Welcome to the fourth issue of Last Week in AWS.

This week I’ll be attending the AWS Summit in San Francisco. If you’re going to be around, hit reply– I’d love to hear your perspective on the event.

Community Contributions

Arun Gupta has left Couchbase to become a Principal Open Source Technologist at AWS. He’s a pillar of the community, a fantastic hire, and proof that even running marathons for a decade doesn’t mean you can outrun AWS’s hiring team forever.

The #awswishlist hashtag periodically turns up gems, such as last week’s My AWS Wishlist for 2017 from A Cloud Guru. Great list of feature enhancements for serverless shops; I’d be surprised if we didn’t see some of these come to fruition in the coming months.

It’s become apparent since late last year that AWS is quietly killing Reduced Redundancy S3– it’s now more expensive than standard S3. I expand on this a bit more in my consultancy’s blog post Reduced Redundancy S3 is Dead.

The Architecht Show has an interview with Segment’s CTO on how they slashed $1 million from their AWS bill, how they capture data from their SaaS products, and discusses the value of Cloud Computing over physical datacenters.

Choice Cuts From the AWS Blog

Pollexy – Building a Special Needs Voice Assistant with Amazon Polly and Raspberry Pi – A great story that shows how technology can be used in service of furthering human connection.

The Top Eight Tips for GameDay Success (and some GameDon’ts!) – Amazon talks about tips for succeeding at its CTF-style game they host at AWS summits. “Unicorn.Rentals” is either the fictitious startup contestants manage, or their newest Premier partner; I was too afraid to ask.

Jump-start your mobile app testing on AWS Device Farm with increased free trial minutes and discounted device slots – The free trial of Device Farm has temporarily gotten a bit sweeter with a 4x increase in device minutes. AWS’s Device Farm is a little-known Amazon service that runs thousands of real Android and IOS devices for mobile application testing. If you haven’t heard of Device Farm, feel free to click the link and verify that this isn’t a delayed April Fools Day prank– the first time someone told me about it I didn’t believe them either.


Stack Overflow has released DNSControl, a tool to manage DNS records at scale and across multiple providers. Route53 is supported, along with virtually every other major DNS provider. This tool stands to replace a large swath of custom scripts many of us have written but are too embarrassed to talk about. It’s similar in some ways to Terraform, but with a much more focused approach to DNS.

Terraform 0.9.3 was released, bringing improved support for a handful of Lightsail, SES, IAM, and API Gateway features. If a large shop isn’t using CloudFormation to manage infrastructures programmatically, they’re likely using Terraform.

Tip of the Week

Late last year AWS increased the number of tags per resource from 10 to 50. This still occasionally catches people off guard, so it’s worth a reminder. I’m not suggesting it’s a good idea to turn AWS tags into a homebuilt configuration management database– but now there’s at least one technical blocker that’s gotten out of the way.

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

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