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Netflix closes data centers and goes to public cloud

As it shuts its final data center, for Netflix it’s all about the CDN!

Netflix will have moved completely to the public cloud this summer, when it shuts its last data center, according to reports.

The company began moving to Amazon’s AWS after a major failure in its data center in 2008, and will now become one of the first major companies to move completely to the public cloud, according to an email sent to CIO Journal.

Customer facing cloud

Netflix’s customer facing streaming business has been 100 percent cloud based for some time, the email explains, but the process to move the entire business to the cloud has taken eight years, as Netflix’s technology and cloud delivery have matured.

The transition has been a gradual one with different components of the operation being completely transitioned to the cloud in a planned exodus from the data center, says the letter, echoing a description of the process given to DCD by Stephen Orban of Amazon

Along with customer facing streaming, Netflix moved its Big Data platform in 2013, and 2014 saw billing and payment infrastructures make the move.

Netflix has a high level of confidence in the ability of AWS to meet operational business needs, but it’s worth noting that Amazon itself does not run its own business entirely on the cloud, and is pushing hard to compete with Netflix via its own Amazon video streaming services.

Netflix is not, however, giving up on its own content delivery network, which its has been deploying over the same period of time to certain service providers. It will continue to install its own servers at those service providers, and will maintain control of the service delivery network outside of the AWS ecosystem.

This delivery system is more important than the data center in maintaining a high level of performance to Netflix’s end user customers, caching video at the ISP site in order to improve the performance of the streaming service and not requiring the network traffic to move outside of the user’s local provider.

Still, with the closure of its final data center, all of Netflix’s IT operations will be cloud based, split between AWS and its own CDN.

Readers' comments (3)

  • Great article, David. Nice dive in to the detail.

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  • Huh?

    "but it’s worth noting that Amazon itself does not run its own business entirely on the cloud"

    Surely Amazon run their business on their own cloud, ie a subset of the total infrastructure they rent out to others. Unless you are saying it's worth noting they don't run all their business on Azure/GCloud!!

    Unless you are talking about them having some entirely private server farms to take over internal ops should they have a major outage on AWS, which IMHO would be completely rational (as in having something to bootstrap your cloud service back from).

    Belt and braces really counts when you are as big as that.

    And is it any coincidence that I've found Netflix to be noticeably slower to browse and search for media in the last 6 months?


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  • Good points Alex. I did mean that Amazon has dedicated server farms and some quite traditional infrastructure for its back office. Which, as you say is quite rational.


  • I have used neflix for a long while. 1st the dvd hard discs, and now the streaming (both now). I frequently have problems with the discs arriving at my residence in a timely fashion. So, I also subscribed to the streaming service. Now I realize that the movie offerings for streaming are mostly b movies, especially in the horror category. I streamed 2001 a space oddy. but couldn't stream 2010, the sequal. ???????????? I couldn't stream raiders of the lost ark???? And the list of movies I couldn't stream goes on and on and on. Now amazon is getting involved? I don't trust amazon at all, nor jeff Bezos. Greed is what rules most large companies, including Netflix and amazon. am waiting to see the results of Netflix's involvement with amazon. I will probably cancel my subscription with Netflix before long, base on service and the available movies for streaming. I now hate Netflix and amazon. And what about the "human test on this website?????? Morons. One more try, then fuck you datacenter dynamics idiots?????

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  • Er, don't shoot the messenger, Everett!

    We just report what is happening, we have nothing to do with Netflix itself, and we suggest you take your issues there.

    Peter Judge
    Global Editor DCD

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