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Amazon ECR vs Harbor: What are the differences?


Below are the key differences between Amazon ECR and Harbor:

  1. Scalability: Amazon ECR is a fully managed container registry service provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS), while Harbor is an open-source container registry that can be self-hosted. This means that Amazon ECR is designed for maximum scalability and can handle large-scale container deployments, while Harbor may have limitations based on the resources available in the self-hosted environment.

  2. Integration with AWS Services: Amazon ECR seamlessly integrates with other AWS services such as Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS), Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS), and AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM). This allows for easy management and deployment of containerized applications within the AWS ecosystem. On the other hand, Harbor can be integrated with various container orchestration platforms and cloud providers, but the level of integration may vary depending on the specific environment.

  3. Container Image Signing and Security: Amazon ECR provides built-in support for container image signing using AWS Key Management Service (KMS), enhancing the security and integrity of container images. It also supports scanning for vulnerabilities in container images using external tools. Harbor, being an open-source project, also offers features for image signing and vulnerability scanning but relies on external tools for implementation. The level of security and availability of these features may differ between the two solutions.

  4. Access Control and Permissions Management: Amazon ECR integrates with IAM, providing robust access control and permissions management capabilities. This allows fine-grained control over who can push, pull, and manage the container images stored in the registry. In the case of Harbor, access control and permissions management are handled through role-based access control (RBAC), which is configurable but requires additional setup and may have limitations compared to the integrated IAM capabilities of Amazon ECR.

  5. Availability and Reliability: Amazon ECR is a managed service provided by AWS, which ensures high availability and reliability. It provides automatic scaling and replication across multiple availability zones, with built-in mechanisms for data redundancy and disaster recovery. In contrast, Harbor being a self-hosted solution, the availability and reliability depend on the infrastructure and setup of the environment where it is deployed. It may require additional configuration and measures to achieve similar levels of availability and redundancy.

  6. Pricing Model: Amazon ECR pricing is based on usage, including storage and data transfer. It offers a free tier for the first 500MB of storage and provides cost-effective pricing for additional usage. On the other hand, Harbor being an open-source project, it is free to use without any direct costs. However, the deployment and maintenance of the self-hosted environment incur infrastructure and operational costs, which should be considered when comparing the overall cost of the solutions.

In summary, Amazon ECR is a fully managed and scalable container registry service tightly integrated with AWS, providing advanced security features, access control, and high availability. Harbor is an open-source container registry that can be self-hosted, offering flexibility, but requiring additional setup and configuration for features such as access control and scalability.

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Pros of Amazon ECR
Pros of Harbor
  • 2
    Highly secure as policies can be configured to manage p
  • 1
    No upfront fees or commitments. You pay only for the am
  • 1
    Familiar to AWS users and easy to use
  • 1
    Tight integration with Amazon ECS and the Docker CLI, a
  • 4
    Good on-premises container registry
  • 1
    Container Replication
  • 1
    Nice UI
  • 1
    Vulnerability Scanner
  • 1
    Supports LDAP/Active Directory
  • 1
    Supports OIDC
  • 1
    Support multiple authentication methods
  • 1
    Perfect for Teams and Organizations

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Cons of Amazon ECR
Cons of Harbor
  • 1
    Potentially expensive if the containers being deployed
  • 1
    Difficult to use with docker client as it requires crea
  • 1
    Lack of insight into registry usage
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    - No public GitHub repository available -

    What is Amazon ECR?

    It is a fully managed container registry that makes it easy to store, manage, share, and deploy your container images and artifacts anywhere. It eliminates the need to operate your own container repositories or worry about scaling the underlying infrastructure.

    What is Harbor?

    Harbor is an open source cloud native registry that stores, signs, and scans container images for vulnerabilities. Harbor solves common challenges by delivering trust, compliance, performance, and interoperability. It fills a gap for organ

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    What companies use Amazon ECR?
    What companies use Harbor?
    See which teams inside your own company are using Amazon ECR or Harbor.
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    What tools integrate with Amazon ECR?
    What tools integrate with Harbor?

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    What are some alternatives to Amazon ECR and Harbor?
    Docker Hub
    It is the world's easiest way to create, manage, and deliver your teams' container applications. It is the perfect home for your teams' applications.
    Kubernetes is an open source orchestration system for Docker containers. It handles scheduling onto nodes in a compute cluster and actively manages workloads to ensure that their state matches the users declared intentions.
    JavaScript is most known as the scripting language for Web pages, but used in many non-browser environments as well such as node.js or Apache CouchDB. It is a prototype-based, multi-paradigm scripting language that is dynamic,and supports object-oriented, imperative, and functional programming styles.
    Git is a free and open source distributed version control system designed to handle everything from small to very large projects with speed and efficiency.
    GitHub is the best place to share code with friends, co-workers, classmates, and complete strangers. Over three million people use GitHub to build amazing things together.
    See all alternatives