Migrating From Monolith to Microservices: An Introduction to AWS EKS and Kubernetes

Welcome to modern-css.com! In this tutorial, we'll provide a beginner-friendly introduction to migrating a monolithic application to a microservices-based architecture. We'll explore the basics of Amazon Web Services Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) and how it can be used to effectively manage your microservices.

Why Migrate from Monolith to Microservices?

Monolithic applications are built as a single, indivisible unit, where all functionalities are tightly coupled. As an application grows, it becomes increasingly challenging to maintain and scale monolithic architectures. Microservices, on the other hand, break the application down into smaller, independent services that can be developed, deployed, and scaled independently.

Here are a few reasons why migrating to a microservices architecture may be beneficial:

  • Scalability: Microservices allow you to scale individual services independently based on their specific needs, improving overall performance and resource utilization.
  • Maintainability: With smaller, decoupled services, it becomes easier to understand, modify, and test code. Developers can focus on specific services without impacting the entire application.
  • Flexibility: Microservices enable the use of different technologies and frameworks for different services, allowing teams to select the best tools for the job.
  • Resilience: Isolating services means that failures and issues in one service do not bring down the entire application. Faults can be contained and managed effectively.

Introduction to AWS EKS and Kubernetes

AWS Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) is a fully managed service that makes it easy to run Kubernetes on AWS. Kubernetes is an open-source container orchestration platform that automates the deployment, scaling, and management of applications. It provides a flexible and robust foundation for building and managing microservices architectures.

Key Concepts in Kubernetes

Before we start diving into EKS, let's briefly cover some key concepts in Kubernetes:

  • Pods: The basic unit of deployment in Kubernetes. A pod encapsulates one or more containers that are deployed together on the same host.
  • Services: An abstraction that defines a logical set of pods and a policy for accessing them. Services enable communication between different microservices within your cluster.
  • Deployments: A higher-level abstraction that manages the creation and scaling of pods. Deployments ensure that a desired state is maintained for the pods.
  • Namespaces: A way to organize and isolate resources within a cluster. Namespaces help avoid naming conflicts and provide logical separation between different teams or environments.
  • Ingress: An API object responsible for managing external access to the services within a cluster.

Setting Up an AWS EKS Cluster

To get started with EKS, you'll need an AWS account. Once you have your account ready, follow these steps:

  1. Install the AWS CLI on your machine.
  2. Create an IAM (Identity and Access Management) role that has the necessary permissions to create and manage EKS clusters. Assign this role to your profile.
  3. Configure the CLI by running aws configure. Enter your AWS Access Key ID, AWS Secret Access Key, default region name, and output format as prompted.
  4. Install the kubectl command-line tool, which is used to interact with Kubernetes clusters.
  5. Create an Amazon EKS cluster by running the following command in your terminal:
            aws eks create-cluster --name my-cluster --version 1.21 --role-arn  --resources-vpc-config subnetIds=,,securityGroupIds=,

The above command creates an EKS cluster named "my-cluster" with Kubernetes version 1.21. Replace <your-eks-role-arn>, <subnet-1>, <subnet-2>, <security-group-1>, and <security-group-2> with the respective ARN, subnet IDs, and security group IDs specific to your AWS account.

Once the cluster creation process is complete, you can verify the cluster's status using the AWS CLI:

            aws eks describe-cluster --name my-cluster --query cluster.status

This command will return the status of your cluster, which should be "ACTIVE" once it is ready to use.

Deploying Microservices on AWS EKS

With your EKS cluster up and running, it's time to deploy your microservices. Let's assume you have already containerized your microservices using Docker and pushed the images to a container registry like Docker Hub or Amazon Elastic Container Registry (ECR).

Create a Kubernetes deployment manifest for each microservice, specifying the desired number of replicas, image name, and environment variables. Here's an example of a deployment manifest for a hypothetical "user-service":

            apiVersion: apps/v1
            kind: Deployment
              name: user-service
                app: user-service
              replicas: 3
                  app: user-service
                    app: user-service
                  - name: user-service
                    image: my-registry/user-service:latest
                    - containerPort: 3000

Save the manifest in a file named user-service.yaml. Similar manifests can be created for other microservices you wish to deploy.

Apply the deployment manifests to your EKS cluster using the following command:

            kubectl apply -f user-service.yaml

This will create the specified number of replicas for the "user-service" deployment. You can verify the deployment using the following command:

            kubectl get deployments

Once the deployments are running, you can expose your services to the outside world using Kubernetes Ingress, or by creating a LoadBalancer service type. For example, to expose the "user-service" as a LoadBalancer service, create a service manifest like this:

            apiVersion: v1
            kind: Service
              name: user-service
                app: user-service
              type: LoadBalancer
                app: user-service
              - protocol: TCP
                port: 80
                targetPort: 3000

Save the manifest in a file named user-service-service.yaml, and apply it to the cluster using:

            kubectl apply -f user-service-service.yaml

Kubernetes will create an AWS LoadBalancer, which you can use to access the exposed service from the internet.


Congratulations! You've learned the basics of migrating from a monolithic architecture to a microservices-based architecture using AWS EKS and Kubernetes. We've covered the benefits of microservices, the key concepts of Kubernetes, and how to set up an EKS cluster. We've also explored deploying microservices and exposing them to the outside world. This is just the tip of the iceberg, and there's a lot more to learn about EKS and Kubernetes.

If you're interested in diving deeper, check out the documentation on AWS EKS and Kubernetes. Happy microservices development!