Good Morning!

This is the last Monday issue of Last Week in AWS of the year. Somehow we made it to the end of a rather eventful twelve months; I’ll have a roundup for you on Wednesday.

Thanks for reading; getting your replies (even if they’re just a ‘your opinion is bad’ or ‘lol’) is absolutely the highlight of my week. You can always hit reply to these and tell me exactly what you think! Enjoy the new year; 2022 should be brighter for most of us.

From the Community

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Bloomberg has an article (paywall I think?) about all of the awesome exec hires MongoDB has made from AWS lately. They missed Rick Houlihan who joined last week; he was the face of DynamoDB single table design. Honestly I’ve been pretty skeptical of MongoDB for a long time; the list of people I deeply admire who are working there now is lengthy enough that it’s certainly time for me to revisit the product. More to come on that next year.

In response to the “don’t use CloudFormation” push comes a rebuttal, predictably titled DO use AWS CloudFormation (a response).

AWS reference customer Cerner is getting acquired by Oracle. I swear, if there are paid promotional blog posts talking about “AWS loses customer workloads to Oracle” when Cerner migrates things to Oracle Cloud I am not going to be gentle. It doesn’t count if your customer acquisition strategy is “we buy the company!”

I had a post on the sad reality that many folks are significantly Overstating AWS’s Free Tier Generosity.

us-east-1 had another outage, specifically due to power failure. This one was confined to a single availability zone, but given the sensitivity of its recent outages it got more press than it arguably deserved.


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

We’ve opened a role for a Principal Cloud Economist here at The Duckbill Group. The short version: SRE background, We’re paying $250,000/yr, which includes a revenue share (aka commission, but we have a sales team already; this isn’t a sales role!). We also have a 6% match on your 401k and annual performance bonus. We have: No production systems! No on-call! No travel!

We work a standard schedule (9-5ish), we’re fully remote, offer benefits aimed at actual human beings (healthcare, parental leave, miscarriage leave), and offer a chance to work to build something bigger than any of us can achieve on our own. We go into some depth on what we do as well as how we approach working with our staff on our site.

One other thing: if you point the person we end up hiring towards us, we’ll pay you a $5K bonus as a thank you(as determined by asking the successful candidate who referred them in).

The AWS Transactional Services team builds some of the most foundational distributed systems that underpin and power many of the large AWS services and several of the most critical components of the retail platform. We specialize in building high performance, highly available data systems that provide strong transactional guarantees at scale.

We’re named Glassdoor’s #1 Best Place to Work! We’re building the analytics engine that helps 6,000 companies make smarter decisions.Heap is hiring Senior Infrastructure Engineers and Senior DevOps Engineers for our Platform Infrastructure team!

If you’re ENTHUSIASTIC about scaling Engineering Ops via Cloud Engineering Ops; COLLABORATIVE in selecting and incorporating the best DevOps tooling to support scale; and DRIVEN toward infrastructure-as-code and production-release made easy; continue because there’s more:While the above highlights DevOps, we are looking to obtain those who enjoy building with a focus on stability, operability, and tools to help us de-risk our stack and add more 9s to our availability.

If we’ve piqued your interest, find out more below and apply here: Infrastructure Engineer, Platform (Senior / Staff)

Heap Engineering Blog: Virtual Events: Making Data-Driven Decisions a Reality

Our mission is to make AWS the safest computing service in the world. We do this by building services and tools that our customers use to get cryptography right, and by making it easy for them to deploy encryption everywhere. We are also the stewards of cryptography at Amazon, and we are prescriptive about its use. Our scale and expertise allows us to provide our customers with a suite of tools and services that secure their data far more effectively within AWS than what they can achieve on premises. We enable customers to store, manage, and safely use encryption keys and manage SSL/TLS certificates. Our AWS Encryption SDK allows customers to implement client-side encryption in their applications. We provide design reviews and integration support in the use of our tools. We are the cryptographic experts in AWS. We design, and analyze the use of, cryptographic algorithms. We develop core implementations of existing and emerging cryptographic algorithms for cloud-scale usage. We administer the AWS Cryptography Bar Raisers, an AWS-wide resource for ensuring use of cryptographic algorithms receives adequate review. We interface with the global cryptographic community through participation in international conferences, the open literature and standards organizations with a goal of influencing the adoption of quantum-safe cloud-scale cryptographic technology.

The AWS Billing team delivers timely and accurate invoicing to customers to enable confident purchasing decisions at all phases of cloud adoption. We’re building a modern commerce platform for the future of IT: enabling cloud-native pricing for all AWS services, keeping pace with rapid global expansion, and delivering at an unmatched scale. Our team sits between every AWS service team and every single AWS customer, generating millions of invoices worth billions of dollars every month. Most importantly, we work backwards from our customers to drive innovation and the new functionality that they have come to expect from AWS. As part of the AWS Billing team, you’ll be part of delivering the necessary capabilities to bring services to customers around the world, supporting custom pricing and billing models, driving global compliance, and generating customer invoices. You will run massively-scaled services and your ownership will start with metering records and contractual arrangements and end with the customer’s invoice. Our team is passionate about career development through mentorship, training, and upskilling. We also support flexible schedules to help our team achieve a better work-life balance.

Choice Cuts

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Amazon Chime SDK now supports stereo audio – Ah, the dulcet tones of two managers yelling at you at the same time can now be yours for a small fee.

AWS Cost Management now supports hourly granularity in Savings Plans Utilization and Coverage reports – This hasn’t been a priority before now since an unfortunate number of companies claim to be elastic, yet their spend doesn’t vary hour to hour.

AWS Lambda now supports Internet Protocol Version 6 (IPv6) endpoints for inbound connections – There are two ways you adopt IPv6: slowly, and then all at once.

AWS Secrets Manager now automatically enables SSL connections when rotating database secrets – Why is it that every announcement about TLS or SSL that I see from AWS generates the same reaction of “wait, what the HELL were you doing before now?!”

AWS Trusted Advisor adds three optimization checks for Microsoft SQL Server on Amazon EC2 – Does it point out that you can save a whole bunch of money by running SQL Server on Azure instead? No, this isn’t because Azure’s solved some miracle problem in Cloud Economics, but rather because Microsoft are (despite their attempts at reputational rehabilitation) still being absolute dickheads about their licensing to any cloud that isn’t their woefully insecure “platform.”

EC2 Image Builder adds console support for custom image creation from on-premise images – You can now migrate your on-premises (not on-premise; on premises) nonsense to AWS one more way. You can probably use this to run containers now that I think about it…

Gaining Operational Insights of the Australian Census with AWS – The last time they ran the Australian census it was with IBM; it was such a disaster that the Prime Minister publicly blamed them. This time it was on AWS and actually worked. Here’s a post explaining how.

Automate multi account identity governance in AWS using Ermetic and AWS Control Tower – “Prerequisite: you must subscribe to Ermetic in the AWS marketplace first.” That starts at $144K a year but go ahead AWS; just knock yourself out there. May as well say if you’re not a multi-billion dollar company, you need not read further.”

Cost savings by customizing metrics sent by Container Insights in Amazon EKS – “Our metrics fees are so high that the only responsible thing to do is use a third party to pare down the noise first” shouldn’t be worth a blog post except it very much is.

Mint and deploy NFTs to the Ethereum blockchain using Amazon Managed Blockchain – Sometimes I’m accused of being mean to AWS service teams. That is never my intention except in very specific cases like this, where the absolute bullshit they’re pushing is actively harmful. Sidestepping the NFT debate entirely, I’m confident in saying that nobody, absolutely nobody wants to use a Managed Blockchain service from a centralized provider. The depressing part here isn’t that Amazon is trying to grift with NFTs, it’s that with so many profitable opportunities for grifting that this is somehow the best effort they could muster.

Amazon Nimble Studio: The story so far – If one AWS service was going to be a head-turning breakout success when it comes to storytelling, it was going to be Nimble Studio. I’m very interested in what these folks are doing.

How to fix SSH issues on EC2 Linux instances using AWS Systems Manager – I do not miss the days when “I have locked myself out of my EC2 instance” meant it was time to back it up, throw it away, and spin up a new one as penance.

Monitoring AWS Lambda errors using Amazon CloudWatch – I prefer to monitor AWS Lambda errors by waiting for people to email me with angry words and poor punctuation.


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Now for something suspiciously positive: Tobias Schmidt has penned a list of His Most Loved AWS Developer Tools & Resources. I largely agree with it.

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

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