Good morning!

Welcome to issue number 117 of Last Week in AWS.

Welcome to the AWS morning brief. I am cloud economist Corey Quinn, fixing AWS bills here in San Francisco or wherever I happen to find them. Today is July 8th, and I am currently heading to NY for the AWS summit later this week.

This episode is sponsored by Influx Data, the creators of InfluxDB. InfluxDB is like Amazon Timestream, except it has customers. In addition to being actually available for sale, it’s also the de facto time series database you probably use if you need a time series database. More about them a bit later–or if you’re impatient, visit

I’ll be in New York all week for the summit, but also to bother people. If you’re in NYC and want to catch up, or hear me rant about some technology or other to folks in your office, let me know. I’m always up to meet folks with interesting AWS environments, as well as pass out Billie the Platypus stickers, pins, and drink umbrellas. On Thursday I’ll be hosting theCUBE, a live video show from the expo hall itself–and of course I’ll be aggressively livetweeting the keynote.

Last week was a bit of a slow week in terms of AWS announcements. It turns out that with reInforce the week before, one of their largest summits in NYC this week, plus the US federal holiday on Thursday, plus the Friday being a lost day due to a combination of hangovers and people who blew their hands clean off either with fireworks or Amazon’s open source Firecracker project, there just wasn’t a lot of time for releases. It’s okay; we forgive them.

As always, the humorous analysis of releases of this issue is available in podcast form at the AWS Morning Brief, available in a podcast reader near you.

This issue is sponsored in part by NetApp.

Yes, NetApp! Not everyone’s environment is a born-in-the-cloud startup that sprang fully formed into the world a year ago. Some of us have on-premises data centers, which give rise to hybrid cloud environments. How do you monitor those? Consider NetApp’s Cloud Insights to grant insight into all of your infrastructure—not just the parts that live in a public cloud somewhere. Thanks to NetApp for their support of this newsletter.

This week’s issue is sponsored in part by Postmark.

As you’ve probably guessed, I care a lot about email—and making sure people receive it. Postmark is one of the companies in that space that delivers on what they promise—and do it well. They provide lightning fast delivery for application emails—on time, every time. Their API is so simple even a Cloud Economist can understand it. Leave the email deliverability bits to the professionals; try Postmark. Use the code AWS20 for 20% off of your first three months. My thanks to them for sponsoring this ridiculous newsletter.

From the Community

If you write with Typescript and use Lambda, this guide to Lambda / API Gateway error handling integration is worth the read.

How a company migrated 6.5TB to S3.

A high level view of the common causes of cloud outages. Credit where due–GCP gets points for transparency that Azure and AWS don’t.

My favorite but not included in this 12 uncommon ways to invoke your serverless functions on AWS listing is to open an AWS support ticket and persuade the rep to invoke the function for me.

A dive into something that’s not well understood: AWS Step Functions — why you should use them. I maintain AWS should make Step Functions free if they want to see them adopted more widely. They’re aready billing for the resources they consume…

A dive into how to effectively handle Cloud9 IAM permissions. It’s not as simple as you’d think.

An AWS employee opines on Chaos Engineering. No, not Adrian Cockcroft.

A dive into releasing a custom AWS Lambda Haskell Runtime. Because when you work with Haskell, this is your life now.

Werner Vogels (Amazon’s CTO, but more famously moonlights as “DJ Distributed”) reveals that Amazon Aurora development team won the 2019 ACM SIGMOD Systems Award.

I complain on Twitter about AWS all the time, and Jeff Barr (among others!) patiently explains why I’m wrong. This is the nature of things. Apparently if you’re Richard Boyd, Business Insider writes an entire article about it. Someday I’ll be that much of an influencer…

I missed this when it came out: AWS CEO Andy Jassy states that if regulators demand that AWS spin off from Amazon, they would follow the law. I think that’s a foregone conclusion–Amazon follows the laws where it does business, as do all publicly traded companies that aren’t Volkswagen, but the idea is intriguing. I think an AWS spin-off would be fascinating; it’d certainly make my job easier.

While much of this won’t apply to the general use case, PubNub’s guide to optimizing EC2 at scale is worth a look.

Amazon has declined to admit its carbon emissions in Australia, and… it’s not a good look. Either they’re monstrously high, they’re not willing to be transparent (then don’t be a public company), or their emissions are low–in which case calling it out is a benefit, not a competitive disadvantage. Do better on this issue.


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

As the famous haiku goes, “It’s not DNS / There is a no way it’s DNS / It was DNS.” At AWS, DNS is handled by the Route53 team, and they’re hiring. It’s a world-spanning service with a public 100% SLA, solving fascinating distributed systems problems. You need not be a subject matter expert in DNS to join the team—but smart money says you’ll become one after you’re hired! If I were to pick any team to work within at AWS, it’d probably be Route53; check them out.

X-Team is hiring for a fully remote team, anywhere on the planet. The work is interesting, they partner with companies you’ve heard of, and you can work from wherever you care to be. Now before you wind up getting cynical, let me save you some time–I already did, and hopped on a phone call to chat with them and then berate them for their crappy culture. Instead I was pleasantly surprised: they invest in their people (including a personal development stipend), they have distributed community events (both online and in person around the world), and actually work with their employees; this isn’t a “send us a postcard if you ever get there” body shop. They’re looking for folks with AWS skills, as well as a wide variety of other technical abilities; this is legit. Take my word for it; check out X-Team and see for yourself. Tell them Corey sent you…

Choice Cuts

Amazon DocumentDB (with MongoDB compatibility) Now Provides Cluster Deletion Protection – DocumentDB continues to deviate from upstream MongoDB by making it actively harder to lose all of your data by accident.

Amazon DocumentDB (with MongoDB compatibility) Now Supports Stopping and Starting Clusters – A sad end to the ♪ ♫ ♬ THERE AIN’T NO PARTY LIKE A DOCUMENTDB CLUSTER PARTY BECAUSE A DOCUMENTDB CLUSTER PARTY DON’T STOP♪ ♫ ♬ era.

Amazon DynamoDB now supports deleting a global secondary index before it finishes building – No longer does an errant mouse click consume an hour of your day!

Amazon Aurora Supports Cloning Across AWS Accounts – It’s getting way easier every day to run multiple AWS accounts without screaming, tearing your hair out, and hunting people down with water balloons in Seattle.

Top 10 Security Blog posts in 2019 so far | AWS Security Blog – I’m sad that my profile didn’t make the cut.


A state machine that figures out the most optimal Lambda configuration in which to run. I’m looking forward to testing this one…

This handy tool spits out current AWS prices in Google Sheets.

A “VPN in ten minutes” guide on top of AWS is something a bunch of us need from time to time; this one works.

A much needed guide on how to find the right CloudWatch logs faster from XRay traces.

Remember Yahoo? Me neither, but the Tumblr blog that used to belong to Yahoo engineers has just posted a new open source tool; Ariel helps plan RI purchases intelligently.

This issue is sponsored in part by Raygun.

Highlights from the AWS and Raygun tech leader’s panel: Closing the gap between code and customer**
How can we achieve a balance between product delivery and preserving software quality? We get 60 tech leaders in a room to hear how top companies monitor what matters. Watch the discussion

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

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