One of my jobs (at least as I see it) is not only to automate infrastructure, but also to consolidate and simplify infrastructure. Too many companies I have worked at have small bits of amazing things, surrounded by loads of convoluted messes left by others. As we move more and more into public cloud infrastructure, in this case AWS, I started thinking about the things I could simplify using AWS only tools. The old way of doing things (as set up by the engineers before me) was to have loads of cron jobs, running across multiple machines, for tasks like taking EBS snapshots. This isn’t a problem when everything is humming along perfectly, but as soon as something breaks, the hunt for where it broke begins. My old strategy involved using the bastion hosts (those that sat on the outside of the VPC for access to VPC machines). But even this could be missed by someone who doesn’t understand my particular way of doing things. This also doesn’t provide consolidated logging either, unless you consume logs from every bastion host into some logging service. Enter Lambda.