Amazon GenAI Services
Last Week in AWS
by Corey Quinn
1w ago
I was in New York this week for the AWS Summit, and while it’s always great to catch up with readers (thanks to those of you who came out to the drinkup!), AWS friends, and others, I found myself rather taken aback by the overwhelming strength behind the Generative AI theme of the entire event. I know, I know–all of the industry is currently consumed by a paroxysm of GenAI hype; I’m not ignorant of this fact. However, the badge lanyards were GenAI branded, the keynote opening slide simply said “Generative AI,” and every single offering discussed during the ~98 minute keynote was centered aroun ..read more
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“Apparently I Stuttered: A Compute Optimizer Clarification”
Last Week in AWS
by Corey Quinn
3w ago
There have been some noises about this week’s newsletter issue in which I criticized the release of AWS Compute Optimizer offering RDS recommendations thusly: Too bad it’s completely useless for most customers, because RDS only has its own bespoke Reserved Instances, which are wildly inflexible. The fact that Savings Plans don’t extend to cover RDS is one of the more customer-hostile things AWS does, and a number of large customers are annoyed by it. So yeah, use this if you want recommendations you can’t take advantage of without leaving bushels of money on the table, I guess. Let me clarif ..read more
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Changing of the Guard: “AWS Appoints Matt Garman as CEO”
Last Week in AWS
by Corey Quinn
2M ago
This morning’s announcement that Adam Selipsky would be stepping down as AWS CEO, with longtime Amazonian Matt Garman stepping into the role, feels like a natural correction. Garman has long been seen as the heir apparent to AWS’s leadership. When Selipsky was named CEO in the last succession, my initial reaction was a baffled, “I’m sorry, who?” To me, Selipsky has always been a bit of an enigma–extremely polished and always on-message, making it hard to see the person behind the public persona. His tenure, while marked by an impressive degree of message discipline, has been shadowed by an ove ..read more
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AWS’s (de)Generative AI Blunder
Last Week in AWS
by Corey Quinn
8M ago
AWS has been very publicly insecure about the perception that it’s lagging behind in the Generative AI space for the past year. Unfortunately, rather than setting those perceptions to rest, AWS’s GenAI extravaganza at re:Invent 2023 seemed to prove them true.  Of the 22 GenAI-related announcements, half of them are still in preview. Many were seemingly developed in crash programs launched since ChatGPT was released a year ago. All distracted AWS from resolving more relevant challenges that customers are facing. Amazon Q: Quartermaster or omnipotent being?  Nowhere is this more eviden ..read more
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Generative AI Builds a re:Invent Scavenger Hunt
Last Week in AWS
by Corey Quinn
8M ago
Let’s begin with the tl;dr: At this year’s re:Invent, I’m hosting a photo scavenger hunt with significant prizes for “most items found” and “most creative entry.” Sign up through my webapp at findme.lastweekinaws.com. The rest of this post details how I built this app. I am bad at programming I’ve often said that the two programming languages in which I’m fluent are “brute force” and “enthusiasm.” Never have I felt that to be more true than when wandering into the mists of TypeScript. Even the name is terrible! If it were honest about how developers write code today (copying it off of Stack Ov ..read more
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How to Stop Feeding AWS’s AI With Your Data
Last Week in AWS
by Corey Quinn
9M ago
AWS has been making a lot of noise about generative AI, emphasizing risk mitigation and the need for control over your data. Unlike its competitors, AWS doesn’t train its models on “the entire internet, regardless of various intellectual property restrictions.” This is laudable! (Though unlike the other large cloud providers, AWS currently doesn’t offer indemnification against intellectual property infringement claims when using its AI services, but that’s not the bone I wish to pick today.) What I want to draw your attention to is the hidden catch AWS clearly hopes you won’t notice: It is tra ..read more
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The New Frontier of Cloud Economics: Why AWS Costs Are a Weighty Issue
Last Week in AWS
by Corey Quinn
9M ago
AWS re:Invent looms larger on the calendar with each passing day, promising not just an avalanche of new services but also–let’s face it–some truly perplexing names. However, the oddity of AWS service names is low-hanging fruit. The true enigma lies in their labyrinthine pricing dimensions. Gone are the days when “instance hours” and “gigabyte months” were the only units of cloud measurement we had to worry about. Now, we grapple with constructs like “I/O Operations” and “LCUs,” which depend on multiple dimensions tied to your choice of Load Balancer. The downside of these obscure metrics is n ..read more
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The Missed Opportunity: AWS, re:Invent, and the Community That Cared
Last Week in AWS
by Corey Quinn
9M ago
The AWS re:Invent session tracker leaves much to be desired, a point that many in the community have lamented for years. Its glaring shortcomings range from the absence of a calendar view to a lackluster search function and the inability to share links to individual sessions. Frustrated attendees have long been in need of a better solution, and several community members rose to the challenge. Notable contributors include AWS Serverless Hero Luc van Donkersgoed and Raphael Manke, who have developed alternative session viewers to enhance the conference experience. These third-party solutions wer ..read more
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The Cloud Devil You Know
Last Week in AWS
by Corey Quinn
10M ago
My Route53 database is humming along nicely, my podcast interview backlog is full, and I’ve outsourced my thinking to ChatGPT, so I have some unprecedented free time to build a side project. Awesome! What cloud provider should I use? The obvious and correct answer is “the one you’re already familiar with,” which for me and many others is AWS (due in no small part to their 5-year head start). But if AWS isn’t an option for whatever reason, and we turn the decision into an open field, a whole mess of questions arise. Reliability To start, I’m going to care if the potential provider’s offering is ..read more
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Why Your CPU-Based Utilisation Metric is Absolute Nonsense
Last Week in AWS
by Corey Quinn
11M ago
Picture this: You’re in your swivel chair, feet propped up on your standing desk because you are a glorious acrobat, and you’re looking over your company’s Amazon EC2 fleet utilization report. You’re captivated by the custom colorful dashboard, carefully tuned to a 1st-grade reading level. You see the overall number in its soft, non-threatening font, and you say to yourself, “We’re operating at 70% capacity — we’re golden!” That metric is usually nothing more than a feel-good security blanket that doesn’t give you better insight into the efficiency of your spend. Why? Because the number at the ..read more
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