First up, you’ll want to catch this: I interviewed a number of AWS leaders and these videos will air at virtual re:Invent for free this week. Register for free, search for my name in the virtual event list (the segments are mostly called “Opinions My Own” because of course they are), and tell me what you think. Now then…
re:Invent is finally here! If you’re attending, my condolences; if you’re not you’ve made better choices than I have. I’ve stood up a Slack Workspace that you can sign up for; there’s already been some lively discussion around the various announcements.
Further, I’ll be putting out daily emails to the folks who’ve opted in to the re:Quinnvent mailing list. If you don’t want to hear it, whack the “subscription options” down below at the end of this email and adjust accordingly. I don’t blame you a bit; this week is very often “too much.”
I’ll be hosting a drinkup tomorrow (Tuesday) at 8:15pm at Atomic Liquors in Las Vegas for anyone who happens to be around; thrilled to buy you a drink if you’re game for it. Come by, say hello! There’s oh so much more to come, but first… here’s what happened Last Week in AWS.
From the Community
Come join me and the unflappably insightful Thomas Hazel from ChaosSearch, on a wildly unpredictable, live re:Invent-in-review webinar on Dec 14th that we’re calling the “Raucous re:Invent Recap”. It’s sure to be filled with my unflinchingly hot takes on this year’s AWS re:Invent news, while Thomas Hazel and I muse over the good, the bad and the ugly – all while helping make sense of the chaos that was AWS re:Invent! Register here and then join us for the hilarity (and possibly some insight) during our “Raucous re:Invent Recap” webinar on Tuesday, Dec 14th at 2p ET/11a PT.
I don’t disagree with a word of what Gartner VP and Distinguished analyst Lydia Leong says about the cloud budget overrun rainbow of flavors.
Ugh, those folks at RedMonk aren’t content to just write amazing content that I wish I had written — they’re insistent on giving it even better names, like The Great Smooshing too.
Congratulations are due to Jonathan Kozolchyk, GM of AWS Certificate Manager and friend of the newsletter (“ACK! DO NOT EVER CALL ME THAT AGAIN!”) on the birth of his daughter Cora. This is the best reason to miss re:Invent, narrowly beating out all of the others.
I finally broke down just why the AWS Managed NAT Gateway is Unpleasant and Not Recommended.
Vanity Fair has a profile of Andy Jassy up. It’s a fascinating read that unfortunately does little to explain why he approved some of the service names that he did…
If you’ve got an interesting job for this newsletter’s eminently employable subscribers, get in touch!
Truss is a software consultancy made up of experienced practitioners who care about communication, inclusivity, and modern software development methodologies.
A central tenet of our infrastructure and security team’s approach to building excellent software is to let empathy steer our choices rather than tools and techniques. This means we engage in user research, make sure our team includes diverse perspectives, and work to improve the systems we encounter from within. Much of that effort is spent working in the government space, but we maintain thriving commercial contracts as well. We are looking for passionate infrastructure and security practitioners to help us continue building good infrastructure with humility.
Want to learn more about our team? You can read our philosophy here.
The AWS Transactional Services team builds some of the most foundational distributed systems that underpin and power many of the large AWS services and several of the most critical components of the Amazon.com retail platform. We specialize in building high performance, highly available data systems that provide strong transactional guarantees at scale.
Sendcloud is Europe’s number one shipping platform; with our platform we make shipping as easy as possible for e-commerce. We’re a fast growing company, and aim to grow our 9 software development teams to 20 next year. Therefore we are (next to our >70 vacancies), looking for Site Reliability Engineers to work on our platform (AWS), which is used by our software development teams to build, test, deploy and run software themselves.
You know how git works, right? “Sorta!” you respond. “Kinda! Not really. Please ask someone else!” That’s all of us. Git is how we build things, and Netlify is one of the best ways I’ve found to build those things quickly for the web. Netlify’s git-based workflows mean that you don’t have to play slap and tickle with integrating arcane nonsense and webhooks (which are themselves about as well understood as git). Give them a try, and see what folks ranging from my fake “Twitter for Pets” startup to global Fortune 2000 companies are raving about. If you end up talking to them (because you don’t have to; they get why self-service is important!) be sure to tell them that I sent you, and watch all of the blood drain from their faces instantly. You can find them in the AWS Marketplace, or at www.netlify.com.
Stuck in the data matrix, a world of slow performing databases? Break out and become a Redis Hero with Redis Enterprise. Simplify your app’s data layer with ONE Redis built for global caching and primary database capabilities with sub-millisecond speed and infinite linear scalability. Learn more from the experts in Redis during re:Invent and have a chance to win some fun and exciting prizes at https://redis.com/hero.
Amazon ECS-optimized AMI is now available as an open-source project – Ah yes, an “open source project” that I’m sure will be used in ways that never touch AWS — oh, it won’t? You mean that AMIs are really only usable on one vendor? Oh. Okay then.
Introducing spelling support in Amazon Lex – It immediately barfs on “Rekognition,” showing that even AWS’s other services find that one more than a smidgen problematic.
Amazon RDS on AWS Outposts now supports backups on AWS Outposts – If you’re only running a single outpost, this won’t work well for disasters with a blast radius much beyond a few inches.
Amazon Redshift launches RA3 Reserved Instance migration feature – This may be the first time we’ve seen a “turn in your old RIs for new instances we’re trying to get you to use instead” offered from AWS. Usually you uh… kinda have to throw some weight around with your account team for things like this.
Announcing Amazon Redshift cross-region data sharing (preview) – The ability to be charged vast sums in cross-region data transfer fees to migrate data between regions is only in preview at the moment. Presumably AWS wants to make sure that they keep their growth bounded; if AWS announces 30x expected quarterly earnings then the analysts are going to be asking some uncomfortable questions…
Amazon S3 Lifecycle further optimizes storage cost savings with new actions and filters – Managing S3 Lifecycles now lets you save more money, but you won’t because it’s incredibly confusing and granular now. This is great for large, super well behaved and well understood data access models. For the rest of us, nobody is going to configure these until they’re yelled at for not having configured them. Yay for increasing complexity in Cloud Economics? Nobody should be cheering for that; I’m hoping AWS puts me out of business, not turns it into a multi-generational one.
Amazon S3 Storage Lens metrics now available in Amazon CloudWatch – You can now view Storage Lens metrics through CloudWatch, which is proudly known as the preferred interface for… uh… well, absolutely nobody.
Amazon Transcribe now supports automatic language identification for streaming transcriptions – The language for the things I say is automatically identified as “salty.”
You can now import your AWS CloudFormation stacks into a CloudFormation stack set – After many years, Stack Overflow begins to pull ahead of the AWS console in the Copy & Paste Quarterfinals.
You can now submit multiple operations for simultaneous execution with AWS CloudFormation StackSets – “The world went and got itself in a big damn hurry.” -Brooks, The Shawshank Redemption and also the AWS CloudFormation product owner.
Announcing AWS Fargate for Amazon ECS Powered by AWS Graviton2 Processors – Fargate now supports Graviton2 processors, which sounds like technobabble from a sci fi show. That’s going to pose a problem for AWS, since Machine Learning and Quantum Computing agree that there’s no room for a third AWS organization that competes with them in that space.
Announcing usability improvements in the navigation bar of the AWS Management Console – I don’t even care about the rest of this week’s releases, because this is the most glorious thing I’ve ever seen. Seriously: go to the AWS console and search for “Corey Quinn” in the search bar. I promise, you won’t be disappointed.
AWS Systems Manager Fleet Manager now provides console based access to Windows instances with enhanced security protocols – Ooh, Systems Manager now speaks RDP. 2003 me would have loved this feature. I used to be a Windows admin for small businesses. Shhhh…
New Multi-AZ deployment option for Amazon RDS for PostgreSQL and for MySQL; increased read capacity, lower and more consistent write transaction latency, and shorter failover time (Preview) – It grows increasingly impossible to intelligently say what makes Amazon Aurora different in any meaningful way.
Announcing preview of Amazon Linux 2022 – Tracking Fedora as its upstream, swapping yum for dnf, enabling selinux by default. What’s not to like about this new release of Amazon Linux?
Announcing AWS Enterprise On-Ramp – A New Support Plan – “Enterprise Lite” is how to view this support tier. It applies to all accounts in the org (so you can’t do the Business tier trick of “buy the RIs / Savings Plans in an account that doesn’t charge for support, then let them flow to accounts that do”), it’s a bit more than a third as expensive at minimum, and it doesn’t really make anything significantly worse from Enterprise Support.
AWS Free Tier Data Transfer Expansion – 100 GB From Regions and 1 TB From Amazon CloudFront Per Month – 5GB of free data transfer is now 100GB WAIT NOT YET it doesn’t hit until December 1. This will still lead to horrible bills, but you’ll be further out before they smack you. Good release, well needed now please keep going.
New – Amazon EC2 R6i Memory-Optimized Instances Powered by the Latest Generation Intel Xeon Scalable Processors – I love that “i” suffix. It’s clear that moving forward Intel will not be the presumed default for a whole mess of things.
New – AWS Proton Supports Terraform and Git Repositories to Manage Templates – I wonder at what point AWS will admit defeat and just refactor CloudFormation to be just a shim for Terraform?
Choose the right storage tier for your needs in Amazon OpenSearch Service – Because if there’s one thing AWS customers love and are good at, it’s handling data lifecycles efficiently. There’s no greater challenge that customers would rather be working on than playing Data Janitor…
Send personalized email reports with Amazon QuickSight – Every enterprise software service or product eventually evolves until it can send email. Except for Microsoft Outlook, apparently…
Deploy applications in AWS App Runner with GitHub Actions – App Runner wakes up to the reality that GitHub has more users within one company than CodeCommit has globally.
Get started with a free trial of Amazon MemoryDB for Redis – One of the worst AWS service launches in recent memory slowly starts to improve. First up: a free trial. One item down, another dozen or so to go?
Readable standby instances in Amazon RDS Multi-AZ deployments: A new high availability option – You can now read from the standby instances in RDS for things like “reporting.” Pro tip: always always always define two endpoints for your database queries, one for writes and one for reads. If you’ve gotta split it out later, that process can approach Managed NAT Gateway bill levels of unpleasantness.
Scale your Amazon ElastiCache for Redis clusters at a lower cost with data tiering – “Store data on disk instead of in RAM” is a revelation that came a smidgen late to the ElastiCache team, but better late than never!
AWS announces availability of Elastic fleets with Amazon AppStream 2.0 – “What the hell is an elastic fleet?” Basically AppStream 2.0 has gone serverless, but they don’t describe it that way because it would make far too much sense.
Introducing IPv6-only subnets and EC2 instances – This is kinda neat! I set one up to see how it worked. Not super well for me, since GitHub doesn’t support IPv6 yet. 2022 is going to be a learning year for all of us. On the other side, they now taught Managed NAT Gateways to translate between IPv6 and IPv4, which is still not enough to redeem their egregious pricing model.
NHS Digital launches NHS login with AWS – Oh thank god! I thought for a minute that “Login with AWS” was something the NHS was setting up, in which case most of their patients will die. Instead their login system will run on AWS, which means — oh crap, they’re using Cognito. Yeah, I’m back to people dying again.
Observability is critical for managing and improving complex business-critical systems. With observability, any software engineering team can gain a deeper understanding of system performance, so you can perform ongoing maintenance and ship the features your customers need. Preview Honeycomb’s upcoming O’Reilly book to understand the value of observable systems and how to build an observability-driven development practice.
I stumbled across Cost of a Data Breach Report the other day and it’s glorious. The website uses a variety of information gathered within the IAM Dataset and exposes that information in a clean, easy-to-read format. It’s also beautiful so you know it’s not an official AWS offering.
Since AWS took away the ability to compare service availability between regions, the larger community has picked up their slack with an AWS service availability tool .
I really like the excellently named fck-nat; it was one of a handful of tools people pointed me towards in response to my “Managed NAT Gateways are Unpleasantly Priced” blog post last week.
Systems Manager Parameter Store is legit awesome; ssmsh is a shell environment that makes working with the parameters contained therein way easier.
… and that’s what happened Last Week in AWS.