Business Cloud News

deepaIn one of the last installments of our series marking the upcoming Container World (February 16 – 18,  Santa Clara Convention Center, CA, USA), BCN talks to Deepak Singh, General Manager of Amazon EC2 Container Service, AWS

Business Cloud News: First of all – how much of the container hype is justified would you say?

Deepak Singh: Over the last 2-3 years, starting with the launch of Docker in March 2013, we have seen a number of AWS customers adopt containers for their applications. While many customers are still early in their journey, we have seen AWS customers such as Linden Labs, Remind, Yelp, Segment, and Gilt Group all adopt Docker for production applications. In particular, we are seeing enterprise customers actively investigating Docker as they start re-architecting their applications to be less monolithic.

How is the evolution of containers influencing the cloud ecosystem?

Containers are helping people move faster towards architectures that are ideal for the  AWS cloud. For example, one of the common patterns we have seen with customers using Docker is to adopt a microservices architecture. This is especially true for our enterprise customers who see Docker as a way to bring more applications onto AWS.

What opportunities does this open up to AWS?

For us, it all comes down to customer choice. When our customers ask us for a capability, then we listen. They come to us because they want something the Amazon way, easy to use, easy to scale, lower cost, and where they don’t have to worry about the infrastructure running behind it.

As mentioned, many of our customers are adopting containers and they expect AWS to support them. Over the past few years we have launched a number of services and features to make it easier for customers to run Docker-based applications. These include Docker support in AWS Elastic Beanstalk and the Amazon EC2 Container Service (ECS). We also have a variety of certified partners that support Docker and AWS and integrate with various AWS services, including ECS.

What does the phenomenon of open source mean to AWS? Is it a threat or a friend?

We view open source as a companion to AWS’s business model. We use open source and have built most AWS services on top of open source technology. AWS supports a number of open source applications, either directly or through partners. Examples of open source solutions available as AWS services include Amazon RDS (which supports MySQL, Postgres, and MariaDB), Amazon Elastic MapReduce (EMR), and Amazon EC2 Container Service (ECS). We are also an active member of the open source community. The Amazon ECS agent is available under an Apache 2.0 license, and we accept pull requests and allow our customers to fork our agent as well. AWS contributes code to Docker (e.g. CloudWatch logs driver), and was a founder member of the Open Container Initiative, which is a community effort to develop specifications for container runtimes.

As we see customers asking for services based on various open source technologies, we’ll keep adding those services.

You’ll be appearing at Container World this February. What do you think the biggest discussions will be about?

We expect customers will be interested in learning how they can run container-based applications in production, the most popular use cases, and hear about the latest innovations in this space.