AWS Partner Network (APN) Blog

Rancher Labs Support for Amazon EC2 Container Service – RancherOS 0.4

APN Technology Partner Rancher Labs has announced support for Amazon EC2 Container Service by releasing RancherOS 0.4, the first ECS-enabled version of their streamlined, container-oriented operating system Rancher OS.

Amazon EC2 Container Service is built to help you run containers at scale across clusters of Amazon EC2 instances. These instances can run any OS that you’d like, so long as they are ECS-enabled.

ECS-enabled AMIs share two things in common, the Docker daemon and the Amazon ECS Agent. The ECS Agent is responsible for translating ECS API calls into Docker commands, so that when you tell ECS to run a task, it can start the desired containers on your EC2 instances. The ECS Agent is open source and written in GO, and is available on both Github and Dockerhub.

Rancher OS is built to run Docker containers with minimal operating system overhead. All system services are run inside of containers, allowing the entire OS to be extremely minimal (the binary download of the OS is around 20mb). Rancher runs two Docker daemons, one in kernel-space for system utilities, and one in user-space to support your application containers. The kernel-space Docker process is called System Docker and is launched as PID 1, replacing traditional init systems. System Docker then runs User Docker, the instance of the Docker daemon that runs user application containers.

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Below is an AWS CloudFormation template intended to make evaluating Rancher OS on ECS very straightforward. The template will run in US-WEST-1, create a new VPC with a public subnet, and configure an autoscaling group of Rancher OS instances. We’ll also create an ECS Cluster called “Rancher Cluster”, and we’ll tell the EC2 instances to join this cluster by providing the cluster name in the Autoscaling Launch Configuration userdata script. Be aware that this template will create resources in your account and launch two t2.micro instances (Free Tier eligible!). The template is here.

Once the cluster is up and running, you can use the ECS APIs to start containers on the cluster. If you’re new to running tasks on ECS, take a look at our getting started guide here:

We also recommend that you check out the video below from our re:Invent 2014 session,”Amazon EC2 Container Service in Action”:

Here at AWS, we’re excited to continue to support customers with diverse requirements and workloads, especially in the rapidly changing EC2 Container Service ecosystem, and we’re happy to have a network of APN Partners with software that help our customers take full advantage of the cloud. We see Rancher OS as a great option to help our customers run containers on Amazon ECS with minimal overhead. If you’re looking for a minimal and container-focused OS distribution to run containers at scale, check out Rancher OS with Amazon ECS today.

Learn more about Rancher Labs here.