AWS Containers with Deepak Singh

Deepak Singh is the director of compute services at AWS, where he works on cloud products relating to containers, Linux, and High Performance Computing. In today’s show, Deepak describes how the market for containers and serverless has evolved, and how Amazon thinks about product strategy.

Back in 2014, Docker containers were becoming a popular way to deploy and manage application infrastructure. Containers allowed people to take advantage of their servers in a more economical way. Containers let developers move faster by quickly setting up and tearing down small composable units of software.

As these containers grew in number within software companies, companies started figuring out that they needed tooling to manage and orchestrate all these containers. Infrastructure software companies realized that there would be a big business in providing orchestration software to developers who needed to manage these high volumes of containers. This led to the “container orchestration wars”, in which a variety of companies such as Red Hat, CoreOS, Docker, and Mesosphere all began to offer platforms for managing containerized applications.

During the container orchestration wars, many large enterprises such as banks and telcos resisted picking any specific container orchestration system because there was no clear winner. Enterprises were hesitant to place a large bet on an infrastructure orchestration tool that might go out of fashion.

Amazon had a large number of customers that wanted to orchestrate their containers, but it was unclear how the market for open source container orchestration was going to unfold. Around this time, Amazon created ECS, a closed-source container orchestration system.

In the following years, Kubernetes was released and became the most popular container orchestrator. Amazon released EKS, a managed Kubernetes service. They also released AWS Lambda for running serverless functions and AWS Fargate for spinning up long-lived container instances.

Deepak and I discuss the history of containers at Amazon, but we also discuss how developer preferences are changing towards managed services, and how AWS is able to continually build off of its own tools to build higher and higher level services for developers.


Show Notes


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