Amazon ECS vs. Kubernetes

Containerization is an alternative companion to virtualization in software development. Containerization helps secure and implement faster application development and deployment.

Containerization does this by bundling up the code along with the dependencies in the form of a single container that can run uniformly and consistently on any infrastructure.

Many container platforms have emerged in the market to help businesses with the management and orchestration of containerized applications.

If you are looking for container services for your businesses, two of the leading options in the market are Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) and Kubernetes. Both are top container as a service (CaaS) providers with cluster management capabilities.

See below for a detailed comparison of Amazon ECS and Kubernetes to help you decide which service should work best for your business:

Amazon ECS vs. Kubernetes: Portfolio

Amazon ECS is a fully managed service for container orchestration that is designed to be scalable, secure, and reliable. It helps in easy deployment, management, and scaling of containerized applications through integration with other AWS platforms. 

For example, for isolating applications, clusters can be used. Multiple availability zones within the AWS region help create clusters within new or existing virtual private clouds (VPCs), and task definition, which acts as a blueprint for the application, helps with container description, and parameters specification. Amazon ECS also offers the flexibility of maintaining several tasks simultaneously through its Service platform. A significant benefit of Amazon ECS services is that the containers can also operate in a serverless infrastructure.

Commonly known as K8s, Kubernetes is an open-source platform that helps in container orchestration. It is widely adopted for managing containerized workloads and services and provides a resilient framework for running distributed systems. Kubernetes, initially developed by Google, has become the de facto standard for container orchestration, as it preserves user choice and flexibility and executes a defined workflow without centralized control.

In Kubernetes, nodes help in running the containerized applications. Different components like the API server, etcd, scheduler, and controller-manager help Kubernetes clusters function efficiently. It also has a network that is designed to be secure and reliable.

Amazon ECS Kubernetes
Breadth X
Depth X
Specialization x
Overall X

Amazon ECS vs. Kubernetes: Partners

The primary advantage of Amazon ECS is that it uses a variety of tools, applications, platforms, and services under AWS. Besides, it has multiple partners for DevOps, monitoring and logging, platform, and security aspects.

Amazon ECS’s distinct DevOps partners are Armory Enterprise and HashiCorp Consul. Datadog, Dynatrace, Epsagon, Moogsoft, SignalFx, Splunk, and Sumo Logic help in monitoring and logging. They expand Amazon ECS’s capabilities to gain better insights and increase the overall operational efficiency. Docker and Spotinst Elastigroup are platform partners for Amazon ECS that help in app deployment with technology solutions. And security partners like Aqua Security, Palo Alto Networks, and Sysdig help prevent suspicious activities, enforce policies, and simplify security compliance.

Kubernetes has many partners, like 3-Shake, 3K Technologies, Acend, Alter Way, Aqua, Catalyst Cloud, CloudOps, Dell technologies, Deloitte, HCL, SAP, TeraSky, VMware, and many more, that help businesses adopt container services. They offer cloud-based solutions and essential platforms required for container management services. Kubernetes Training Partners also provide cloud-native technology training and other Kubernetes fundamentals.

Amazon ECS Kubernetes
Breadth X
Depth X
Specialization X
Global Reach X
Overall X

Amazon ECS vs. Kubernetes: Use Cases

Amazon ECS has some use cases, like machine learning (ML), microservices, websites, and video rendering services, that provide its clients with consistent build and deployment experience. They also help in managing extract, transform, and load (ETL) workloads. Additionally, Amazon ECS can help in building sophisticated application architectures. It provides the latest security updates that help in keeping the containers isolated. A variety of features are available to run containers, and one can choose based on the business requirements.

For the more accessible release of applications, marketing becomes faster. AWS Copilot and App Runner are authentic platforms that can help reduce operational overhead and management. Different container orchestrators are also available like AWS Fargate and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) among others. As these services are developed on the centralized AWS platform, they can be run on a widespread global infrastructure between on-premises and cloud environments.

Kubernetes has different use cases, like simple app deployment, microservices, cloud-native network functions (CNF) initiatives, machine learning, heavy computing, and continuous integration and continuous development (CI/CD) software cycle. It offers frequent deployments and increased automation at reduced costs. It also helps with better resource applications with dedicated K8s clusters. You need not employ separate hosts for each website.

Kubernetes also manages microservices efficiently with built-in tools, like Horizontal Pod Autoscaler. Additionally, it offers different benefits with CNF deployment, ML models, AI models, and toolkits, like Kubeflow, and CI/CD pipeline tools. IT professionals widely use it, as it helps ensure application stability and flexibility.

Amazon ECS Kubernetes
Breadth X
Depth

X

Specialization X
Overall X

Amazon ECS vs. Kubernetes: User Reviews

Amazon ECS has a rating of 4.3 stars at G2. Users appreciate the ECS deployment platform and consider it convenient for task creation and scheduling. As it can be easily integrated with various AWS platforms and services, applications can run efficiently and at optimized costs.

Kubernetes has a rate of 4.5 stars at G2, and users feel it is one of the best container orchestration platforms because of its easy-to-manage infrastructure. The setup requirements are less complex and offer more flexibility.

At TrustRadius, Amazon ECS has an 8.4 rating. Users say it helps in easier product customization. As it is better integrated with other AWS services, containers can be efficiently managed and deployed.

Kubernetes has an 8.9 rating at TrustRadius, and users feel that the best part about this container orchestration platform is the scope of test cases and deployment. It also offers flexibility in choosing the best networking, storage, and monitoring solutions.

Both Amazon ECS and Kubernetes have a rating of 4.5 stars at Gartner Peer Insights. Users find Amazon ECS reliable and secure. The on-demand servers are flexible and easy to use. Reviewers also describe Kubernetes as a one-stop solution for deployment. They rely on it for cluster management services, as it reduces in-house maintenance.

Amazon ECS Kubernetes
G2 4.3 out of 5 4.5 out of 5
TrustRadius 8.4 out of 10 8.9 out of 10
Gartner Peer Insights 4.5 out of 5 4.5 out of 5
Overall

X

Amazon ECS vs. Kubernetes: Recognition

Amazon ECS is a part of Amazon.com, Inc., which has been recognized as one of the most customer-centric companies:

  • Top 3 companies by LinkedIn 
  • “World’s Best Employers” by Forbes
  • No. 1 “Corporate Philanthropist” by Puget Sound Business Journal 
  • “Top investor in America” by The Progressive Policy Institute 
  • “TIME 100”
  • “World’s Most Admired Companies” by Fortune

Kubernetes has also been recognized with various distinctions:

  • Most Impactful Award at the Open Source Awards at OSCON
  • Over 1,63,000 Cloud-Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) project contributors and 824 CNCF members
  • 143 certified Kubernetes distributions and platforms
Amazon ECS Kubernetes
Volume X
Variety X
Significance X
Overall X

Amazon ECS vs. Kubernetes: Overall

Amazon ECS has been the top choice for small and medium-sized organizations due to its seamless deployment and configuration process. Amazon ECS has been designed with simplicity, and it can easily integrate the features of AWS.

As a result, the additional burden of network setting and security configurations is also reduced. It also helps in managing the application architectures with AWS Identity and Access Management.

Kubernetes requires a bit more expertise in configuration and deployment, as it offers more features and integrations for building and managing workloads. It comes with more configuration options as compared to Amazon ECS, and the options are also more flexible. Another benefit is it allows users to use both public and private container repositories. It is also a vendor-agnostic platform and supports hybrid and multicloud strategies.

Kubernetes is a large ecosystem of tools and plugins that offers the most expensive production experience. Therefore, it is preferred for large or hybrid deployments, as it offers stronger customization.

Amazon ECS Kubernetes
Portfolio

X

Partners X
Use Cases X
Ratings X
Recognition X
Overall X

Kashyap Vyas
Kashyap Vyas
Kashyap Vyas is a writer with 9+ years of experience writing about SaaS, cloud communications, data analytics, IT security, and STEM topics. In addition to IT Business Edge, he's been a contributor to publications including Interesting Engineering, Machine Design, Design World, and several other peer-reviewed journals. Kashyap is also a digital marketing enthusiast and runs his own small consulting agency.

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