Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) for container workloads on AWS


4 mins


Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) is an Amazon certified conformant, managed Kubernetes offering used by leading technology companies, such as Autodesk, GoDaddy, Snap, Intel, and Intuit, to run their sensitive and mission-critical applications. In simple terms, AWS EKS combines AWS (a cloud service provider) and Kubernetes (a standard way to deploy and manage applications containers in production environments) to enable a quick and seamless way to create Kubernetes clusters in the cloud. 

The fully managed service enables the running of Kubernetes on AWS without users maintaining their Kubernetes control plane. It helps run control plane (master nodes) and worker nodes without worrying about the underlying infrastructure. AWS has progressively released exciting new features of EKS, including Fargate support and Managed Node Groups, to offer options for users to run their workloads on EKS beyond the self-managed EC2 instances. 

Benefits of AWS K8S Stack

AWS EKS is a trusted and dependable way to run Kubernetes. Some of the benefits include serverless computing capabilities, high availability, enhanced security, integration with other AWS services, and community collaboration. 

Integration with other AWS Services 

Besides, EKS allows integration with other Amazon services, such as Amazon CloudWatch, Auto Scaling Groups, Amazon ECR for container images, Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) for isolation, and AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) for authentication. This integration enables users to monitor, scale, and load-balance their workloads seamlessly. EKS also integrates with AWS App Mesh, providing a Kubernetes native experience to leverage service mesh features, such as rich observability, security, and traffic control. 

Serverless Compute Option 

EKS clusters can run using AWS Fargate serverless compute for containers. AWS Fargate eliminates the need for cloud users to provision and manage servers. Instead, the feature enables users to specify and subscribe to resources per application. The approach further enhances security through application isolation by design. 

High Availability 

EKS also offers a highly scalable and available control plane across multiple availability zones. This feature, in effect, eliminates a single point of failure since EKS automatically detects and replaces control plane nodes and provides zero downtime patching. The procedure leverages AWS Region architecture. 

Enhanced Security 

AWS securely stores and retrieves EKS docker container images from Elastic Container Registry (ECR). EKS applies the latest security updates to the cluster control plane in real-time. Besides, AWS collaborates with the Kubernetes community to address security issues before new releases and patch flaws in deployed clusters. 

Automatic Updates 

Amazon EKS enables users to run updated versions of the Kubernetes system. Effectively, AWS EKS users can utilize the latest plugins and tools released by the system’s community. 

Open Source Community Capabilities 

EKS certified Kubernetes conformant manages applications that are fully compatible with applications management by a standard Kubernetes, an open source system that allows the automatic deployment, scaling, and managing of containerized applications. AWS collaborates and contributes to the Kubernetes community and codebase. 

Integrating EKS with My Current Usage of AWS Services 

To get started, users should first create an Amazon EKS cluster in the AWS Management Console. They can also use AWS CLI or SDKs. Users then launch the worker node that registers the EKS cluster. Users can configure the nodes automatically using an AWS CloudFormation Template. Once the cluster is ready, users can configure it with Kubernetes tools, such as the Kubernetes command-line tool (Kubectl), required for an application to communicate with it. Once the process is complete, developers can no deploy and manage applications on their Amazon EKS cluster, in a similar way that they operate other standard Kubernetes environments. 

Summary of the Steps involved in Deploying AWS EKS 

  1. Log in to the AWS account using active AWS IAM account credentials (ensure that you are running the latest version of the AWS command-line interface (CLI)). Other important services for the process include updated heptio-authenticator-aws and kubectl. 
  2. Generate an AWS access key ID and secret access key. The user also creates a local AWS profile to hold the credentials. In most cases, the information exists for active AWS users 
  3. Create an AWS IAM service role that handles AWS EKS cluster-related operations. 
  4. Generate an SSH key pair for work to authorize access to EC2 instances 
  5. Create an AWS virtual private cloud (VPC) to host the AWS EKS cluster. AWS CloudFormation Console helps in creating, monitoring, updating, and deleting stacks from user browsers. 
  6. Create and connect to the EKS cluster by navigating to the Amazon EKS console. Next, add worker nodes to the cluster 

AWS EKS Popular Use Cases 

  1. Hybrid Deployment: Users can deploy EKS on AWS Outposts to run low-latency containerized applications. It allows users to manage containers on-premise 
  2. Machine Learning Workflow: Users can deploy EKS with Kuberflow to run machine learning workflows and distributed training models using EC2 GPU-powered instances 
  3. Web App Development: You can run a web app on EKS across multiple availability zones to build products that scale up and down based on resource demands. Besides, this approach offers increased performance, scalability, reliability, and availability 
  4. Batch Processing: EKS Cluster allows users to run sequential or parallel batch workloads using Kubernetes Jobs API. The feature will enable developers to plan, schedule, and execute batch computing workloads on AWS services  

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