So there's a lot of confusion about what Parler being kicked off of Amazon Web Services (@awscloud) means. Let me do a quick thread to explain it to folks who aren't deep in the technical weeds...
You use an app (in this case, Parler). There's a web site you can use, and apps you can download onto your phone via Apple and Google. Those three versions of the app all talk to servers (big computers) behind the scenes.
In the Olden Days, getting those servers took months. Then you had to sign deals with companies to host those servers--they take massive amounts of power, they run hot so air conditioning is a big deal, and they need a *lot* of bandwidth.
About 15 years ago or so, Amazon (the online bookstore) had a revelation and started AWS. The idea being that instead of needing tens of thousands of dollars to get those servers built up, and spending months on it, that they would rent you these servers by the hour.
"A credit card and a few clicks of a mouse later" you were basically able to spin up huge numbers of these servers.
This powers Netflix! This is what Capital One does! It's not just random social media apps. Today AWS sees around $50 billion a year in revenue. It's a real business.
Getting booted off of AWS is virtually unheard of; when people leave intentionally the planning takes months; execution can take years. It's a lot harder than you think for a few reasons.
It takes time to move all of that data (there's a reason downloads take a while), but that's just the beginning.

AWS doesn't just sell "big empty computers." They offer higher level services. Preconfigured databases, automatic video streaming, etc.
These services aren't really directly compatible with other companies' offerings. Making what you built on AWS's systems work elsewhere is super challenging.
Parler claims they didn't use these higher level services. Taking that as true, there are still problems. The way AWS's services work--how you create them, how long that creation process takes, how you get data onto them? They behave differently in AWS's world than elsewhere.
A lot of assumptions about how the servers behave are "baked in" to how Parler (and any AWS hosted application) are built. A lot of companies don't realize that those assumptions are there until they try to move.

That's why migrations take months / years. Parler has 30 hours.
A lot of folks in the cloud computing world make noises about this, about why "deploying on multiple clouds at once" is imperative. I have and do disagree with this notion--it takes a LOT of work and time that could be used to make the product better.
But if you're going to get booted off of basically every cloud provider out there because you can't follow their very, very, very permissive rules? It's no longer optional.

I will now field questions!
"What other providers will tolerate this?"

None of the household names. *Maybe* AliCloud? Anyone who tries for it is going to inevitably end up with a lot of FBI inquiries and a pile of bad press.

And they'll of course be blamed for any Parler outages.
"Containers" is an argument against this stuff. It's a bit technical, but the way those containers all talk to each other? How the servers underneath the containers get built? How the networking is configured? How they find one another? There are provider-specific assumptions.
Hoo boy. Setting aside the hilarious idea of "me as AWS shill" entirely, you don't get to run even a mid-sized web property for long without having an abuse desk, or the big cloud providers will absolutely shut YOU down so the government doesn't shut THEM down.
"We reserve the right to boot you off for convenience" is in AWS's contract terms. "We reserve the right to boot you off immediately for cause" is as well. Their lawyers are phenomenal, and they have deep pockets.
"I'm going to build my own hyperscale cloud provider like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft!" Notice how all three of those companies had existing businesses that weren't cloud computing first?

Figure on $20 billion for your first wave hyperscale cloud.
I track AWS as a business and as a hobby. The only ones I'm aware of besides Parler are Gab and Wikileaks.
I would be less likely to use AWS to host, y'know. Stormfront.

Their generic terms are quite clear in when they're allowed to do this. Netflix is losing no sleep tonight.
Pornhub self-hosts. The chans are something of a mystery.

And there are a number of adult entertainment sites on AWS and others, but you won't see their logos on the AWS sales pages.
The email that Buzzfeed quoted stated that Parler's data would remain available for them after Sunday night.
Oh yes. Let me be very clear: there are abhorrent things to both far right and far left hosted on AWS. They don't judge on that axis. Their only basis for removing sites has historically been "breaking the law."
Will you please invite me to the meeting in which some sysadmin asks a question of the form "but what if we decide to pivot to criminal pornography?"
I'm unclear how they got up the first time. VCs won't invest in this. Ad revenue isn't anywhere near where it would have to be to support it. It's not my area.

But I do know that the talent and resources it takes to host this equates to a burning pile of cash.
This is an amazing and poignant analogy. There are valid reasons to avoid one or more cloud providers; "they might hit us with the banhammer" is absolutely not one of them for any business that isn't basically Al Qaeda.
That's even worse. So you build a facility and shove computers into it: who's going to provide the internet connectivity? All of those companies have basically the same Acceptable Use Policy. Host calls for violence that you don't take down? They'll pull the plug and walk.
Yes, this is worth pointing out as a rejoinder to "Amazon took Parler down because they don't like us!" takes.

They continue to host the "publication" that threatened to leak Jeff Bezos's dick pics. Let that sink in.

"AWS will boot us off" is absolutely not a concern for you.
This is also helpful context. This wasn't a "surprise, you're getting booted tomorrow!" email. There have been ongoing conversations between Parler and AWS for weeks over this.

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More from @QuinnyPig

11 Jan
Man this Parler lawsuit against @awscloud is really something else.…
First, it asserts that AWS took Parler down to... benefit Twitter since AWS had just signed a deal with them.

I'm sorry, the idea of AWS actively helping a customer compete against another is laughable. They don't extend that courtesy to their own service teams!
I'll also point out that had Parler been a Grown Up Company and gotten a $0 Enterprise Agreement in place like responsible orgs do, this entire section would have been extended out massively: Image
Read 5 tweets
9 Jan
I don't know that I can do @iancoldwater's response justice, but I'm going to assume that @peterskillman's question was sincere and answer it in good faith in this thread. What would I change about @awscloud's UX design?

Here we go.
A "v2" series of APIs for everything that is standardized between services. v1 will work forever (I know, you never turn off anything) but v2 will remove huge customer friction.
Hurl money at @iann0036 to implement Console Recorder as a first party service. The fact that someone else had to do this and got it done in a month or two of their own spare time? Bad look.
Read 39 tweets
8 Jan
Is it safe to tweet about @newrelic? The last time I tried some shitheads staged an insurrection.

So! New Relic sponsors my stuff. (Thanks! You help keep the Duckbill Group's Spite Budget topped up, and that's profoundly appreciated.)
"You say mean things about New Relic but take their money, isn't that disingenuous?"

It would be if I wasn't exceedingly clear about this up front with all of my sponsors. Specifically "if I only say nice things about you because you pay me, nobody will listen to me."
Read 21 tweets
8 Jan
Oh I like this. Let me help! Some #techtipsforParler they should make sure to do to fix their @awscloud bill, since they apparently have one:
"X" is a cool letter. Be sure that all of your EC2 instances start with it. #techtipsforParler
S3 buckets are finite resources, so be sure to use one bucket for your Lambda jobs. Make sure that the source and destination are in the same place, and automatically triggered. #techtipsforParler
Read 16 tweets
6 Jan
New game, Twitter.

Find me a job posting that vaguely resembles "what you think I do" and then I will mock it.

It's gotta be at a big company, though; I don't want to crap on some overloaded 5 person startup for a bad req.
What does it mean to work at IBM? A bunch of things that absolutely don't apply to a corporate comms role. Get any thoughts of being valued right the hell out of your non-coding head immediately.
Read 11 tweets
6 Jan
Uhhhh this is not how I understood @goserverless's security model to work.
If I scroll to the very end of a 55KB text file I find this defensive wording:
That sure is a lot of words to say "@goserverless will copy up your @awscloud API credentials to their service and execute things on your behalf."
Read 4 tweets

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