The moving parts…

I recently released an open-source project that aims to create a solid foundation for anyone needing to build a cross-account deployment solution that follows the dedicated “DevOps account” model recommended by AWS for deploying code into different environments (dev/staging/prod) from a single centralised account.

The key benefit of isolating the deployment tools into a DevOps account is that it allows an organisation to centralise management of deployments, and the permissions required to do so, in one place. Developers never have to be given access to environments as the pipelines do all the deployment work. …


You m m m m make me hap.py

Most of the time, working with the AWS CDK is a joy. Other times, you feel like it’s punching you in the face repeatedly. For me, figuring out how to use it to set up a WAF was one of those times, so hopefully this will help you if you’re finding it as frustrating as I did.

Things can change quickly with CDK, and it can be hard to find answers when things that might have worked even two weeks ago (in the CDK version that was current then) no longer work today. Between releases 1.100.0 and 1.102.0, for example…


The names AWS uses for its products range from the excruciatingly literal (eg “Amazon Managed Streaming for Apache Kafka”) to the obscure, but cool-sounding (“Athena”, “Kinesis”). Sometimes they’re just confusing, sounding like they do something they don’t (eg “AppSync”, “Artifact”).

Every now and then though, AWS hit on names that communicate a sense of fun. “Snowcone” is a good recent example, and we can now add to that list “Monitron”, AWS’s complete IoT+ML solution for anomaly detection in industrial machinery.

The hardware even looks like it has a face!

Monitron means you no harm. For perspective, the smaller units are about the size of a matchbox.

In the Amazon Monitron Starter Kit you will find the Monitron…


AWS S3, for the discerning storer of objects.

S3 was the first service that AWS released into production. Back in 2006, the product deserved it’s moniker “Simple Storage Service”.

The basics were there — you could create a bucket, put objects in it, and control access to it with access control lists based on IAM users. Unfortunately, security defaults were such that people creating unsecured buckets became a major problem and if you wanted to encrypt your objects at rest you had to do that yourself.

Fourteen years later, S3 is far from Simple — in fact, it’s now one of the most feature-laden (and complex) products in…


Save yourself some sweet USDs

Cost Optimization is one of the AWS Well-Architected Framework Pillars, and I’ve been applying this discipline to my own AWS accounts.

I don’t spend a lot in these accounts, but it can run into hundreds per month across all of them. Sometimes I’ll see increases I didn’t anticipate, but usually they are so small I let it ride for a while. Eventually they add up to enough that it overcomes my lazy gene and engages my frugality gene and my curiosity…

Where to start

Cost Explorer in the AWS console will give you a fair bit of detail, but you will need to…


Photo by Lucas Ludwig https://unsplash.com/photos/m4uwUH3UiHs

My job involves working with customers who are adopting (or increasing their adoption of) the AWS Cloud. Often I encounter confusion about how to do Infrastructure as Code (IaC) well.

It’s not uncommon for developers to have adopted an IaC approach for part of their infrastructure, but to have reverted to clicking in the console to create other infrastructure because they couldn’t figure out how to do everything using IaC.

This article aims to help you to think about IaC in a way that will help you use it to build every part of your application’s infrastructure.

Some background

Infrastructure as Code…


As the COVID-19 pandemic took hold in Australia, I was surprised to see panic buying and the rise of anti-science and conspiracy theories. While puzzling at the time, I now believe that these phenomena were (and are) expressions of the need to maintain a sense of control when confronted with a seemingly chaotic and incomprehensible world.

As a technologist working in the AWS cloud, my way to create a sense of order is to build something that helps me organise and make sense of new data. …


As a young and idealistic person in the 90s*, I saw the Web as a game-changer. Here was a medium with the power to connect people everywhere. Barriers of country or class, race or religion would dissolve away and we would all unite in our common humanity.

Fast forward 25 years and we’ve had reason to rethink the extent to which the web has actually turned out to be a force for good. …


R M Media Ltd used under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike license

I’ve been working with the Cloud since 2009. My first steps were using Amazon’s S3, then CloudFront, then EC2. Back then, we were only starting to see the potential of the cloud and the vast majority of the world’s applications still ran in a data centre. These installations were managed by a team of busy IT folks and getting new infrastructure was always an uphill battle, involving the IT manager, CTO, CFO, purchase orders and approval cycles and big CapEx expenses. …


AWS has invested heavily in the Internet of Things, but as IoT has a more limited audience than compute and storage there’s much less information out there about how to use it.

On top of that, IoT is peppered with concepts many of us have had no reason to get familiar with. I mean, what even are Things?

Thing 2 and Thing 1, © Dr. Seuss Enterprises, L.P. used under the doctrine of fair use

The aim of this article is to inspire you to get started with building your own AWS IoT project, by explaining the key concepts behind it and showing you how easy it is to get started.

Don’t fear the Things!

If you…

Guy Morton

Passionate about Cloud, Culture, DevOps & IoT.

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