Amazon EKS vs kops: What are the differences?
Developers describe Amazon EKS as "Highly available and scalable Kubernetes service". 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. On the other hand, kops is detailed as "Production Grade K8s Installation, Upgrades, and Management". 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.
Amazon EKS belongs to "Containers as a Service" category of the tech stack, while kops can be primarily classified under "Cluster Management".
kops is an open source tool with 9.27K GitHub stars and 2.78K GitHub forks. Here's a link to kops's open source repository on GitHub.
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.
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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