Amazon launches ECS Anywhere in general availability

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Amazon today announced the launch in general availability of Amazon ECS Anywhere, an extension of the company’s Elastic Container Service (ECS) that allows Amazon Web Services (AWS) customers to deploy native Amazon ECS tasks in any computing environment. Amazon says that the service includes the traditional AWS managed infrastructure, as well as customer-managed infrastructure and a fully managed control plan running in the cloud.

ECS Anywhere is designed for AWS customers who’ve made significant capital investments in their datacenters or who operate in highly-regulated industries, Amazon says. While these customers may be all-in on cloud, they also have to consider practical constraints like financial resources or specialized workloads that inhibit them. Their deployment requirements may go beyond AWS-owned infrastructure and they might not be able to afford to use different container management technologies for different deployment targets.

Amazon describes ECS Anywhere as an infrastructure-agnostic product that works with virtual machines, bare-metal hardware, and other infrastructure types running supported operating systems. In disconnected scenarios, ECS Anywhere tasks continue running on customer managed infrastructure, while cloud connectivity is required to update or scale the tasks or to connect to other in-region AWS services at runtime.

Amazon Web Services

With ECS Anywhere, customers can run and manage container-based apps on-premises using the same APIs, cluster management, workload scheduling, monitoring, and deployment pipelines they use with ECS in AWS. ECS Anywhere provides a container orchestration service that allows customers to run, scale, and secure container apps on local infrastructure in addition to all AWS regions, AWS local zones, edge locations, and hybrid infrastructure deployments. There aren’t any upfront fees or commitments to use Amazon ECS Anywhere, and customers pay only for the container instances they run.

ECS Anywhere

ECS Anywhere users can use the ECS control plane — which is where ECS cluster objects can be defined — and the AWS Systems Manager agent will install on customer-managed operating systems and turn those operating systems into “managed instances.” A converged version of the open source Amazon ECS agent will install on these managed instances and these instances will register into an ECS cluster previously defined in the control plane. A new launch type and compatibility requirement will be introduced, allowing the Amazon ECS control plane to run tasks on non-AWS managed infrastructure.

“ECS tasks will have, for example, a ‘task role’ and a ‘task execution role’ assigned,” Massimo Re Ferre, principal technologist at AWS, explained in a blog post. “This means they will be able to interact, if need be, with cloud services … as if they were deployed. However, there will also be effectively local resources running on customer managed operating system and with local network connectivity. This will allow Amazon ECS applications deployed ‘externally’ to appreciate low latency and high bandwidth when connecting to services running in proximity in the same data center.”

Customers and partners currently using ECS Anywhere include Siemens, CyberAgent, Getir, and Infosys among others, according to VP of compute services at AWS Deepak Singh. Canonical is leveraging it to offer Ubuntu for container workloads, while Aqua Security is using ECS Anywhere to help clients build cloud-native apps that meet certain compliance requirements. 

“Customers have told us that while they need to run containers on their own infrastructure, they don’t want the hassle of operating their own cluster management software,” Singh said in a press release. “With Amazon ECS Anywhere, we are proud to provide our customers exactly what they’ve asked for — a single service and control plane to manage their container deployments.”

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