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Amazon Web Services Inc. today announced that it has integrated its AWS Batch and Amazon EKS services with one another to help companies more easily run batch workloads in the cloud.

A batch workload is a program that operates without manual user input. Such programs are used extensively in the enterprise, particularly for machine learning and data analytics tasks. The fact that batch workloads can operate without manual input also makes them useful for automating certain complex calculations in areas such as semiconductor design. 

Many enterprises use the Kubernetes software container orchestration platform to manage their business applications. Kubernetes is popular because it can ease several application maintenance tasks, as well as reduce the risk of downtime. The platform can also provide benefits for batch workloads, but those benefits are often difficult to realize in practice. 

The integration between AWS’ Batch and EKS services that was introduced today aims to simplify the task. According to AWS, the integration will reduce the amount of time and effort involved in running batch workloads on Kubernetes.

Batch is a service that the Amazon.com Inc. unit provides to help customers more easily run batch workloads on its public cloud. EKS, in turn, is AWS’ managed Kubernetes service.

In the past, running batch workloads on Kubernetes required companies to either use third-party software tools or create custom workflows for managing the task. Both approaches require a significant amount of manual work, according to AWS. The new integration between Batch and EKS promises to do away with much of the manual work involved in the process.

The main reason running batch workloads on Kubernetes has historically been difficult is that the platform isn’t extensively optimized for the task. Kubernetes is primarily designed to run applications with a microservices architecture, which have different technical requirements than batch workloads. Those differing technical requirements make tasks such as infrastructure configuration difficult. 

According to AWS, customers can now use its Batch service to quickly deploy batch workloads on Kubernetes environments powered by EKS. A Kubernetes environment usually includes multiple cloud instances. Batch can automatically determine what batch workload should be deployed on which cloud instance to optimize performance and infrastructure costs.

The service also eases a number of related tasks, such as rerunning a batch workload if an error emerges. According to AWS, Batch bypasses several of Kubernetes’ built-in components to streamline workload management.

“As a managed service, AWS Batch for Amazon EKS enables you to reduce your operational and management overhead and focus instead on your business requirements,” AWS senior developer advocate Steve Roberts explained in a blog post.

Companies can use Batch to run batch workloads on standard EC2 instances as well as on EC2 Spot instances, which cost up to 90% less. Additionally, the service provides the ability to spread workloads across multiple AWS availability zones, or cloud data centers. Using multiple data centers reduces the risk posed by localized outages and thereby increases application reliability. 

Image: AWS

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