Good morning!

Welcome to issue number 93 of Last Week in AWS.

This is a day behind the usual time due to the observance of MLK day in the US. No, I wasn’t kidnapped by AWS; thanks to those of you who asked.

I’ll be in Seattle again on February 13th; save the date, there’s another “Tonight in AWS” comedic event in the works.

This issue is sponsored in part by Scalyr. They’re hosting an online workshop next Tue 1/29 at 9am PT on developing and monitoring Kubernetes. Christian Meléndez (Cloud Architect at Equinix) and Dave McAllister (Scalyr Community Guy) will be showing live code and command examples to accompany the concepts they’re explaining, and will share some of the common challenges of monitoring activity on Kubernetes. Sign up for the workshop. Thanks again to Scalyr for their support.

Community Contributions

Friend of the newsletter Forrest Brazeal (“STOP SAYING THAT! We’re not friends!”) has a brilliant article / newsletter piece about the Creeping IT Apocalypse. Argue with it all you want, but the tide is rising. If you’re not continually learning new things, you’ll one day be replaced.

A thoughtful post on rotating AWS access keys as a distributed team. I tend to prefer models where my laptop doesn’t have keys on it at all, but that’s a bit of a different approach for a lot of existing workflows.

A deep dive into using Maxmind GeoIP with Redshift, for those of you who are in the big-ish data space.

That didn’t take long; Jerry Hargrove already has a visual service summary for Amazon DocumentDB ready for your viewing pleasure.

Amazon is being asked to stop selling facial recognition technology to the US government by a bloc of shareholders led by… Catholic nuns?

Rumors surfaced about a top-secret project in development called AWS For Everyone. The secret was slipped by… a bunch of engineers putting the project name on their LinkedIn profiles?! Really? That’s just a dumb way to blow the lid off of a secret project.

Pilosi had a cloud benchmark shootout between Oracle, AWS, and Azure. Before clicking, take a wild guess who’s effectively sponsored the comparison. Snark aside, it’s worth the read–and they make their data available for your analysis!

I appeared on Real World DevOps in Episode 3: Mockery as a Service.

This week’s issue is sponsored in part by GoCD. This week, they have an article discussing lead time in the context of CI/CD, and why you might care about it. Figuring out how long it takes to go from development to production is awfully important when answering business stakeholder questions honestly; this one’s worth a read. Thanks to GoCD for their continued support of this newsletter.


The job posting experiment continues! If you’ve got a job listing, I will post it here for free. If you pay me, I’ll let you pick the copy. Marvel at my extortion-based business model:

Are you in Rochester, New York? If so, let me first apologize; I grew up in New England myself. There’s hope this winter though–CloudCheckr is hiring for a variety of rolesranging from “DevOps Engineer” to “Interns” to “replacing the person who thought advertising these jobs in this newsletter was a good idea.” Fight the good fight against AWS’s inscrutable billing practices; talk to CloudCheckr. CloudCheckr: “Anyone can put a random word after ‘Cloud,’ but it takes a special company to misspell that word.”

Choice Cuts From the AWS Blog

Amazon EKS Announces 99.9% Service Level Agreement – So EKS, Secrets Manager, and ECR all get SLAs. Awesome. It feels like this could have been just one announcement, but somebody’s sandbagging to get the number of announcements on next year’s re:Invent slide bigger.

Amazon Comprehend is now Integrated with AWS CloudTrail – CloudTrail only supporting some services simplifies down to me as “while CloudTrail is useful, I can’t completely depend upon it for audit purposes.”

Amazon Kinesis Data Firehose Announces 99.9% Service Level Agreement – …and precipitates a firehose of other SLA announcements. There were a few others that didn’t make the cut this week, because (let’s face it) there are only so many snarky comments I can lob at SLAs. They’re important to some users, but maybe a roundup of all of the services getting them would be handier than Death by a Thousand Announcements…

AWS CodePipeline Now Supports Deploying to Amazon S3 – This… would have been incredibly handy when I built out my blog production pipeline four months ago.

AWS Trusted Advisor Expands Functionality With New Best Practice Checks – “Good news! The limits that you don’t know exist until you smack into the face first are now included in a weekly check!” “Uh, okay, is that all of the limits!” “So far as you know!”

Introducing Amazon Elastic File System Integration with AWS Backup – Jeff Barr’s excellent post does a great job of showing what AWS Backup does–but this press release infuriates me. Not for the content, mind you; that part’s just fine. No, the sin here is in using the verb “backup” as one word, and the same usage “back up” as two words IN THE SAME PRESS RELEASE! Pick a hill to die on!

Behind the Scenes & Under the Carpet – The CenturyLink Network that Powered AWS re:Invent 2018 | AWS News Blog – It’s still not at all clear to me whether they tear this thing down every year and then rebuild it, or just leave it there for the following re:Invent.

AWS Security Profiles: Akihiro Umegai, Japan Lead, Office of the CISO | AWS Security Blog – Akihiro does amazing work, likes an awesome band, and serves as the “shock absorber between Japan and US headquarters.” I’m willing to bet his stories put anything I write here to shame…


A fun cost saving tool, EC2 Autokill does what you’d expect to detached EC2 instances.

Cloudonaut returns, this time with a pile of Fargate CloudFormation templates.

I’m not sure if a Node module to debug lambda timeouts is useful or ridiculous, but I don’t have to figure it out; that’s your job. Let me know please.

Another week, another EC2 Instance Price Guide for your perusal.

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

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