Good Morning!

Welcome to issue number 120 of Last Week in AWS.

A few upcoming events. I’m speaking at the Sensu Summit; “Speaker50off” gets you 50% off of the ticket price. The same week I’ll be at DevOps Days Portland; if you’ll be there, so will I!

From the Community

This week’s 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. (SPONSORED)

It seems that knowing AWS S3 Event Notifications have “probably once” delivery would be a valuable thing in advance of building an application that relies upon something different.

The Cloud Irregular makes the excellent and salient point that Amazon won’t spin off AWS, and that’s too bad for AWS. I wish they would; it’d make my work a lot easier.

A dive into Debugging AWS Services with Lambda.

Sander Knape has a post on five ways to enable developer autonomy in AWS. I like the approach.

I often talk about Oracle being hot garbage, but I don’t always go into exactly why. Chris Short has a great explainer on JEDI, and how Oracle is using it to play politics with national defense.

The Serverless Framework now supports full lifecycle including monitoring, deployment, testing, and security. Interesting move; I wonder if this presages a consolidation in the space?

Another week, another S3 Bucket Negligence Award. This one goes to Formget; hundreds of thousands of documents dating back to 2013. Ouch.

In which I opine on Gartner’s latest IaaS “Pundit Squares” release by calling out the negative things they say about every provider.

Lessons learned from a former AWS employee. I agree with most of them.

I caught up with Ken Collins of CustomInk (the folks who made last year’s charity t-shirt!) on Screaming in the Cloud.


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

I’m a big fan of misusing various things as databases—but let’s talk this week about something that’s actually intended to be used as one. Amazon Aurora is one of the best services named after a Disney princess that you’re likely to find–and they’re hiring. They won the SIGMOD systems award for 2019, and it’s likely they’re not stopping to rest on their laurels; they’ll leave that to SimpleDB instead. They’re hiring for a wide variety of positions and doing interesting work; consider joining them.

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 EC2 Now Supports Tagging Launch Templates on Creation – Someday we’ll forget there was ever a time where this wasn’t supported. Until then bask in how very, very angry it makes you that it took until the Year of Our Lord 2019 to release such a feature.

Amazon EC2 Spot Now Available for Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) – Sorry, they’re about fifteen years too late to be the spot I think about in conjunction with RedH–sorry, I mean IBM. Still getting used to that one.

Amazon ECR Now Supports Immutable Image Tags – Wait. Is anything else in all of AWS taggingdom immutable?! Huge if so.

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. (SPONSORED)

Amazon S3 adds support for percentiles on Amazon CloudWatch Metrics – Finally a feature for the 99%.

AWS Backup will Automatically Copy Tags from Resource to Recovery Point – This is such a good idea I’m a little annoyed it hadn’t occurred to me to request it.

AWS Budgets Announces AWS Chatbot Integration – So the same day as they announce Chatbots, Budgets supports integration with it. That’s called “double dipping” when it comes to “number of new features released.”

AWS Client VPN now adds support for Split-tunnel – Aw, I’ll miss the days of streaming NetFlix in such a way that I’m paying for it in my AWS bill’s Data Transfer section.

AWS IoT Events actions now support AWS Lambda, SQS, Kinesis Firehose, and IoT Events as targets – This is awesome–or at least it would be if you used IoT Events, but you don’t. Despite it being a great service, you don’t give it a second glance because it’s buried away under the IoT umbrella of “things that don’t really require IoT but marketing kinda biffed it.”

AWS Snowball and Snowball Edge available in Seoul – Amazon Web Services – This is super handy to–wait. Snowballs are boxes they ship various places. FedEx and UPS have shipped to Seoul for literally decades. How does this even work?

AWS Systems Manager Distributor makes it easier to create distributable software packages – AWS: “No, the warehouse workers are a different division of Amazon. Now, we’re pleased to announce Systems Manager Distribution Center…”

CloudWatch Logs Insights adds cross log group querying – Finally we aren’t forced to descend into a maze of twisty log groups all alike.

Configuration update for Amazon EFS encryption of data in transit – This feels like a contentious discussion was had around it, but ultimately it’s the right thing to do for customers.

Introducing AI-Driven Social Media Dashboard – I love confounding the living hell out of “social media AI” projects through the wonderful gift of sarcasm. This is a terrific plan that couldn’t possibly fail.

Introducing Amazon EC2 Resource Optimization Recommendations – Not content to have third party vendors being the only ones in the space, AWS themselves will now suggest you turn off your idle DR site to save money too.

Introducing AWS Chatbot (beta): ChatOps for AWS in Amazon Chime and Slack Chat Rooms – This beta version is, like most poor marketers, stuck in transmit-only mode. It doesn’t yet listen. It supports Slack and hahahaha are we still seriously pretending Chime is a thing?

Introducing Predictive Maintenance Using Machine Learning – This is amazing. Usually “I think your brakes are about to fail” style predictions have been the domain of very large angry men with nicknames like “Bruiser.”

New AWS Certification Exam Vouchers Make Certifying Groups Easier – If you have a vast sea of datacenter staff you’d like to wave a magic wand over and turn into CloudDevSecSREOps Engineers, but can’t figure out the logistics behind paying for them to get certified, one of your pain points has just been alleviated, though probably not the one you were hoping.

Now use AWS Systems Manager Maintenance Windows to select resource groups as targets – I’m irritated that this wasn’t referred to as “AWS Systems Manager On Holiday.”

Temporary Queue Client Now Available for Amazon SQS – “The queue goes away and loses anything in it” is now a feature rather than a bug.

Spring 2019 PCI DSS report now available, 12 services added in scope | AWS Security Blog – OH HELL YES, I CAN USE “AWS SDK METRICS FOR ENTERPRISE SUPPORT” TO PROCESS CREDIT CARD TRANSACTIONS!


And the community continues to find ways to make SES something useful that a human might be able to use, now with serverless.

If you’re a Jupyter fan, consider eigensheep to conduct massively parallel experimentation with Lambda.

Ever wondered why your CEO doesn’t give a toss about technical debt? The folks at Raygun set out to learn why, interviewing the executive leadership at Xero, Pushpay, and Vend to find out what’s really going on and how they think about engineering effort and software quality. (SPONSORED)

Punchard is a great name for a project–in this case, type-safe AWS infrastructure.

An open source program to instantly remediate security issues in your AWS account via config rules, you probably want to test aws-auto-remediate before running it blindly. Trust me, some of these remediations aren’t going to make you smile if they catch you by surprises.

It’s not well known, but you can yell at individual AWS edge locations. Here, have a dynamic list of their code prefixes.

When using Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (EKS) you will at some point ask yourself: how does AWS Identity and Access Management (IAM) and Kubernetes Role-based access control (RBAC) play together. Don’t you have a job to get back to? If not, check out rbIAM.

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

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