Amazon EC2 Container Service vs Docker Cloud: What are the differences?
Amazon EC2 Container Service: Container management service that supports Docker containers. Amazon EC2 Container Service lets you launch and stop container-enabled applications with simple API calls, allows you to query the state of your cluster from a centralized service, and gives you access to many familiar Amazon EC2 features like security groups, EBS volumes and IAM roles; Docker Cloud: A hosted service for Docker container management and deployment. Docker Cloud is the best way to deploy and manage Dockerized applications. Docker Cloud makes it easy for new Docker users to manage and deploy the full spectrum of applications, from single container apps to distributed microservices stacks, to any cloud or on-premises infrastructure.
Amazon EC2 Container Service and Docker Cloud can be categorized as "Containers as a Service" tools.
Some of the features offered by Amazon EC2 Container Service are:
- Docker Compatibility
- Managed Clusters
- Programmatic Control
On the other hand, Docker Cloud provides the following key features:
- Simplify Docker Provisioning
- Deploy Apps Anywhere
- Automate Your Developer Workflows
"Backed by amazon" is the top reason why over 97 developers like Amazon EC2 Container Service, while over 7 developers mention "Easy to use" as the leading cause for choosing Docker Cloud.
According to the StackShare community, Amazon EC2 Container Service has a broader approval, being mentioned in 784 company stacks & 374 developers stacks; compared to Docker Cloud, which is listed in 21 company stacks and 6 developer stacks.
What is Amazon EC2 Container Service?
What is Docker Cloud?
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We began our hosting journey, as many do, on Heroku because they make it easy to deploy your application and automate some of the routine tasks associated with deployments, etc. However, as our team grew and our product matured, our needs have outgrown Heroku. I will dive into the history and reasons for this in a future blog post.
We decided to migrate our infrastructure to Kubernetes running on Amazon EKS. Although Google Kubernetes Engine has a slightly more mature Kubernetes offering and is more user-friendly; we decided to go with EKS because we already using other AWS services (including a previous migration from Heroku Postgres to AWS RDS). We are still in the process of moving our main website workloads to EKS, however we have successfully migrate all our staging and testing PR apps to run in a staging cluster. We developed a Slack chatops application (also running in the cluster) which automates all the common tasks of spinning up and managing a production-like cluster for a pull request. This allows our engineering team to iterate quickly and safely test code in a full production environment. Helm plays a central role when deploying our staging apps into the cluster. We use CircleCI to build docker containers for each PR push, which are then published to Amazon EC2 Container Service (ECR). An
upgrade-operator process watches the ECR repository for new containers and then uses Helm to rollout updates to the staging environments. All this happens automatically and makes it really easy for developers to get code onto servers quickly. The immutable and isolated nature of our staging environments means that we can do anything we want in that environment and quickly re-create or restore the environment to start over.
The next step in our journey is to migrate our production workloads to an EKS cluster and build out the CD workflows to get our containers promoted to that cluster after our QA testing is complete in our staging environments.
We use the container service so that we can deploy our application services with Dockerfiles, so that we can test locally and deploy to AWS simply.
Additionally, the ability to scale containers and have them automatically restart in case of failure is very helpful to our operations.
We use the EC2 registry for secure private container registration. When used in combination with I AM roles we can control customer access to repos on and individual basis.
We decided to leverage Docker Cloud for our public facing APIs. This allows us to cleanly scale our nodes & containers without being vendor locked to a specific PaaS.
Amazon EC2 is our primary application hosting solution. Most applications are not exposed on the internet and use a virtually private cloud to interact with each other.
With a little forethought, ECS can handle a good portion of my development stack as though it were production. 12 Factor configuration makes this a breeze.
We use Docker Cloud to manage all of our application deployments in an automated, repeatable and consistent fashion.