Adrian’s top AWS updates —Jan 9th 2019

Curated list of my favorite AWS updates

Adrian Hornsby
4 min readJan 9, 2019

I am often asked how I keep up with all of the AWS updates; well, I regularly check the AWS What’s New pages and take notes — a sort of TODO list of things I need to deep-dive into; things related to architecture, resiliency, DevOps or anything else that catches my eye. No discrimination, I just can’t learn and like everything :)

This is my first post of the AWS update series of 2019. So, before I get started, let me wish you all a great and happy new year 2019!!

#1 Announcing AWS Fargate Price Reduction By Up To 50%

At re:Invent 2018 we announced Firecracker, an open source virtualization technology that is purpose-built for creating and managing secure, multi-tenant containers and functions-based services. Firecracker enables you to deploy workloads in lightweight virtual machines called microVMs. These microVMs can initiate code faster, with less overhead. Innovations such as these allow us to improve the efficiency of Fargate and help us pass on cost savings to customers.

So, effective Jan 07, 2019, we are reducing the price for AWS Fargate by 20% for vCPU and 65% for memory across all regions where Fargate is currently available. Fargate is a compute engine for Amazon Elastic Container Service (ECS) that allows you to run containers without having to manage servers or clusters. Read more about the pricing update on the Fargate pricing detail page or on our blog.

Who does not like price reduction?? :-)

#2 New SAM PUBLISH Command Simplifies Publishing Applications to the AWS Serverless Application Repository

The AWS Serverless Application Repository is a managed repository for serverless applications that lets you and your teams deploy and share serverless architectures quickly. SAM CLI lets you locally build, test, debug, and publish serverless applications defined by SAM templates. Using the sam publish command, you can insert or update (also known as upsert) an application to the Serverless Application Repository using a single command.

I am big fan of the Serverless Application Repository. If you have not yet looked at it, make it a 2019 resolution; tones of great ideas in there!

#3 Amazon DynamoDB Accelerator (DAX) Adds Support for DynamoDB Transactions

Amazon DynamoDB Accelerator (DAX) is now compatible with the Amazon DynamoDB TransactWriteItems and TransactGetItems APIs. You can integrate your DynamoDB application with DAX without making changes to your existing application logic.

DAX provides a fully managed, highly available, in-memory inline-cache for DynamoDB that can accelerate reads from DynamoDB tables by up to 10 times, even at millions of requests per second.

I really like caching patterns in general, so naturally I really like this update. If you want to learn more about caching patterns, check here.

#4 Announcing 15 Free Digital Training Courses on New AWS Services Launched at re:Invent 2018

We are excited to announce the addition of 15 free, new, individually available digital courses to our online training portfolio. Launched at AWS re:Invent 2018, these 10-minute video courses introduce services for machine learning (ML), satellite communications, global services, medical data analytics, and more. These 15 courses are also grouped together in a free new digital curriculum called AWS re:Invent 2018 New Services.

Machine Learning is probably the single most important thing to learn in 2019. Don’t wait too long to get started or you will regret it later!

#5 Amazon API Gateway Simplifies Building Real-Time Two-Way Communication Applications with WebSocket APIs

You can now use WebSocket APIs to build real-time two-way communication applications in Amazon API Gateway — all without having to provision and manage any servers.

Using WebSocket APIs, API Gateway maintains a persistent connection between connected clients and handles message transfer between them.

Building two-way communication serverless applications as never easier! Chat, alerts & notification systems, and real-time apps — let us know what you build :-)

#6 Amazon Route 53 Adds Alias Record Support For API Gateway and VPC Endpoints

You can now use Amazon Route 53 alias records to map custom domain names (such as both to API Gateway custom regional APIs and edge-optimized APIs and to Amazon VPC interface endpoints, without incurring additional Route 53 query charges. Alias records also let you point your zone apex (such as at these resources, which is not possible using standard DNS CNAME records. To learn more, see the Amazon Route 53 developer guide.

Oooh yes!! That’s great, and I will have to update my multi-region serverless backend post.




Adrian Hornsby

Principal System Dev Engineer @ AWS ☁️ I break stuff .. mostly. Opinions here are my own.