiple tasks from the same service are allowed per EC2 (container) instance
      • Path-based routing: Multiple services can use the same listener port on same ALB and be routed based on path (<www.myapp.com/microservice-a> and <www.myapp.com/microservice-b>)


Current price

Use Cases

Type: Containers

Same type services: Elastic Container Service (ECS), Elastic Container Registry (ECR), Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS), Fargate

ECS Auto Scaling

Best practice:

  • 10 Microservices => 10 Task Definitions => 10 Task IAM Roles with individual permissions needed by each microservice


Amazon also provides the Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes (Amazon EKS) which can be used to deploy, manage, and scale containerized applications using Kubernetes on AWS.

Amazon ECSAmazon EKS
Managed, highly available, highly scalable container platformManaged, highly available, highly scalable container platform
AWS-specific platform that supports Docker ContainersCompatible with upstream Kubernetes so it’s easy to lift and shift from other Kubernetes deployments
Considered simpler and easier to useConsidered more feature-rich and complex with a steep learning curve
Leverages AWS services like Route 53, ALB, and CloudWatchA hosted Kubernetes platform that handles many things internally
“Tasks” are instances of containers that are run on underlying compute but more of less isolated“Pods” are containers collocated with one another and can have shared access to each other
Limited extensibilityExtensible via a wide variety of third-party and community add-ons.



You are asked to establish a baseline for normal Amazon ECS performance in your environment by measuring performance at various times and under different load conditions. To establish a baseline, Amazon recommends that you should at a minimum monitor the CPU and ____ for your Amazon ECS clusters and the CPU and ____ metrics for your Amazon ECS services.

  1. memory reservation and utilization; concurrent connections
  2. memory utilization; memory reservation and utilization
  3. concurrent connections; memory reservation and utilization
  4. memory reservation and utilization; memory utilization