AWS Fargate Vs Kubernetes: Which Container Orchestration Tool Do You Need?

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Kubernetes and AWS Fargate both simplify the process of deploying and managing containerized applications. Fargate and Kubernetes are distinct tools that have different use cases. The difference between the two platforms decision about which service to use to deploy your containerized applications.

What is AWS Fargate?

Fargate, which AWS introduced in 2017, is an orchestration engine for containers and the infrastructure that hosts them. It automatically sets up and manages the infrastructure required to host containers. It automates the deployment of containers on that infrastructure. In these ways, Fargate removes much of the management overhead required to deploy a containerized application.

It is a serverless compute engine for containers. In other Fargate does for containers what serverless platforms like AWS Lambda do for serverless functions: it automatically handles the infrastructure resources required to deploy an application so that developers and IT engineers can focus on the application rather than on managing its host environment.

It runs each node for the infrastructure it provisions within an isolated kernel. This means that the platform delivers the same level of isolation between workloads that teams could achieve by provisioning their own clusters.


Container and Task
Define your Service
Configure your cluster

What Is Kubernetes?

Kubernetes is an open-source container orchestration tool. Kubernetes is a system that manages containers (containerized applications) where a container could be explained as a lightweight virtual machine. To build an application you need to build a bunch of containers and then use Kubernetes to manage those containers.

Kubernetes is an open-source container management platform that unifies a cluster of machines into a single pool of computing resources. With Kubernetes, you organize your applications in groups of containers, which run using the Docker engine, taking care of keeping your application running as you request.


apiVersion: v1
kind: Pod
  name: my-nginx
  - name: my-nginx
    image: nginx
    - containerPort: 80
kubectl get pod my-nginx
my-nginx   1/1     Running   0          24s

Similarities and Differences Between Fargate and Kubernetes

1. Infrastructure managementFully managedLimited to container reallocation (some distributions support node auto-scaling)
2. Workload typesContainersContainers and VMs
3. Supported environmentsECS and EKSAny cloud or on-prem environment
4. Logging and monitoringNative integrations with AWS toolsNo built-in solutions; admins choose from a variety of plugins or tools that run as sidecars
5. Infrastructure control and accessNo direct access to nodesFull access to host nodes
6. Pricing modelPay-as-you-go based on resource consumptionDepends on the configuration and type of infrastructure

Fargate vs Kubernetes: Similarities

  • Container scheduling: Both platforms provide container scheduling, which means they automatically determine where to deploy containers.
  • Infrastructure management: Both platforms provide infrastructure management, to different degrees. Fargate fully manages host infrastructure. Kubernetes usually doesn’t provision infrastructure or do anything to keep nodes running smoothly. Arguably, you could say that this is a form of infrastructure management.

Fargate vs Kubernetes: Differences

The differences between Fargate and Kubernetes are :

Infrastructure provisioning: Fargate sets up the servers required to host containers for you. Kubernetes does not.

Serverless architecture: Fargate operates according to a serverless model. Kubernetes uses a conventional distributed-server architecture.

Platform dependencies: Fargate works only with specific services within the AWS cloud (namely, EKS and ECS). Kubernetes is a generic open-source platform that can run virtually anywhere.

Pricing: AWS prices Fargate Pay-as-you-go based on resource consumption. With Kubernetes, pricing models vary widely based on where and how a cluster is deployed.

Logging: Fargate has a built-in log shipper that can be configured to push logs to a variety of locations, such as S3 or Firehose. Kubernetes has no log collectors. It is compatible with a variety of third-party logging architectures and tools.

Monitoring: Fargate can be easily monitored using AWS tools like CloudWatch and CloudTrail, with which it integrates easily. Kubernetes provides no default monitoring tool, but a variety of third-party monitoring platforms can integrate with Kubernetes.

When to Use Fargate:

Use cases of the Aws Fargate:

  • You need relatively little control or customization over how your workloads are deployed and run.
  • Your workloads are not subject to strict compliance mandates that require specific types of isolation between workloads or data protection measures.
  • Your workloads are highly scalable and will require more infrastructure resources as they grow.
  • All of your workloads run as containers.

When to Use Kubernetes:

Use cases of the Kubernetes:

  • Your team understands Kubernetes from top to bottom and is prepared to handle the complexity of Kubernetes configuration.
  • Your workloads won’t scale quickly – or, if they do, you are prepared to scale them yourself (or set up node autoscaling, if your Kubernetes distribution supports it).
  • if you need maximum control and have the necessary management expertise on hand and Kubernetes will provide more options and customizability than Aws Fargate.