AWS News – November Round Up


With the endless flood of new products, features and changes from AWS and its surrounding ecosystem, it can be easy to miss an update. Our monthly round up highlights major AWS news, announcements, product updates and behind the scenes changes we think are most relevant.

November had a ton of announcements ahead of re:Invent, Amazon’s annual epic product announcement party. We highlight some of the announcements from November but will have another review of re:Invent 2019 announcements and releases soon, so make sure to check back for that one!

Let’s get started.

Amazon introduces Savings Plans

This feature is huge news. Reserved Instances can be maddeningly inflexible. Savings Plans allow you to set a committed spending amount and get discounted pricing. If you exceed the committed amount, on-demand pricing kicks in. This is great and can really help incentivize using Reserved Instances for some companies.

For more information read the announcement here: Introducing Savings Plans

AWS CloudFormation updates

Updates are now available for CloudFormation for Amazon API Gateway, AWS CodePipeline, AWS Amplify, Amazon ES, AWS App Mesh and others. All of these features are available in all public AWS Regions as well as AWS GovCloud Regions. A few notable features are for specifying tags for API Keys, REST API, Usage Plan, domain name and Client Certificate in Amazon API Gateway, as well as to specify a list of tags to add to a new topic in Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS).

While we spend most of our time in Terraform, these features are still relevant updates for CloudFormation and provide some additional features that will help make your CloudFormation code that much better. For a full list of features, check out the announcement here: AWS CloudFormation updates for Amazon API Gateway, AWS CodePipeline, AWS Amplify, Amazon ES, AWS App Mesh and more

AWS CodeBuild Adds Support for AWS Secrets Manager

Now you can use AWS Secrets manager to pass credentials directly in your build spec or as an environment variable. This will add a lot of usability to CodeBuild. For more information, read the announcement here: AWS CodeBuild Adds Support for AWS Secrets Manager

New Instance Size for Amazon EC2 C5d instances

These new C5d instances are now available. There are three new sizes that are optimized for compute-intensive workloads. Check them out if this is something you might need: Introducing New Instance Sizes for Amazon EC2 C5d Instances 

Application Load Balancer simplifies deployments with support for weighted target groups

This is very interesting for blue-green deployments and similar use cases. While some deployments I work with and have worked with in the past are blue-green, being able to do so without multiple load balancers can be very useful. Additionally, enabling zero-downtime migrations between on-prem and cloud or between computes such as EC2 and Lambda sounds great!

More details can be found here: Application Load Balancer simplifies deployments with support for weighted target groups

Misc News:

This helps eliminate custom tagging scripts after resource creation and instead lets you do so upon creation. Quality of life change for sure.

For those PowerShell users out there, this will be a nice quality of life change as you will only need to download and install the modules relevant to your application rather than the entire thing. Additionally, Version 4.0 is now open sourced, which is great.

Using NLBs with VPC sharing, you can now route traffic across subnets. This is a great feature for testing environments before going to prod or applications on the backend with a lot of load. A lot of utility, check it out!

This is very interesting because allowing you to debug your code on the cloud. Definitely something to keep an eye on and provide feedback since it is in the beta phase.


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