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November 14, 2014

AWS bolsters Docker support with EC2 Container Service

Enables the development and management of complex online apps via Docker.

By CBR Staff Writer

The EC2 Container Service, rolled out by Amazon Web Services (AWS), aims to help software developers and businesses develop and manage complex online apps via Docker.

AWS said in a statement: "This service will make it easy for you to run any number of Docker containers across a managed cluster of Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) instances using powerful APIs and other tools."

"You do not have to install cluster management software, purchase and maintain the cluster hardware, or match your hardware inventory to your software needs when you use ECS.

"You simply launch some instances in a cluster, define some tasks, and start them. ECS is built around a scalable, fault-tolerant, multi-tenant base that takes care of all of the details of cluster management on your behalf."

The EC2 Container Service is aimed at offering secure, easy cluster management and high performance, flexible scheduling. It enables companies to deploy Docker-based technology, rather than tools developed by other firms including VMware.

Richard Davies, CEO of cloud server company ElasticHosts, argues that Amazon is not delivering the full benefits of autoscaling and usage based billing allowed by container through running in virtual machines.

"AWS may have announced closer integration with Docker containers, but this is still not fulfilling the technology’s true potential to customers, as the containers still run inside VMs rather than natively on the physical hardware – the same limitation as Google’s announcement last week."

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"AWS customers have already been able to install Docker inside their own VMs for some time – so really this is a non-announcement as AWS customers still cannot benefit from the continuous high performance auto-scaling and minute-by-minute usage-based billing that native containers can enable."

"Essentially, customers running Docker containers inside Amazon VMs will still be charged by for the fixed size of each VM, which our research shows typically results in over-provisioning and over-paying by 50% compared to what is used."

"Unless providers like AWS and Google help create a fundamental shift in the way the cloud is delivered to embrace the full opportunity of native containers, we will never reach the utility based model of cloud commuting promised so long ago and the customer will never see the tangible benefits."

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