Welcome to the 31st issue of Last Week in AWS.

Congratulations— for the first time in ages, there was no new S3 Bucket Negligence Award to bestow this week. I’m sure someone out there got popped, it just hasn’t hit the media yet. Re:Invent grows ever closer, the pace of releases increases, and it grows ever-harder to keep up. Onward! But first, this week’s issue is sponsored by CloudHealth.


Reserved Instances (RIs) can appear complicated, but this eBook will ease that. Learn all about: 1) how to make effective RI purchases, 2) new instance types and general usage, 3) planning, managing, and optimizing your purchases, and 4) modifying existing reservations.

Read today to learn how to simplify reservation management

Community Contributions

Hackernoon has an article on applying Chaos Engineering principles to AWS Lambda. For those who are unaware, Chaos Engineering is about introducing planned failures and seeing how your environment responds. It’s an excellent exercise in playing off failures as things you intended to happen…

Busuu talks about how they use Lambda and Kinesis streams to resolve legacy technical problems. I know that their mission is “to empower everyone in the world to learn a new language,” I just didn’t know that that language would turn out to be Javascript.

Tim Bray talks about what it’s like to work at Amazon. There’s significantly less horsewhipping than I would have expected.

Do you want to customize the application logs from Heroku? Why not give up on life and use Lambda?

If you have the foresight to include a TTL in your DynamoDB entries, you can get garbage collection of old data for free.

A step by step guide to using Lambda and API gateway to return the weather in Venice. As you go through this tutorial, try not to think about the fact you could be touring Venice instead of gazing into the Javascript abyss.

I’ve used Packer to build AMIs via Jenkins before, but this codifies the process into something repeatable. This is also your periodic reminder that if you pronounce “AMI” as two syllables, you’re wrong.

Amazon was dealt a setback as it attempted to widen its industry lead in employing senior executives from the highly specific demographic of guys named Jeff.

Did you know that removing a security group isn’t guaranteed to stop the traffic flow immediately? Your CISO just sat bolt upright at that and began sweating profusely.

Choice Cuts From the AWS Blog

Amazon Aurora (MySQL) Doubles Maximum Write Throughput with Support for R4 Instances – R4 instance availability means you can now get better performance for the same price, but unfortunately have to add yet another item to your “things to keep track of” list.

Register for AWS re:Invent 2017 Live Streams | AWS Security Blog – Overcome a lifetime of aversion to various webinars and register to watch re:Invent livestreams next month.

Amazon WorkDocs Now Makes It Easier to Edit Your Files When Using the Web Client – This feature was a lot more exciting when it came out for Google Docs. In 2010.

Amazon EC2 Systems Manager Parameter Store Adds Versioning Support – This necessary enhancement to an overlooked gem of a service is long overdue. I can just picture some PM somewhere sitting thunderstruck at the revelation that some shops rotate credentials from time to time.

Amazon EC2 Systems Manager Now Integrates With GitHub – Exciting news, you can now run arbitrary scripts on GitHub to configure your systems— wait what the damn hell is this?! “Piping arbitrary scripts from the internet to bash” is an antipattern, and it just got official AWS blessing?! What’s next, “just use one shared account for everyone to make it easier on yourself?”

Now You Can Use Amazon ElastiCache for Redis with In-Transit and At-Rest Encryption to Help Protect Sensitive Information | AWS Security Blog – You can now safely use Redis for sensitive data, provided that by “sensitive” you don’t mean “you’re in serious trouble if any of it gets lost.” Otherwise you probably don’t want to use Redis.

Introducing Amazon EC2 P3 Instances – P3 instances are so good for AI work that they disappoint themselves. This is why it’s called Machine Yearning.

Announcing Open Preview of Performance Insights – This exciting service lets you identify performance problems and take corrective action. The previous sentence can remain unchanged when I reuse it in Last Week in Firing People.

Announcing General Availability of Amazon Aurora with PostgreSQL Compatibility – Postgres shops will be thrilled at this news. The more cautious among us will have concerns with terms like “generally available” being tossed around in conjunction with production databases.

AWS Glue can now be configured using AWS CloudFormation templates – Doesn’t it feel kinda like the CloudFormation team finds out about new services at the same time as the rest of us?


A great Lambda functions made easy approach for those times when you really don’t want to go diving headfirst into a convoluted framework. I’ve built similar things myself, but my version replaces a lot of the python with bash, and a lot of the good code with complete crap.

This generates the same kind of navigable index listings as you used to see from Apache site indexes.

Prowler is CIS scanner for AWS accounts that also features auto-remediation. This is fantastic– click button, receive security.

This tool stores your data in ping packets. Note that the other host must be sufficiently far away to hold all of your data. It’s hilarious unreliable, yet somehow still a better choice than using EFS.

Last week this link was blown offline by our love. Let’s try again, now that opshell supports GCP as of last Thursday. It’s a gorgeous tool to help manage instances via SSH across multiple organizations.

Tip of the Week

This week’s tip turned into enough of a rant that I wrote an entire blog post, and given my ability to write code, some presumably awful Javascript. As a teaser, if you click through that link you’ll be invoking that terrible Javascript.

…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.