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Kubernetes vs. Amazon ECS: Container Orchestration Comparison

Alfonso Valdes
Published: November 25, 2023

As you may know, many orchestration tools exist to manage and scale microservices. But, in this case, we will talk about the two most extensive mechanisms: Kubernetes vs. Amazon ECS.

In this article, we will review each of them individually. We’re going to talk about their pros and cons. Ultimately, depending on your company’s needs, we’ll decide which one is the right container orchestration tool for your web application.

Let’s start!

Kubernetes vs. Amazon ECS: Which Would Win? 

These two cluster management systems help microservice applications manage, deploy, autoscale, and network among containers. 

On the one hand, Kubernetes is a container orchestration service. Developed by Google and hosted in the Cloud, this service also functions with Docker. It is relevant to highlight that Kubernetes has a vital community.

On the other hand, Amazon ECS is a container orchestration tool that enables applications to scale up. Continuously, it creates more containers to run the application processes as the demand increases.

Both tools have positive and negative sides when adopting one of them, hence the importance of reviewing them to make a good choice depending on what you are looking for in your business. 

Even with Kubernetes in the cloud (Azure Kubernetes Service or Amazon Kubernetes service), managing it will take around 20% more time.

Amazon ECS, a service that doesn’t have a cost, except for the costs associated with the instance assigned to the service, can be as small as a small instance.

Features: Kubernetes vs. Amazon ECS


Well, this is obvious, and the winner is Kubernetes. A compelling reason is that it can be deployed on-prem or any cloud provider, including Azure, Google Cloud, or Amazon.

In the case of ECS, the platform is closed code; consequently, it has a vendor lock-in and is not cloud-agnostic.

Easy to Operate

In this case, Amazon ECS is your best option. The ECS ecosystem is already preconfigured. It is an Amazon service that doesn’t require a full setup. Additionally, it takes the most challenging parts so that you can focus on a few configurations.  

Alternatively, Kubernetes has an intense configuration process, requiring an appropriate amount of hours to make it work. 

Availability and Scalability

Both platforms cover the features at the same level, but clearly, Amazon ECS has benefits inherently.  They can be deployed in different availability zones versus Kubernetes on-prem. This will take you a fair amount of time to replicate a similar approach with multi-region/zones, etc.


With Amazon ECS, the native deployment system is rolling updates. As well as the other deployment strategies. For example, Canary and blue-green deployments. They can be incorporated in your CI-CD process but with the reinforcement of Amazon Code deployment.

On the other hand, Kubernetes per se doesn’t have multiple deployment systems, such as rolling updates, canary deployments, etc. Except for blue/green deployments, which work flawlessly with Kubernetes.


Organizations aspire to reduce IT costs without compromising quality or agility, right? So, Kubernetes usually is more expensive than Amazon ECS. One strong argument from Kubernetes is that it requires at least two servers. And that will cost you a lot of money from the hosting side.

And not just that, if we go deeper into your organization, with Kubernetes on-prem, the likely work efforts are 2X. That’s because of its configuration, deployment, and maintenance complexity.

To Conclude

Now that we have taken a closer look at each tool and compared Kubernetes vs. Amazon ECS, the time has come to decide which container orchestration tool is your best option!

If you’re looking for multi-cloud, Kubernetes can be the right choice. But if you want to reduce IT labor hosting costs and management, then you should consider Amazon ECS.