It’s no secret within the halls of Telstra Purple that the end of November is my favourite time of year, and as a Cloud Architect that lives in the land of AWS…. why wouldn’t this be everybody’s  favourite time of year?
Firstly, for the whole month of November Team Orange slam us with a non stop onslaught of new features and product accounements. In fact, if we have a look at the AWS What’s New page we can see 15 pages of new accounements of come out since the 1st of the month (that’s over 300 annoucements in one month). The only slowdown all month has been in the last few days (idk, aparently our friends in the States have some form of celebration at the end of November).
The second great thing about November is that I get to make my annual pillgramige to Las Vegas for AWS Re:Invent and this year is no different. In fact, I write this article while sitting at LAX international airport waiting for my connection to Las Vegas. This year we are lucky enough to have a collection of engineers and consultants from across both the Telstra and Purple families attending the conference. Just like in years past, we will be blogging our thoughts and insights on the new accouncements throughout the course of the week. But to get things started, I thought it might be helpful to take a look back over the course of the last few weeks to refresh our minds on what’s already come out.
The biggest annoucement for the month has to be the introduction of “Savings Plans”. I thought that Transit Gateway was popular in Australia when it became available, but “Savings Plans” have proven even bigger. In case you haven’t heard about “Savings Plans” they are basically an easy way to get up to a 72% discount off your On-Demand costs for EC2 and Fargate. (to quote from the offical blog annoucement):
“Savings Plans offer significant savings over On Demand, just like Reserved Instances, but automatically reduce customers’ bills on compute usage across any AWS region, even as usage changes”. 
You can read up on “Savings Plans” here or take a look at our oncoming “Getting Started” guide.
As we got into the second week of the month we received a number of updates to the existing suites of management and development tools. Firstly, CloudFormation now has a collection of new features including:
  • Specify tags for custom action and pipeline in AWS CodePipeline.
  • Specify tags for API Key, Rest API, Usage Plan, Domain name, and Client Certificate in Amazon API Gateway.
  • Specify whether the AWS Amplify console creates a preview for each pull request that is made for the branch and a dedicated backend environment for your pull request previews.
  • Specify a list of tags to add to a new topic in Amazon Simple Notification Service (SNS).
  • Specify the LogPublishingOptions property to configure slow log publishing for Amazon ES.
  • Specify properties to add a GRPC route, route action, route match, route metadata, route metadata match method, and route retry policy for AWS App Mesh.
  • Add or update schema attributes, an alias for the user pool, and specify parameters to determine if email addresses or phone numbers can be used as user names when a user signs up in Amazon Cognito.
  • Create a message template that you can use in messages that are sent through the email channel, push notification channel, or SMS channel in Amazon Pinpoint.
Then, on the Development Tools front, you now have the ability to receive notifications about events in repositories, build projects, deployments and pipelines. (with more information available
And then continuing on the CloudFormation front we received one of my most sort after feature releases which is the ability to bring existing resources into CloudFormation. This one has a couple of moving parts to it, so i highly advise people to take a look at the production documentation (available here)
As if all of those weren’t good enough for the first half of the month, on the 13th AWS also gave customers in the Sydney, Tokyo, Signapore, Sao Paulo and Dublin regions the ability to BYOIP. (again, taking from the offical blog post)
BYOIP allows you to bring your own publicly-routable IP address prefixes to AWS and advertise them on the internet. You can create Elastic IP addresses from your BYOIP address prefix and use them with AWS resources such as EC2 instances, Network Load Balancers, and NAT gateways.
The funny thing is that the above new features are only the releases from the first half of November that we’ve already had customers interested in. Tomorrow i’ll go through the second half of the month in preperation for the raft of annoucements that are sure to come out of this week. We will have a number of people contributing to our Blog Articles this week, so keep an eye out for our updates.
Amazon Web Services, Cloud Infrastructure