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AWS EKS add-ons, plug-ins and Roadmap


AWS has announced its AWS Kubernetes roadmap which will include an EKS GitOps add-on, along with tighter security and observability integrations with other AWS services and edge computing support, the cloud giant’s container executives said this week.


AWS first launched “add-ons,” its term for managed instances of Kubernetes cluster administration tools, as part of its Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) last December. Users with managed Kubernetes clusters on EKS can invoke EKS add-ons with a single command instead of configuring them in detail every time they create a new EKS cluster within the service.


With GitOps support, AWS aims to ease EKS management

GitOps has gained momentum among mainstream enterprises over the last two years because of how it enforces consistency automatically within complex distributed systems, such as Kubernetes infrastructures. Under GitOps, IT teams manage both applications and infrastructure as code in the same repositories, using a tool such as Flux or Argo CD to keep production Kubernetes clusters consistent with their desired state as expressed in code.


Users should also expect AWS to offer multiple Flux instances in the same cluster or multiple clusters under the same Flux controller, and further abstract GitOps complexity in the AWS Console as part of the EKS add-on, according to one industry analyst.


“That simplicity of customer experience is why basic container users gravitate to ECS versus EKS; EKS is more a power user container solution,” said Rob Strechay, an analyst at Enterprise Strategy Group, a division of TechTarget. “Flux fits the AWS ethos of segregation of duties and smallest blast radius pretty well, [and] the ease of install and upgrade is huge when you are doing this at scale and managing it.”


In the open source world, Flux competes with Intuit’s Argo CD project for enterprise GitOps adoption, but the choice of Flux for the first EKS GitOps add-on isn’t intended as an Argo snub.  Argo integration may come later.


AWS Kubernetes roadmap: security, observability in focus

AWS also plans Amazon EKS add-ons that support its distribution of the OpenTelemetry digital tracing project; Kubernetes Cluster Storage Interface drivers that connect container clusters to external data storage systems; a load-balancer controller; and a Prometheus-based metrics monitoring server.


Other roadmap plans for Amazon EKS include cost allocation features for chargeback, support for continuous container image scanning with version two of Amazon Inspector and improvements to service discovery between multiple EKS clusters using an upstream Kubernetes multiservice API and the AWS Cloud Map service discovery utility.


These latter updates will add to a multicluster management tool, EKS Connector, that AWS launched in preview Sept. 8, which can import data about EKS and non-EKS clusters to give EKS administrators visibility into multicluster environments.


ECS Anywhere finds edge computing spotlight

Amazon EKS is among several hosted container services offered by AWS, which also includes Amazon ECS, the cloud provider’s original hosted container service that emphasizes simplicity. Amazon added EKS when customers demanded more Kubernetes-native features, but novice container users are more likely to favour Amazon ECS or a more highly abstracted service such as AWS Proton, which hosts template-based microservices deployments, or the AWS Fargate serverless container platform.


AWS also markets multiple hybrid cloud and on-premises infrastructure services, including Outposts, which moves AWS-compatible hardware and infrastructure management tools into on-premises data centres, and ECS Anywhere and EKS Anywhere services, which are software-only hybrid cloud container frameworks.


As with the cloud-based ECS and EKS, ECS Anywhere is usually chosen by users for its simplicity, while EKS Anywhere offers deeper cluster-level control. Sfor edge computing at sites such as fast-food restaurant locations, where hardware and IT personnel resources are scarce.



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