Netflix Fully Embraces the Cloud

In spite of Amazon’s entry into a market that directly competes with Netflix, the streaming video provides continues to  store all of its titles on Amazon Web Services (AWS). Netflix’s  service has been heavily affected by the major AWS outages in the past few years, but Netflix remains committed to the promise of cloud computing. In fact, the company is so committed it is migrating the bulk of its infrastructure operations to the cloud.

Netflix’s Cloudy Intentions

Mike Kali, head of IT Operations for the company, expects 95 percent of the 2500 virtual machines that support Netflix will move to AWS within the next 18 months. Netflix is not stopping there – the remaining five percent of instances will be moved afterwards. Netflix is one of a few enterprises that is willing to trust its entire administrative infrastructure to the cloud, and more importantly, actually make it work. The company’s core business is already dependent on Amazon, so becoming even more dependent translates into very little additional risk.

Although cloud computing has a long list of benefits, there’s still the matter of outages. Netflix is doing its best to mitigate the risk. The streaming video provider leverages a content delivery network (CDN) that speeds response times and provides a level of resiliency by delivering content from from locations that are closest to the company’s customers. In addition to this, Netflix’s has produced several specialized software products that are designed to minimize downtime – an released most as open source to help other AWS users. Chaos Monkey is the most recent, and it will soon be joined by Chaos Gorilla, a more powerful version of the uptime assurance software.

Netflix is demonstrating what’s truly possible with the cloud. As more companies take similar steps, it may force organizations to take a more critical look at the necessity of on premises data centers.