Amazon Elastic Container Service Documentation

Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS) allows you to deploy containerized workloads on AWS. The power of Amazon ECS enables you to grow from a single Docker container to managing your enterprise’s application portfolio. Run and scale your container workloads across availability zones, in the cloud, and on-premises, without managing a control plane or nodes.

Amazon ECS key features

Serverless by default with AWS Fargate: AWS Fargate is built-in to Amazon ECS, which helps you to manage servers, handle capacity planning, and isolate container workloads. Just define your application’s requirements, select Fargate as your launch type in the console or CLI, and Fargate will help you take care of the scaling and infrastructure management to run your containers.

Amazon ECS Anywhere: With ECS Anywhere, you can use the Amazon ECS console and operator tools to manage your on-premises container workloads for a consistent experience across your container-based applications. The AWS Systems Manager (SSM) integration is designed to establish trust between your on-premises hardware and the AWS control plane.

Security and isolation by design: Amazon ECS is designed to natively integrate with the Security, Identity, and Management and Governance tools you already trust, which helps you get to production quickly and successfully. You can assign granular permissions for each of your containers, giving you a high level of isolation when building your applications. 
Autonomous control plane operations: Amazon ECS is a fully-managed container orchestration service, designed with AWS configuration and operational best practices built-in, and no control plane, nodes, or add-ons for you to manage. It is built to natively integrate with both AWS and third-party tools so that teams can focus on building the applications, not the environment.

Amazon ECS additional features

Docker Support

Amazon ECS supports Docker so that you can run and manage Docker containers. It even integrates into the Docker Compose CLI, so you can define and run multi-container applications. Applications you package as a container locally will deploy and run on Amazon ECS without configuration changes.

Windows Containers Compatibility

Amazon ECS supports management of Windows containers. An Amazon ECS-optimized Windows Amazon Machine Image (AMI) is designed to provide enhanced instance and container launch time performance and visibility into CPU, memory utilization, and reservation metrics.

AWS Copilot

The AWS Copilot CLI is a tool designed for developers to build, release, and operate production ready containerized applications on Amazon ECS and AWS Fargate. Copilot is built with best practices, from infrastructure to continuous delivery, that are made available to customers from their command line. You can also monitor the health of your service by viewing your service's status or logs, scale up or down production services, and spin up a new environment for automated testing. Download AWS Copilot.

Repository Support

Use Amazon ECS with third-party hosted Docker image repositories or accessible private Docker registries, such as Docker Hub and Amazon Elastic Container Registry (Amazon ECR). You need to specify the repository in your task definition and Amazon ECS is designed to retrieve the appropriate images for your applications.

Task Definitions

Amazon ECS allows you to define tasks through a declarative JSON template called a Task Definition. Within a Task Definition, specify one or more containers that are required for your task, including the Docker repository and image, memory and CPU requirements, shared data volumes, and how the containers are linked to each other. You can launch tasks from a single Task Definition file that you can register with the service. Task Definition files also allow you to have version control over your application specification.

Programmatic Control

Amazon ECS provides you with a set of API actions to allow you to integrate and extend the service. The API actions allow you to create and delete clusters, register and deregister tasks, launch and terminate Docker containers, and provide information about the state of your cluster and its instances. You can also use AWS CloudFormation to provision Amazon ECS clusters, register task definitions, and schedule containers.

Container Deployments

Amazon ECS allows you to easily update your containers to new versions. You can upload a new version of your application task definition, and the Amazon ECS scheduler starts new containers using the updated image and stop containers running the previous version. Amazon ECS registers and deregisters your containers from the associated Application Load Balancer.

Blue/Green Deployments

Blue/green deployments with AWS CodeDeploy help you minimize downtime during application updates. You can launch a new version of your Amazon ECS service alongside the old version and test the new version before you reroute traffic. You can also monitor the deployment process and rollback if there is an issue.

Container Auto-Recovery

The Amazon ECS is designed to recover unhealthy so that you have the desired number of containers supporting your application.

Capacity Providers

Capacity Providers allow you to define rules for how containerized workloads run on different types of compute capacity, and manage the scaling of the capacity. Capacity Providers work with both Amazon EC2 and AWS Fargate. When running tasks and services, you can split them across multiple Capacity Providers, enabling new capabilities such as running a service in a predefined split percentage across Fargate and Fargate Spot.


Amazon Elastic File System (Amazon EFS) is a scalable, fully managed elastic file system, enabling you to build applications, and persist and share data and state, from your Amazon ECS and AWS Fargate deployments. You can focus on your applications, not infrastructure. Learn more about persistent file storage.

Scheduling and Task Placement

Amazon ECS includes multiple scheduling strategies that place containers across your clusters based on your resource needs (for example, CPU or RAM) and availability requirements. Using the available scheduling strategies, you can schedule batch jobs, long-running applications and services, and daemon processes.

Task Scheduling

Amazon ECS task scheduling allows you to run processes that perform work and then stop, such as batch processing jobs. Task scheduling starts tasks from a queue of jobs, or based on a time interval that you define.

Service Scheduling

Amazon ECS service scheduling allows you to run stateless services and applications so that a specified number of tasks are constantly running and restarts tasks if failure occurs. Customers can register tasks against an Elastic Load Balancing load balancer and can perform health checks that users define for running tasks.

Daemon Scheduling

Amazon ECS daemon scheduling runs the same task on each selected instance in your ECS cluster. This is designed to makes it easier for you to run tasks that provide common management functionality for a service like logging, monitoring, or backups.

Task Placement

Amazon ECS allows users to customize how tasks are placed onto a cluster of Amazon EC2 instances based on built-in attributes such as instance type, Availability Zone, or user-defined custom attributes. Use attributes such as environment = production to label resources, list API actions to find those resources, and the RunTask and CreateService API actions to schedule tasks on those resources.

With Amazon ECS, use placement strategies such as bin pack and spread to further define where tasks are placed. Policies can be chained together to achieve placement capabilities without writing any code.

Service Discovery

Amazon ECS is integrated with AWS Cloud Map so that your containerized services can discover and connect with each other. AWS Cloud Map is a cloud resource discovery service that lets you define custom names for your application resources. It can increase your application availability because your web service will discover the locations of these changing resources.

Service Mesh

Service mesh is designed to build and run complex microservices applications by standardizing how microservices in the application communicate. AWS App Mesh allows you to configure part of your application for end-to-end visibility and high-availability. 

Task Networking

Amazon ECS supports Docker networking and integrates with Amazon VPC to provide isolation for containers. 

Load Balancing

Amazon ECS is integrated with Elastic Load Balancing, which is designed to allow you to distribute traffic across your containers using Application Load Balancers or Network Load Balancers. You specify the task definition and the load balancer to use, and Amazon ECS adds and removes containers from the load balancer. Specify a dynamic port in the task definition, which gives your container an unused port when it is scheduled on an EC2 instance. In addition, use path-based routing to share a load balancer with multiple services.

Monitoring and Logging

Amazon ECS provides monitoring capabilities for your containers and clusters through Amazon CloudWatch. You can monitor average and aggregate CPU and memory utilization of running tasks as grouped by task definition, service, or cluster. Set CloudWatch alarms to alert you when your containers or clusters need to scale up or down.


Amazon ECS allows you to record all your Amazon ECS API calls and have the log files delivered to you through AWS CloudTrail. CloudTrail provides you a history of API calls made from the AWS Management Console, AWS SDKs, and AWS CLI. It enables security analysis, resource change tracking, and compliance auditing.

AWS Config

AWS Config integrates with Amazon ECS to provide you visibility into your configuration of AWS resources in your AWS account. AWS Config allows users to monitor and track how resources were configured, how they relate to one another, and how the configurations and relationships change over time. 

Hybrid Deployments
AWS Outposts

You can use Amazon ECS on AWS Outposts to run containerized applications that require low latencies to on-premises systems. Outposts is a fully managed service that extends AWS infrastructure, AWS services, APIs, and tools to some connected sites.

Additional Information

For additional information about service controls, security features and functionalities, including, as applicable, information about storing, retrieving, modifying, restricting, and deleting data, please see This additional information does not form part of the Documentation for purposes of the AWS Customer Agreement available at, or other agreement between you and AWS governing your use of AWS’s services.