Good morning!

Welcome to issue number 135 of Last Week in AWS.

The last couple of weeks I sent the newsletter twice. This was due to a since-quashed bug. You can read the postmortem should you care to.

I spoke with Tanya Janca on Screaming in the Cloud last week; you should take a listen or a read, to your preference.

Speaking of listening, you can (as always) listen to the spoken word version of AWS’s releases last week on the AWS Morning Brief.

From the Community

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An outsider’s inside view on open source at AWS | AWS Open Source Blog – An interview with the Tarsnap founder, subversion among AWS employees to get the One True Operating System (FreeBSD) working in EC2, and other stories.

A walkthrough around resilient task scheduling with ECS. Hint: Step Functions are your friend.

A tale of migrating to AWS by FreeAgent.

Amateur radio meets a pile of AWS services and then magic happens. Check it out.

This is fascinating. A scammer defrauded a RioT Games co-founder to mine cryptocurrency. Apparently the founder’s credit card saw a $135K AWS bill, which they paid. I hope the cofounder is saving up Amex points to go to space.

“Amazon Forecast is kinda crappy” is the ‘explain it like I’m 5’ version. Who’s Using Amazon Forecast is the ‘explain it like I have a PhD’ version.

It’s neat to see someone’s first 14 hours with AWS Lambda. My first 14 hours were way, way more sweary.

Of all the reasons to use ipv6, I must confess that hiding from portscanners hadn’t occurred to me.

Kenya’s president is excited about getting a CloudFront Edge location. He should have held out for a full-blown region!

As punishment for leaving some Aurora instances running, I sent my business partner to take the AWS Cloud Practitioner exam remotely. His trip report demonstrates that he has indeed suffered enough for his sins.

I wrote an analysis of AWS’s new Savings Plans (motto: “Like Reserved Instances, only less crappy!”) for your amusement and education.

A helpful reminder that all EC2 instances aren’t created equal–even if they’re labeled as the same thing.

A forestry company opines on how cloud will change next year.


If you’re considering a job change, check out a position below. Regardless of where you find it, you should definitely negotiate your salary. If I were to magically become employable, I’d immediately head to and talk to Josh Doody about it before saying anything further. He’s done this many times before, with a special emphasis on engineering roles at FAANG companies. He’s an artist when it comes to getting the best compensation possible without seeming greedy or losing the offer. He offers coaching, free articles, an ebook, and other things along the way. Check him out–and tell him Corey’s talking about him again.

Amazon Redshift is AWS’s petabyte-scale data warehouse service in the cloud whose name should in no way be construed as a dig at Oracle. It enables customers to dramatically increase their query performance when analyzing virtually any size data set using the same SQL-based business intelligence tools they use today. They’re looking for developers with expertise and passion for building large scale distributed systems. There are a number of rules, but in general experience with parallel query optimization and execution, large scale data analytics, highly available/fault tolerant systems, replicated data storage, and operating complex services running in the cloud are all pluses.

There are a number of fascinating roles on offer from ThousandEyes. Having been to their office and talked with their staff, a few things stood out. Most notably, they’re a startup (so each person has massive impact) while focusing on global-scale problems. Notably, their retention rate is sky-high and people don’t have that dead look in their eyes that so many startup employees seem to. Check them out; they’d make my short-list of places to work if I were employable.

Choice Cuts

Turns out AWS, Azure, GCP, Alibaba Cloud and IBM Cloud don’t all perform the same and they’ve got some quirky differences you probably want to know about. Sign up for ThousandEyes’ livestreamed research launch event November 13th to get the data. You know I’ll be livetweeting it! Sponsored

Amazon CloudWatch launches cross-account cross-region dashboards – One of those services you can’t believe didn’t exist until now, Cross-everything CloudWatch dashboards. At $3 per month per dashboard, I’m a little cross myself.

Amazon Comprehend Adds Six New Languages – Those newly added languages comprise about 1.5 billion people, but sure, bury the lede.

Amazon EC2 now supports Microsoft SQL Server 2019 – What does this even mean? Haven’t you been able to install anything you want on top of EC2? Sure, the license is your problem to deal with, but the software support has always been there. What am I missing?

Amazon Pinpoint Adds Journeys–Fully Automated Customer Engagement Workflows – This feels to me like a crappier version of ConvertKit (which I use for this newsletter), but nowhere near as crappy as Drip (which I used to use for this newsletter). Drip’s a powerful tool, it’s just plagued by executive management trying to cut costs, a product team who isn’t quite sure who their users are, a support team stuck between wanting to be helpful to customers but having to parrot lies from management, a design team who may have had their eyeballs fall out at some point, and a cofounder who started subtweeting customers when they complained about the rest.

Amazon QuickSight goes Mobile, launches Cross Source Join and More – So “catching up to Tableau,” but with a far more reasonable pricing model. I’m tempted to check QuickSight out again at my next Tableau contract renewal.

Amazon RDS for Oracle now Supports Oracle Database 19c – An expensive thing supports other expensive things, which are newer than the older expensive thing.

Amazon Redshift now supports changing table sort keys dynamically – That’s “sort” of awesome.

AWS CodeBuild Adds Support for AWS Secrets Manager – Not even a full day after I reached for it, realized it wasn’t there, and used Parameter Store instead. Who’s tracking my AWS Console activity!?

AWS Global Accelerator is Now Available in Two Additional Regions – And the world now spins that much faster as a result!

AWS supports Automated Draining for Spot Instance Nodes on Kubernetes – Hey, this is open source and works with any Kubernetes cluster on AWS.

EC2 Hibernation feature is now available to customers in the Middle East (Bahrain) AWS Region – What?! Bahrain has an arid climate! There’s no need for hibernation in the native fauna; food is plentiful year round.

Introducing notifications for AWS CodeCommit, AWS CodeBuild, AWS CodeDeploy, and AWS CodePipeline – SNS is increasingly the glue that ties various AWS services together. Maybe there should be an internal SNS topic that goes to the CloudFormation team so they can stop being surprised?

Manage your Amazon API Gateway limits with AWS Service Quotas – Things like this feel like breach disclosures to me. “We’re sad to report that one service team has learned of the existence of another service team, and (despite our best efforts) managed to integrate with them. We apologize to our customers unreservedly and will strive to do better in the future.”

Network Load Balancer TLS Termination support is now available in AWS GovCloud (US) – Don’t worry about missing a week’s issue of this newsletter. Anything announced in it will apparently be repeated months or years later when it comes to GovCloud.

New Feature Enables Visibility of Employees’ AWS Certification Completions – In case it wasn’t painfully clear that you’re just a number to your employer, let AWS assist in pointing that out more directly.

Now use single-click setup to keep AWS Systems Manager Agents automatically updated – Who had to be talked off of a ledge in order to keep them from naming this “Systems Manager Agent Manager?”

Meet the newest AWS Heroes, including the first Data Heroes! | AWS News Blog – An enormous pile of new heroes has been annointed. For the record, I am not a community hero; I’m holding out to be the first “AWS Community Villain” if Larry Ellison doesn’t beat me to it.

New – Savings Plans for AWS Compute Services | AWS News Blog – AWS relents slightly on their longstanding War on Its Own Customers to make the bill more user-friendly for a change.

AWS Security Profiles: Maritza Mills, Senior Product Manager, Perimeter Protection | AWS Security Blog – If her job responsibilities include securing the physical perimeter, I’m sad to report that I have successfully visited the AWS campus in Seattle multiple times.

Post-quantum TLS now supported in AWS KMS | AWS Security Blog – Now that Quantum Ledger Database has shipped, they can get back to working on TLS apparently.


It’s 2AM and your site just broke. Are you awake? No–at best you’re awakish. This week’s issue is sponsored by Awakish, a website monitoring tool that tells you when your site or application is down. It’s got an internal collector that lets you get HTTP/S monitoring for service within your environment, at a compelling pricepoint. Check them out with a credit-cardless free trial at Sponsored

An API building kit has escaped from the lab at AWS.

A yum repository for Lambda sounds intriguing but disturbing. Check it out.

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

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