Week 44, 2018 - AWS Minor Feature Love for Databases; Containers; and Lambda

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Every day AWS releases features that by themselves are often not all that impressive. But when taken together paint an interesting picture of what happens to services. So, let’s see what that means this month in terms of love for (traditional) databases as well as containers and Lambda.

Database Love

RDS now supports a number of new versions of its various supported database engines. The main one is probably MySQL 81 which brings a number of new features with it. However, if you consider upgrading to this in your environment please take note that this won’t yet support some features such as Performance Insights2. In addition, MariaDB 10.3 is available and Postgres 11 is present in the preview environment.

When restoring an RDS backup, you can now immediately specify the parameter group it should use instead of having to do that after it’s finished restoring and then often getting annoyed because you forgot to do so.

Aurora for MySQL can now have up to 5 read replicas in other regions. This is useful for disaster recovery setups, but can also be used for other things3.

And finally, Lightsail now has a companion feature in a managed database. This means that you no longer need to run your database on your Lightsail instance, or somehow make it connect to an RDS instance.

Container Love

Various improvements to the ECS CLI4, which now supports Service Discovery and private registry authentication. You can now also spin up ECS-optimised AMIs based on Amazon Linux 2.

EKS can now spin up instances in VPCs with more different IP CDIR ranges. This one is mostly interesting as I wasn’t aware5 that AWS supports more than just the usual private CIDR ranges, but once I was aware it made me wonder why EKS wouldn’t have supported that out of the box.

In addition you can now deploy dynamic submission controllers in EKS and a new version of the VPC CNI plugin has been released with support for more Kubernetes networking features.

Lambda Love

The main item here, and not exactly minor, is that AWS Lambda can now run for 15 minutes. This will certainly enable a whole new range of use cases and I’m sure it caused plenty of people to be happy.

Speaking of managing Lambda, you can now have an overview of the various functions that make up your entire application in the Lambda Console. Both for managing, but also monitoring this. The big part here is of course that it’s application level monitoring instead of function level, so it shows combined information.

And AWS has gotten enough confidence in their ability to keep the service running that they released an SLA for Lambda.


This is only a part of what AWS released this month, and in turn that is only a part of what’s released across all cloud providers. And when taking tools like Kubernetes or services like Cloudflare into account, the entire list becomes even bigger.

Taking a step back from the big flashy releases6 from time to time can make us see what else is going on and appreciate the hard work done by those who don’t get a headline at an event, but might just make your own work a tiny bit more pleasant.

  1. I admit, I missed the release of MySQL 8 back in April and had to look for an explanation for the version jump (tl;dr it’s because 6 and 7 were already in use for other things). ↩︎

  2. Which now does support 5.6 on RDS, leaving only 5.7 on Aurora (and 8.0) unsupported. ↩︎

  3. Speaking of Aurora, I’m still waiting for that multi-master setup I was promised at re:Invent last year. ↩︎

  4. Another point in favour at looking at small releases, I’ve never tried out this CLI before so I should give it a go. ↩︎

  5. Or forgot ↩︎

  6. Which I’m sure we’ll get to see plenty of at re:Invent. ↩︎

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