Amazon ECS Now Offers Beta-level Support for Windows Containers


New Amazon ECS features make rolling out Windows containers easier than ever before.

Developers and administrators should be glad to hear that the Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) now supports Windows Containers. Since Microsoft Windows Server 2016 fully supports Docker, users can package applications on an Amazon Machine Image (AMI) that can run on any Windows 2016 instance on AWS. Now users can use Amazon ECS to deploy Windows containers across all of their ECS Windows instances.

What is Amazon ECS?

Amazon ECS is a cloud-based service that offers secure and instantly resizable compute capacity. ECS is designed to allow developers to scale applications to the cloud more quickly and easily.

ECS offers a simple web interface that allows users to configure computing resources with unlimited scalability and customization. The system gives developers and IT administrators complete control, all while running on Amazon’s robust cloud-computing ecosystem.

With Amazon ECS, you pay for only the computing resources that you use, which makes it an extremely cost effective option compared to setting up your own infrastructure.

Additional benefits of Amazon ECS

Amazon ECS offers a wide range of benefits for companies looking for scalable cloud computing services. A few of these include:

  • Elastic computing –Scale capacity up or down depending on your usage. Easily commission just one server or thousands of servers instantaneously based on your needs.
  • Flexibility – When you use ECS, you have the flexibility to choose different software packages, operating systems, and instance types. You also have full control over hardware specifics such as CPU, memory, storage, and much more.
  • Reliability – Amazon prides itself on its reliability and has a Service Level Agreement commitment of 99.95% availability by region.

Windows containers still in beta

While ECS now supports Windows containers on instances that use Microsoft Windows Server 2016, this service is still in beta and should not be considered for production environments yet. Because Windows container instances use their own version of the ECS container agent, source code is available on GitHub.

What you should know about Amazon ECS and Windows containers

Keep the following in mind when using Amazon EC2 with Windows Servers containers:

  • Windows containers will not run on Linux container instances and vice versa, so Windows containers and Linux container instances should always be kept in completely separate clusters.
  • Currently, Windows containers and their instances can’t support all of the task definition parameters of Linux containers and instances. Amazon has created a list of Windows Task Definitions to explain what is supported.
  • The Docker images that are used for Windows instances are extremely large, so they will likely require more storage capacity than corresponding Linux instances.

Learn more about Amazon ECS and Windows Server Container Instances

It’s exciting that Amazon continues to add new features to its cloud-computing infrastructure such as Windows Server container instances for Amazon ECS. To learn more about these features, don’t hesitate to reach out to CloudHesive today at 800-860-2040 or through our contact form.

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