Good Morning!

I can’t quite believe that Billie the Platypus is spending February hanging out on the front page ofTechmeme. In a moment of transparency, the entire reason for the platypus character was “to do fun things with him, unconstrained by stodgy corporate branding guidelines.”

Amazon’s earnings came out and the stock soared. The market is still apparently amazed that AWS does as well as it does, but I have a hard time being even slightly surprised. Cloud bills get bigger with time, customer footprints expand, and new customers continue signing up. It’s really hard to see anything changing any one of those three truths in even the medium term.

And AWS had a relatively low number of changes last week. My suspicion is that this is based upon their internal performance and planning calendar; peer evaluations consumed Amazonians for a few days, and that feels like it may be causing delays in feature releases.

From the Community

This issue is sponsored in part by my friends at ChaosSearch! As you know, running log analysis with Elasticsearch at scale can be unstable, relentlessly time-sucking and surprisingly expensive. Now try ChaosSearch – a fully managed log analytics platform that delivers the Elasticsearch API you love, with built-in Kibana, but with No ElasticSearch under the hood! ChaosSearch activates your Amazon S3 as a true data lake, for analytics at scale, with no data movement, no data retention limits and savings of up to 80% vs an ELK Stack. In fact with ChaosSearch, you can start with 3 easy steps: Store, Connect & Analyze. So start experiencing insights at scale from ALL of your data (and tell them I sent you)! Sponsored

Scaleway has a blog post up titled building a distributed Key-Value store to power S3, and I think I like it better than Route 53 for the use case.

Emily Shea has a post up about refactoring to single-table design in Amazon DynamoDB. I should really do something similar with one of my apps one of these days, but the problem is that my microservices design means that I have to simultaneously touch a couple of dozen different things and teach them all to speak to the new table in the new way. It’s… one heck of a lift, with (for me) unclear benefit.

A Medium post from back in September caught my eye; titled My Amazon Reptilian Brain it talks about the way that working at Amazon shaped the way that the author thinks even after leaving the company.

I found a fun Reddit discussion (which sounds like an oxymoron) about the best ways to separate code and infrastructure deployments.

GeekWire has a fascinating profile of Charlie Bell, former Amazon and now very publicly handling cybersecurity at Azure. It’s worth a read.

The cloud is too big for one winner | InfoWorld is obviously not written by a current hyperscale employee, because that sentiment shorthands to “corporate treason” at the big three.

My runthrough about my experience Going Out to Play with the CDK led to a lot of feedback; thanks!


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

The WS User Experience Products & Platform team team is responsible for products that enable AWS users to manage their applications and infrastructure on AWS. Our mission is to deliver an effective, efficient, and loved user experience that makes it easy for all users to discover, learn, and build on AWS. Today, we own the AWS Management Console, the AWS Console Mobile App, the AWS Chatbot, as well as the User Experience Platform used by 175+ AWS service teams to develop and deliver their user experience across multiple channels (web, mobile, chat).

Nebulaworks is a software engineering firm founded, built, and managed by engineers, for engineers. Our mission is to create high-performance engineering teams where members are inspired to collaborate openly, incentivized to gather new knowledge and skills, and value simplicity when solving difficult problems. We’re looking for individuals who are passionate about being a force multiplier, enabling our customers to unlock their high-performing team potential. If you love Linux, open-source, and value driving all changes through version control we’re currently hiring Sr. Software Engineers, come introduce yourself!

At Modern Treasury, we are building payments infrastructure to power $750 trillion in bank transfers every year. Before Modern Treasury there has never been a universal API into the global banking system. Our ambition is to be the de facto standard for money movement for the world’s most innovative and fastest growing companies. Our customers use our APIs to automate payouts, direct debits, balance tracking and other payments use cases at scale. Join our engineering team at Modern Treasury to help build the new foundation of business and finance.

Choice Cuts

This one isn’t going to cost you anything. Kubestack is an open source online tool that helps you generate a Kubernetes base platform in Terraform without having to spend months on being responsible about it — or else, having to go back and retrofit code to what you’ve already built through the miracle of ClickOps. It now features a “tell it what you want” configuration wizard around a whole bunch of different variables (cloud providers, whether you want single or multiple clusters, etc.) and spits out Terraform code that’s ready to throw into your environment — faster than you can write it yourself. Check it out and let me know what you think; remember, it doesn’t cost you anything! Sponsored

Tired of explaining to your boss why your cloud bill keeps getting bigger? It’s a tough conversation we’ve all had. Fortunately, Vultr is ready to save us all time, money, and hassle by providing Cloud Compute and high-performance bare metal at a fraction of the cost of Big Tech. That’s why we’re partnering with Vultr to bring you a FREE two week trial of $100 in cloud infrastructure credit. Visit to redeem this offer. Sponsored

Amazon MSK now offers the ability to scale storage throughput up to 1000 MiB/s per broker – Do this cross-AZ and data transfer fees mean that you’ll be the one who ends up broker, but since we don’t pay for broker to broker traffic within an AZ this unlocks some use cases previously closed to MSK.

AWS Systems Manager now supports higher concurrency for Automation executions – You can now screw up your automations and destroy your production environment far faster than you could previously.

Amazon EC2 customers can now use Recycle Bin to recover from accidental deletions of Amazon Machine Images – “Recycle Bin” is a useful feature, but I’d rename it to “AWS OH SHIT SHIT SHIT UNDO UNDO MY BOSS IS GONNA MURDER ME WITH AN AXE” if I were an AWS Namer.

AWS Secrets Manager now supports rotation windows – The first time a secret doesn’t get rotated in a 4 hour rotation window, we’re renaming this service to “AWS Comcast Service Appointment.” You have been warned.

How Deloitte is Improving Animal Welfare with AI at the Edge Using AWS Panorama – “Improving animal welfare in slaughterhouses” is uh… not the DIsney-esque uplifting story I was expecting when I clicked that link.

Financial Crime Discovery using Amazon EKS and Graph Databases – If someone sells you EKS and a graph database, a financial crime has indeed been committed.

Mocking service integrations with AWS Step Functions Local – I still feel like I need a brain upgrade to grok Step Functions, so I default to lazy jokes about how I mock service integrations via this newsletter. I may need to step up.

Continuous Delivery of Amazon EKS Clusters Using AWS CDK and CDK Pipelines – “Continuously deploying Kubernetes clusters” might, and I’m just speculating here, be partially responsible for why AWS is now a $71 billion a year business.

Best Buy is the Latest Retailer to Select the AWS Cloud – Yesterday’s “Amazon’s Showroom” is today’s “AWS reference customer.”

Use a web browser plugin to quickly translate text with Amazon Translate – Is AWS aware that they could just, y’know. Create this plugin and put it up on the browser plugin galleries themselves rather than making anyone who wants this do a whole bunch of work?

How to enable Amazon CloudWatch Alarms to send repeated notifications – 5000 things to fix in CloudWatch and they pick “let’s make it more annoying.”

Manage AWS account alternate contacts with Terraform – “Tell AWS who to contact about certain things” has a bunch of ways that you could approach it, as far as problems go. “Write a whole mess of code” is a clear indicator that ClickOps can’t get here fast enough.

Organizing your AWS Control Tower landing zone with nested OUs – I’ve come to believe that there are two types of people. The kind of person who organizes things hierarchically like this post suggests, and then people like me who toss all of their stuff into an undifferentiated pile and depend upon strong search functionality to find what they need. Those other people are probably a lot happier.


Configuring a VPN server is hard due to their complexity and vast knowledge of certificate and networking required. You can spend the next 6 months setting up an OpenVPN server and fine tuning it. Or you can just use our solution and be up and running within 3 min. Not to mention that we have built in reliability into the product – it mimics the Serverless ideology. 0x4447 VPN Server using OpenVPN® on the AWS Marketplace Sponsored

Splash is a way of effectively getting a shell inside of a Lambda function to explore the environment. This would have been super handy when I was first learning the platform…

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

Newsletter Footer

Sign up for Last Week in AWS

Stay up to date on the latest AWS news, opinions, and tools, all lovingly sprinkled with a bit of snark.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Sponsor Icon Footer

Sponsor a Newsletter Issue

Reach over 30,000 discerning engineers, managers, and enthusiasts who actually care about the state of Amazon’s cloud ecosystems.