Kubernetes service, container orchestration tools ECS vs EKS

Container Orchestration Platforms – AWS ECS vs AWS EKS

Last Updated on May 14, 2024 by cscontents


In the cloud-native landscape, containers and container orchestration platforms play a crucial role. Container Orchestration platforms manage containerized applications. Amazon Web Services (AWS) offers two major options for container orchestration which are Elastic Container Service (ECS) and Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS).

In this article we will dissect the core of each platform, revealing their ease of use, customization potential, scalability, etc.

What is Container Orchestration?

Container Orchestration is nothing but managing or orchestrating containers. It includes automated deployment, update, and deletion of containers based on certain conditions. There are many tools in the market like EKS, AKS, Open source Kubernetes, etc which are used as container orchestration tools.  But in this article, we will focus on the container orchestration tools provided by AWS.


As defined in the AWS official documentation, ECS is a fully managed (by AWS) container orchestration service that helps in deploying, managing, and scaling containerized applications. In AWS, ECS is integrated with ECR (Elastic Container Registry) and Docker which makes it easy for engineers to work with ECS.


As defined in the AWS official documentation, EKS is managed (by AWS) Kubernetes service which allows us to run Kubernetes on AWS and also in on-premise data centers. The underlying technology of EKS is open-source Kubernetes.

If want to get a high-level understanding of Kubernetes you can follow the below article.


also, if you would like to learn various components of a Kubernetes cluster, you can follow the below article.


ECS vs EKS: A Head-to-Head Comparison

Feature ECS EKS
Underlying Technology AWS Proprietary platform Open source Kubernetes
Ease of Use Easy to use Comparably difficult to use
Customization Limited customization available Highly customizable
Scalability Highly scalable Highly scalable
Cost Lower cost It can be expensive due to additional K8s management.
Suitable for Simple workloads or new learners Heavy and complex workloads.

Which is the right platform ECS or EKS?

For engineers who are starting to learn AWS services or have a simple workload, for them, ECS is a good starting point. ECS is easy to use, and containerized applications can be easily managed using ECS.

For experienced users with complex applications: EKS offers greater flexibility and customization. It’s well-suited for large-scale deployments and multi-cloud strategies.

Below are a few additional Factors that you might consider before choosing ECS or EKS.

Previously invested infrastructure: If you previously invested in other AWS services, ECS might integrate with existing services seamlessly.

Budget: EKS can be more expensive due to the need for additional Kubernetes expertise and tooling.

Long-term plans: Consider your long-term cloud strategy and whether you might need multi-cloud or on-premises deployments in the future.


Choosing the right container orchestration platform is crucial for running and scaling containerized applications effectively on AWS. Understand the strengths and weaknesses of ECS and EKS, consider your specific needs, and make an informed decision. By leveraging the power of container orchestration, you can unlock the agility, scalability, and efficiency that containerized applications offer.


Thank You.


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