Elon Musk cuts Twitter’s cloud infrastructure budget

Hello and welcome to Protocol Enterprise! Today: Why news that Elon Musk wants to dramatically cut spending on Twitter’s infrastructure could hurt the company as much as anything else he’s done, AWS CEO Adam Selipsky on hiring priorities and the tao of computing.

Execution errors

Let’s get one thing up front: Twitter has always been one of the most visible examples of one of the lesser-known aspects of the tech industry, namely that the hardware and software that power some of the most important and influential online services are often held together through a series of daily miracles and sheer hard work. But the wrecking ball sent by Elon Musk via Twitter this week could easily upset that delicate balance and shut down the company faster than any advertiser boycott could.

Musk ordered Twitter engineers to cut $1 billion this week, according to Reuters from the company’s annual technical infrastructure budget until Monday before laying off thousands of workers on Friday. Given that Twitter reported $1.8 billion as its cost to generate revenue for fiscal 2021 — infrastructure costs are a big part of that number, but not the only contributor — if that number is accurate, we’re talking about huge cuts.

We know a little about Twitter’s current infrastructure strategy.

  • Like many companies born in the mid-2000s before cloud computing really came of age, Twitter initially operated in self-managed data centers.
  • Unlike many companies born at the time, Twitter was notoriously unreliable in those early days, routinely crashing during sporting events and Apple keynotes, giving birth to the infamous “whale crash”.
  • However, Twitter’s engineers were able to come up with unique ways to solve these reliability problems, giving rise to now widely used concepts such as the service mesh.
  • While the company still operates its own data centers, it relocated in 2018 a large part of its data infrastructure to Google Cloud and in 2020 signed a multi-year agreement with AWS to run real-time tweet timelines on the cloud leader’s servers.
Also Read :  Bitcoin purists slam Luxor's support of 'magic internet jpegs'

One simply does not violate a multi-year computing infrastructure agreement with AWS, especially on the weekend.

Musk’s operational challenges are clear: He needs to reduce the cost of servicing the $1 billion in annual debt payments he has saddled the company with by taking it private.

  • But as we learned from Mudge’s whistleblower report, Twitter’s infrastructure was already creaky and lacked some of the backup and recovery capabilities that are considered table stakes for Internet service businesses of this type.
  • That means any disruption to the Rube Goldberg machine lets the tweets flow could simply render Twitter unusable for a long time.

If the report is accurate, cutting Twitter’s infrastructure costs by almost half overnight will have an immediate impact stability and reliability of the service.

  • I mean, it’s not rocket science.

— Tom Krazit (by e-mail | twitter)

Sponsored content from ServiceNow

Ever since the pandemic put everything into hyperdrive, marketers realized that the old categories of B2B, B2C, and B2B2C were obsolete. Since 2020, our profession has adopted the Business to People (B2P) paradigm. Businesses are essentially relationships between people. Even in the largest companies, people are still the ones who make the major decisions.

Find out more

Selipsky’s “very conservative” AWS

AWS is reducing hiring for new positions at the cloud computing provider, according to CEO Adam Selipsky.

“AWS has done a lot of hiring over the last few years to support innovation and customer service,” Selipsky said in an interview with Protocol on Friday. “We’ve grown significantly. I think we have a strong set of resources. We’re definitely going to slow down our growth… in recruiting.”

Also Read :  Amazon India likely to axe jobs amid global layoffs

The news follows Beth Galetti, senior vice president of human experience and technology at parent company Amazon, saying this week that the retail and tech giant would temporarily halt new incremental hiring for its corporate employees due to the “unusual macroeconomic environment” but would continue to hire in “targeted locations “.

Galetti said Amazon wants to balance its hiring and investments by being “thoughtful” about the economy.

“With the economy in a shaky place and in light of how many people we’ve hired in the last few years, [Amazon CEO Andy Jassy] and the S-team have decided to suspend new incremental hires in our corporate workforce this week,” Galetti said in a message shared with employees Wednesday and released Thursday. “We have already done so in several of our businesses in recent weeks and have added more of our businesses to this approach.”

“Across Amazon, we’re going to be very conservative in terms of the resources we bring on board for the foreseeable future,” Selipsky said. “AWS will also be very conservative about the new resources we bring on board. We always care about the long-term health of the company. And if we need to do something to serve customers or build an important capability, we take the long term.”

We’ll have more from the protocol’s in-depth interview with Selipsky in the coming weeks. Stay tuned.

— Donna Goodison (by e-mail | twitter)

A challenge to think about planetary calculations

What is the future of computing? How will technological stacks affect the geopolitical order in the coming years? Is Earth gradually developing its own intelligent consciousness?

If these questions excite and inspire you, the Computer Philosophy Project launched by the Berggruen Institute—which will pay to convene philosophers, designers, technologists, and other technothinkers in Los Angeles, Mexico City, and Seoul to ponder them—is looking for participants.

“The goal is to really shift the theoretical and practical, philosophical discourse around computation that reorients computation toward a more productive relationship to the planetary future,” said Benjamin Bratton, a professor at the University of California, San Diego and director of the program. me last month. “Calculation is an essential part of this equation,” he said.

Take climate change. Bratton said: “The very idea of ​​climate change itself is the result of a calculation on a planetary scale. Without sensors and simulations and supercomputer models, the very idea of ​​climate change, at least in its scientific granularity, cannot exist.”

The Antikythera Program, named after the Antikythera Mechanism – the world’s first known computer – is accepting applications until November 11.

—Kate Kaye (by e-mail | twitter)

Around the business

Microsoft reported the percentage of cyber attacks nation-state groups targeting critical infrastructure reached 40% in the 12 months ending June 2022, doubling year-on-year due to Russia-linked attacks on Ukraine and espionage against the US and other Ukrainian allies.

Alibaba Cloud will use its in-house developed Arm server chips to power 20% of its instances by 2025, the company said this week.

Sponsored content from ServiceNow

The pandemic was a global event that somewhat paradoxically brought intense attention to the personal. In a marketing context, she emphasized the centrality of supporting customers’ purpose—personal and organizational—and the need to serve a hierarchy of customers’ customer needs, as those needs change over time.

Find out more

Thanks for reading – see you on Monday!


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Related Articles

Back to top button