Tidy Cloud AWS issue #10 - cloudy stuff

Hello all!

I hope you have had a great week so far! Here in Stockholm Sweden it is getting into the darker time of the year - about 7 hours from sunrise to sunset currently, and mostly cloudy and gray in between.

The cloudy bits and pieces in this bulletin are hopefully more enjoyable though, with a few notes about a new series of articles, a couple of blog posts from AWS, and the upcoming Re:Invent 2021.


How to become an intrastructure-as-code ninja, using AWS CDK

The Tidy Cloud AWS website have the first three articles in my series How to become an infrastructure-as-code ninja, using AWS CDK, so far. These articles aims persons with some programming background and knowledge, who also needs to deal with cloud infrastructure. It is a multi-part tutorial on getting started with AWS Cloud Development Kit (AWS CDK). It is not necessary to know and use AWS CloudFormation before, but it can be beneficial.

The initial version of these articles uses AWS CDKs native language, Typescript. There will be additional versions of the articles released for other languages supported by AWS CDK though.

Also, these articles also use AWS CDK version 2. At the time of writing it is not yet the official latest public release, it is still only a release candidate. However, I believe that version 2 is quite good, and absolutely a reasonable candidate to use if you start new with AWS CDK.

It is mainly organisational changes compared to version 1, which will make live easier in the long run. Actual service implementations are largely the same in version 1 and 2.

The articles assumes no previous CloudFormation infrastructure in place. There will be a separate set of articles around migration from CloudFormation to AWS CDK though, so keep an eye out for that, if you already have a lot of CloudFormation and consider to migrate to AWS CDK.

Interesting blog posts

Here are a few interesting blog posts from AWS:

Alex Pulver writes about recommendations for project structure for AWS CDK solutions in Python. There are some Python specifics there, but also general good recommendations for using AWS CDK.

The AWS DevOps blog posts about parallel and dynamic SaaS deployments with AWS CDK pipelines, which provides a solution to dynamically generate pipelines from database entries. The solution approach is for a SaaS solution, but I think this approach has merit for other solutions as well. At the very least it can be an inspiration for a dynamic generation of pipelines with AWS services.

Aspects is a neat feature of AWS CDK which sometimes is forgotten. If you have some logic that needs to be applied or performed on all or some resources in your CDK App, Stage, Stack or similar, then you can use aspects for that. In this AWS blog post, there is an example to use aspects to apply policy-as-code governance checks, before the CDK synthesises the actual CloudFormation. This is an alternate approach to use tools such as CloudFormation Guard, Checkov, or cfn-nag, which all perform checks on CloudFormation itself.

I am not convinced this approach is better than using these purpose-built tools, but it is still a good illustration of how you can use aspects in AWS CDK.

Re:Invent 2021

Next week is Re:Invent 2021 week.

To be honest, I am not as eager as I used to be some years ago about Re:Invent. I have been to one Re:Invent in Las Vegas a few years ago, and it was both great and horrible at the same time. There were some great conversations with people, and a few very nice sessions. But the scale and the logistics around it in a bit bizarre place (Las Vegas strip area), is certainly not something I enjoy.

Last year’s remote Re:Invent was generally uninspiring, I think. Most of the sessions then was still at fixed schedules, as if they would have been in-place sessions, even though they were for the most part recorded. It was simply a not so good attempt at transforming an in-place event to an online event.

Despite my negativity here, it looks potentially that this Re:Invent may be a bit better than the 2020 one. A lesson learned seems to be that most sessions can be viewed on-demand, with only a few live sessions. This year it is also both in-place as well as online, so it will be interesting to see how that plays out for both groups.

I will attend online, and I have picked a bunch of items to build my agenda so far. It remains to be seen what kind of interactivity will be available to those that are online.

The AWS DevOps blog also published a post with attendee information for the DevOps and Developer tracks. It is a bit more helpful to navigate that, than to navigate AWS agenda builder from scratch.

You can find the contents of this bulletin and older ones, and more at Tidy Cloud AWS. You will also find other useful articles around AWS automation and infrastructure-as-software.

Until next time,