AWS Releases EKS, Takes Command of the Container Battlefield

At re:invent 2017, AWS released its managed Kubernetes service, EKS. More than a copy of what other vendors have released, EKS is a next generation container platform.


An orchestrator is a system for managing the lifecycle of a containerized application. The industry leading container orchestrator, Kubernetes, is the platform underlying EKS.

Managed Masters

EKS comes with Managed Masters, and that means that EKS also manages your etcd cluster. This is a big deal because most of the issues we have seen with Kubernetes uptime have come from etcd management.

EKS also takes care of high availability without you needing to configure anything. Masters run in three separate availability zones.

The networking and identity features makes EKS an enterprise-grade solution, an enterprise-grade solution that has low cost of entry and high return on investment. This is perfect for startups and enterprises alike.


EKS takes advantage of AWS networking to provide a stable environment that isolates you from other customers. Your EKS cluster deploys in an AWS VPC. PrivateLink enables communication from the VPC to the EKS masters. The use of PrivateLink prevents master communication over the public internet.

My favorite feature of EKS is the implementation of Calico as the network overlay. Calico provides granular control over your container networking via policies. Customers running managed Kubernetes on some other providers are unable to comply with regulatory and standards bodies due to lack of integrated network policy. AWS has ensured ease of compliance by including the top networking relay as part of EKS.


AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) integrates with the Kubernetes authentication system. This allows you to manage your EKS masters with IAM authentication.

Migration to EKS

Many organizations using Kubernetes today have not upgraded past version 1.5. There are many reasons for that, the upgrade of etcd being a primary one.

A key feature of EKS is that all Kubernetes third party tooling still works. Your current containers can migrate to EKS, retaining your currently tooling and processes.

With EKS, customers no longer need to manage masters, etcd clusters or upgrades. For most use cases, EKS fits the bill for the running scalable containerized applications with low operational overhead.

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