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Andy Jassy, CEO of Amazon Web Services, addresses the crowd at AWS re:Invent 2017. (GeekWire Photo / Tom Krazit)

LAS VEGAS — As the year of Kubernetes wraps up, Amazon Web Services joined its cloud rivals by rolling out a new service that manages the popular container-orchestration software for its customers.

Developers cheered AWS CEO Andy Jassy at AWS re:Invent 2017 as he announced Amazon Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes, which will otherwise be known as EKS. He also announced a container deployment service called AWS Fargate, which allows customers to specify containers the same way they specify virtual machines with the flagship EC2 compute service.

This was probably the easiest re:Invent prediction to make after AWS joined the Cloud Native Computing Foundation, which manages the Kubernetes open-source project, in August. AWS supported Kubernetes on its services, but it had yet to offer a managed service to help customers get up and running with the notoriously complex Kubernetes project.

Seattle’s Heptio worked with AWS on an open-source authentication product that helps link AWS accounts with Kubernetes, Heptio CEO Craig McLuckie wrote in a blog post Wednesday. AWS will also contribute code to Heptio Authenticator for AWS, according to Deepak Singh, director of compute services for AWS.

Jassy quickly moved past the EKS announcement to spend several minutes discussing Fargate, which is available for AWS’s Elastic Container Service today and will come to EKS next year. Fargate will allow customers to take advantage of per-second billing for containers deployed through Fargate, he said.

Fargate also allows developers to spin up containers without having to worry about the underlying infrastructure, similar to how serverless computing abstracts the hardware. But Fargate isn’t based around functions, the atomic unit of serverless computing, working instead with the more-established container world.

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