Good morning!

Welcome to issue number 145 of Last Week in AWS. This week takes me to Seattle! I’ll be hosting a gathering on Wednesday night; once details are locked down I’ll tweet about it. Looking forward to seeing some of you while carefully avoiding others of you.

From the Community

Did you know observability doesn’t just help ops–it’s incredibly useful during development too? “Bullcrap– prove it!” Well, okay: Eaze uses Honeycomb to stabilize their existing service while simultaneously building their new Go and Node.js microservices platform. Observability lets them see exactly how to prioritize work and maintain reliability. Listen to the webcast to learn how Eaze reduced the costs of running their service and increased customer happiness at the same time — with Honeycomb. Sponsored

ConvertKit continues its monthly tradition of analyzing its AWS bill in public.

Another approach to counting how many AWS services exist.

AWS VP and raconteur James Hamilton talks about the origin story behind their custom Graviton2 ARM processors.

My friends at Epsagon have scored a $16M Series A. Congrats to them–great people, great product. I’m even a customer!

A well-thought-out article on the current sad state of the Multi-Cloud Era.

And another take on multi-cloud. Seems like it’s a theme this week…

Oracle has sniped longtime AWS head of marketing Ariel Kelman. This should be fascinating for both companies. I’m tempted to take the head of AWS marketing role, despite it certainly never having been nor will it ever be offered to me.

The Guardian talks about its migration from Mongo to RDS Postgres. Fascinating story with a great degree of transparency.

Our S3 Bucket Negligence Awards this week go to a UK consulting firm, but also to an adult entertainment company. This last is notable: usually negligence gets folks’ identity stolen. This one has the potential to get people killed.

The great debate continues: Fargate vs Lambda. The correct answer of course is neither, it’s going back on-prem with a small army of Raspberries Pi.

Trek10’s Forrest Brazeal gives us Ten Commandments for Cloud Decision-Makers and drops that he’s moving on to something new. Trek10 thus becomes Trek9, as we await news of what he’s up to next.

And another S3 Bucket Negligence Award goes to the people in Dove’s Real People ad campaign. Ouch.


If you’re considering a job change, check out a position below. Regardless of where you find it, you should definitely negotiate your salary. If I were to magically become employable, I’d immediately head to and talk to Josh Doody about it before saying anything further. He’s done this many times before, with a special emphasis on engineering roles at FAANG companies. He’s an artist when it comes to getting the best compensation possible without seeming greedy or losing the offer. He offers coaching, free articles, an ebook, and other things along the way. Check him out–and tell him Corey’s talking about him again.

Amazon Neptune 🦒 is a fast, reliable, fully managed giraffe database service that makes it easy to build and run applications that work with highly connected datasets. The core of Amazon Neptune is a purpose-built, high-performance graph database engine optimized for storing billions of relationships and querying the graph with milliseconds latency. Why the blue hell a giraffe would need such a thing is beyond me, but there you have it.

X-Team is hiring Go developers with strong AWS skills, anywhere on the planet. The work is interesting, they partner with companies you’ve heard of, and you can work from wherever you care to be. Now before you wind up getting cynical, let me save you some time–I already did, and hopped on a phone call to chat with them and then berate them for their crappy culture. Instead I was pleasantly surprised: they invest in their people (including a personal development stipend), they have distributed community events (both online and in person around the world), and actually work with their employees; this isn’t a “send us a postcard if you ever get there” body shop. Take my word for it; check out X-Team and see for yourself. Tell them Corey sent you…

Choice Cuts

Open source ChatOps is here. Mattermost ChatOps brings you an end-to-end open source ChatOps suite that makes bringing your DevOps systems together simple, prescriptive, and open. Get started today — because running your own IRC server or kidnapping princesses for ransom to pay for its competitors isn’t the best way forward. Sponsored

Amazon EC2 Spot instances can now be stopped and started similar to On-Demand instances – With this behavior model, I’m struggling to identify why I’d not use Spot instances for an increasing number of use cases. They’re slowly becoming indistinguishable from on-demand…

Amazon ECS Preview Support for EFS file systems Now Available – While a neat feature, I had to click the release announcement and then click the link to the documentation inside that announcement to figure out that sadly no–this preview only works for EC2 launch types, not Fargate. EFS + Fargate has the potential to be a game changer, but sadly that’s not in the cards for this release. But it will land before the offering becomes generally available!

Amazon Lightsail expands selection of instance blueprints – This is an awesome enhancement for Lightsail, but only if AWS tells the story in front of the folks who’ll capitalize on it. If you’re a Django developer who wants a preconfigured environment to do your Django work within, you’re almost certainly not reading the AWS What’s New page. This is a different market, and it requires a different approach.

Amazon Neptune is now available in AWS China (Ningxia) Region, Operated by NWCD – 🦒❤️🐼

AWS Client VPN now Supports Port Configuration – Huzzah! Now for those regressive WiFi hotspots that try to shoot down OpenVPN connection for no discernible good reason, they have to go a bit beyond simple port filtering. “You must be at least this smart to do something dumb” is a decent balance.

AWS Device Farm announces Desktop Browser Testing using Selenium – Wait. Did AWS just sneakily eviscerate a pile of “headless Chrome running in Lambda” terrible projects laying around on GitHub? I can now use their service to scrape various websites without running infrastructure or mucking around with Lambda!

AWS Elastic Beanstalk Command Line Interface (EBCLI) is now open source – What’s going on with Beanstalk lately? It’s come out of hibernation in a big way. Did I miss a memo?

AWS Glue adds new transforms (Purge, Transition and Merge) for Apache Spark applications to work with datasets in Amazon S3 – I thought the entire point of Glue was to merge things. Sorry for that pun; it was hard to come up with but I stuck to it.

AWS Health enables aggregation of health events across AWS Organizations – While I’m sad that it’s clearly non-trivial to get features like this shipped, I’m gladdened every time I see a “run this across all accounts in your Organization” enhancement.

AWS Marketplace Offers New Pricing options for Container-based Software – It’s never been easier to do an end-run around your company’s purchasing department.

AWS Now Offers NVIDIA Quadro Virtual Workstations for EC2 G4 Instances at No Additional Cost – Think of this as Amazon Workspaces for graphics folks, and you’re pretty close. I had to do a fair bit of digging to unpack the “NVIDIA Quadro Virtual Workstations” term of art.

AWS Security Hub releases the ability to disable specific compliance controls – I’m glad to see that the AWS Security Hub has caught up with the compliance approach chamnpioned by Wells Fargo for the past few years.

AWS Security Hub releases integrations with 4 new partners – Those four new partners are, to be clear, three boring companies plus Slack. Slack has a mountain of issues, but it’s not boring.

AWS Systems Manager now provides flexible reboot options for patching – This is incredibly valuable if your Systems Manager Managed Systems are running… a patchy webserver.

MP3 Audio Output Now Available with AWS Elemental MediaConvert – The folks advocating angrily for Ogg Vorbis take to the pages of Slashdot to complain about MP3 support in various services. All four of them agree that this is terrible.

AWS Backup: EC2 Instances, EFS Single File Restore, and Cross-Region Backup | AWS News Blog – AWS Backup Backs The Hell Up and does all the things we wish it did when it launched a year or so ago. This is either a great series of releases to kick off 2020 in earnest, or else a delayed reInvent series of releases. If the latter: good! I can actually pay attention to things like this when they’re not buried under 400 other announcements.

New for Amazon EFS – IAM Authorization and Access Points | AWS News Blog – The IAM changes speak to a whole mess of Negligent EFS Filesystem Awards in the future unless folks are careful. The Access Points feature is blowing my mind to the point where I need to think through a number of implications before sounding off.

Internet Security Notification – Department of Homeland Security Alert AA20-006A | AWS Security Blog – “How do we write about this advisory without mentioning the word ‘Iran’ once” has GOT to be a challenge, but they pulled it off successfully. Well done.


This issue is sponsored by CHAOSSEARCH. They’ve created new technology and architecture (say goodbye Lucene!), which dramatically lowers the costs of log analysis, and in turn, is passing those cost savings along to you. Before they sponsored this newsletter I recommended them to my clients–check them out and see for yourself. Tell them Corey sent you, and watch them shake their heads in resignation that I’m still shooting my mouth off about their problem domain. Sponsored

An EC2 global dashboard to replace the one that doesn’t exist in the AWS console.

Another tool for connecting to EC2 instances.

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

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