How to Create Amazon ECS Cluster

In this article, we’ll take a plunge into the world of containerization with Amazon ECS, unraveling the fundamentals for beginners. Explore the simplicity of managing containers and orchestrating applications in the cloud with this beginner’s guide to Amazon’s Elastic Container Service.

What is AWS?

Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a cloud computing platform that provides a variety of services and resources over the internet. Think of it as a collection of tools and utilities that allow you to rent computing power, storage, databases, and more, without needing to own and maintain physical hardware.

Imagine you have a website, and as the number of visitors increases, you need more computing power and storage. Instead of buying new servers, you can use AWS. You might rent a virtual server (an instance) from AWS, store your website’s data in their cloud storage (like Amazon S3), and even use their database services (like Amazon RDS). AWS takes care of the hardware and infrastructure, and you pay only for what you use.

So, AWS provides on-demand computing resources, allowing businesses and individuals to scale, innovate, and grow without the need for significant upfront investments in physical hardware.

What is Docker?

Docker is an open platform for developing, shipping, and running applications. Docker enables you to separate your applications from your infrastructure so you can deliver software quickly. With Docker, you can manage your infrastructure in the same ways you manage your applications. By taking advantage of Docker’s methodologies for shipping, testing, and deploying code, you can significantly reduce the delay between writing code and running it in production.

What Are Containers?

Containers act as virtual ecosystems for software, encapsulating all essential elements for seamless operation—code, libraries, and configurations. Serving as fundamental units in application development, containers offer self-contained environments where software components harmoniously coexist.

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Imagine each container as a self-sustaining universe, shielded from external influences, providing a conducive habitat for your applications to thrive. In the intricate realm of software development, containers emerge as indispensable entities, streamlining the deployment and execution of diverse applications.

The Old Way vs. Containers

Before containers, deploying software was like building a house from scratch every time you wanted to move. It was slow, error-prone, and required lots of effort. With containers, it’s more like moving into a fully furnished room. You can pick it up and place it anywhere; it’ll work just the same.

How Containers Work

Imagine containers as lunchboxes with layers:

  1. Base Layer (Operating System): This is like the plate at the bottom. It’s the foundation that everything sits on.
  2. Application Layer: Your application and its buddies (like libraries) hang out here. This is where the action happens.
  3. Extra Layers: Just like adding toppings on a pizza, you can add extra stuff like configuration files or data.

By breaking things into layers, containers are easier to manage. You can reuse parts of containers, save resources, and keep things tidy.

Why Containers Matter?

Containers are superheroes in the software world for a few reasons:

  • They Keep Things Consistent: With containers, your software behaves the same way no matter where you put it—whether it’s on your computer or in the cloud.
  • They’re Safe and Sound: Containers stay isolated, so one container can’t mess with another. It’s like each container lives in its own little world.
  • They’re Portable: You can easily move containers around. It’s like being able to pack up your room and take it with you wherever you go.
  • They Don’t Hog Resources: Containers are light on your computer’s memory and CPU, so they don’t slow things down.
  • They Grow and Shrink: You can have more containers when you need them and fewer when you don’t. It’s like magic!

What is Amazon ECS?

Amazon ECS is a fully managed container orchestration service that allows you to run, stop, and manage Docker containers on a cluster. It takes care of the underlying infrastructure, including the provisioning and scaling of resources, allowing you to focus on your applications. ECS is designed to work seamlessly with other AWS services, providing a comprehensive container management solution.

Features of Amazon ECS

Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS) is a powerful container orchestration service provided by AWS. Here are several reasons why you might choose to use Amazon ECS:

Features of ECS

  1. Container Orchestration: ECS simplifies container orchestration by managing the placement of containers across a cluster of EC2 instances or using the serverless AWS Fargate launch type. It ensures that containers are evenly distributed, highly available, and easily scalable.
  2. Deep Integration with AWS: ECS integrates seamlessly with other AWS services, such as Amazon Elastic Load Balancing (ELB), Amazon VPC, AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM), AWS CloudWatch, and more. This tight integration simplifies tasks like load balancing, security, and monitoring.
  3. Flexibility in Launch Types: ECS offers two launch types: ECS on EC2 and AWS Fargate. ECS on EC2 allows you to manage your own EC2 instances to run containers, providing maximum control and flexibility. AWS Fargate, on the other hand, abstracts the underlying infrastructure, making it a serverless option ideal for simplified deployments.
  4. Scalability: ECS can automatically scale your containerized applications based on defined criteria. You can set up auto-scaling policies to handle traffic spikes or changes in demand, ensuring optimal resource utilization.
  5. Service Discovery: ECS provides service discovery mechanisms, making it easy for containers to discover and communicate with each other using DNS or dynamic port mapping. This simplifies building microservices architectures.
  6. Load Balancing: ECS integrates with Elastic Load Balancing (ELB) to distribute incoming traffic across containers. ELB automatically detects healthy containers and directs traffic to them, improving application availability and fault tolerance.
  7. Security: ECS ensures secure container deployments with features like IAM roles for tasks, task execution roles, and network isolation through Amazon VPC. It also supports integration with AWS Secrets Manager for sensitive data management.
  8. Cost Optimization: You pay only for the computing resources and capacity you use with ECS. Its fine-grained resource allocation and cost management options help optimize your containerized application’s operational costs.

Architecture of Amazon ECS

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Amazon ECS (Elastic Container Service) architecture comprises several key components that work together to facilitate the deployment and management of containerized applications. Here’s a brief overview:

  1. ECS Clusters:
    • Logical groupings of EC2 instances, AWS Fargate containers, and other resources where containerized applications are deployed.
  2. Container Instances:
    • EC2 instances or AWS Fargate containers within a cluster that host containers and are registered with ECS.
  3. Task Definitions:
    • Blueprints specifying parameters for containers, including Docker image, CPU, memory, and network settings.
  4. Tasks:
    • Instantiation of a task definition, representing the execution of containers on a container instance within the ECS cluster.
  5. Services:
    • Manage continuous running and scaling of tasks, ensuring desired task count, and handling lifecycle management.
  6. Scheduler:
    • ECS component responsible for placing tasks on EC2 instances or AWS Fargate containers, considering resource requirements and availability.
  7. Amazon ECS Agent:
    • Runs on each EC2 instance, facilitating communication with ECS, receiving tasks, and managing container lifecycle.
  8. Elastic Load Balancing (ELB):
    • Distributes incoming traffic across multiple containers within an ECS service for high availability and efficiency.
  9. Amazon CloudWatch:
    • Integrated for monitoring, logging, and tracking metrics to provide insights into ECS task and container performance.
  10. Amazon ECR (Elastic Container Registry):
    • Fully-managed Docker container registry integrated with ECS for secure storage, management, and deployment of container images.
  11. Container Image:
    • A lightweight, standalone, executable package that includes everything needed to run a piece of software. Managed and stored in registries like Amazon ECR.
  12. Elastic Network Interface (ENI):
    • Virtual network interface that allows containers to communicate with the network and other resources in the ECS cluster.
  13. VPC (Virtual Private Cloud):
    • A logically isolated section of the AWS Cloud where ECS clusters and other AWS resources operate, providing control over the network environment.
  14. AWS Fargate:
    • A serverless compute engine for containers that abstracts away infrastructure management, allowing for simplified deployment and operation of containers.
  15. EC2 Instances:
    • Virtual servers in the cloud, forming the foundation of ECS clusters. They host containers when using the EC2 launch type.

How Elastic Container Service Works?

Amazon elastic container service is a fully managed service which is provided by AWS it is mainly used to deploy containers that are docker based by which you scale up and down depending on the traffic you’re going to get. The containers will run inside the Amazon elastic cloud (EC2) instance.

  1. Container: A container is a package that holds an application and everything dependencies, libraries, etc.) the application requires to run. Containers are independent of the underlying operating system and hence container applications are fairly portable, flexible, and scalable. This ensures the application will run always as expected irrespective of the system and environment in which a container is run.
  2. Docker: Docker is software that facilitates and automates the installation and deployment of applications inside Linux containers.
  3. Cluster: A logic group of EC2 instances running as a single application.
  4. Container Instance: Each EC2 in an ECS Cluster is called a container instance.

Use Cases of AWS ECS

Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) is a versatile and scalable container orchestration platform that finds applications in various industries and use cases.

Digital Transformation with Microservices

  • Case Study: Netflix
  • Description: Netflix, a leading streaming service, utilizes ECS to manage its vast microservices architecture. ECS allows Netflix to efficiently deploy and scale microservices, ensuring a seamless streaming experience for millions of users.

E-commerce Scalability

  • Case Study: Amazon
  • Description: Amazon, the world’s largest e-commerce platform, relies on ECS to handle its dynamic workloads during peak shopping seasons, like Prime Day and Black Friday. ECS enables Amazon to scale resources as needed to meet high customer demand.

Creating and deleting Elastic Container Service in AWS using Console

Step1: Visit Aws console and search for ECS service

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Step2: Create Cluster

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Step3: Create New Task Definition

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Step4: Create Container -1

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Step5: Create Service

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Step6: Select Task and Copy the Public IP and Paste it on URL

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Step7: Delete Elastic Container Service

A] Delete the Service

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B] Delete the Task definition

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C] Delete the Cluster

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D] Delete the Namespace from Cloud Map

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In conclusion, this beginner’s guide has demystified containerization with Amazon ECS, showcasing its efficiency in simplifying deployment complexities. With scalability, flexibility, and seamless AWS integration, ECS emerges as a powerful tool for developers venturing into containerized applications. As beginners embark on this journey, Amazon ECS stands as a reliable companion, ushering in a new era of streamlined and efficient cloud computing.


For reference visit the official website Amazon Elastic Container Service

Any queries pls contact us @Devopshint.

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AWS Create EC2 Instance from Snapshot

About Akash Bhujbal

Hey, I am Akash Bhujbal, I am an aspiring DevOps and Cloud enthusiast who is eager to embark on a journey into the world of DevOps and Cloud. With a strong passion for technology and a keen interest in DevOps and Cloud based solutions, I am driven to learn and contribute to the ever-evolving field of DevOps and Cloud.

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