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Amazon Web Services|Cloud Computing

AWS Makes the Transition to Containers Eaiser with App Runner

Unless you’ve been working out of a cave, you’ve probably heard that containers are the future in app development and that many businesses have been looking into using Docker, Kubernetes, and other containerized solutions to update their applications.

However, moving to a new containerized platform can be difficult – requiring the mastery of lots of unfamiliar technologies. Announced this past May 18th 2021, AWS App Runner is a fully managed service that makes it easy for developers to quickly deploy containerized web applications. No prior container platform infrastructure experience is required. Customers provide source code, a container image, or a deployment pipeline. App Runner can then build and deploy a containerized web application that can load balance traffic, scale on-demand, and monitor application health. App Runner is designed for web scalability so there’s no need to change or re-architect your applications as the workload grows.

Some of the main features in App Runner include:

  • Easy to implement – Enables you to build and run web-scale applications in just a few clicks with no prior container infrastructure experience
  • Load Balancing — Automatically load balances traffic to provide high levels of reliability and availability
  • Auto Scaling — Can seamlessly scale up resources in response to web traffic
  • Logs & Metrics — Provides detailed build, deployment, and runtime logs
  • Certificate Management –Provides a fully managed TLS with automatic certificate renewal

When you create an application in AWS App Runner, you configure the amount of memory and vCPU required for your application to run. You also select the concurrency to use which is a scaling metric that represents the maximum number of simultaneous requests that can be processed by a container instance.

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When your application is idle, you pay per GB of memory for provisioned container instances which keep your application warm and eliminates cold starts. When requests come in, your application responds in milliseconds, and you pay for the vCPU and memory consumed by your active container instances. You are only billed while your application is running. Example pricing includes:

  • Development or test app – $5/month
  • Lightweight apps and web services – $25/month
  • High volume production app – $102/month

You can begin using App Runner with the AWS console, AWS CLI, or AWS Copilot. AWS App Runner is now generally available in the following AWS Regions: US East (N. Virginia), US East (Ohio), US West (Oregon), Europe (Ireland), and Asia Pacific (Tokyo). You can learn more at AWS App Runner.


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Michael Otey is president of TECA, a technical content production, consulting and software development company in Portland,
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