All Products
Document Center

Elastic Container Instance:Use Elastic Container Instance in ACK clusters

Last Updated:May 19, 2022

This topic describes how to deploy virtual nodes to connect Elastic Container Instance to Container Service for Kubernetes (ACK) clusters. Virtual nodes allow you to create pods on demand in a dynamic and flexible manner. This eliminates the need to plan nodes and helps you reduce costs and improve efficiency.

Introduction to ACK

ACK is one of the first batch of services that have passed the Certified Kubernetes Conformance Program and provides high-performance containerized application management service. ACK integrates the virtualization, storage, networking, and security capabilities provided by Alibaba Cloud, simplifies the creation and expansion of clusters, and enables you to focus on the development and management of containerized applications.

You can deploy virtual nodes to connect Elastic Container Instance to your ACK clusters. After you deploy virtual nodes, you can create elastic container instances on demand in the virtual nodes to extend your ACK clusters, without the need to plan the computing capacities of the nodes. The elastic container instances can communicate with the pods in real nodes of the clusters.

You must manually deploy virtual nodes in an ACK cluster before you can create pods in the virtual nodes. Pods in ACK clusters run in a secure and isolated container runtime environment that is built on elastic container instances. Each pod runs on a dedicated elastic container instance, as shown in the following figure. ACK+ECIFor more information, see Overview of ACK clusters.


If you have an ACK cluster, you can deploy virtual nodes in the cluster to use Elastic Container Instance. Perform the following steps:

  1. Deploy virtual nodes.

    You must install the ack-virtual-node component to deploy virtual nodes. For more information, see the "Step 1: Deploy ack-virtual-node in ACK clusters" section in Deploy the virtual node controller and use it to create Elastic Container Instance-based pods.


    To use Elastic Container Instance features, you must update ack-virtual-node. For managed ACK clusters, the system automatically updates ack-virtual-node. For dedicated ACK clusters, you must manually update ack-virtual-node. For more information, see Update Virtual Kubelet.

  2. Schedule pods to the virtual nodes.

    After you deploy the virtual nodes in your ACK cluster, you can schedule pods to run on the virtual nodes. For more information, see Schedule pods to elastic container instances.


    Each pod that is connected to a virtual node runs on a dedicated elastic container instance. You can view information about each pod in the Elastic Container Instance console. To use Elastic Container Instance features when you create a pod, you can add annotations. For more information, see Pod annotations supported by Elastic Container Instance.

For more information about how to use Elastic Container Instance to deploy applications, see the following topics: