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Amazon EKS vs kops: What are the differences?

  1. Amazon EKS: Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) is a managed Kubernetes service provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS). It simplifies the process of running Kubernetes on AWS by taking care of the undifferentiated heavy lifting tasks such as cluster management, scaling, and infrastructure provisioning.

  2. kops: kops, short for Kubernetes Operations, is a command-line utility that helps in the creation, management, and upgrading of Kubernetes clusters. It is an open-source tool developed by the Kubernetes community and can be used on various cloud platforms or on-premises environments.

  3. Managed Service vs. Self-management: The key difference between Amazon EKS and kops is the level of management provided. EKS is a managed service, which means that AWS handles the underlying infrastructure, updates, and maintenance of the Kubernetes clusters. On the other hand, kops requires manual configuration and management of the infrastructure, making it more suitable for users who prefer more control and customization.

  4. Integration with AWS Services: Another important difference is the integration with other AWS services. EKS seamlessly integrates with various AWS services such as Amazon S3, Amazon RDS, and AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM), allowing for easy integration and utilization of these services. kops, being a more generic tool, does not have the same level of native integration, requiring manual configuration and integration efforts.

  5. Ease of Deployment: EKS provides an easy deployment experience with simplified cluster creation and management through the AWS Management Console, CLI, or API. It abstracts away many of the complexities involved in setting up and managing a Kubernetes cluster. On the other hand, kops requires more manual configuration and set up, making it suitable for users who are comfortable with managing infrastructure and have specific requirements.

  6. Cost Structure: The cost structure differs between EKS and kops. EKS follows the AWS pricing model, where users pay for the resources consumed by the cluster, such as EC2 instances and storage. kops, being a tool for self-management, allows users to choose their own infrastructure provider and pricing model. This can give users more flexibility and potentially cost savings, depending on their specific needs and choice of infrastructure provider.

In Summary, Amazon EKS is a managed Kubernetes service provided by AWS that simplifies cluster management and integrates with various AWS services, while kops is a self-management tool that requires more manual configuration and offers more flexibility in terms of infrastructure and cost.

Decisions about Amazon EKS and kops
Andres Paredes
Lead Senior Software Engineer at InTouch Technology · | 3 upvotes · 84.8K views

If you want to integrate your cluster and control end to end your pipeline with AWS tools like ECR and Code Pipeline your best option is ECS using a EC2 instance. There are pros and cons but it's easier to integrate using cloud formation templates and visual UI for approvals, etc. ECS is free, you need to pay only for the EC2 instance but unfortunately, it is not standard then you cannot use standard tools to see and manage your Kubernetes. EKS in the other hand uses standard Kubernates definitions but you need to pay for the service and also for the EC2 instance(s) you have in your cluster.

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Piergiorgio Niero
Head of Engineering at SuperAwesome · | 6 upvotes · 2.2K views

At SuperAwesome we build the digital ecosystem that powers a better and safer internet for kids, therefore we want our engineers to focus on building "kidtech" as opposed to just "tech. Every hour spent on maintaining our own k8s clusters is an hour that we are not spending making kidtech. Migrating to EKS helped us had a positive impact on our productivity as the k8s masters are ran and maintained by AWS.

The migration forced us to upgrade all our infra to the latest and supported versions of k8s. It also helped us consolidating our infrastructure around standard configuration. Both are indeed good outcomes. Keep in mind that if you want to try an experimental feature of k8s, or want to stick on a legacy version for some reason, neither option is available with EKS.

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Pros of Amazon EKS
Pros of kops
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    What is Amazon EKS?

    Amazon Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes (Amazon EKS) is a managed service that makes it easy for you to run Kubernetes on AWS without needing to install and operate your own Kubernetes clusters.

    What is kops?

    It helps you create, destroy, upgrade and maintain production-grade, highly available, Kubernetes clusters from the command line. AWS (Amazon Web Services) is currently officially supported, with GCE in beta support , and VMware vSphere in alpha, and other platforms planned.

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    Blog Posts

    May 21 2020 at 12:02AM

    Rancher Labs

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