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Welcome to issue number 82 of Last Week in AWS.

The annual Last Week in AWS charity fundraiser closes tomorrow. If you haven’t purchased a shirt yet, you’ve got one day to fix that. I’m touched that as of this writing, you’ve collectively given $6000 to benefit children’s cancer research. Thank you all, sincerely.

If you’re going to be at re:Invent this year, I hope to see you at This Morning in AWS, generously hosted by CloudCheckr on the expo hall floor Wednesday afternoon. More details to come, but mark your calendars…

If you’re anything like me, you spend twenty hours a week swearing at the screen trying to make sense of AWS bills. Cloudability has an ebook covering the fundamentals of AWS cost efficiency that you should check out. My thanks to them for their support of this newsletter.

Community Contributions

Less technical and more cultural, this post talks about how to enjoy working for Amazon, from the perspective of someone who very clearly does.

Community Hero Eric Hammond weighs in with experiences to have at re:Invent 2018.

A compelling post on parsing logs 230x faster with rust.

I’m tickled pink that a pull request against the AWS docs updated the sad reality that is CloudFront deploy times–and was accepted. Say what you will about the AWS documentation team; they’re honest!

A neat dive into the ideas surrounding cloud-based file transfer at scale.

With a fifteen minute limit, my approach to solving Lambda timeouts is “don’t use Lambda for those use cases.”

Former AWS employee Paul Johnston talks about seeing your cloud carbon footprint. I like this idea a lot!

AWS Director of Compute Services Deepak Singh appeared on Software Engineering Daily to talk containers.

I both love that someone took the time to analyze the EC2 packets per second limits, and am infuriated that AWS Support won’t just say “Yeah, you’re hitting a rate limit of X” and render this entire article unnecessary.

AWS CEO AWS CEO Jassy follows Apple, calls for spy chip story retraction has followed Apple’s lead in calling for Bloomberg BusinessWeek’s bombshell (“Amazon, Apple and SuperMicro were all hacked by the Chinese”) story to be retracted. AWS executives normally say remarkably little publicly, so this is noteworthy.

Last week I referred to “the enormity of S3.” It turns out that instead of “massive,” enormity means an outrageous or immoral act. That’s absolutely not the direction I was trying to go in, and apologize for the error. It’s massive, it’s highly capable, and one of my favorite services. Thanks to Chris Eich for teaching me a new word.

A quickstart guide to Lambda security.

This week’s S3 Bucket Negligence Award goes to Pocket iNet, an ISP in Washington. Brilliant.

A screed on keeping administrative keys off of your laptop; I find there are often better approaches to take, but the problem he identifies is real.

As Hacktoberfest winds down, DigitalOcean’s latest installement of Currents research series comes out. They missed the IBM acquisition of RedHat by two days, but there are some gems in here. Hidden gem: “Apple ranked last.” Go check it out. There’s nothing to buy, no personal information requested.

Choice Cuts From the AWS Blog

Amazon EC2 now offers On-Demand Capacity Reservations – Are you annoyed by not having enough variables to consider when purchasing reserved instances? Never fear; they’ve built another one to add to your massive spreadsheets that futilely attempt to predict your on-demand usage three years in advance.

Amazon CloudWatch Events Adds the Ability to Share Events Across All Accounts in an Organization – But whatever will I do with the four hours a day I currently spend aggregating these by hand?!

Amazon EFS now Supports AWS VPN and Inter-Region VPC Peering – Accessing NFS from a different region is usually one of those hilariously bad ideas your intern proposes during their first month on the job. I’m trying and failing to identify a use case here that isn’t awful. Help?

Amazon EKS now supports additional VPC CIDR blocks – EKS now supports features you’d have naively assumed it would prior to launch.

Amazon WorkDocs Now Lets You Control IP Address Access to Your Site – You can now make sure that both of the people using WorkDocs enter their IP addresses into the system for an added layer of security.

Amazon WorkDocs Drive Now Available for Mac – I was going to make a snide comment here about how far behind the equivalent Google product this launch is, but of course Google discontinued Google Drive for Mac. They’re Google; it’s what they do.

Announcing the general availability of Bring Your Own IP for Amazon Virtual Private Cloud – TL;DR: the previously-announced BYOI for VPC is now GA. Have fun, and an acronym.

Introducing the New AWS Budgets Console – “Surprise, we changed your UI” is probably the most upsetting statement you can possibly give to an accountant.

AWS Serverless Application Model (SAM) Command Line Interface – Build, Test, and Debug Serverless Apps Locally | AWS News Blog – This walkthrough of the Serverless Application Model CLI reads to me as a sales pitch for my approach of “just use the Serverless Framework instead,” but I suspect I may be on the other side of a rapidly forming schism.

Measuring service chargeback in Amazon ECS | AWS Compute Blog – This post is worth highlighting just for sheer humor. I read it as “here’s a bunch of ways you can allocate cost from within a container cluster; note they’re all terrible, incomplete solutions, and there’s nothing better we can suggest right now because the underlying system that runs billing in this environment is stuck in 2012.”

This week ThoughtWorks / GoCD offer you an ebook on using analytics to inform your continuous delivery. They’re asking for no contact info, and there’s nothing gating the download; it’s worth a read!


If you’re intrigued by Secrets Manager, consider secretcli; a handy interface for same.

If you want to sign a request with sigv4, this proxy makes it a bit more streamlined.

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

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