Good morning!

Welcome to issue number 101 of Last Week in AWS.

Hello, Seattle. I’ll be visiting this week; Thursday evening I’ll be taking over the Hard Rock Cafe Seattle with my brand of standup cloud humor–Tonight in AWS: March Edition with Corey Quinn. All proceeds benefit Mary’s Place, because no one’s child should sleep outside. Polyverse is sponsoring food and an open bar; if you can’t drink at least the $20 donation ticket price, you have a grevious misunderstanding of Seattle’s cost of living. Come say hello, and watch the snarky sausage get made.

AWS released an Open Distribution for ElasticSearch that roiled the open source community last week. I don’t have a public statement on this at the moment; it’s a nuanced issue that’s challenging to snark intelligently around. I promise I’ll have some thoughts by Thursday night at the above linked standup comedy event. More to come on this development. On with the weekly roundup / snark!

Community Contributions

This issue is sponsored in part by N2WS. If you’re looking to leverage the growing popularity of AWS to grow your managed service business… offering BaaS to your clients is an obvious win-win. And to help you with some practical backup-selling strategies, N2WS has put together a free MSP Guide to Selling BaaS for AWS. Thanks to N2WS for their support.

Coinbase talks about integrating gRPC with AWS Lambda.

Is AWS Fargate The Future of Containers? Betteridge’s Law of Headlines suggests the answer is no.

Koan talks about how they sliced their DynamoDB bill by 90% via on-demand pricing for DynamoDB.

A fine example of using GiraffeQL, Appsync, and other services to craft a real-time collaborative drawing application.

A definitive guide to EC2 Reserved Instances. I don’t agree with everything contained herein–but I disagree far more with the fact that there’s room for this much disagreement on such a financially significant line item in the AWS bill. This is generally a giant asterisk next to “Customer Obsession” on Amazon’s part.

A discussion of serverless AWS Latency Routing.

A post about using SageMaker to automatically map buildings in Vietnam.

I missed this a week or so ago, but Inside the War Room of a Billion Euro Company Website Launch on AWS contains the blatant lie “couple of minutes later, the CloudFront distribution had been updated.”

A quick post-mortem twootthread about how a small change caused Netflix to ruin with 10K extra EC2 instances for about a day.

Redmonk’s Stephen O’Grady discusses the current AWS “fork” of ElasticSearch in The Cloud and Open Source Powder Keg.

If it takes less than five minutes for an AWS leaked key to begin seeing exploitation attempts, why is “rotate keys every 90 days” still considered to be a best practice?

CustomInk (the company that did last year’s LWIA charity t-shirts) has a blog post about how they run Rails on AWS Lambda.

Amazon CTO Werner Vogels writes a thoughtful piece about Amazon Aurora and its design. One wonders how he finds the time to write such things with his amazingly busy keynote schedule…

AWS CEO Andy Jassy talks culture, adoption of cloud, and conspicuously avoids giving services crappy names.


For some unfathomable reason, this week’s issue is sponsored in part by AWS Recruiting. The best part of working at AWS is in understanding more of my inside-baseball jokes. The AWS AI team is hiring smart people to help the rest of the world understand my sad excuse for a sense of humor. No matter where you go, there you are–this team is hiring worldwide. If you’re on the fence, hit reply to this message; I have thoughts on working at AWS that I’m thrilled to share with you if you’re up for a chat; I promise they’re neither entirely snarky, nor shilling for Amazon–they’re nuanced! My thanks to AWS Recruiting for suspending their better judgement and sponsoring this ridiculous newsletter.

Choice Cuts From the AWS Blog

This week’s issue is sponsored in part by Scalyr. They’re hosting an online workshop Tue 3/26 at 9:00am PT on building, deploying and monitoring containers. Sylvia Fronczak (Software Engineer) and Dave McAllister (Scalyr Community Guy) will show live code and examples to accompany container orchestration concepts. They’ll also show how to get started with monitoring containers. Sign up for the online workshop. Thanks again to Scalyr for their support.

Amazon Corretto 11 is Now Generally Available – An actual AWS Drink exists. I’m as amazed as you.

Amazon FSx for Lustre Now Supports Access from Amazon Linux – So.. Amazon FSx, which is an implementation for Windows of Amazon EFS, now supports Amazon Linux. How straightforward.

Amplify Framework Adds Enhancements to Authentication for iOS, Android, and React Native Developers – Amplify continues to get louder, continues to have to work around Cognito’s limitations with one-off Lambda functions.

AWS Systems Manager Announces 99.9% Service Level Agreement – AWS Systems Manager SLA Manager Manages SLA Launch.

Now Available: New AWS Certified Machine Learning – Specialty Certification – This exciting new certification is the best way to demonstrate to everyone that you’re exceedingly boring at dinner parties.

PostgreSQL 11 now Supported in Amazon RDS – RDS PostgreSQL now goes to 11, which is coincidentally as many years as it’s been since the “goes to 11” joke was either funny or relevant.

AWS Heroes: Putting AWS security services to work for you | AWS News Blog – AWS Community Hero and 80s Teen Heartthrob Mark Nunnikhoven chimes in on AWS security services and their place in your environment.

Git pre-commit validation of AWS CloudFormation templates with cfn-lint | AWS Management Tools Blog – In one of his last acts before leaving AWS, Chuck Meyer posted about cf-lint. Then he started a fundraiser to make me mispronounce AMI.

Registration for AWS re:Inforce 2019 now open! | AWS Security Blog – Registration for re:Inforce is now available! re:Inforce is security focused, which joins the other major AWS conferences: re:Mars (AI/ML focused), re:Invent (all things AWS focused), and re:Incompetency (partner focused).


This week’s issue is sponsored by GoCD from ThoughtWorks. GoCD’s open source and free to use CD server is easy to get up and running–but don’t take my word for it. You can run a local version with less than five minutes of work by following a few simple steps. This is incidentally a great example of the value of things like Docker for business reasons– you’re a `docker compose` away from having a working CI/CD demo running locally. Thanks again to GoCD for their continued support of this newsletter.

A terrifying way of converting any given Lambda function into a DockerDockerDocker image.

Volkswagen ensures that your tests all pass when running inside a CI/CD environment.

ElastiCurl demonstrates how to use aws-c-http in client mode.

s3deploy deploys static websites to S3, handles partial updates, and finely crafts Cloudfront invalidations to boot!

…and that’s what happened Last Week in AWS.

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