5 AWS Trends and Wishes for early 2019

AWS is the largest public Cloud provider in the world, and it is constantly evolving at a rapid clip, and using the scale of its service to reap the benefits from the economies that can be brought to bear at that scale.

The IT industry is itself evolving, with new patterns, protocols, and approaches being created in and out of the cloud. AWS is well placed to embrace many of these trends; things like WebSockets, IPv6, and more. But not everything is “done”in AWS; it’s all a continuous work-in-progress to stay current; but AWS’s approach (independent Service Teams, loose coupling, well-documented API interfaces)  and track record puts it far ahead of the competition in the race to stay current.

I’ve been using AWS for >10 years now, hold 8 AWS Certifications at this point in time, served nearly 3 years as the only Solution Architect with a “depth” in Security for Australia & New Zealand, have been a Cloud Warrior for 2 years, and now an AWS Ambassador. I’ve developed and delivered critical government solutions in Australia that the entire population depends upon every day, so have a reasonably deep understanding of the requirements that organisations have around their digital systems. With nearly 20 years as a Debian Linux developer, and >20 years delivering online services, my experience puts me in reasonable position to understand the ecosystem.

Here’s a list of things I foresee becoming commonplace in early 2019:

  • Organisation CloudTrail: enforcing company wide API logging standards, leading to better analysis of CloudTrail logs and the activity they expose
  • Enforced patterns around serving static content via S3: blocked public access by default, enabled only by CloudFront and Origin Access Identity to serve content stored in S3. side effect: appropriate TLS Certificates, and TLS Protocol and Cipher enforcement.
  • Virtual Private Cloud: enforced company-wide standards on routing: Transit Gateway from a corporate “production services”account”, once DirectConnect is supported by Transit Gateway
  • CloudFront and ALB set to HTTPS only (possibly with HTTP-> HTTPS redirect), with TLS 1.2 only!

5 Things I’d still like to see in AWS:

  • Improved health checks for Network and Application Load Balancers, similar to the existing ELB (Classic).
  • ECDSA certificates from Amazon Certificate Manager
  • TLS 1.3 on ALB, CloudFront, and the ability to restrict TLS Protocols to TLS 1.2+, or TLS 1.3+.
  • VPC: IPv6-only comms for intra-VPC services (RDS, ElastiCache, ALB/ELB, RedShift, etc.), IPv6-only subnets leading to IPv6-only VPCs, helped by service discounts for adopting IPv6-only
  • In Australia: AWS finally added to the ASD Protected Cloud list, without a Consumer Guide!

None of these are surprises to those who have extensively used AWS and hold those valuable AWS certifications.  These items don’t preclude your immediate extensive usage of the Cloud; they present visibility of the continuing evolution that is required in IT.

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