Getting Started with AWS CloudFormation – Reading a Template

AWS has a vast number of services, 120+ in total, but the best way to manage those services is using AWS CloudFormation. AWS CloudFormation is used to create and manage a collection of AWS resources. This in turns allows provisioning and updating of resources. Most of all, what I think is the best solution is keeping version control. AWS CloudFormation Designer is also included, but offers a graphical tool for creating, viewing, and modifying AWS CloudFormation Templates. With the Designer you are able to drag-and-drop resources, and then edit the parameters using JSON or YAML.

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AWS Re:Invent 2017 Recap

I wasn’t able to attend this year, but that doesn’t change the excitement I have for this major AWS event. This year it was broadcasted on both Twitch and YouTube which allowed me to follow along. It was great to hear about the new features and services that will be available soon. Some of the key services I am looking forward to work with are:

Amazon Sumerian
Alexa for Business
AWS Fargate
Amazon ECS for Kubernetes
Amazon Aurora Serverless
Amazon Aurora Multi-Master
AWS DeepLens
Inter-Region VPC Peering
Amazon GuardDuty

Here is a full list of products that announced during Re:Invent 2017.



Amazon Kinesis Video Streams

Amazon Kinesis Video Streams makes it easy to securely stream video, audio, and other time-encoded data from sources like cameras, RADARs, thermal sensors, and other connected devices to AWS for machine learning (ML), analytics, and more. Learn More »


Application Integration

Amazon MQ

Amazon MQ is a managed message broker service for Apache ActiveMQ that makes it easy to set up and operate message brokers in the cloud. Amazon MQ works with your existing applications and services without the need to manage, operate, or maintain your own messaging system. Learn More »



Amazon Sumerian Preview

Amazon Sumerian lets you create and run virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR), and 3D applications quickly and easily without requiring any specialized programming or 3D graphics expertise. With Sumerian, you can build highly immersive and interactive scenes that run on popular hardware such as Oculus Rift, HTC Vive, and iOS mobile devices. Learn More »


Business Productivity

Alexa for Business

Alexa for Business is an AWS service that makes it easy for you to empower your organization with Alexa by giving your employees their own intelligent assistant for work. Alexa for Business gives you the tools to manage Alexa for your organization – at scale. Learn More »



AWS Fargate

AWS Fargate is a technology for deploying and managing containers without having to manage any of the underlying infrastructure. You no longer have to provision, configure, and scale clusters of virtual machines to run containers. Simply upload your container image, specify resource requirements, and Fargate launches containers for you in seconds. AWS Fargate enables you to focus on designing and running the application, not the infrastructure. Learn More »

Amazon ECS for Kubernetes (EKS) Preview

Amazon Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes (Amazon EKS) is a managed service that makes it easy for you to run Kubernetes on AWS without needing to become an expert in operating Kubernetes. Amazon EKS fully manages the availability and scalability of the Kubernetes control plane for each cluster. Amazon EKS automatically performs all the cluster management operations, such as handling version upgrades, scaling the Kubernetes masters and etcd persistence layer, and detecting and replacing unhealthy masters. Learn More »

Amazon EC2 M5 Instances

Amazon EC2 M5 Instances are the next-generation of the Amazon EC2 General Purpose compute instances and are ideal for workloads such as web and application servers, back end servers for enterprise applications, gaming servers, caching fleets, as well as for app development environments. M5 instances are based on the new lightweight Nitro Hypervisor which delivers practically all of the compute and memory resources of the host hardware to your instances. Learn More »

Amazon EC2 H1 Instances

Amazon EC2 H1 instances are a new generation of Amazon EC2 Storage Optimized instances designed for applications that require low cost, high disk throughput and high sequential disk I/O access to very large data sets. H1 instances offer the best price/performance in the magnetic disk storage EC2 instance family. They are ideal for H1 data-intensive workloads, distributed file systems, log or data processing applications and big data workload clusters. Learn More »

New Deployment Options for AWS Lambda Functions

You can now shift incoming traffic between two AWS Lambda function versions based on pre-assigned weights. This allows you to gradually shift traffic between two versions, helping you reduce the risk and limit the blast radius of new Lambda deployments. You can now also use AWS CodeDeploy to automatically manage the rollout of new function versions. Learn More »

Amazon EC2 Bare Metal Instances Preview

Amazon EC2 Bare Metal instances provide your applications with direct access to the processor and memory of the underlying server. These instances are ideal for workloads that require access to hardware feature sets (such as Intel VT-x), or for applications that need to run in non-virtualized environments for licensing or support requirements. Learn More »

Hibernation for Spot Instances

Amazon EC2 Spot can now hibernate Amazon EBS-backed instances in the event of an interruption. Spot can fulfill your request by resuming instances from a hibernated state when capacity is available. Hibernate is just like closing and opening your laptop lid, with your application starting up right where it left off. Learn More »

New Spot Pricing Model and Spot on RunInstances

Amazon EC2 simplified the Spot pricing by moving to a model which delivers low, predictable prices that adjust gradually, based on long-term trends in supply and demand. You will continue to save up to 90% off the On-Demand instances price and you will continue to pay the Spot price that’s in effect at the beginning of each instance-hour for your running instance, billed to the nearest second. Learn More »

Array Jobs for AWS Batch

Array Jobs is a significant launch for AWS Batch. It allows developers to easily submit, with a single API call, up to 10,000 jobs for execution. This makes it very easy for customers to run Monte Carlo simulations, parametric sweeps, or simply to process thousands of input files or objects. Learn More »

Amazon Lightsail Load Balancer

Amazon Lightsail has added load balancers to its easy-to-use cloud platform, enabling developers to build scalable, highly available websites and applications easily and quickly. Lightsail load balancers also allow customers to easily build and maintain secure applications that accept HTTPS traffic with free SSL/TLS certificates and intuitive, built-in certificate management. Learn More »

Launch Templates for Amazon EC2 Instances

Launch Templates templatize launch requests, in order to streamline and simplify the launch process for Auto Scaling, Spot Fleet, Spot and On Demand instances. You can now save all the information needed to launch an Amazon EC2 instance within a single, persistent resource. Learn More »

Spread Placement Groups for Amazon EC2

AWS is announcing the general availability of spread placement groups, a new type of placement group, which reduces the likelihood of correlated failures to member instances. Learn More »

Amazon EC2 T2 Unlimited

Amazon EC2 T2 instances can now deliver high CPU performance for any period of time whenever required. T2 Unlimited enables customers to enjoy the low T2 instance hourly price for a wide variety of general purpose applications, and ensure that their instances are never constrained to the baseline. Learn More »

Amazon Time Sync Service

Amazon Time Sync service delivers highly accurate and reliable current time readings of the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) global standards. It uses a satellite connected and atomic reference clocks in each AWS region. You can access to the Amazon Time Sync service from Amazon EC2 instances using the Network Time Protocol (NTP).
Learn More »

AWS Lambda Doubles Maximum Memory Capacity for Lambda Functions

You can now allocate 3,008MB of memory to your AWS Lambda functions. Previously, the maximum amount of memory available to your functions was 1,536MB. Now, it’s easier to process workloads with higher memory or denser compute requirements, such as big data analysis, large file processing, and statistical computations. Learn More »

AWS Serverless Application Repository Preview

The AWS Serverless Application Repository, now available in Preview, is a collection of serverless applications published by developers, companies, and partners in the serverless community. Now, customers can easily discover, deploy, and publish everything from code samples and components for building web and mobile applications to back-end processing services and complete applications. Learn More »

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AWS Lambda Per Function Concurrency/Throttle

You can now set a concurrency limit on individual AWS Lambda functions. The concurrency limit you set will reserve a portion of your account level concurrency limit for a given function. This feature allows you to throttle a given function if it reaches a maximum number of concurrent executions allowed. This is useful when you want to limit traffic rates to downstream resources called by Lambda (e.g. databases) or if you want to control the consumption of elastic network interfaces (ENI) and IP addresses for functions accessing a private VPC. Learn More »

AWS Lambda Introduces Enhanced Console Experience

The AWS Lambda console has been updated with enhancements and new features that improve the experience of creating, configuring, testing, and monitoring your Lambda functions. Learn More »

Migrate Hyper-V VMs to AWS with AWS Server Migration Service

AWS Server Migration Service now supports the ability to migrate Hyper-V VMs to AWS. With this launch, you can now migrate virtual machines running in on-premises virtualization stacks from both Microsoft Hyper-V and VMware ESX/ESXi environments. AWS Server Migration Service is an agentless service that makes it easier to migrate thousands of on-premises workloads to AWS. Learn More »



Amazon Neptune Preview

Amazon Neptune is a fast, reliable, fully-managed graph database service that makes it easy to build and run applications that work with highly connected datasets. The core of Neptune is a purpose-built, high-performance graph database engine optimized for storing billions of relationships and querying the graph with milliseconds latency. Neptune supports the popular graph query languages Apache TinkerPop Gremlin and W3C’s SPARQL, allowing you to easily build queries that efficiently navigate highly connected datasets. Learn More »

Amazon Aurora Multi-Master Preview

Sign Up for the Preview of Amazon Aurora Multi-Master. With this feature, Aurora will create multiple write nodes, scaling both reads and writes across multiple availability zones, and increasing both scalability and availability. The preview will be available for the MySQL-compatible edition of Amazon Aurora. Learn More »

Amazon DynamoDB On-Demand Backup

On-Demand Backup allows you to create full backups of your DynamoDB tables data and settings for data archival, helping you meet your corporate and governmental regulatory requirements. You can backup tables from a few to hundreds of terabytes of data instantaneously, with no impact on performance and availability to your production applications. Learn More »

Amazon Aurora Serverless Preview

Sign Up for the Preview of Amazon Aurora Serverless. This new serverless mode will save you time and money by automatically adjusting database capacity to match your application needs. The preview will be available for the MySQL-compatible edition of Amazon Aurora. Learn More »

Amazon DynamoDB Global Tables

Global Tables builds upon DynamoDB’s global footprint to provide a fully managed multi-region, multi-master global database that provides fast local read and write performance for massively scaled applications with globally dispersed users. Global Tables handles the difficult work of automatically replicating data between regions and resolving update conflicts, enabling developers to focus on the application logic when building globally distributed applications. Learn More »


Developer Tools

AWS Cloud9

AWS Cloud9 is a cloud-based development environment (IDE) that lets you write, run, and debug your code with just a browser. It includes a code editor, debugger, and terminal. Learn More »

Support for Serverless Deployments in AWS CodeDeploy

You can now use AWS CodeDeploy to deploy AWS Lambda functions. CodeDeploy helps you automate the testing, rollout and, if necessary, rollback of Lambda functions. This will help you reduce risks associated with updating Lambda functions. Learn More »



AWS IoT Device Management

AWS IoT Device Management is an AWS IoT service that provides device management capabilities which makes it easy to securely onboard, organize, monitor, and remotely manage IoT devices at scale throughout their lifecycle. Learn More »

AWS IoT Analytics Preview

AWS IoT Analytics is a fully-managed IoT analytics service that collects, processes, enriches, stores, and analyzes IoT device data at scale. Learn More »

AWS IoT 1-Click Preview

AWS IoT 1-Click is a service that makes it easy for simple devices to trigger AWS Lambda functions that execute a specific action. With AWS IoT 1-Click you can choose the action for your device by selecting one of the predefined AWS Lambda functions for common actions like sending emails or SMS messages, or you can select from Lambda functions you have created yourself using your own Lambda code.
Learn More »

AWS IoT Device Defender Announcement

AWS IoT Device Defender is a fully managed service that helps you secure your fleet of IoT devices. AWS IoT Device Defender continuously audits the security policies associated with your devices to make sure that they aren’t deviating from security best practices. AWS IoT Device Defender also lets you monitor devices for behavior that deviates from what you have defined as appropriate behavior for each device. Learn More »

Amazon FreeRTOS

Amazon FreeRTOS is an IoT operating system for microcontrollers that makes small, low-power edge devices easy to program, deploy, secure, connect, and maintain. Amazon FreeRTOS provides the core operating system as well as software libraries that make it easy to program connected microcontroller-based devices and collect data from them for IoT applications. Amazon FreeRTOS is free of charge, open source, and available to all today. Learn More »

AWS Greengrass ML Inference Preview

AWS Greengrass ML inference lets you deploy and run ML inference locally on connected devices. Doing inference on connected devices reduces the latency and cost of sending device data to the cloud to make a prediction. Rather than sending all data to the cloud for ML inference, ML inference is performed right on devices and data is sent to the cloud only when it requires more processing. Learn More »

AWS Greengrass

AWS Greengrass has three new features. First, AWS Lambda functions running on Greengrass Core devices can natively interact with the capabilities of the underlying host device. Second, Greengrass can now also use the popular industrial messaging protocol OPC-UA. Third, you can now remotely update the Greengrass Core software to take advantage of new features, bug fixes and security enhancements. Learn More »

AWS IoT Core

AWS IoT Core adds custom authorizers and can now vend AWS credentials for devices. Learn More »


Machine Learning

AWS DeepLens

AWS DeepLens is a Deep-Learning enabled wireless video camera that pairs an HD camera developer kit with a set of sample projects to help developers learn machine learning concepts. DeepLens comes pre-loaded with sample projects that provide a practical, hands-on learning experience to get you started with computer vision and deep learning. Learn More »

Amazon Comprehend

Amazon Comprehend is a natural language processing (NLP) service that uses machine learning to find insights and relationships in text. Amazon Comprehend identifies the language of the text; extracts key phrases, places, people, brands, or events; understands how positive or negative the text is; and automatically organizes a collection of text files by topic. You can use the Amazon Comprehend APIs to analyze text and use the results in a wide range of applications including voice of customer analysis, intelligent document search, and content personalization for web applications. Learn More »

Amazon Rekognition Video

Amazon Rekognition Video is a deep learning powered video analysis service that tracks people, detects activities, and recognizes objects, celebrities, and inappropriate content. Amazon Rekognition Video can detect and recognize faces in live streams. Rekognition Video analyzes existing video stored in Amazon S3 and returns specific labels of activities, people and faces, and objects with time stamps so you can easily locate the scene. It can also perform facial recognition on live video from Amazon Kinesis Video Steams. For people and faces, it also returns the bounding box, which is the specific location of the person or face in the frame. Learn More »

Amazon SageMaker

Amazon SageMaker is a fully-managed service that enables data scientists and developers to quickly and easily build, train, and deploy machine learning models at scale. Amazon SageMaker includes three modules: Build, Train, and Deploy. The Build module provides a hosted environment to work with your data, experiment with algorithms, and visualize your output. The Train module allows for one-click model training and tuning at high-scale and low cost. The Deploy module provides a managed environment for you to easily host and test models for inference securely and with low latency. Amazon SageMaker removes the complexity that holds back developer success with machine learning. Learn More »

Amazon Translate Preview

Amazon Translate is a neural machine translation service that delivers fast, high-quality, and affordable language translation. Neural machine translation is a form of language translation automation that uses machine learning and deep learning models to deliver more accurate and more natural sounding translation than traditional statistical and rule-based translation algorithms. Amazon Translate allows you to easily translate large volumes of text efficiently, and to localize websites and applications for international users. Learn More »

Amazon Transcribe Preview

Amazon Transcribe is an automatic speech recognition (ASR) service that makes it easy for developers to add speech-to-text capability to their applications. Using the Amazon Transcribe API, you can analyze any audio files stored in a common format (WAV, MP3, etc.) in Amazon Simple Storage Service (S3) and have the service return a text file of all the transcribed speech. Learn More »


Management Tools

AWS Systems Manager

AWS Systems Manager provides a unified user interface so you can view operational data from multiple AWS services and allows you to automate operational tasks across your AWS resources. It simplifies resource and application management, shortens the time to detect and resolve operational problems, and makes it easy to operate and manage your infrastructure securely at scale. Learn More »

AWS CloudTrail Adds Logging of Execution Activity for AWS Lambda Functions

You can now log the execution activity of your AWS Lambda functions with AWS CloudTrail Lambda data events. Previously, you could only log Lambda management events, which provide information on when and by whom a function was created, modified, or deleted. Now, you can also record Lambda data events and get additional details on when and by whom an Invoke API call was made and which Lambda function was executed. Learn More »


Media Services

AWS Elemental MediaConvert

AWS Elemental MediaConvert is a service that formats and compresses offline video content for delivery to televisions or connected devices. High-quality video transcoding makes it possible to create on-demand video assets for virtually any device.
Learn More »

AWS Elemental MediaLive

AWS Elemental MediaLive is a service that lets you encode broadcast-grade live video for televisions or connected devices. Quickly stand up broadcast channels or live events and scale them as needed with the push of a button. Learn More »

AWS Elemental MediaPackage

AWS Elemental MediaPackage is a service that performs just-in-time packaging for cost-effective video distribution. Enrich video experiences with time-shifted TV and other advanced features while securing valuable content and reducing storage costs.
Learn More »

AWS Elemental MediaTailor

AWS Elemental MediaTailor is a service that makes it easy to insert targeted advertising into streaming video at scale. By personalizing content, you can increase viewer engagement and boost video monetization. Learn More »

AWS Elemental MediaStore

AWS Elemental MediaStore is a high-performance storage service paired with the security and durability of Amazon S3 that is optimized to handle high frequency requests for video data. Learn More »


Mobile Services

AWS AppSync Preview

AWS AppSync automatically updates the data in web and mobile applications in real time, and updates data for offline users as soon as they reconnect. AppSync makes it easy to build collaborative mobile and web applications that deliver responsive, collaborative user experiences. Learn More »



Networking & Content Delivery

AWS PrivateLink for Customer and Partner Services

We announced that customers can now use AWS PrivateLink to access third party SaaS applications from their Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) without exposing their VPC to the public Internet. Customers can also use AWS PrivateLink to connect services across different accounts and VPCs within their own organizations, significantly simplifying their internal network architecture. Learn More »

API Gateway Canary Release Deployments

You can now use canary release deployments to gradually roll out new APIs in Amazon API Gateway. This helps you more safely roll out API changes and limit the blast radius of new deployments. Learn More »

Inter-Region VPC Peering

Amazon EC2 now allows peering relationships to be established between Virtual Private Clouds (VPCs) across different AWS regions. Inter-Region VPC Peering allows VPC resources like EC2 instances, RDS and Lambda running in different AWS regions to communicate with each other using private IP addresses, without requiring gateways, VPN connections or separate physical hardware. Learn More »

API Gateway Private VPC Integrations

You can now provide access to HTTP(S) resources within your Amazon Virtual Private Cloud (VPC) without exposing them directly to the public Internet. You can use API Gateway to create an API endpoint that is integrated with your VPC. Learn More »

Security, Identity & Compliance

Amazon GuardDuty

Amazon GuardDuty is a threat detection service that gives you a more accurate and easy way to continuously monitor and protect your AWS accounts and workloads. With a few clicks in the AWS Management Console, GuardDuty begins analyzing AWS data across all your AWS accounts integrated with threat intelligence feeds, anomaly detection, and machine learning for more actionable threat detection in an easy to use, pay as you go cloud security service. Learn More »

Advanced Security Features for Amazon Cognito

Advanced security features for Amazon Cognito enable you to secure access to your applications using risk-based adaptive authentication and compromised credentials protection. When Amazon Cognito detects unusual sign-in activity, such as sign-in attempts from new locations and devices, it prompts users for additional verification. Learn More »

Managed Rules for AWS WAF

Managed Rules for AWS WAF are a set of rules written, curated and managed by AWS Marketplace Sellers that can be easily deployed in front of your web applications running on AWS Application Load Balancers or Amazon CloudFront. Learn More » 


Amazon S3 Select Preview

Most applications have to retrieve the complete set of objects and then filter out just the required data. With Amazon S3 Select, applications can offload the heavy lifting of filtering and accessing data inside objects to the Amazon S3 service to retrieve only a subset of data from an S3 object instead of retrieving the entire object. By reducing the volume of data that has to be loaded and processed by your analytics applications, S3 Select can improve the performance of most applications that frequently access data from S3 by up to 400%. Learn More »

Amazon Glacier Select

Amazon Glacier Select is a new way to query archived data in Amazon Glacier. Amazon Glacier Select allows queries to run directly on data stored in Amazon Glacier, retrieving only the data you need out of your archives to use for analytics. This allows you to reduce total cost of ownership while massively extending your data lake into cost-effective archive storage. Learn More »