Good Morning!

Congratulations to my friend and colleague Caroline on getting married last week; I should probably plan on a lower “employee engagement” score this week. 🥁🐍

She handles media sales at the Duckbill Group, and that of course includes my ridiculous re:Quinnvent extravaganza; if you’d like to get your product, service, or badly named AWS feature launch in front of roughly 100K people, fill out the form and she’ll get back to you shortly.

From the Community

It’s really something to see my points about multi-cloud reflected in things that Lydia Leong (Gartner VP and Distinguished Analyst) writes; the cloud is NOT just someone else’s computer is so artfully framed that it’s well worth reading even if you completely disagree with every point that she makes.

Having run mailservers myself for a while now, this post about hosting email for close to free on SES is technically interesting but going to lead to a nightmare of spam fighting unless you enjoy scrolling past 40 scam emails an hour. No, not the ones from the AWS Partner Network.

An interesting point about the dangers of “Cloud-Prem”. I like the term!

Stephen O’Grady over at Redmonk opines about the future of cloud in Fragmentation Leads to Abstractions Which Lead to What? I’ll have my own thoughts on the future later this week.

Think the data lake is dead? Well think again – because with the ChaosSearch Data Lake Platform – the data lake is back! And now, courtesy of ChaosSearch, get complimentary access to the new 2021 Gartner Hype Cycle™ for Data Management. This new Gartner report assesses more than 30 different categories of data management technologies — including data lakes, multi-model DBMS, logical data warehouses, and more! Get your copy of this new Gartner report to learn: The top data management technologies in use today; which vendors offer solutions for each category of data management tech, and more! Take it from me, Corey Quinn, or take it from the growing list of ChaosSearch customers like Klarna, Blackboard, Equifax, Armor and more… the data lake is back.

My post on 17 MORE Ways to Run Containers on AWS should have been a joke but sadly it was not.

How AWS dumps the mental burden of inconsistent APIs on developers is a great story; so great that I asked Luke to write it as a guest post for Last Week in AWS. I really like this.

When I say that multi-cloud for “durability” or “availability” is foolish, I get yelled at. Well okay, how about having Charity Majors say it’s crap for application resilience then? I don’t advise yelling at her.

In an attempt to confound my ability to fix AWS bills, they’re now going to see if it breaks my business when they support more Asia-Pacific currencies for customer bills. Joke’s on them; I won’t ragequit until they support Bitcoin.


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

The Duckbill Group (that’s me!) is hiring a Head of Consulting Services to join the team. We’re looking for someone skilled in managing and leading people, as well as in building and optimizing delivery processes. As a member of the leadership team in a nine-person company, you contributions will be instrumental to our continued growth and success. AWS expertise isn’t required, but it’s certainly a bonus. If you’re interested in a role that’s fully-remote, has big impact, and you want off the VC rollercoaster, come check us out.

Do you enjoy mysteries? Consider applying to work on Amazon Detective! Answer tough questions like “why are they based in Boston?” “When would a customer want to use Amazon Detective vs. Security Hub?” And of course, “who murdered my AWS bill and why was it Amazon Macie?” They have a swath of roles in a fun city that I miss, and horrified-to-see-himself-mentioned-by-name-in-this-newsletter AWS VP Wayne Duso manages the Boston office so you’ll have plenty of opportunity for hijinks. If these roles interest you then consider applying and telling them that I sent you. You’ll notice the line gets very quiet for a minute or so afterwards as they grapple with what that probably implies.

Choice Cuts

How do you communicate with your users from your app? In most cases, it’s likely a labyrinth of coded templates and APIs. This doesn’t scale and that’s why we built Courier. The Courier API enables companies like LaunchDarkly and Lattice to deliver complex automated notification experiences quickly and efficiently. Read LaunchDarkly’s story or sign up for free. Sponsored

AWS Economic Impact Study: AWS Investment in New Zealand – At last we have numbers; the New Zealand AWS region will cost roughly $5.3 billion USD to build and operate for the first 15 years. I’ve been saying for a while that AWS regions almost certainly cost multiple billions each; now we have proof.

Amazon CloudWatch request metrics for Amazon S3 Access Points now available – This may be the first time where figuring out which application is hammering S3 with requests could become straightforward. Y’know, after you’re aware that it’s a problem in the first place.

Amazon Detective supports S3 and DNS finding types, adds finding details – This is gonna be awesome. No, not for customers; for Detective’s revenues. Suddenly it has an excuse to ingest a lot more data than it did before; this starts at $2 per GB.

Amazon DynamoDB now provides you more granular control of audit logging by enabling you to filter Streams data-plane API activity in AWS CloudTrail – Eventually every AWS service team discovers that the party is winding down, and they have to introduce features to let customers opt out of being billed for certain things.

Amazon EC2 Fleet instant mode now supports targeted Amazon EC2 On-Demand Capacity Reservations – I give up. I’ve read this thing three times and have no idea what the hell it’s trying to tell me. Help?

Amazon Lex announces utterances statistics for bots built using Lex V2 console and API – Why would you bother to define “utterance” in this context, or give an example of when you might care about statistics surrounding them? I’m starting to realize that an awful lot of my “I don’t get it” responses to AWS releases aren’t because I’m bad at understanding things.

Announcing General Availability of Tracing Support in AWS Distro for OpenTelemetry – This is interesting but I’m definitely going to wait for someone to glue all of the parts together into a service I can buy that lets me see what all of my Lambdas Function are doing.

AWS Ground Station announces Licensing Accelerator – Though they’d never thought about it before, for some reason “space” suddenly has Oracle’s complete and undivided attention.

AWS RoboMaker now supports container images in simulation – Super happy that this came out last week; it was the missing 34th way to run containers in AWS that finished up my post.

AWS Site-to-Site VPN releases updated Download Configuration utility – I… Look, this won’t mean much to most of you, but I remember the bad old days where the way we configured devices for site-to-site VPNs was guess and freakin’ check. This is basically magic to me; just let me have this one.

AWS WAF now offers in-line regular expressions – If you’ve finally learned to read WAF rules, AWS now has a feature destined to fix your little red wagon.

Know Before You Go (Virtually): A Guide to AWS at VMworld 2021 – Why on earth am I not finding out about this via a personalized invitation from VMware itself?! It’s almost like they don’t want me to livetweet the keynote or something…

Build Your Own Game Day to Support Operational Resilience – I have no idea why I’ve never heard of “Build Your Own Game” day before, but it’s almost certainly going to be the best holiday ever.

Detect Adversary Behavior in Seconds with CrowdStrike and Amazon EventBridge – This is a far cry from CloudTrail’s “detect adversary behavior in tens of minutes” and the AWS bill’s “detect adversary behavior in 3-5 days.” Of course it requires a third party to do that.

Optimizing your AWS Infrastructure for Sustainability, Part II: Storage – This post is, to be blunt, ridiculous. For some overwhelming majority of AWS’s customers, following all of the guidance in this post will result in no measurable climate benefit whatsoever. Customers will however read this and spend months implementing these things. On balance, everything suggested also results in lower cloud bills, so I suppose I’ll take it.

What to Consider when Selecting a Region for your Workloads – I was all set up to dunk on this for not including the things that actually matter, but… this post hits almost all of them. It touches on cost, which is the elephant in the room. It obviously nails data residency requirements. Latency is… sure, whatever. And then there’s “does this region have the service you want?”

Honestly, I bias for us-west-2 myself for two reasons: it almost always gets new features and services in the first wave, and it’s close enough to where I dwell in San Francisco that the latency isn’t really a concern when I’m typing into a terminal remotely. The fact that at last check it was one of the “green” regions is a nice bonus as well.

Amazon QuickSight Q – Business Intelligence Using Natural Language Questions – I often joke that “Amazon Aurora” set up an AWS service naming theme around Disney princesses. AWS clearly didn’t find that joke as funny as I did and launched a service that’s instead named after a character from “Star Trek: The Next Generation.”

AWS Cloud Builders – Career Transformation & Personal Growth – I love this; more stories like this please. One highlighted builder (Veliswa Boya) was a guest author of this newsletter while I was out on parental leave last year; she’s just fantastic.

In the Works – AWS Region in New Zealand – What tomfoolery is this? New Zealand, like Narnia, is clearly not a real place. I suppose this new region will be great for the folks who need to migrate workloads from their data centers in Old Zealand.

Scaling Ad Verification with Machine Learning and AWS Inferentia – “Ad verification” meaning “does it comply with seemingly arbitrary Amazon requirements” is probably the most Amazonian thing I saw last week. Just a reminder that Amazon Advertising may throw off money, but it’s also the single biggest erosion of customer trust in Amazon’s 27 year history. I no longer trust Amazon’s search results, and that’s no small thing. This example does absolutely nothing to alter that.

Trigger notifications on time series data with Amazon Timestream – This has strong “rebuilding CloudWatch from first principles” energy to it.

How Airports Can Innovate by Obsessing over Passenger Experience – This entire post talking about airports never once acknowledging the existence of airport lounges means that it complies with Amazon’s employee travel policy.

Integrating Amazon Location Service with AWS AI/ML services – Unfortunately it seems that Amazon Location Service lost an interdepartmental war as so many others have, and has been forced to shore up the Machine Learning® narrative. A moment of silence for the fallen, if you please.

Implementing a cross-account and cross-Region AWS Config status dashboard – One would think that this is exactly the sort of thing that one would be gaining for free by virtue of paying a cloud vendor. One would be gravely mistaken, apparently.

Solving the Traveling Salesperson Problem with deep reinforcement learning on Amazon SageMaker – The real answer to the Traveling Salesperson Problem was “pay AWS an extortionate pile of money” the whole time.

How to make the most of your AWS Summit Washington, DC experience – I’m told “try not to catch COVID-19 and die” is remarkably popular as well.

New research quantifies the value of AWS Training and Certification for AWS Partners – I’m sure there’s something less credible than a research study that AWS themselves have commissioned, but I can’t for the life of me imagine what that might be.


Imagine a world where you have the flexibility to welcome any change – any cloud —and take advantage of its opportunities. VMware can help make this world a reality. Find out how with VMware multi-cloud solutions that provide the choice, speed, and control you need to tackle any challenge and power every application across the data center, edge, and any cloud. Sponsored

This one is a bit different than the tools I usually talk about. It’s neither free, nor open source, nor a sponsor. Cloudash is a macOS desktop application that displays CloudWatch metrics and logs – that’s it. Sound ridiculous? Go use the 7-day free trial and tell me that this isn’t worlds better than trying to figure out the inscrutable CloudWatch console that AWS offers. I tried this and 20 minutes later became a paying customer; trust me on this one.

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

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