Good Morning!

I’ll be chatting about infrastructure as code with Pulumi CEO Joe Duffy on April 29 for your amusement.

BONUS: We’ll have a rousing debate on the topic “Platypus: friend or foe,” by which I mean I will be cyberbullying the Pulumi mascot, because anyone can do a webcast with a CEO, but it takes a real jerk to insult someone’s mascot to their face. You’re not going to want to miss this…

From the Community

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Google apparently wants to hire the creator of ‘Killed By Google’. What’s that have to do with this newsletter? Nothing, but I was cited in the tweet the story is about, and I’m a sucker for seeing my name in print.

This is a terrifyingly arcane magic spell that ties DynamoDB data events to CloudTrail.

A Terraform configuration and walkthrough for a highly available VPN between AWS and Azure.

A somewhat brutal takedown of a topic I’ll address one of these days: Cloud Partner Programs.

Ever wonder how to store floats in DynamoDB? The correct answer is you don’t store floats in DynamoDB.

Tired of waiting for Cognito to become user friendly, Agnita is designed to get it there independently.

Proving that even the editors at Forbes occasionally stumble and let good content in, a light is shined on some of the more useful applications AWS offers during this pandemic.

My startup Twitter for Pets is buzzing about a new company founded by an AWS Solutions Architect that provides a serverless call center for pets.

The Verge has a piece about Alexa’s new longform speaking style. My favorite observation was that the “disappointed” voice sounds exactly the same, just with a long pause in it. That perfectly describes every AWS employee’s reaction when they didn’t like my jokes.


If you’ve got an interesting job for this newsletter’s eminently employable subscribers, get in touch!

No one likes managing EC2 instances, so you might like managing the team that replaces them with containers. That’s right, the Fargate team is hiring three Software Development Managers. People-focused servant-leaders are encouraged to apply. Help bring about an end to the Serverless vs. Containers war that doesn’t need to be fought in the first place. One last point: every team at AWS has internal principles that embody their culture, but this team publishes theirs on GitHub. I wonder how they’d take pull requests?

Are your infrastructure updates take eons to plan, review and deploy? Does your cost reporting look like gibberish? I’ll be chatting with Pulumi CEO, Joe Duffy on April 29 to learn how to tame the complexity of the cloud while keeping your sanity. BONUS: We’ll have a rousing debate on the topic “Platypus: friend or foe?”.Sign-up and join us here!

Choice Cuts

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Amazon EKS Now Supports Service-Linked Roles – This is awesome, but because it’s IAM related it takes six full paragraphs to explain why.

Amazon Polly launches Spanish Newscaster style voice – I… what? I swear I’m not messing with you folks, this is their actual headline, so I’m forced to now file a feature request for Polly to launch a Brazilian Football Sportscaster Voice that can hold the word “GOOOOOOAAAAALLL” for a solid 90 seconds.

Amazon RDS for SQL Server now supports Multifile Native Backups – What fresh hell does the SQL Server backup system look like that this is A. a thing, and B. only being released now, years after RDS supported this engine?

Amazon Redshift announces general availability for federated querying – You can use Redshift (an expensive data warehouse) to query other, less expensive data sources now. AWS Billing System go brrrr.

AWS OpsWorks for Puppet Enterprise Now Supports Custom Domains – I can’t shake the feeling that Puppet’s time has passed, and its one shot at achieving immortality was getting its name enshrined in an AWS service.

AWS Toolkit for JetBrains IDEs Adds New CloudWatch Logs Integration – This is a great idea! If you’re spending $649 a year for an IDE, you’re absolutely the target market for CloudWatch Logs.

AWS X-Ray SDK for Go is now generally available – It’s always kinda surprised me how many monitoring tools take a position of “you’ve gotta install our client libraries into your application.” I mean, I understand why, but the fact that the first customer didn’t laugh them out of the room is just astonishing to me.

NICE DCV Releases Version 2020.0 with Surround Sound 7.1 and Stylus Support – I have no idea what “NICE” does, but I bet Andy Jassy (famous for emails that say simply ‘Nice!’) adores it.

AWS Data Transfer Out (DTO) 40% Price Reduction in South America (São Paulo) Region | AWS News Blog – This is a big deal; previously data transfer in this region was at the level of “that’s GOTTA be a typo.”

AWS Snowball Edge Update – Faster Hardware, OpsHub GUI, IAM, and AWS Systems Manager | AWS News Blog – A bunch of enhancements to the Snowball Edges have all come out. Now that I’m trapped at home and have upgraded my video studio, who can I talk to at AWS about borrowing a review unit? Hit reply!

Capacity-Optimized Spot Instance Allocation in Action at Mobileye and Skyscanner | AWS News Blog – Taking a break from doing demos in his own account, Jeff Barr takes us on a tour through how capacity-optimized Spot allocation is being done at actual customers. AWS continues its unfortunate trend of unfair frugality towards Jeff (remember how they didn’t buy him his own satellite to demo Ground Station?!) with also failing to acquire him a mid-sized company to demonstrate these features upon.

Governance, risk, and compliance when establishing your cloud presence | AWS Management & Governance Blog – A discussion of intelligent management of AWS organizations via landing zones. While the position of the post is “here’s how to do it better than you likely are,” the part left unsaid is “…because we didn’t offer better guidance back when you built your monstrosities.”

Monitor your private internal endpoints 24×7 using CloudWatch Synthetics | AWS Management & Governance Blog – Sadly the most groundbreaking concept here for many of you is the concept of monitoring internal things in the first place.

Send Organizational AWS Health Events to Amazon Chime or Slack | AWS Management & Governance Blog – Since nobody reads the health dashboard in AWS, and their emails are buried by AWS Marketing’s constant barrages, the only chance these events have of getting noticed is via annoying you on Slack. The outcome is great, the 40 steps to get the solution and its dozen services implemented are less great.

How to verify AWS KMS asymmetric key signatures locally with OpenSSL | AWS Security Blog – They’d better demonstrate how to do this in code, because absolutely nobody validates signatures manually. If my app doesn’t validate something, I don’t validate something.

Round 2 Hybrid Post-Quantum TLS Benchmarks | AWS Security Blog – A benchmark from a public cloud provider that isn’t aimed at trying and failing to make a competitor look terrible. Will wonders never cease…


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AWS depends upon the open source community to make performing simple tasks something the rest of us can do. Sometimes the open source community fails them and they’re forced to do it themselves, as is the case with this RDS snapshot tool..

I started trying to play around with SkyWrapper last week. It claims to discover suspicious token usage inside your AWS use, but in practice is better at throwing arcane errors that aren’t debuggable without more effort than I’m willing to expend. Help?

Code Terrorist Ian McKay builds something monstrous to download PDFs of AWS bills from the console.

A new Flask framework for Serverless, its name is wonderful. To use it in a sentence: “For the love of god will you Serverless hypebeasts give it a freaking lambdarest already?!”

There are a few tools like this, but Cloud Profile Manager has some niceties you might enjoy.

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

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