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The past fortnight in the world of AWS


I’m taking a slightly different tack for this blog post, highlighting my pick of the most exciting announcements in the world of AWS from the last two weeks. It’s going to be a short post this week as I’ve got some talks and workshops coming up to plan for!


OpenSearch Serverless goes GA

Let’s start off with OpenSearch Serverless becoming generally available. The service was announced at re:Invent 2022 and has been available for the public to try out since then. It’s fair to say that the reaction to the announcement has been mixed to say the least. A debate has certainly been sparked around exactly what the ‘Serverless’ designation means nowadays, and whether it is just becoming a marketing buzzword. Allen Helton’s blog post is a brilliant take on it all, titled “I don’t know what Serverless is anymore”.

With regards to OpenSearch Serverless itself, it’s great to have another option for how to run these workloads - especially if it involves less work for developers. Auto-scaling, less configuration and easy provisioning is all a win in my book - even if it doesn’t truly fit the ‘scale-to-zero’ characteristic that is most associated with Serverless technologies now. The announcement can be found here.

Runtime management controls for AWS Lambda

Previously, AWS have always patched the underlying software that makes up the chosen runtime versions without customers needing to take any action. This is perfect for most customers as you’ll consistently get security updates.

In some cases, especially where software is so mission-critical that specific minor versions of dependencies must be tested before release, the only way to previously ensure this was to use Lambda container images. With this new feature announced, customers have full control of how runtime updates are applied to Lambda functions. You can find out more here.

Lambda maximum concurrency for SQS event sources

The final announcement from AWS that I want to highlight is a new way to limit concurrency of Lambda functions when they are acting as consumers of an SQS queue. There have previously been some less than ideal ways to limit concurrency, at the cost of having to sometimes retry function invocations due to throttling.

With this new announcement, the level of concurrency can now be set on the event source mapping itself rather than having to use the Lambda function reserved concurrency feature.

You may want to limit concurrency in cases where downstream resources are limited, such as databases where a high number of parallel connections is not advisable (e.g. Redshift). More can be read about the new option on the Event Source Mapping here.

AWS Fundamentals book

This isn’t an official AWS release, but has certainly gained some traction within the community. There are countless resources out there to help people pass certifications and there’s nothing wrong with that. A gap in the market exists for material that solely aims to teach the fundamentals, the must-knows for using AWS day to day.

This new book looks like a really great filler of that gap, the content looks really strong and has had raving reviews from the community.

The book is available here.