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Amazon EKS for Cloud Kubernetes Workloads Hits General Availability

Today marks the general availability of Amazon Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes (Amazon EKS), letting enterprises run workloads for the popular open source container-orchestration system.

That popularity was noted by AWS, which also cited data from the Cloud Native Computing Foundation indicating 57 percent of Kubernetes shops use the Amazon cloud platform.

The preview from which Amazon EKS just emerged was announced last November, when AWS CEO Andy Jassy said it integrates with many AWS services, including "Elastic Load Balancing for load distribution, IAM for authentication, Amazon VPC for isolation, AWS PrivateLink for private network access, and AWS CloudTrail for logging."

One customer already taking advantage of Amazon EKS is Web hoster GoDaddy, who went all in on a migration to the AWS cloud in March.

"GoDaddy has been an active adopter of containerized applications, and will now leverage ... EKS," AWS said in a statement then. "This fully managed service will allow GoDaddy to run its many Kubernetes workloads on AWS without change, since Amazon EKS is fully compatible with any standard Kubernetes environment."

In a blog post today, AWS cited highlights of the service such as:

  • Multi-AZ -- The Kubernetes control plane (the API server and the etcd database) are run in high-availability fashion across three AWS Availability Zones. Master nodes are monitored and replaced if they fail, and are also patched and updated automatically.
  • IAM Integration -- Amazon EKS uses the Heptio Authenticator for authentication. Users can utilize IAM roles and avoid the pain that comes with managing yet another set of credentials.
  • Load Balancer Support -- Users can route traffic to worker nodes using the AWS Network Load Balancer, the AWS Application Load Balancer, or the original (classic) Elastic Load Balancer.
  • EBS -- Kubernetes PersistentVolumes (used for cluster storage) are implemented as Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) volumes.
  • Route 53 -- The External DNS project allows services in Kubernetes clusters to be accessed via Route 53 DNS records. This simplifies service discovery and supports load balancing.
  • Auto Scaling -- Clusters can make use of Auto Scaling, growing and shrinking in response to changes in load.
  • Container Interface -- The Container Network Interface for Kubernetes uses Elastic Network Interfaces to provide static IP addresses for Kubernetes Pods.

As noted with the GoDaddy migration, enterprises were already using the service in preview.

"Customers tell us that Kubernetes is core to their IT strategy, and are already running hundreds of millions of containers on AWS every week," AWS said, simplifying building, securing, operating and maintaining Kubernetes clusters for organizations interested in focusing on building applications instead of setting up their own systems from scratch.

Third-party companies are also wasting no time in jumping on the AWS EKS bandwagon, as HashiCorp, a specialist in cloud automation software, today announed day-zero support for EKS with its HashiCorp Terraform product.

"Containers are the most important element of our application platform right now," HashiCorp quoted customer Chris Jackson, director of cloud platforms at Pearson, a learning company, as saying. "We feel EKS provides a great option as a managed Kubernetes environment on AWS, but we did need a consistent way to provision across our infrastructure, which also extends to include other technologies."

Alcide, which offers a full-stack cloud native security platform, also today announced native integration with EKS, saying, "Simply put, EKS is Kubernetes with the sugar coating Amazon customers need, meaning that your applications can move seamlessly among Kubernetes clusters inside AWS."

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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