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Post By Admin Last Updated At 2021-05-17
AWS ECS vs EKS: Which service is best?

Today enterprises greatly concentrate on scaling their applications more securely and quickly through cost optimization and using resources. In this regard, Containers play a great role in configs, dependencies, and application code packaging. They virtualize the OS level in a standard way rather than using much hardware stack. Thus, it gives the introduction various container services through container arrangement tools like AWS ECS, Docker, Kubernetes, etc.

Hence, users can run different containers on the top of the OS directly through these services. Because they are much flexible, fast, mobile, and user-friendly with less memory utilization than VMs. Also, they contribute greatly towards the success of the cloud environments within any enterprise. Amazon provides various container services in this regard along with supporting Kubernetes through the managed service EKS. AWS ECS is also a fully managed service from Amazon enterprise. AWS EKS helps in simplifying the deployment of a highly available, scalable, and completely managed Kubernetes control plane. 

Here, Kubernetes and Docker Swarm, both are open-source container orchestration tools that simplify application deployment. Hence, they introduced a novice way to build and deploy apps. And it enhanced the speed, reliability, and availability of apps. 

Many companies confuse in managing the containers at scale and it also leads to confusion among selecting the container solution. These services mostly align with the attributes of their application needs or operations. While managing containers at a small scale, then it won’t create many issues. But it is difficult to manage containers on a large scale for microservice apps. This greatly needs a container solution that can simplify the management of containers.

In this blog, we will discuss the major points on AWS ECS vs EKS distinctions and their best use.

What is AWS ECS?

The Amazon Elastic Container Service or AWS ECS is a highly available and faster container management service. Moreover, through AWS ECS it is very easy to manage containers and perform operations such as start/stop. Further, AWS ECS also supports Docker containers that make it easier to run and scale container-based apps on AWS. It helps the apps to scale much higher in the network.

Thus, AWS ECS helps to perform at a high scale with high availability, security and greatly integrates with other Amazon services. Such as ELB, AWS IAM, VPC, etc services. Also, AWS ECS has great features of AWS Fargate that is a serverless container service for deploying containers easily. This also minimizes the overheads for enterprise management. 

AWS ECS vs EKS differences

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What is Amazon EKS?

Amazon EKS or Elastic Kubernetes Service is a completely managed service used for running Kubernetes on AWS. Also, it doesn’t require t install, run, operate, and manage Kubernetes control pane while using AWS EKS. Kubernetes is an open-source container orchestration platform developed by Google and currently managed by Cloud Native Computing Foundation. Moreover, it helps in automating the application deployment, scaling, and management. It offers a platform to plan and run containers on a group of machines or VMs. Here the group of physical machines is called as Kubernetes Cluster. 

For high availability, AWS EKS runs Kubernetes nodes throughout availability zones and it replaces the unhealthy nodes whenever need. Also, AWS EKS keeps the app’s security and scalability well.

The structure of AWS EKS includes an EKS cluster that spreads across different availability zones. It also includes its own worker nodes across various availability zones that provide scalability to apps.

Hence, this is in brief about Amazon ECS and EKS in the difference between AWS ECS vs EKS. Let us dive into the main content of the distinctions between Amazon ECS vs EKS.

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Both AWS services support several container computing services with different availability zones. The following points/parameters represent the key differences between the AWS ECS vs EKS, Amazon’s popular services.


This is one of the key comparison points of the AWS ECS vs EKS while considering their distinctions. Here, AWS ECS assists up to 120 tasks/instance but EKS lodges up to 750 pods per instance. 

Ease to use

AWS ECS is very simple to use and doesn’t contain too many components to learn. But EKS is very complex that uses Kubernetes which again a big technology and needs expertise in deployments. Also, Amazon ECS doesn’t include any control plane like EKS. 


We know that both ECS and EKS are completely manageable services under Amazon Web Services. In this, ECS is considered as an ownership service for AWS and EKS uses a Kubernetes-as-a-service platform by Amazon Web Services. Therefore, apps running on the EKS cluster are able to run on Kubernetes as well without any alteration. But the deployment of apps on ECS requires an AWS ownership container platform. Hence, it is easier to move apps running on EKS to any cloud Kubernetes services but in ECS it is not possible. 


The term Namespaces offer a lot of benefits to the apps. Kubernetes consists of the concept of Namespaces that helps in separating various workloads running within the same cluster. Amazon ECS doesn’t have such a concept within it.

There may be a development, staging, and production ecosystem within the same cluster that can share resources of that cluster. Therefore, it has to consider while selecting the services to use between the Amazon ECS vs EKS.

Community support

It is essential to have good community support for any service, software, platform, framework, etc. Here, Kubernetes occupies more space having open-source technology services. It has vast community support with wide people on its network with expertise. Also, here complete documentation and implementation guide available for reference. But ECS has its own official support from the AWS platform rather than the vast community support. 


AWS ECS is powered by a number of AWS services that include Amazon Sagemaker, Polly, Lex, and AWS Batch. Also, these services run with great trust over the service provider Amazon having loads of giant clients. Moreover, customers who want to scale with containers in a simple way adopt ECS as their service provider. 

EKS also provides a great environment with huge community support across the globe being open-source. It also offers services with high security, and resiliency of AWS managed services through the flexibility of Kubernetes. For heavily managed apps/services running on Kubernetes EKS is best suitable. 

AWS ECS pricing

The pricing model of both services in the AWS ECS vs EKS is one of the key differences. In ECS there is no extra charge for the EC2 instance launches. Hence, the user needs to pay only for the part that he uses in AWS with no additional costs. 

EKS also has a similar pricing model but with some additional costs. Amazon EKS consists of a heavy infrastructure of AWS Fargate, control plane, etc to manage container apps. Thus, it totally depends upon its infra only. The users of EKS have to pay USD 0.10 per hour for each AWS EKS cluster usage. The advantage for the EKS users is that they can take a single cluster for different apps to run through IAM security and Namespaces.

Thus, these are the key indicators of differences between the AWS ECS and EKS services of Amazon. There are some more parameters that help you choose the best services for your business operations.

When to use AWS ECS?

This is a very good question to answer that when to use the ECS service for your ops. In case you are interested to work only with AWS then you should select the Amazon ECS. Because it provides you with a complete integration service than EKS services. Moreover, the enterprises with less expertise and low investment resources also go with ECS. So, AWS ECS will be a good choice when you don’t have time to build, deploy, and manage container apps on Kubernetes.

When to use Amazon EKS?

This selection also gives a great benefit to the AWS service users. The enterprise that is ready to invest in the Kubernetes like latest technology to learn in-depth concepts of it to stand in the tech stack users, then go for EKS. Also, to deploy containers throughout the different infrastructures by taking advantage of Kubernetes flexible services can opt EKS. This container service is yours if you’re looking for a future-proof approach with high versatility. Also, if you’re ready to invest more in the control plane to get benefits then you must choose EKS. 

Features of AWS ECS

The below parameters are the different features of AWS Elastic Container Services or AWS ECS.

AWS Fargate Support

AWS Fargate technology makes a great difference in the services of ECS. Through this users don’t have to choose Amazon EC2 instances, provisions, and scale clusters, or update each of the servers. Also, users don’t have to worry about task placement strategies as it automatically balances tasks across availability zones. Moreover, the Amazon ECS EC2 launch type enables developers to manage a cluster of servers and plan for the placement of containers over them. This helps developers who want more granular and service-level control of the critical infra.

Docker Support

AWS ECS supports Docker services well and also allows users to run and manage Docker containers easily. Further, the apps that a user packages to deploy and run need no configuration changes anymore. 

Compatible with Windows Containers

Amazon ECS is much compatible to manage Windows containers. Here, the AWS ECS optimized Windows AMI offers increased instance and container launch time performance. This service is along with other metrics. Such as great visibility into CPU, memory, and reservation metrics.

Repository support

AWS ECS is also useful with any Docker image repository hosted by 3rd party. There are some private Docker registry services for this like Docker Hub and Amazon ECR. For this support, a user needs to specify the repository in his task definition. Then the ECS recovers the suitable images for the application to use. 

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Container Deployments

AWS ECS allows its users to easily update the existing containers to a newer version. When a user uploads the new version of the app task definition. Then the scheduler in AWS ECS automatically starts the use of new containers with updated images. It also stops the running of the older versions of containers. Moreover, through Application LB ECS automatically registers and deregisters the user containers.

Auto-recovery of container

AWS ECS helps to recover unhealthy containers automatically to make sure that sufficient containers are supporting the application.


Amazon provides an AWS EFS file system that is a simple and scalable service. This allows users to build the latest apps and also share data and state. The service is useful through Amazon ECS along with AWS Fargate deployments.  Hence, EFS services in AWS are highly available, secure, reliable, and support in high performance.

Features of EKS

The features of AWS EKS include the following things.-

It has a managed Kubernetes cluster that makes it easier for running Kubernetes on AWS and on-premise. Also, it automatically manages the availability and scalability of the control plane nodes.

It supports various service integrations.

Also, it offers Windows support, ARM support, etc to its users.

There is networking and security support for the Kubernetes clusters with many advanced features.

Moreover, EKS is certified by various compliance programs also for using different regulated and sensitive apps. 

It has great load balancing features similar to ECS. 

Thus, these are the best features of both AWS ECS and EKS in this battle of comparison. 

Final thoughts

I hope you got the basic idea of both Amazon services in the ECS vs EKS comparison. These are the best container services from Amazon but it is difficult to choose the best one among the two. Here in this blog, I tried to expose the possible differences and uses of both Amazon container services. 

But it is suggestible to the new users to opt for AWS ECS who are new to containers and want an easy solution. For experienced people who can handle the scaling of apps or clusters can opt EKS as their best fit. Finally, it totally depends upon the infrastructure that an enterprise uses and the investment capacity. To learn more on ECS go with the AWS Online Training with ITGuru and get the skills to upgrade from the existing.