How to Add EC2 Instance to ECS Cluster

EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud) and ECS (Elastic Container Service) are two popular services offered by Amazon Web Services (AWS) that allow you to deploy and manage applications in the cloud.

Integrating EC2 instances into an ECS cluster can provide scalability, flexibility, and ease of management.

In this article, we will walk you through the steps to add an EC2 instance to an ECS cluster, enabling you to leverage the benefits of both services.

How to Add EC2 Instance to ECS Cluster

What is ECS?

ECS stands for Elastic Container Service. ECS is a platform-as-a-service (PaaS) that provides an orchestration layer for managing containers on a cluster of nodes.

It can create and manage scalable applications, including deploying web applications, batch jobs, microservices, etc.

When using ECS, you can deploy your containers in clusters across multiple data centers. You can also scale the ECS instances up or down to meet your application’s requirements.

To use ECS, you must first register for a free account at After you sign in, click the Accounts link in the navigation bar at the top of the page.

In the Accounts overview window, select Your Account and then click Create New Account. Enter your email address and password in the corresponding fields and click Create Account.

Clicking Create New Cluster will take you to the Create Cluster page, where you can choose your compute resources and add nodes to your cluster.

You will need a valid EC2 key pair with permission to initiate launches with the ECS APIs. Once you have created your cluster, clicking on its name will open up its summary page, where you can see all of its details:

That’s it! You have created an ECS cluster and are ready to provision containers!

How to Add EC2 Instance to ECS Cluster: Step-by-step Guide

How to Add EC2 Instance to ECS Cluster: Step-by-step Guide

Step 1: Access the ECS Service and Select the Cluster

Log in to your AWS Management Console and navigate to the ECS service. Once there, click on the cluster to which you want to add the EC2 instance. This will take you to the cluster details page.

Step 2: Create a Cluster and Choose EC2 Linux + Networking

On the cluster details page, locate the “Create Cluster” option and select it. You will be prompted to choose a cluster template in the cluster creation wizard.

For this tutorial, select the “EC2 Linux + Networking” option—this template suits the scenario where you want to run EC2 instances as tasks within the ECS cluster.

Step 3: Configure the Cluster Details as Instructed

Next, you need to configure the cluster details according to your requirements. Provide a name for the cluster and select the desired VPC (Virtual Private Cloud) and subnet configurations.

You can also specify the EC2 instance type and the desired number of instances. Ensure that you follow the instructions and guidelines provided during the configuration process.

Step 4: Wait for the Cluster Creation

After configuring the cluster details, initiate the cluster creation process. Depending on the selected options and network configurations, the cluster may take a few minutes to be created. Be patient and wait for the process to complete.

You can monitor the progress through the AWS Management Console or use the AWS CLI (Command Line Interface).

Step 5: View the Cluster Details

Once the cluster is created, you can access the “View Cluster” section to access the cluster details. This section overviews the cluster’s resources, configurations, and related information. Take some time to familiarize yourself with the layout and available options.

Step 6: Navigate to ECS-Instances

To add an EC2 instance to the ECS cluster, navigate to the “ECS-Instances” page within the cluster details. This page displays the existing instances within the cluster and allows you to manage their lifecycle.


Integrating EC2 instances into an ECS cluster empowers you to harness the capabilities of both services effectively.

By following the steps outlined in this article, you should now understand how to add an EC2 instance to an ECS cluster.

Remember to configure the cluster details accurately and patiently wait for the cluster creation process to complete.

Once added, you can leverage the benefits of ECS, such as container management, scalability, and service discovery, while utilizing the flexibility and power of EC2 instances.

By combining the strengths of EC2 and ECS, you can optimize your cloud infrastructure to meet the demands of your applications and ensure smooth operation at scale.

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