Elon Musk cuts Twitter’s cloud infrastructure budget

Hello, and welcome to Protocol Enterprise! Today: Why Elon Musk wants to cut Twitter’s hiring could hurt the company like everything else he’s done, AWS CEO Adam Selipsky on hiring large, and human of data.

Execution errors

Let’s get one thing straight first: Twitter is one of the clearest examples of one of the least known aspects of the tech industry, the technology and software that powers some of the biggest and important online. services are often held through a series of daily miracles and great gumption. But the wrecking ball sent by Elon Musk via Twitter this week could upset that delicate balance and destroy the industry more than just advertisers.

According to Reuters, this week Musk ordered Twitter engineers to reduce $ 1 billion from the company’s annual technology budget on Monday, before laying off thousands of workers on Friday. Given that Twitter reported $1.8 billion as the cost of revenue for its 2021 fiscal year – business costs are a big part of that figure, but it’s not the only contributor – if that figure is correct , we are talking about big cuts.

We know very little about Twitter’s strategic plan at this point.

  • Like many companies that were born in the mid-2000s before the growth of cloud computing, Twitter first ran on self-managed data centers.
  • Unlike many companies born around that time, Twitter was not reliable in those early days, always going down during sporting events and Apple keyboards and giving birth to the “fail whale.”
  • However, Twitter engineers can create unique ways to solve those reliability problems, leading to the birth of widely used concepts such as service mesh.
  • Although the company is working on its data centers, in 2018 it moved a major part of its data business to Google Cloud, and in 2020 he signed a multiyear agreement with AWS to run a real-time tweet timeline on the servers of the cloud leader.
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Not only does it break an annual billing plan agreement with AWS, especially on weekends.

The risks of Musk’s work are clear: He had to cut costs to service the $1 billion in annual loan payments he was charging the company with taking private.

  • But, as we learned from Mudge’s whistleblower report, Twitter’s system is already broken and lacks some of the backup and recovery options that are supposed to be available to companies that operate the service. website of its kind.
  • It’s like messing with a Rube Goldberg machine send out tweets he may not use Twitter for a long time.

If the report is correct, cutting Twitter’s business costs by half overnight would be immediate. stability and reliability of service.

  • I mean, it’s not rocket science.

— Tom Krazit (email address | twitter)

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Selipsky’s ‘very conservative’ AWS

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

“AWS has done a lot of hiring to drive innovation and work with customers in recent years,” Selipsky told Protocol in an interview on Thursday. “We’ve grown a lot. We have, I think, a strong set of assets. We will accelerate our growth … in hiring. “

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The news follows a statement this week from Beth Galetti, senior vice president of human resources and technology at Amazon’s parent company, that the retail and technology company will be cutting back on new hires for its business unit. due to “a different macroeconomic environment,” but. continue to rent in “designated areas.”

Galetti said Amazon wants to balance its spending and investments with “a sense” about the economy.

“With the economy in an uncertain place and the number of people we’ve hired over the last few years. [Amazon CEO Andy Jassy] and the S-team decided this week to suspend new hires in our workforce,” said Galetti in a letter shared with employees on Wednesday and published on Friday. “It worked. We have already started some of our businesses in recent weeks and have added to our other businesses in this way.”

“On the other side of Amazon, we’re going to be conservative in the future about the resources we bring on board,” Selipsky said. “AWS will be very careful about the new resources we bring on board. We always care about the long-term health of the company. And if there’s anything we need to do to serve customers or build a strong influence, we will take a long view.

We’ll have more from Protocol’s in-depth interview with Selipsky in the coming weeks. Be quiet.

— Donna Goodison (email address | twitter)

An invitation to think about the world

What is the end of the calculation? How will technological innovations affect the geopolitical order in the coming years? Is the world slowly growing in its intelligence?

If these are the kinds of questions that excite and inspire you, a computing education program created by the Berggruen Institute – which is paid to bring together scientists, designers, engineers, and other technology-minded people in Los Angeles, Mexico City, and Seoul to consider. they – are looking for program participants.

“The real goal is to change a philosophical discourse and practice, related to the calculation to redirect the calculation to a better relationship in the future world,” said Benjamin Bratton, the professor at the University of California, San Diego, and director of the program. me last month. “Accounting is a necessary part of that equation,” he said.

Take climate change. Bratton said, “The idea of ​​climate change is the result of global calculations. Without sensors and simulations and super-computing models, it’s impossible the concept of climate change is alive, at least in its scientific granularity.

The Antikythera program, named after the Antikythera machine — the first known computer on earth — is accepting applications until November 11.

— Kate Kaye (email address | twitter)

Around the business

Microsoft said the percentage of cyberattacks by state-owned companies looking for key businesses rose 40% in the 12 months ending June 2022, doubling year-on-year, driven by Russia’s military operations in Ukraine and espionage against the US and Ukrainian allies.

Alibaba Cloud will use its built-in Arm servers in 20% capacity of its cases by 2025, the company said this week.

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Thanks for reading – see you on Monday!



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