Download and run the Amazon EKS Anywhere installer.

Q: What is Amazon EKS Anywhere?

Amazon EKS Anywhere is a deployment option for Amazon EKS that helps you create and operate Kubernetes clusters on your own on-premises infrastructure, whether it's directly on bare metal servers or using a virtualization layer such as VMware vSphere or Apache CloudStack. Learn more about EKS Anywhere on bare metal here. We plan to continue adding support for more deployment targets by working backwards from our customers. Kubernetes is open source software for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications, and Amazon EKS is a managed Kubernetes service to run Kubernetes on AWS. Amazon EKS Anywhere provides an installable software package for creating and operating on-premises Kubernetes clusters that are based on Amazon EKS Distro, the same Kubernetes distribution used by Amazon EKS for clusters on AWS. Amazon EKS Anywhere helps to simplify the creation and operation of on-premises Kubernetes clusters while automating cluster management, so that you can reduce your support costs and avoid the maintenance of redundant open-source and third-party tools. In addition, you can leverage the EKS console to view all of your Kubernetes clusters (including EKS Anywhere clusters) running anywhere, through the EKS Connector.

Q: Why should I use EKS Anywhere?

Many customers operating Kubernetes clusters on-premises today must assemble, test, and integrate multiple third-party tools and purchase separate support contracts for each tool. Customers also have to allocate valuable resources tracking the latest updates and security patches for every tool needed to run Kubernetes on premises while ensuring any changes do not break compatibility with other tools. This leads to unnecessary complexity, fragmented support options, and inconsistencies between the cloud and on-premises clusters that make it hard to manage applications across environments. With Amazon EKS Anywhere, you now have Kubernetes operational tooling that is consistent with Amazon EKS and is optimized to simplify cluster installation with default configurations for the operating system and networking needed to operate Kubernetes on-premises. Amazon EKS Anywhere uses Amazon EKS Distro, the same Kubernetes distribution deployed by Amazon EKS, allowing you to easily create clusters consistent with Amazon EKS best practices like the latest software updates and extended security patches. You can leverage support agreements with AWS for your Amazon EKS Anywhere cluster deployments and the integrated tools within, so you can reduce your support costs and avoid the maintenance of redundant open-source and third-party tools. 

Q: What is Amazon EKS Distro?

Amazon EKS Distro is a distribution of the same open source Kubernetes and dependencies deployed by Amazon EKS for you to manually create Kubernetes clusters anywhere. Amazon EKS Distro includes binaries and containers of open source Kubernetes, etcd (cluster configuration database), networking, storage plugins, all tested for compatibility. Amazon EKS Distro will provide extended support for Kubernetes versions after community support expires, by updating builds of previous versions with the latest critical security patches. You will be able to securely access Amazon EKS Distro releases from GitHub or within AWS via Amazon S3 and Amazon ECR for a common source of releases and updates.

Q: What is the EKS Connector?

EKS Connector is a software agent that runs on a Kubernetes cluster and enables the cluster to register with Amazon EKS. You can connect any conformant Kubernetes cluster to Amazon EKS through the EKS Connector, including Amazon EKS Anywhere clusters running on-premises, self-managed clusters on EC2 and other Kubernetes clusters running outside of AWS. Once connected, you can use the EKS console to view all connected clusters and the underlying Kubernetes resources, regardless where the cluster is running.

Q: What is the EKS console?

Amazon EKS provides an integrated dashboard in the AWS console for connecting, visualizing, and troubleshooting Kubernetes clusters and applications. You can leverage the EKS console to view all of your Kubernetes clusters (including EKS Anywhere clusters) running anywhere, through the EKS Connector.

Q: Does EKS Anywhere require internet connectivity to an AWS region?

There are three connectivity options: fully connected, partially disconnected, and fully disconnected. For fully connected and partially disconnected connectivity, you can connect your Amazon EKS Anywhere clusters to AWS. This lets you leverage the EKS console as a single pane of glass for clusters running anywhere starting today, with future support for integrating with App Mesh, pushing logs and metrics into AWS for centralized observability, performing cluster backups and snapshots to Amazon S3 buckets, running cluster cost management and optimization tools, and running compliance checks, audit trail reporting, and configuration policy enforcement. In the case of partially disconnected clusters, there is no impact on your applications running on the clusters but since intermittent disconnects can last several hours, features like the EKS console in the AWS console will show state from the time of disconnect, with eventual consistency restored once the connection returns. In disconnected scenarios, you can use EKS Distro and leverage open source tools to run your clusters.

Q: What is the relationship between Amazon EKS Anywhere and Amazon EKS Distro?

There are two things you need to operate Kubernetes on-premises. First you need a trusted distribution that can be deployed anywhere (Amazon EKS Distro.) Second, once you move from development to production environments, you will need management tooling to run at scale (Amazon EKS Anywhere.) If you currently manage your own Kubernetes clusters, you can leverage Amazon EKS Distro to standardize on a secure, stable, and community supported version of Kubernetes across your environments and leverage open source tooling to create and manage EKS Distro clusters. Amazon EKS Anywhere uses EKS Distro and provides automation tooling that simplifies cluster creation, administration and operations on your own infrastructure on-premises. Further, Amazon EKS Anywhere provides default configurations on operating system and networking and brings additional opinionated tooling you would need to run Kubernetes in production.

Q: What functionality does Amazon EKS Anywhere offer?

Amazon EKS Anywhere provides an installer and command line interfaces (CLI) for cluster life cycle management. It offers cluster bootstrap of opinionated EKS Distro clusters with default configurations for node OS, container runtime, and container network interface (CNI), along with opinionated tooling like GitOps components. It provides tooling for cluster upgrade, cluster scaling, and diagnostic gathering. You can use OAuth and Open ID Connect federation and leverage aws-iam-authenticator to enable your Amazon EKS Anywhere clusters to work with AWS IAM. You can optionally use the EKS Connector to connect the clusters to AWS and centrally view all of them from the EKS console. 

Q: How will Amazon EKS Anywhere clusters be opinionated?

An opinionated Kubernetes cluster provides you with pre-configured defaults to reduce complexity and automate cluster configuration associated with creating and operating a cluster in the environment it’s running in. EKS Anywhere runs the opinionated EKS Distro that includes optional defaults consistent with Amazon EKS for node OS, container runtime, and  container network interface (CNI).

Q: How does Amazon EKS Anywhere relate to other AWS services?

You can connect your Amazon EKS Anywhere clusters to the Amazon EKS console via the EKS Connector and see the cluster configuration and workload status. You can leverage AWS services such as Amazon S3, Amazon RDS, Amazon SNS, Amazon API Gateway, Amazon DynamoDB, among others, through AWS Controllers for Kubernetes (ACK). You can connect EKS Anywhere infrastructure resources using AWS SSM agents and view them using the SSM console.

Q: How can I use Amazon ECR with EKS Anywhere?

You can point your existing CI/CD pipelines to Amazon ECR and leverage AWS services such as AWS Direct Connect and VPN to establish a secure tunnel from your on-premises network. You can also leverage ECR for a public image repository. 

Q: What platforms and operating systems does EKS Anywhere support for external compute?

Amazon EKS Anywhere supports VMware vSphere and bare metal server deployments, with support for additional deployment targets coming soon. Amazon EKS Anywhere provides Bottlerocket, a Linux-based open-source operating system built by AWS, as the default node operating system, with Ubuntu and Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) as a node OS alternatives. Based on customer feedback, we are looking to expand the choice of operating systems on which customers can run Amazon EKS Anywhere.

Q: Does EKS Anywhere support bare-metal clusters?

Yes, bare metal support for EKS Anywhere is now generally available. Learn more here. To get started with Amazon EKS Anywhere on bare metal, visit the Amazon EKS Anywhere documentation.

Q: Does EKS Anywhere manage the underlying customer hardware?

No. EKS Anywhere will not manage the underlying cluster infrastructure or your cluster control plane. Management will be a shared responsibility model. AWS will provide you cluster management tooling that can operate online and offline, however, the underlying infrastructure is the responsibility of your platform team.

Q: What prerequisites will you need to fulfill in order to use EKS Anywhere, and how do I get started?

Visit https://anywhere.eks.amazonaws.com/docs/getting-started/install/ for prerequisites and getting-started instructions. 

Q: Will EKS Anywhere work with AWS Snowball Edge?

Yes, customers can use EKS Anywhere on AWS Snowball Edge to run their container based applications at the rugged, mobile edge. These edge locations include unconditioned environments such as construction sites, oil platforms, or mobile environments such as ships, autonomous vehicles, and rapidly deployed military forces. EKS Anywhere for Snowball Edge will be available in 2022.

Q: How much does EKS Anywhere cost?

There are no upfront commitments or fees to use EKS Anywhere. AWS Enterprise Support is a pre-requisite for purchasing an Amazon EKS Anywhere Support Subscription. Pricing for EKS Anywhere Support Subscriptions follows a cluster-based model. Learn more about AWS Enterprise Support here. For pricing examples and additional information, visit the EKS Anywhere pricing page.

Q: Can I deploy EKS Anywhere in the AWS cloud?

Amazon EKS Anywhere is not designed to run in the AWS cloud. It does not integrate with the Kubernetes Cluster API Provider for AWS. If you plan to deploy Kubernetes clusters in the AWS cloud, we strongly recommend that you use Amazon EKS.

Q: Can I deploy Amazon EKS Anywhere on AWS Outposts?

Amazon EKS Anywhere is not designed to run on AWS Outposts. If you’re planning to deploy Kubernetes clusters on AWS Outposts, we strongly recommend that you use Amazon EKS on AWS Outposts.

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