AKS is now generally available, ECS has daemon scheduling, and Docker for Desktop is going to have a way to build containers without writing Dockerfiles. In the serverless world AWS now has private endpoints for their API Gateway.
AKS is GA
The Azure Kubernetes Service, AKS, is now generally available. It’s been in preview for a long time, and has had time to mature. With the GA announcement also come several new features not available in the preview such as RBAC and the ability to deploy into existing virtual networks.
Microsoft has built a lot of tooling around Kubernetes, and seems invested in building a great solution for Kubernetes. Part of that is also that the control plane is free1, but it’s also available from the start in 10 regions including one in Australia.
There are some downsides as well, at the moment it seems limited to running Kubernetes 1.9 and because Azure doesn’t really support availability zones yet2 you’ll need to run it across multiple regions if you want a highly available setup. And that means you’ll need to find two regions close enough that have it at this time.
This blog post from Hasura has a good comparison of the managed Kubernetes offering of all 3 providers (AKS, EKS, and GKE).
Daemons in ECS
While a lot of attention is focused on EKS, AWS also keeps improving ECS. This time they added support for daemon scheduling. Daemon tasks are containers that you want to run on each of your nodes and obvious examples of it are your monitoring or logging tasks.
In Kubernetes this is taken care of by deploying DaemonSets, but ECS didn’t have an automated way of dealing with this. Which meant that if you had an autoscaling group you had to build tooling to ensure this happened. Having the ability to define this through the standard ECS interface might seem like a small thing, but it does make life a lot easier.
Design Applications in Docker Desktop
Docker for Desktop3 is getting a graphical interface for composing your Dockerfiles and Compose files. It allows you to click a button and get a guided path through building your containers. In there you pick the services you want, have some limited customisation, and eventually it creates the required Dockerfiles and a Docker Compose file for you.
This is one of those features that I like the idea of, but suspect I might never use. It’s great to get people started, but in the end they will have to dive into the syntax of the Dockerfile anyway. It’s possible it will become more useful once it matures and we might all end up using something like this in the future, but I really want to see that happen first.
API Gateway Private Endpoint
A long awaited feature in the serverless4 world has arrived with the ability to create private endpoints for your AWS API Gateway. This means you no longer have to create public API endpoints that you then limit access to in some way, you can instead limit them to the VPC you want to access it from.
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