Our first DevOps Playground in Edinburgh – Hands on with AWS Fargate

Our first DevOps Playground in Edinburgh – Hands on with AWS Fargate

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On the 27th February, we had the privilege of launching ECS Digital’s very first DevOps Playground in Edinburgh. Such an occasion called for a special topic, and this time we focused on AWS Fargate, a brand-new and often misunderstood technology from Amazon Web Services.

For those who don’t know, DevOps Playground is a small meetup run by ECS-Digital consultants to give people a hands-on practical introduction to DevOps technologies and help to evangelise them.

 

So, what is Fargate?

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Amazon Web Services defines it as a ‘technology that allows you to run containers without managing the underlying instances’ – this means that by using Fargate as launch type, your container will be downloaded and launched in some physical place inside the AWS datacenters, away from your direct management.

The Playground

As is tradition at DevOps Playground, we prepared a hands-on example to give the audience a taste of the functionality of this technology. There was a brief introduction to AWS Elastic Container Services, with an explanation on the logical division between Clusters, Services and Tasks. Then we proceeded to create the Cluster, register the container specifications (Task Definitions), and finally run a service. A single instance of the famous Ghost blog engine.

The foundation that makes all of this possible is the new networking mode called awsvpc, which allows us to attach an Elastic Network Interface to a container, rather than to an EC2 Instance. This gives us direct access to container services, rather than the underlying hosts, in turn making Fargate possible.

Limitations

Of course, since Fargate is pretty new, there are some limitations on it’s usage. Amongst the most important are the following:

  • Currently, it’s available only in one region: us-east-1. This is because it has limited availability at the moment and us-east-1 is considered the experimental region.
  • It is not possible to attach persistent EBS volumes, directly to the container for now .
  • Limits of 20 Fargate services, per account, per region
  • Limits of 20 public IP addresses per Fargate services, per account, per region.

Reception

Despite the heavy snowstorm, we had a good turnout with many questions in between the presentation and after that led discussions regarding containers, service management and related problems. It was great to talk to passionate engineers and gain an insight into the tech environment of Edinburgh.

All in all, it was a fantastic experience and I feel that there will be a lot of potential in the Scottish capital for this new technology in the future.

Looking forward to the next DevOps Playground in Edinburgh.

Resources

In case you want to play with Fargate, We publicly released the walkthrough we executed at the meetup. You can find it here, in our public Github repository.

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Enzo RivelloOur first DevOps Playground in Edinburgh – Hands on with AWS Fargate
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