Good morning!

Welcome to issue number 127 of Last Week in AWS.

This week I’ll be at Oracle OpenWorld in San Francisco after successfully cyberbullying my way into a press pass. I’ll be livetweeting at least one keynote later today. This should be… something.

From the Community

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Helen Anderson comes up with a primer on AWS From A to Z. I love things like this.

Using Step Functions to reduce VPC costs. Seems reasonable to me.

Fascinating; one of a couple attempts to get DynamoDB API compatibility on top of something that isn’t DynamoDB. I wonder what drives this; pricing, fear of lock-in, or merely a profound distaste for databases that aren’t Route 53?

The House Judiciary Committee has asked a bunch of tech companies for information, including a lot of internal correspondence. Among them is AWS, and how it uses data about their customers to inform their own product decisions. This should prove fascinating.

Vitesse and Aurora together lead to some pretty impressive transaction numbers.

An answer to a question you don’t want to ever have to ask: what happens when you push AWS credentials to GitHub?

I missed this highlight of the AWS Heroes Program by the largest newspaper in India.

AWSgeek Jerry Hargrove once again does a gorgeous visual service summary, this time about AWS KMS.

CloudForecast talks about building an Event-driven Pipeline in AWS Using Serverless. It’s handy–and so’s the product.

ConvertKit published a teardown of its monthly AWS bill. In a nod to transparency, I conducted my own analysis for them.

I finally redid the last version of the Data Transfer Pricing Diagram from the Open Guide to AWS. My version features a platypus. If you ever wonder what it costs to move data around in AWS, this one’s for you.

A thoughtful article on Unbundling AWS.


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

​​This week’s AWS team of note is none other than the EC2 team! In addition to being huge “Wheel of Fortune” fans (watch as they try to buy more vowels for their instance names!), they’re making massive strides in networking, virtualization, compute–and all of it at a scale you won’t find anywhere else. Take a look, check out what they’re hiring for, and then do me a personal favor and berate them for their cross-AZ data transfer pricing while you’re talking to them. That’ll endear you to them right quick! My thanks to AWS for their continued support, or at least tolerance, of me. ​​

​​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; join X-Team and see for yourself. Tell them Corey sent you…​​

​​Do you want to work in the Bay Area? Almost certainly not; the people are insufferable here. Consider instead staying wherever the hell in the US you happen to be and talking to Truss, a software consultancy. Picture all of the advice that I’d give you, and now envision that wrapped in something you could tell a customer without getting punched right in your sarcastic mouth. That’s what Truss does, but they for some unknown reason don’t describe it that way. Currently, they are seeking Senior Software Engineers anywhere in the US (yes, even the crappy parts) to help them with commercial and government contracts. Seriously, read this thing–they tell you what levels they’re looking to hire at AND THEN THEY EXPLAIN THEM SO YOU DON’T FEEL LIKE A MORON FOR NOT KNOWING THEIR INTERNAL RUBRIC! Virtually any other hiring manager who happens to be reading this should look at their job descriptions and feel comparatively ashamed.

Choice Cuts

Amazon EKS Now Supports the EBS CSI Driver – CSI:Driver was a terrible show. It was difficult to…. puts on sunglasses contain my snark. YYYEEEEEAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!

Announcing AWS PrivateLink support for Amazon Rekognition – Finally, a Rekognition release that isn’t abjectly awful or profoundly tone-deaf. Good work, AWS.

Announcing General Availability of Amazon Quantum Ledger Database (QLDB) – QLDB is finally GA! CloudFormation support on day one! It’s before the next re:Invent! Where am I going to find something to snark about–oh, right, it’s BlockChain-alike and has no real-world use cases. There we go!

AWS Marketplace Makes It Easier to Deploy Lambda Functions with AMIs – …and continues to mispronounce AMI. It has three syllables. I feel I’ve been very clear on this point.

AWS Storage Gateway adds Amazon CloudWatch logging and metrics for File Gateway – Finally, an answer to the question “how can we make more money from customers’ use of this already spendy service?”

AWS Transfer for SFTP now supports logical directories for Amazon S3 – This is great for folks using SFTP for S3. If you think this is a bad thing that nobody should be using, I encourage you to consider others’ use cases before going full Hacker News on people.

Elastic Load Balancing: Network Load Balancers now support multiple TLS certificates using Server Name Indication (SNI) – Somehow I missed that NLB supported TLS termination. Sweet! Periodic reminder, NLBs (unlike ALBs and ELBs) don’t need to be pre-warmed. You can dump a lot of traffic on these things and they’ll scale instantly, because mumble mumble Hyperplane.

Manage your Amazon EFS limits with AWS Service Quotas – But not the kind of NFS quotas you’re probably thinking about. One user can absolutely use All The Disk(tm).

Now Add Additional Metadata to Amazon VPC Flow Logs – “Like VPC Flow Logs, only useful.” Don’t worry vendors, you’ll still need something else to get useful answers to very basic questions such as “what workload exactly is shoving 20PB a day through a Managed NAT Gateway?!”

AWS Service Catalog Announces Budget Visibility – “BRING MONEY!” becomes a lot more granular.

WorkMail Message Flow SDK – Sweet, I get to work on the bodies of email inside of Lambda functions?! That means I can–wait, I have to use WorkMail? Nevermind.

Using new vCPU-based On-Demand Instance limits with Amazon EC2 – This is awesome. Instead of a hilarious ~250 service limits around EC2, they’re reducing them down to number-of-vCPUs per account. This will go a long way towards not surprising people with unexpected limits when they’re scaling something out in new accounts. This is a very, very welcome change. Well done, AWS.

Running AWS Infrastructure On Premises with AWS Outposts | AWS Compute Blog – AWS continues to tease with more information about AWS Outposts, “AWS for On-Prem.” So far all we know is 1. it’ll cost a mint and 2. that VMware is all about it (see: point 1).

Introducing Amazon CloudWatch Container Insights for Amazon ECS | AWS Management Tools Blog – “We have this thing called Container Insights” is all well and good, but it takes a post like this to demonstrate how you might use such a thing, along with why you might care.

Why Does AWS Contribute to Open Source? The Firecracker Example | AWS Open Source Blog – My thoughts around this are nuanced and complicated, so I’ll just say that Firecracker is superbly named. You’ll try to build Lambda with it yourself and blow your damn hands off in the process.


Yet another tool to keep track of what the hell AWS has released over the previous week. Isn’t it a bit sad that these are necessary?

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

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