Good morning!

Welcome to issue number 100 of Last Week in AWS. It’s hard to believe it’s been two years; this newsletter has come a very long way from the first issue two years ago. To the original 550 subscribers as well as the roughly 11,000 of you that’ve joined along the way: thanks. Your support, your readership, and your willingness to tell me when I get it wrong are invaluable. Here’s to the next 100 issues–soon to be in a more visually appealing style.

In sadder news, AWS’s own Chuck Meyer left the CloudFormation developer advocacy team last week. As a parting shot, he’s started a terrible fundraiser (the previous version apparently benefited a problematic charity; the funds will be pooled) in an effort to lead people down a stray path. I’m a man of my word; the funding threshold has been met, and I will thus begrudgingly spend an entire episode of Screaming in the Cloud mispronouncing “AMI” with only two syllables. Should our stretch goal be reached, I will have a second episode wherein I wrongly correct the guest each time they pronounce it with three syllables. It’s a good cause, but I can’t help but feel as if I’ve sold my soul.

Lastly, if you’re in Seattle, it’s time once again for my live comedy show, Tonight in AWS at the Hard Rock Cafe next Thursday. This time we’re trying something a bit different; tickets are $20, with all proceeds to benefit Mary’s Place. See you next Thursday if you’re in town.

Community Contributions

Last Week in AWS sponsor DigitalOcean just released a new Marketplace featuring a catalog of preconfigured 1-Click Apps from partners that they claim will save us all from “dependency hell” and make it even easier to spin up popular DevOps tools, frameworks, stacks, and analytics packages on their cloud. Some interesting launch partners in the mix including Plesk, Grafana, Gitlab, and OpenFaaS. Thanks again to the sharks over at DigitalOcean for swimming with us.

This article asks Is AWS Fargate The Future of Containers? Betteridge’s law of headlines answers “No.”

A very high level introduction to AWS itself. I try to ensure that I include content for all skill levels, and this is a great primer.

Richard Boyd of iRobot talks about building asynchronous APIs for operations that take longer than API Gateway or Lambda’s timeouts. He even provides templates!

A dive into using AWS Ground Station, a service many of you think I made up for laughs.

Yan Cui talks about using DynamoDB TTL as an ad-hoc scheduling mechanism. I like the idea–and his findings are interesting.

Abby Fuller talks about the principles of the container team at AWS.

Intermix talks about how they smacked 28% off of their RedShift bill, which one can only imagine would be four orders of magnitude larger on Oracle.


For some unfathomable reason, this week’s issue is sponsored in part by AWS Recruiting. The best part of working at AWS is in getting more of my inside-baseball jokes. The AWS AI team is hiring smart people to help the rest of the world understand my sad excuse for a sense of humor. No matter where you go, there you are–this team is hiring worldwide. My thanks to AWS Recruiting for suspending their better judgement and sponsoring this ridiculous newsletter.

Choice Cuts From the AWS Blog

This issue is sponsored in part by N2WS. As much as 60% of our monthly AWS bill is dedicated to EC2 compute resources —a lot of which aren’t being used all the time. Being able to simply “power of” groups of resources with a mouse click is the same as shutting the lights off when you leave the room—it’s just good sense and saves huge amounts of money in the long term. This is why N2WS Backup & Recovery v2.5 is such a game-changer for anyone running in AWS. And they’re giving you 30 days to try it out for free, no strings.

AWS Systems Manager now supports on-premises instance management for large hybrid environments – Introducing AWS Systems Manager Datacenter Manager, for confusing the heck out of where exactly the line lies between the cloud and your physical servers.

AWS License Manager enhances support for tracking instances on premises – Introducing AWS License Manager On-Prem Manager.

Amazon Corretto 11 is Now Available as a Release Candidate – …whereas Starbucks’ new Cloud Macchiato is generally available.

Amazon ECS Introduces Enhanced Container Dependency Management – Ordering is super important, otherwise you wind up taking me down to Concurrency City, where are the is green pretty and grass the girls is.

Announcing the new AWS Direct Connect Console – Direct Connect is rarely something you’ll deal with. Either you’re entirely in the cloud, in which case you don’t really need a service that talks to your datacenter, or else you’re hybrid–in which case this service is “set it up once and never touch it again.” Still, it’s nice to see a refresh.

Announcing the Preupgrade Assistant to Migrate to Amazon Linux 2 From Amazon Linux AMI – I’m vaguely disappointed that they didn’t manage to shove the words “Systems Manager” into this.

AWS Amplify Console Adds Support for Instant CDN Cache Invalidation and Delta Deployments – Having solved “cache invalidation,” AWS doubles down on “naming things” as the single remaining hard problem in Computer Science.

Introducing new AWS Digital Customer Experience Competency Partner Solutions – “AWS Digital Customer Experience Competency Partner Solutions” shows that when challenged, AWS’s naming team can top itself.

New Amazon SNS Console Now Available – I can’t wait for the new SNES games to come to this platform!

TrueCar’s Dynamic Routing with AWS Lambda@Edge | Networking & Content Delivery – Once upon a time, I was a consultant engaged at the company that acquired / became TrueCar. It’s nice to see that they’ve migrated to AWS and out of the on-premises environment that I was working within. Even more amusingly, this post ended up being written by Regis Wilson–a guy who was briefly my boss at a completely different company. It’s nice to see that he’s doing well, and guesting on the AWS blog. If you’re reading this: we’re overdue for a coffee, Regis.


This week’s issue is sponsored in part by Scalyr. They’re hosting an online workshop Tue 3/26 at 9:00am PT on building, deploying and monitoring containers. Sylvia Fronczak (Software Engineer) and Dave McAllister (Scalyr Community Guy) will show live code and examples to accompany container orchestration concepts. They’ll also show how to get started with monitoring containers. Sign up for the online workshop.

I tripped over this handy way to match containers to host processes.

A static site uploader for Amazon S3 seems handy if the traditional awscli doesn’t quite get you where you want to go.

This toolkit imports AWS detailed billing reports (deprecated in favor of Cost and Usage Reports) into RedShift (AWS’s data warehouse offering) in order to make sense of them, highlighting exactly how much AWS billing despises you, its customer (extremely).

This Cloud comparison tool is interesting in that unlike many others, it starts to speak to what large companies generally care about (SLAs, regional availability, etc) instead of things that don’t move the needle on the decision (specific instance specs).

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

I’m Corey Quinn. I help people significantly reduce and understand their AWS bills and speak broadly on the conference circuit. In addition to this newsletter, I host the Screaming in the Cloud podcast about the business of cloud computing, featuring me talking to folks who are good at things; it’s a nice contrast.

If you’ve enjoyed reading this, tell your friends to sign up at (or post a link in your company Slack team!) about it. As always, if you’ve seen a blog post, a tool, or anything else AWS related that you think the rest of the community should hear about, send them my way. You can either hit reply– or join the #lastweekinaws channel on the og-aws Slack team.

List archives are always available at

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