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Difference Between AWS (Amazon Web Services) ECS And AWS Fargate

Last Updated : 05 Feb, 2024
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While both AWS ECS and Fargate play in the container orchestration field, their approaches diverge like two paths on a mountain trail. ECS empowers you with direct control over the underlying infrastructure, like an experienced builder crafting a custom container home. You choose and manage the bricks and mortar (EC2 instances) for a personalized container environment. On the other hand, Fargate takes the “ready-to-move-in” route handling the infrastructure behind the scenes like a well-equipped concierge. You simply focus on your containers, leaving the server management to Fargate. The choice comes down to whether you seek control of a hands-on builder or the ease of a pre-built haven for your containerized applications.

AWS ECS (Elastic Container Service)

Architecture Of Amazon ECS

This tool gives a chance to tap into the power of Amazon ECS int order to manage, arrange and orchestrate your applications while maintaining full control over the instances of Amazon EC2. This means you’re in charge of provisioning, configuring, and managing these instances to perfectly align with your specific needs and preferences.

Control Of Amazon ECS

ECS empowers you to meticulously customize your container infrastructure, enabling you to design the EC2 instances to your exact requirements. This level of control is ideal for users who have specific needs, existing EC2 investments, or simply prefer a hands-on approach to infrastructure management.

Use Cases OF Amazon ECS

ECS shines for users who:

  • Embrace granular infrastructure control
  • Have unique EC2 instance requirements
  • Seek to leverage existing EC2 investments
  • Value the flexibility to optimize for specific workloads

AWS Fargate

Lets discuss effectively on Architecture, control and Use cases of AWS Fargate:

Architecture Of AWS Fargate

Fargate removes the intricacies of infrastructure management, providing a seamless environment to run containers without the necessity to handle the underlying EC2 instances. It offers the freedom of a serverless compute engine explicitly tailored for containerized applications.

Control Of AWS Fargate

Fargate offers a refreshing, great serverless experience where AWS takes care of the infrastructure, allowing you to focus mainly on your containers and applications. Bid farewell to manual server management and embrace the convenience of AWS handling the details for you.

Use Cases Of AWS Fargate

Fargate is ideal for users who:

  • Prefer a hands-off approach to infrastructure
  • Prioritize ease of use and rapid scaling
  • Have variable or unpredictable container workloads
  • Seek to minimize operational overhead
  • Value a cost-effective solution for dynamic workloads

Key Considerations

  1. Ease of Use: Fargate streamlines container management, making it effortless to launch and scale containers without infrastructure overhead. ECS with EC2 instances provides greater flexibility but requires more hands-on infrastructure management.
  2. Cost: Fargate adopts a per-vCPU and memory per second billing model, offering granular cost control. ECS with EC2 instances involves additional costs associated with running and managing EC2 instances.
  3. Flexibility: ECS with EC2 instances grants extensive customization options for infrastructure, while Fargate prioritizes simplicity by abstracting away infrastructure details.

Difference Between Amazon ECS And AWS Fargate


Amazon ECS

AWS Fargate


Requires manual scaling based on EC2 instance capacity

Auto-scaling based on container requirements, more dynamic


Various server-side encryption options (SSE-S3, SSE-KMS, SSE-C)

Similar server-side encryption options for data at rest

Use Cases

Granular control, specific EC2 needs, existing investments.

Serverless approach, no EC2 management, dynamic workloads.

Ease of Use

Involves manual infrastructure management

Simplified container management, no infrastructure management

Cost Model

Additional costs for EC2 instance running and management.

Granular billing per vCPU and memory per second for Fargate.


In conclusion, the choice between AWS ECS and AWS Fargate hinges on the specific requirements and preferences of the user. AWS ECS provides hands-on container planning that helps offering users control over the underlying EC2 instances, making it ideal for those with infrastructure expertise and specific requirements. On the other hand AWS Fargate helps in solving various infrastructure complexities which provides a serverless experience that is designed for users who prefer a streamlined approach and want to avoid managing EC2 instances. This decision involves trade offs between control, flexibility, ease of use and cost considerations, allowing users to tailor their containerized applications based on their unique needs and priorities.

Amazon ECS And AWS Fargate – FAQs

How AWS ECS Is Different From The AWS Fargate?

The key distinction lies in infrastructure management. ECS requires you to manage your own EC2 instances for containerized applications, while Fargate abstracts away the infrastructure, creating a serverless container environment.

When should I choose ECS over Fargate?

ECS is a better fit when:

  • You need more control over infrastructure.
  • You have specific EC2 instance requirements.
  • You want to leverage existing EC2 investments.

When Is Fargate The More Suitable Option?

Fargate is ideal when:

  • You prefer a serverless approach
  • You want to avoid managing EC2 instances
  • You have variable or dynamic container workloads

How Does The Level Of control Differ Between The Two Services?

ECS offers greater control over infrastructure, allowing customization of EC2 instances. On the other hand, Fargate abstracts infrastructure details, providing a more hands-off experience.

Which One Is Easier To Use?

AWS Fargate simplifies container management for ease of use, while ECS offers more flexibility but requires more manual infrastructure management.

How Do Their Billing Models Compare?

Fargate follows a granular billing model based on vCPU and memory usage per second. ECS with EC2 instances involves additional costs related to running and managing the instances themselves.

Can Fargate Handle Applications With Varying Container Workloads?

Yes, Fargate is designed to accommodate variable and dynamic container workloads, adapting to changing demands without requiring manual adjustments.

Which Service Is Better Suited For Users With Infrastructure Expertise?

Users with expertise in infrastructure management may find ECS more suitable due to the granular control it provides over the containerized environment.

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