Serverless Container Management with AWS Fargate

all aws aws containers aws serverless Feb 04, 2024


AWS Fargate, the serverless container compute engine, simplifies how we run our applications. This post will demystify AWS Fargate, highlight its differences from other container services and EC2, and show the steps to get our containers up and running.

What is AWS Fargate?

AWS Fargate is a serverless compute engine for containers. It allows us to run containers without having to manage servers or clusters. With Fargate, we no longer need to provision, configure, or scale clusters of virtual machines to run containers. This makes deploying applications easier and more cost-effective, as we pay only for the resources our containers use.

How is AWS Fargate Different?

  • Fargate vs. Container Alternatives (ECS and EKS): Both Amazon ECS (Elastic Container Service) and EKS (Elastic Kubernetes Service) can run on either AWS Fargate or EC2 instances. The key difference is management responsibility. With ECS or EKS on EC2, you manage the underlying infrastructure (the EC2 instances). With Fargate, AWS manages our infrastructure, allowing us to focus solely on our application and its containers.

  • Fargate vs. EC2: EC2 gives you complete control over your virtual servers. We're responsible for managing everything from the operating system to your applications. Fargate abstracts this layer away. You only deal with the containers themselves, not the underlying infrastructure.

Fargate's Integration with Container Registries

Fargate is compatible with various container registries, including Amazon Elastic Container Registry (ECR) and other public or private registries like Docker Hub. This flexibility ensures we can deploy containers using images stored in the most convenient or compliant registry for our needs.

  1. Using Amazon ECR: ECR provides a secure, scalable, and integrated registry for storing, managing, and deploying Docker and Open Container Initiative (OCI) images. Its seamless integration with Fargate simplifies deployment workflows and enhances security with features like image scanning.

  2. Using Other Registries: Fargate also supports deploying containers from any Docker-compatible registry, including public registries like Docker Hub or private ones. For private registries, ensure our Fargate tasks are authenticated using AWS Secrets Manager or the task definition itself to pull images securely.

Getting Started with AWS Fargate

  1. Set Up Your AWS Account: First, we need to ensure an AWS account is set up. Once you have an account, log in to the AWS Management Console.

  2. Choose Our Container Registry:

    • For ECR: Create a repository in ECR and push your container images.
    • For other registries: Ensure your images are accessible and have the necessary credentials stored securely if using a private registry.
  3. Create and Configure Task Definition: A task definition is a blueprint for your application that describes one or more containers. It includes details such as which container images to use, how much CPU and memory is required, and the networking settings.

    • Navigate to the Amazon ECS Console.
    • Choose "Task Definitions" and click "Create new Task Definition."
    • Select "Fargate" as the launch type and proceed to configure your containers.
    • Define your task or pod, specifying the container image URLs from ECR or your chosen registry. Include necessary configurations like CPU, memory, and environment variables.
  4. Launch Your Task or Service: With your task definition ready, you can launch it as a standalone task or as a service.

    • For a standalone task, you can run it directly from the ECS console.
    • To ensure your application is always running, create a service. This allows Fargate to maintain your desired number of instances of the task definition.
  5. Monitor Our Application: AWS provides tools like CloudWatch for monitoring our containers' performance and logging. Monitoring allows us to track resource utilization and detect issues early.

Benefits of Using AWS Fargate

  • Simplified Operations: No need to manage servers or clusters.
  • Scalability: Automatically scales your application.
  • Cost-Effective: Pay only for the resources you use.
  • Security: Each application is isolated by design, enhancing security.


AWS Fargate is a powerful tool for developers looking to deploy containerized applications without the overhead of managing infrastructure. By abstracting the server and cluster management, Fargate lets us focus on designing and building our applications. Follow the steps outlined above to get started with AWS Fargate and enjoy the simplicity and efficiency it brings to our container management.

See also

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