Good Morning!

Let’s try that again, since I don’t know how computers work. Last week’s issue was so good I apparently sent it out twice. From the top:

Welcome to issue number 133 of Last Week in AWS. I’m in Las Vegas for a couple of days for the DevOps Enterprise Summit, then scurrying to Usenix’s LISA conference in Portland Oregon. I’ll have something new to show you on Thursday; pay attention to the AWS Morning Brief‘s RSS feed. (That podcast also gives you a bit more analysis of AWS’s releases, with the same snarky tone you know and love from this newsletter.)

Let’s get to it–what happened Last Week in AWS?

From the Community

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I gave a fifteen minute talk about how I build this ridiculous newsletter every week. You’re welcome.

It’s not just me that attests that AWS service naming could use some work.

A dive into the Snowball Edge, a fun device and also two terms you should never under any circumstances look up on Urban Dictionary.

Forrest Brazeal’s always interesting newsletter has an innovative approach for how AWS could pay OSS developers. But they won’t.

An AWS Partners Guide to re:Invent 2019. “Here’s how to avoid being murdered by an AWS product” is suspiciously missing.

An interesting and non-snarky take a a cloud naming convention. I admit my first one was “characters from the Dune novels.” Mailservers were named after Guild navigators, DHCP servers were all named “Duncan Idaho” followed by a number, etc. It was… challenging to target these with regular expressions.

A sneaky attempt to avoid an S3 Bucket Negligence Award with no public statement falls flat as breach notification email recipients post them to Twitter. This week’s shame trophy goes to

A thoughtful read about what happens when AWS, Azure, or GCP Becomes the Competition. It could happen to you!

I did some actual research for a change and proved with an easily replicated test that cross-AZ data transfer in AWS costs as much as cross-region data transfer does. This means that the cheapest two points for data transfer between them are us-east-1 and us-east-2. I’m not joking.

I saw someone asking whether they should pick DigitalOcean or AWS for their next project. I answered honestly in a blog post. This one may upset some folks…

The Information names some high-spending data transfer by AWS Customers (paywall).

A DDoS attach took down parts of AWS. The Register is there with sarcasm and dismay.

Senators Wyden and Warren point the FTC towards AWS in the wake of the Capital One data breach. I appreciate the intent, but this feels misguided to me. That said, AWS could and should do more to protect the metadata endpoint; GCP hits this one out of the park.


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.

Don’t you know who I am?! If so, you should consider working for AWS Identity. They’ve got a hard problem–wrangling AWS IAM, Cognito, Organizations, and a bunch of other things that Can Not Go Down, all at tremendous scale. I’ve met with many of the team members–some of whom despise me, others of whom begrudgingly tolerate me, but they’re all fantastically sharp people who have the grace not to reach for fantastically sharp objects to drive away my mockery. This is one of the most fascinating teams within AWS; check them out and tell them I said hello–ideally in a vaguely threatening tone…

This week sees a new series of roles 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–specifically how to measure the health of the internet, and translate that into impact on your customers and users. What struck me is that 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. They’re hiring for all kinds of roles, including researchers, front-end engineering, a director of SRE, and many more.

Choice Cuts

CHAOSSEARCH allows you to turn terabytes of raw data into actionable insights in minutes… literally. If you want to use Elasticsearch APIs but want to spare yourself the constant “my Elasticsearch cluster has fallen over and it won’t get up” moments, check them out. Your data lives in your own S3 bucket, while their magic provides incredibly responsive queries… and you never have to move your data. Reach out to CHAOSSEARCH and tell them I sent you, and also to turn off their caps-lock key. Sponsored

“Alexa, I’m running late” – Alexa for Business enables Alexa users to inform their next meeting they will be late – You can now automate your lack of control over your own schedule and flagrant disregard for your colleagues’ time. In return, they’ll invoke an Alexa skill that endorses you on LinkedIn for “Time Management.”

Amazon Aurora Supports Cost Allocation Tags for Aurora Storage – Two AWS Billing System employees, their passions unrequited, cling to one another as the Heisenberg Uncertainty Metering System collapses in flaming ruin all around them. All they have left is each other.

Amazon DocumentDB (with MongoDB compatibility) Adds Support for Change Streams – Including items being updated, schemas being changed, and the database switching to MongoDB Compatibility Mode and corrupting all of your data for you.

Amazon Polly Launches two new voices in Neural Text-to-Speech technology – The two voices are of course “Disappointed Father Who You Just Told You’re Going to Art School” and “Fran Drescher.”

Amazon Transcribe Now Supports Australian English Speech-to-Text in Real Time – The problem was never the accent, but rather hardening the Transcribe systems to withstand the blistering stream of profanity.

AWS Amplify Console announces Pull-Request Previews for Fullstack Serverless Applications – Fortunately this is a GitHub integration, rather than AWS somehow thinking that a pull request was a git primitive.

AWS Batch Introduces New Allocation Strategies – In addition to the historical “optimize cost” allocation strategy, you can now set exactly how tall you’d like the Money Bonfire.

AWS Glue now provides the ability to rewind job bookmarks for your Spark ETL jobs – You should also be kind and rewind your Netflix streams when you’re done watching them as a courtesy to the next customer.

AWS IoT Device Tester v 2.1.0 for AWS Greengrass is now available – “AWS IoT Device Tester” sounds like the worst freaking internship you could possibly get.

AWS Managed Services (AWS) Adds Developer Mode to Accelerate Migrations – You can now enable Developer Mode and pay AMS to spend all day on Hacker News arguing about how your app is easy to build over the course of a weekend instead of doing work.

AWS Managed Services adds support for 29 additional AWS Services – …but there are still over 100 services that they won’t support. You could do worse than to use this as a codex to which services actually matter.

AWS OpsWorks for Chef Automate Now Supports Custom Domains – …and that concludes our breaking news report from a decade ago. Over to Jeff with the weather.

Increase AWS Single Sign-On security with multi-factor authentication using authenticator apps – FINALLY. Until now you’ve only been able to make this work with a second factor of “code they email to you–slowly.”

Now available: Amazon Linux 2 and New Instance Types for Amazon GameLift – Huzzah, Pedro the Corporate Memo Donkey has completed his treacherous journey through the mountains and finally delivered the good news from one AWS service team to another before the snows of winter set in.

200 Amazon CloudFront Points of Presence Price Reduction | AWS News Blog – A price reduction only in South America, to be clear. It’s long been extortionately expensive to pay for bandwidth in Brazil due to governmental factors, and this 56% reduction definitely helps—but don’t confuse this for an across the board cut.

AWS Management and Governance at AWS re:Invent 2019 | AWS Management & Governance Blog – “High Velocity Service Delivery” feels like someone ruining your week with a ticket number taped to a baseball.

Controlling your AWS costs by deleting unused Amazon EBS volumes | AWS Management & Governance Blog – Or, y’know, do it with three lines of shell script? This doesn’t require a native offering from AWS–or if it does, maybe that offering could be a bit more proactive?

Your AWS re:Invent 2019 guide to AWS Identity sessions, workshops, and chalk talks | AWS Security Blog – And now the various service teams launch blog posts competing for your time and attention at re:Invent. Instead, come to SEC212 (we’re giving it twice!) and enjoy hearty laughs, fabulous prizes, and a petting zoo unless AWS fails to properly read my speaking rider.


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

I’m interested in AWSume, which makes assuming roles suck less.

Functional programming meets the CDK in aws-cdk-pure.

Early days for reach, a tool that discovers the impact that your AWS configuration has on the flow of your network traffic.

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

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