Understanding ECS and Deploying Nginx: A Step-by-Step Guide

Understanding ECS and Deploying Nginx: A Step-by-Step Guide

Day 48 : #90DaysOfDevOps Challange

In the world of cloud computing, containerization has become a popular approach for deploying and managing applications. One of the leading container orchestration services is Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS). In this blog post, we will explore what ECS is, discuss the differences between ECS and Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS), and delve into ECS's architecture, Kubernetes support, and scaling flexibility.

What is ECS?

Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) is a highly scalable and fully managed container orchestration service offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS). It simplifies the process of running containers at scale by providing a highly reliable and secure environment for deploying and managing containerized applications.

Difference between EKS and ECS

When it comes to container orchestration, Amazon offers two primary services: Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) and Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS). While both services allow you to run containers in a managed environment, there are some key differences between them.

  1. Architecture: EKS is based on Kubernetes, an open-source container orchestration platform. It provides a highly flexible and customizable architecture that allows you to configure Kubernetes to meet your specific requirements. On the other hand, ECS has its own proprietary architecture, which is more restrictive in terms of container orchestration options.

  2. Kubernetes Support: EKS natively supports Kubernetes, making it a popular choice for organizations already familiar with Kubernetes or those seeking advanced Kubernetes features. ECS, on the other hand, uses its own orchestration engine, making it more suitable for users who prefer a simpler and more streamlined container orchestration experience without the need for Kubernetes expertise.

  3. Scaling Flexibility: EKS offers more flexibility when it comes to scaling your containerized applications. With EKS, you can easily scale your Kubernetes clusters up or down based on your workload demands. ECS also provides scaling capabilities but is more limited in terms of customization options compared to EKS.


One of the important factors to consider when evaluating container orchestration services is the community surrounding the platform. Kubernetes, the underlying technology behind EKS, has a vast and active community of developers, administrators, and contributors. This means that there is a wealth of resources, documentation, and community support available for EKS users.

While ECS may not have the same level of community support as Kubernetes, it still has a growing community of users who actively contribute to its development. The AWS ecosystem is robust, and AWS provides comprehensive documentation, tutorials, and support for ECS users.


In summary, Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) is a powerful container orchestration service offered by AWS. It simplifies the deployment and management of containerized applications, providing a reliable and secure environment. While EKS offers more flexibility in terms of container orchestration and benefits from the extensive Kubernetes community, ECS provides a more streamlined experience for users who prefer a simpler solution. Both services have their strengths and are suitable for different use cases, so it's essential to evaluate your specific requirements before choosing the right one for your containerized workloads.

Task 1: Set up ECS (Elastic Container Service) by setting up Nginx on ECS

Here are the detailed steps to set up ECS (Elastic Container Service) and deploy Nginx on ECS:

Step 1: Set up AWS ECS Cluster

  1. Log in to the AWS Management Console.

  2. Navigate to the ECS service by searching for "ECS" in the search bar and selecting "Elastic Container Service."

  3. In the ECS dashboard, click on "Create Cluster" to start setting up your ECS cluster.

  4. Choose the "EC2 Linux + Networking" cluster template, which allows you to run your containers on EC2 instances.

  5. Configure the cluster settings:

    • Cluster name: Provide a unique name for your ECS cluster.

    • Instance type: Select the EC2 instance type that meets your requirements (e.g., t2.micro).

    • Key pair: Choose an existing EC2 key pair to access your instances via SSH.

    • Provisioning model: Select "On-Demand" or "Spot" instances based on your preference.

    • Number of instances: Set the desired number of instances in your cluster.

    • Networking: Choose the VPC and subnets where your cluster will be deployed.

    • Security group: Select an existing security group or create a new one to control inbound/outbound traffic.

  6. Review the configuration and click on "Create" to create your ECS cluster.

Step 2: Create an ECS Task Definition

  1. In the ECS service dashboard, click on "Task Definitions" in the left sidebar.

  2. Click on the "Create new Task Definition" button.

  3. Select the "Fargate" launch type compatibility, which provides serverless container execution.

  4. Provide a task definition name and an optional task role, if needed.

  5. Configure the task CPU and memory settings based on your application requirements.

  6. Under the "Container Definitions" section, click on "Add container" to add a container definition for Nginx.

  7. Set the container name, image, and port mappings:

    • Container name: Provide a meaningful name for your Nginx container (e.g., "nginx-container").

    • Image: Specify the Nginx Docker image you want to use (e.g., "nginx:latest").

    • Port mappings: Add a port mapping for Nginx (e.g., 80:80 for HTTP traffic).

  8. Optionally, you can configure environment variables, logging, and other container settings.

  9. Click on "Add" to save the container definition, and then click on "Create" to create the task definition.

Step 3: Create an ECS Service

  1. In the ECS service dashboard, click on "Clusters" in the left sidebar.

  2. Select the ECS cluster you created in Step 1 or create a new one if you haven't done so already.

  3. Click on the "Services" tab and then click on the "Create" button to create a new service.

  4. Set the launch type to "Fargate" and provide a service name for your Nginx service.

  5. Choose the task definition you created in Step 2 from the drop-down menu.

  6. Configure the service settings:

    • Number of tasks: Set the desired number of tasks (containers) to run for your Nginx service.

    • Minimum healthy percent: Define the minimum percentage of tasks that should remain healthy during deployments or updates.

    • Maximum percent: Specify the maximum percentage of tasks to be temporarily stopped during deployments or updates.

    • Deployment type: Choose "Rolling update" for a smooth and controlled deployment process.

  7. Select the VPC, subnets, and security groups for your ECS service.

  8. Optionally, you can configure additional settings like load balancing, service discovery, and auto scaling.

  9. Click on "Next" to review the service configuration.

  10. Review the settings and click on "Create Service" to create the ECS service.

Step 4: Access the Nginx Service

  1. Once the ECS service is created, it will start running the Nginx containers.

  2. Go back to the ECS service dashboard and select your cluster and service.

  3. In the "Details" tab, you will find the "Load Balancers" section.

  4. Note the DNS name or the load balancer endpoint for your Nginx service. This is the endpoint you will use to access your Nginx server.

  5. Open a web browser and enter the DNS name or load balancer endpoint you noted in the previous step.

  6. If everything is set up correctly, you should see the default Nginx welcome page indicating that your Nginx server is up and running.

Congratulations! 🥳🥳🥳You have successfully set up ECS and deployed Nginx on ECS using Fargate. You can now customize your Nginx configuration, scale the service, or add additional containers as needed. Remember to manage your ECS resources and monitor the service for optimal performance and cost efficiency.

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