I just canceled Gnip's account with its traditional hosting provider. We had a good experience with them, but we moved our stuff to the AWS/Ec2 recently so they became obsolete for us. I also just received the following email from our account representative there (a good guy).
"Hi Jud. I'd like to keep you as a customer. I think that PROVIDER-NAME has a good reputation for working hard to provide good service. We have some great hardware and data center, too. I am prepared to create a web-based API for you to create, resize, shutdown, reinstall VPSs. You'd be able to do that on host servers you own (most cost effective) or on any of our regular shared host servers (which would give you the instant scalability you need). Plus with our setup each server instance would retain its IP address between restarts, and you'd have a file system that remained between reboots (and did not require re-setup), plus you'd still have the option of using S3 for shared data or large data sets if you needed it. What would it take to keep you as a customer? We can implement most things for you and hopefully we can save you a lot of time, hassle and effort changing hosting providers."
The email struck me as a form of sympatric speciation. Sympatric speciation is an form of evolution in which two things from the same pool evolve in different directions (for a variety of reasons). All the hardware on Amazon's racks is the same as that in my previous hosted provider's racks, yet, Amazon just sympatricly speciated away from its genetic bretheren. If evolution has taught us anything, it's that the "other species" does not go down without a fight. I'm reminded of some lyrics by Dave Matthew's "Don't Drink the Water;" "Whats this you say, you feel a right to remain? Then stay and I will bury you."