AWS Fargate

This time of year is like Christmas for those of us that work closely with Amazon Web Services. re:Invent always brings many new product announcements and it's easy to get overwhelmed. I wanted to talk about one product that I’m particularly excited about, AWS Fargate.

AWS Fargate is all about lowering the barriers to using containers. Before Fargate, running containers in AWS was a multi-step process. For example, even when using Elastic Container Service (ECS) you would first have to spin up some EC2 servers and then mark them as a cluster in ECS. Then you could create ECS tasks and start assigning them to your cluster. If you wanted to scale your cluster up or down, you had to do that independently of your containers. This process worked ok but frustrated many customers who just wanted to start using containers.

With Fargate, all the work of configuring EC2 instances for your cluster is gone. All you have to do is select the vCPU and memory resources required and you’re off to the races. You can specify many of the same network configurations including VPC, security groups, etc that you’re used to. You can scale up the number of containers and their configurations without worrying about the underlying compute resources. Essentially this gives you the simplicity of EC2 instances with the power of Docker containers.

Below is a sample architecture for customers looking to use Fargate for a small microservices based application running behind an Application Load Balancer (ALB). The beauty of this service is that you can easily scale out your User Service container to two based on Cloudwatch metrics, without worrying about having EC2 capacity setup.

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One thing to be careful about though is pricing. A 1vCPU x 1GB memory container will cost you $0.0633/hour whereas a t2.micro with the same specs will cost $0.0116/hour. If you know exactly how to manage your containers, it is still cheaper to run them on EC2 yourself than running them on AWS Fargate. However, as you scale your workload, remember the cost of maintaining your own orchestration tool and compare it to the costs of Fargate.

Are you ready to see what Fargate can do for your business? Contact Relus Cloud today and let’s start exploring.