“HEY, KIDS! Why do real work when you can spend 90% of every work day struggling with authentication systems nobody understands, complete with permissions you need to do your job but that nobody can tell you who to ask for! Now, you can, with Amazon Web Services!

That’s right: Amazon Web Services, your one stop shop for filling your life with pointless and confusing red tape!

Usernames and passwords are so 1990s! Instead, log in with your user name and password, and then we’ll prompt you for an eighty digit number, without which you can’t do anything at all!

What’s a role, you ask? It’s like a set of permissions, except it’s an eighty digit number that you need to memorize, once someone with a different role has given you a role that lets you access that role!

Tired of being able to see the machines you’re using listed in a consistent way, regardless of geography? Check out our new feature: randomly resetting your location from ‘Oregon’ to ‘Ohio’ and setting the font size so that only the ‘O’ is visible in the menu, so that you will be perpetually confused as to why your resources aren’t visible!

What, you have no machines in Ohio? No problem! We don’t either!

We’ve heard your feedback about how useful auto-scaling can be, and that’s why we’ve made it so whenever you change an auto-scaling related setting, we terminate all of the affected nodes, losing your data permanently!

That’s right: decrease max scale, or increase it, or change the minimum scale to anything at all, and we will immediately terminate all those machines, so you can wait half an hour for the load balancer to notice and bring new ones up! Magical!

Tired of your machines being able to talk to each other? Try our wonderful new feature: VPC-linked security groups! Now, even if you’re on a role that can see all the machines you need to use, they are nearly guaranteed to have each other blocked! And, as a bonus: modifying a security group or copying a security group from one VPC to another requires a role that nobody in your company has!

Installing applications is lame, right? That’s why we invented AMIs. That’s right, folks: AMIs are entire Linux installs that exist to run exactly one application. Just spend eight hours struggling with our out of date and extremely crippled snapshot of Red Hat’s repositories to install the dependencies for your application, create a snapshot, do it all over again because it’s on the wrong VPC, do it again because it’s on the wrong role, and watch as our molasses-slow console fails to bring up a machine running it and gives no hints as to why you can’t ssh in! (Hint: you’re probably on the wrong security group or VPC!)

And the best part is: we charge by the hour, and WE ROUND UP.”

Written by

Resident hypertext crank. Author of Big and Small Computing: Trajectories for the Future of Software. http://www.lord-enki.net

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