Takeaways from Netflix in the Cloud at Velocity 2011
Adrian Cockcroft (@adrianco) from @Netflix just gave a killer presentation at #velocityconf on their usage of the cloud in powering unprecedented growth in their business and the demands of their global infrastructure.
To start off, you should know that Netflix is ~100% in the cloud.
A couple key takeaways:
Can You Build Datacenters Fast Enough?
@adrianco led with a pretty interesting problem they faced: they could not build datacenters fast enough for their growth. Hence the “fire burning down the datacenter” slide:
Their growth was 69% year over year, and was showing no signs of stopping. They simply could not build facilities fast enough. Not just for the serving of content (which is admittedly static… they’re just giant video files retrieved via HTTP GET), but for the re-encoding of the entire Netflix library every time a new device or platform joined the family.
Remember when Netflix came to the Wii? The entire Netflix collection of video had to be re-encoded. Same thing for the iPad, and every other platform that now offers Netflix streaming for. They scaled out thousands of servers on-demand to meet this need.
A Global Infrastructure Footprint
New growth for Netflix is largely international, and they have an ambitious plan in place to capture that global demand for streaming video. Accordingly, they’re leveraging Amazon’s global footprint to put their infrastructure close to where their users are in the world. It’s a smart architectural play that increase performance for end-users and decreases the risk of downtime.
Most of their new infrastructure will be deployed internationally, and they’re prepared and ready. When Amazon launched EC2 services in Japan, they had support in their tools for the new location and ready for production duty the next day. What was the longest delay? According to Adrian, “we had to find an icon to represent Japan in the tools!”.
The Goals of Netflix in the Cloud
Faster, Scalable, Available, Productive. Now those are goals we can all get on board with.
What’s Next for Netflix in the Cloud?
Here are the full slides:
Overall, an outstanding kicked to #velocityconf. Well done @adrianco!