Good morning!

Welcome to issue number 118 of Last Week in AWS.

The NYC summit was last week, and with it a lot of announcements–but first! I’ll be in Portland, Oregon (Fake Portland, for those of us who grew up in Maine) this week. If you’re around, let me know. If you have a company in Portland upon who you’d like to inflict my AWS roundtable Q&A song and dance, let me know. I’m thrilled to entertain people with stories from the cloud.

Now, before I dive into the litany of updates, I want to talk a bit about Werner’s keynote. For those who didn’t see it, Amazon’s CTO Werner Vogels gave a keynote, and was interrupted several times by protestors decrying AWS’s contracts with ICE, America’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement department. These issues are nuanced, and difficult to grapple with. I make it a point to not get political in public, and I maintain that position now–because I don’t believe “don’t separate children from their parents and place them in detention camps” is a political issue, but rather one of humanity. Werner’s statement was “we can have a conversation about this, but let me finish talking first.” Okay, that’s a fair ask. The keynote is over, so now let’s have that conversation.

This issue is sponsored in part by Site24x7.

With support for more than 25 AWS services and other popular public cloud platforms, Site24x7 aims to provide businesses complete visibility into the uptime, performance and operational health of their cloud-powered applications. Also with CloudSpend, their AWS cloud cost analytics solution in tow, the path to predictable AWS cost is not far away. Give them a spin.

This 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

A dive into making Lambda work for a SaaS company. It’s one of the three common use cases for Lambda: webapps, batch processing, and shaming container enthusiasts.

S3 Bucket Negligence Awards have progressed past embarrassing companies with data leaks and into leveraging them as attack platforms.

I guested on the Newsletterers podcast to talk about how and why I build this newsletter.

A plain-English explainer for Amazon CloudWatch.

Tom McLaughlin is shutting down ServerlessOps and going to work at Liberty Mutual instead. Keep an eye on him in the future…

An explainer about the broader consequences of Amazon EventBridge.


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 Aurora with PostgreSQL Compatibility Supports Serverless – Seven words in this title, and five of them are the name of the product. I lost interest before I got to the payoff.

Amazon ECS now offers improved capabilities for local testing – Assuming you’re one of those wusses who tests their code at all.

Amazon Elasticsearch Service increases data protection with automated hourly snapshots at no extra charge – Or use something like CHAOSSEARCH and store your data in S3 with ElasticSearch compatibility for a tenth the cost with full S3 lifecycles and versioning there. They’re not sponsoring this issue, I just like them–despite their inability to search successfully for the capslock key when typing their name.

Amplify Framework now Supports Adding AWS Lambda Triggers for events in Auth and Storage categories – Beats adding Lambdas just to make Cognito work properly due to its crappy CloudFormation support. Not kidding–that’s how the Auth category works around it.

The AWS Toolkit for Visual Studio Code is Now Generally Available – I maintain that VS Code is one of the best things to come out of Microsoft this decade–and that’s not a low bar.

AWS CodeBuild adds Support for Polyglot Builds – Great news for those dangerous maniacs who use fifteen languages in a single build.

AWS Config now enables you to provision AWS Config rules across all AWS accounts in your organization – The line between Config rules and Service Control Policies becomes increasingly blurry.

AWS Container Services launches AWS For Fluent Bit – Route your logs to S3, CloudWatch Logs, a bunch of vendors with dollar signs in their eyes, oh wait I already said CloudWatch Logs.

AWS Direct Connect launches third location in New York Metro Area – We now understand what caused the massive NYC power outage on Saturday.

AWS Elemental MediaLive Now Supports AWS CloudFormation – This is the single positive CloudFormation news item from last week. Good work?

AWS RoboMaker announces support for Robot Operating System (ROS) Melodic – While I have no idea what this is, I’m sure it’s got a beautiful singing voice.

Introducing Amazon CloudWatch Anomaly Detection – Now in Preview – This sounds great, but they had to ruin it by putting the term “machine learning” into the description. There is of course not yet any CloudFormation support.

Introducing Amazon EventBridge – An event bus under which you can now hurl your legacy datacenter staff as you teach your applications to speak to event driven architectures.

Introducing AWS Budgets Reports – Get emails telling you what your AWS bill is looking like, but only if you want to ruin the surprise at the end of the month…

Introducing Amazon CloudWatch Container Insights for Amazon ECS and AWS Fargate – Now in Preview – You no longer need to run Kubernetes to get intelligent insights about your container workloads, and in fact I suggest you don’t.

Large Match Support for Amazon GameLift Now Available – Why use matches of any size when you can simply use a butane lighter?

New AWS Public Datasets Available from Facebook, Yale, Allen Institute for Brain Science, NOAA, and others – Since when has Facebook given data back, rather that hoovering up anything they can get their paws on?

Optimize Cost with Amazon EFS Infrequent Access Lifecycle Management – Save money automatically, leaving you more time to regret using NFS unless you have to.

Session Manager launches Run As to start interactive sessions with your own operating system user account – You don’t need to give full root access to everyone who might want to access a node interactively anymore.

Session Manager launches tunneling support for SSH and SCP – You can tunnel X11 over SSH, so Systems Manager Session Manager Tunnel Manager Window Manager is a go!

The AWS Cloud Development Kit (AWS CDK) is Now Generally Available – Another wrapper layer around CloudFormation, this one makes it usable by developers without deep infrastructure backgrounds.

Use Atlassian Opsgenie with AWS Systems Manager to run the EC2Rescue tool | AWS Management Tools Blog – Now you too can use a third party tool to leverage a systems management tool to fire off a CLI tool. Don’t think too hard about that unless you want to get very depressed about the state of our industry.


A great Checklist to validate that your CloudFormation templates will work intelligently in the future.

Browsing the metadata endpoint as a filesystem from an EC2 instance is such a great idea I’m angry I hadn’t built something like this before.

This issue is sponsored in part by Raygun.

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.

Newsletter Footer

Sign up for Last Week in AWS

Stay up to date on the latest AWS news, opinions, and tools, all lovingly sprinkled with a bit of snark.

"*" indicates required fields

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.
Sponsor Icon Footer

Sponsor a Newsletter Issue

Reach over 30,000 discerning engineers, managers, and enthusiasts who actually care about the state of Amazon’s cloud ecosystems.