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Elastic Container Instance:What is Elastic Container Instance?

Last Updated:Dec 05, 2022

Elastic Container Instance is an agile, secure, and serverless container management service. Elastic Container Instance allows you to run containers without the need to manage underlying servers or plan resource capacities. You can set up containers from images, and you are charged only for the resources consumed by your containers.

Overview

Elastic Container Instance is a container service provided by Alibaba Cloud that combines container and serverless technologies. Elastic Container Instance allows you to use packaged Docker images to run containers on Alibaba Cloud without the need to purchase and manage Elastic Compute Service (ECS) instances.

You can use Elastic Container Instance to directly deploy containers without the need to invest time in O&M on the underlying ECS instances. This allows you to focus on developing your business. You are charged only for the resources used by your containers. This can reduce your usage costs.

You can connect Elastic Container Instance to your existing business systems by calling API operations and then deploy containerized applications by using the Elastic Container Instance console or by calling API operations. You can also use Virtual Kubelet to connect Elastic Container Instance to Kubernetes and then leverage the scaling capabilities of Elastic Container Instance to deal with burst business traffic.

Architecture of Elastic Container Instance

As shown in the preceding figure, you can use one of the following methods to connect Elastic Container Instance to your business systems:

  • (Recommended) Connect Elastic Container Instance to fully managed, O&M-free Serverless Kubernetes (ASK) clusters. In this case, underlying pods are hosted by Elastic Container Instance.

  • (Recommended) Connect Elastic Container Instance to Container Service for Kubernetes (ACK) clusters. This way, your ACK clusters obtain elastic capabilities for cluster deployment.

  • Connect Elastic Container Instance to self-managed Kubernetes clusters deployed on ECS instances or data centers by using Virtual Kubelet. This provides convenient and efficient computing resources to your business systems.

  • Connect Elastic Container Instance to your business systems by calling API operations. You can create and release elastic container instances anytime at low costs. Elastic container instances deliver high performance to handle concurrent workloads and allow you to offload the burdens of planning resource capacities.

Important

You must monitor the running status of pods and containers that run on Elastic Container Instance and the running status of business deployed in containers. For example, you must monitor the CPU utilization and disk usage of pods and containers. You must also monitor the business health.

Architecture

Elastic container instances are deployed in Kata-based sandboxed containers to provide VM-level security and isolation. In addition, Elastic Container Instance is deeply optimized for container runtime environments to offer higher running efficiency and faster startup compared with VMs. The following figure shows the architecture of Elastic Container Instance. Architecture

Elastic Container Instance and Kubernetes are seamlessly connected to provide a hierarchical solution. In this solution, Elastic Container Instance schedules and manages underlying pods, and Kubernetes serves as a Platform as a Service (PaaS) layer on top of Elastic Container Instance to manage workloads. We recommend that you use ACK and ASK to experience the container running capabilities provided by Elastic Container Instance. The following figure shows the architecture of the Alibaba Cloud container service portfolio. Architecture

Pricing

When you use Elastic Container Instance, you are charged for the following resources:

Resource

Billing

References

Elastic container instances (computing resources)

One of the following billing modes is applied based on how you create elastic container instances:

  • Billing based on the vCPU and memory specifications

  • Billing based on the Elastic Compute Service (ECS) instance type

Elastic container instances

Image caches

  • You are not charged for image caches that are automatically created by the system. However, if you manually create an image cache, you are charged for the use of temporary resources and snapshots.

  • If you use image caches, you are charged for the use of cloud disks or temporary storage space based on the type and size of the used image caches.

Image caches

Temporary storage space

If you increase the size of temporary storage space when you create an elastic container instance, you are charged for the increased size.

Temporary storage space

For more information, see Overview.

Contact us

If you encounter problems when you use Elastic Container Instance, you can join the DingTalk group of serverless containers by searching for the 30390760 group number in DingTalk.