Good Morning!

You’re not going to hear much from me directly for a while; tomorrow marks the birth of my second child, so I’ll be taking parental leave as my first multi-week respite away from making fun of cloud. Be good to each other while I’m gone, and please enjoy the scheduled content I’ve arranged for you.

And of course, if the spirit moves you:

Let the Duckbill Group make your AWS bill less horrible.

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  • We aim for a 15-20% cost reduction in identified savings opportunities.
  • Generally, 60% of our identified savings require less than a month of engineering time to implement.
  • You’re covered by our 100% money-back guarantee. (Yep, we’re really this confident about our services. Just take it from the zero clients who have ever asked for a refund.)

Read more about how our Cost Optimization service can help your organization right here: https://www.duckbillgroup.com/services/aws-cost-optimization/

From the Community

Does this sound like you? Your company is running an ELK Stack and you’re growing weary of constantly adding extra ES data nodes, or repeatedly re-indexing and allocating shards, or dealing with data field issues that force re-indexing, which slows down the entire cluster-f? Good news! There’s a much better way… ChaosSearch! Listen to what Jason Standiford, VP of Engineering at Revinate, said: “When we laid out all of the potential solutions, ChaosSearch was an easy choice. All of our users were already familiar with the Kibana UI, implementation was a breeze, and ChaosSearch has been a drop-in solution from day one.” So take it from me, or take it from Jason, and request a demo or start a free trial of ChaosSearch – the revolutionary, fully managed log analytics platform that turns your Amazon S3 into an UltraHot™ data store! Sponsored

A collection of every video from AWS, arranged by service.

The Security September series by Ian McKay (and this week, a guest author!) continues, with a hard look at CloudFormation.

Slack talks about how their AWS environment has evolved with time. The challenges that they’re facing with an expanding AWS footprint mirrors the challenges the rest of us face when it’s time to join yet another Slack workspace that’s come to eat all of our RAM.

CloudForecast has a great roundup of a pile of tools you can use to maintain AWS tags.

The world of hyperscale cloud is defined by competition. AWS has some competition from GCP in the world of insecure storage buckets.

My article on the free tier served as the basis for an InfoQ article. I’d argue mine had the better snark…

Another analysis of the Gartner Magic Quadrant highlights that AWS needs to step up its DevOps game, along with other gems.

Tim Bray talks about Workflows and/or Step Functions in AWS and GCP now that they also exist in GCP.

The latest state of “what the hell is going on with TikTok” is best summed up in this appropriately snarky article. I’ll be staying the hell away from that mess.

Jobs

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

Do you hold a US Security Clearance? Do you want to build exciting things? Protect exciting secrets? Make big trouble for Moose and Squirrel? Check out the AWS Cleared Jobs and see if AWS might have a role that’s up your alley. Many restrictions apply; see page for details.

Choice Cuts

Join Gigaom Research Analyst Enrico Signoretti on Wednesday, October 14th, at 2 pm ET, for an overview of the data backup and recovery market, learn about a new approach to enterprise-grade data backup and retention using S3-compatible Object Storage, and much more. All registrants will be sent a recording for on-demand viewing. Register today. Sponsored

Amazon Aurora Increases Maximum Storage Size to 128TB – I can’t shake the nagging feeling that Aurora’s maximum storage size closely tracks one particular customer’s workload. When the workload grows to approach 128TB, we’ll see another expansion announced.

Amazon CloudWatch Synthetics strengthens end-to-end canary run debugging with X-Ray traces – Just what 2020 needs: a stronger canary.

Amazon Connect decreases outbound telephony rates for the second time this year in Europe – It’s releases like this that keep folks from taking AWS’s “number of price cuts” seriously. It applies to a single dimension of a single service, for calls to six countries. Sure, it’s a welcome change–but for most customers it’s nothing to write home about. Virtually nobody is going to get a smaller AWS bill next month as a result.

Amazon Textract has improved accuracy of detecting currency symbols, key value pairs and checkboxes – Now that it supports key/value pairs, this might be the best (read as: most horrible) possible way to perform a DNS migration.

APN Ambassadors Are Passionate About Sharing Their AWS Technical Expertise – Today I learned that an APN Ambassador is like an AWS Hero except they’re not allowed to quit their jobs and retain the title.

Field Notes: Monitoring the Java Virtual Machine Garbage Collection on AWS Lambda – I think it’s a little rough to call the variety of JVMs available (including their own Corretto 15, which just went GA last week) a “garbage collection,” but that’s just my take.

Preview: Anomaly Detection and alerting now available in AWS Cost Management – Anomaly detection is a giant pain when you get to edge cases / significant scale. So far, early results on this are promising–albeit with a few UX improvements that would be most welcome. They’ve clearly surmounted my greatest challenge: my tendency to misspell anomaly.

How Cookpad scaled its Amazon Redshift cluster while controlling costs with usage limits – This RedShift customer success story is brought to you by “wait, Snowflake IPO’d for HOW much?! They’re going to eat our lunch, and that’s our job!”

Making ETL easier with AWS Glue Studio – I’m all for making things more accessible to folks without programming backgrounds, but I do struggle to identify ETL folks who’d qualify as such.

How Cerner uses the Amazon Chime SDK to enhance its virtual health strategy – Chime is interesting. It’s simultaneously a (not terrific) messaging app, and an SDK that’s pretty solid under the hood (Slack is using it for their video calls). The reputation of the former unfairly taints the latter.

Definitive Guide to AWS EKS Security – Download eBook

When using Amazon’s Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS), you must understand which pieces of the security management role fall on you. Use this 42-page eBook from StackRox to learn about EKS cluster security, including the standard controls and best practices for minimizing the risk around cluster workloads, as well as specific requirements for securing an EKS cluster and its associated infrastructure. Sponsored

Introducing queued purchases for Savings Plans – Now both of the companies that plan their purchases three months in advance can schedule their Savings Plan buys. For the rest of us, this introduces a “renew” option that means you won’t go a few days without coverage paying on-demand rates.

Design patterns to access cross-account secrets stored in AWS Secrets Manager – It’s way easier to access cross-account secrets stored in Route 53.

8 best practices when automating your deployments with AWS CloudFormation – I made it as far as the third item before I started screaming. “Recommending git submodules” is the exact opposite of a best practice, full stop.

Enhance your Android ecommerce app with Amazon Interactive Video Service – While I like the narrative, trying to tell a story about good user experience on Android is unfortunately peeing against the tide. Please don’t email me.

Building Scalable GraphQL APIs on AWS with CDK, TypeScript, AWS AppSync, and AWS Lambda – Just based upon the sheer number and variety of services in the headline alone, I’m almost certainly going to find and choose Option B, whatever that might be.

Migrating and managing large datasets on Amazon S3 – Ever notice that these blog posts never, ever talk about how to migrate data out of S3?

Update to Amazon S3 Path Deprecation Plan – Remember how they were going to start deprecating S3 path-style URLs next week? Turns out that AWS is about as good at turning things off as Google is at keeping things on, so that plan has been suspended indefinitely.

Xen Security Advisory 336 (XSA-336) (CVE-2020-25604) – “Sometimes a guest can cause a host machine to reboot” seems like a bad thing for cloud workload stability, but fortunately it only applies to Xen instances. You’re not using any of those anymore, right?

AWS Perspective | Implementations | AWS Solutions – As always, AWS Solutions leave me conflicted. On the one hand, they’re great demonstrations of what you can build by chaining AWS services together. On the other, they’re a display of blistering contempt by AWS, to the tune of “you have a problem? Pay money to wire our products together so you can pay us to solve a problem of our own creation with an unsupported monstrosity.” And oh is it a lot of money; this puppy will cost you over $500 a month.

Tools

Have you met our friends at FireHydrant? They’re helping the likes of CircleCI, LaunchDarkly, and Packet manage their incidents. They couldn’t find an incident management solution they liked, so they built one. I mean, why not? Who doesn’t love automating toil and saving time? Anyway, they’re sponsoring Gremlin’s Chaos Conf where they’ll do a demo AND also give away a sweet Aeron chair to one lucky attendee – don’t miss it! Sponsored

I’m a big fan of CloudMapper for mapping out my AWS environments. Unlike the above “AWS Perspectives” it doesn’t cost you $3K a year to run, but rather “pennies.”

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

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