Netflix turns from Oracle, IBM to Amazon to save cash

The movie service's cloud architect says Amazon Web Services provided better flexibility and savings

Netflix moved some of its most crucial IT operations over to Amazon Web Services' Elastic Compute Cloud in order to save money and gain flexibility compared to using more Oracle software and IBM iron.

"Our datacenter runs Oracle on IBM hardware, we could have switched to commodity hardware in a data center, but skipped that step by going to AWS," Netflix cloud architect Adrian Cockcroft told the consulting firm Cloudscaling in an interview posted Tuesday. "There are three points on cost, one is that Oracle on IBM is very expensive, so AWS looks cheap in comparison, and we have flat-lined our datacenter capacity."

In addition, Netflix "could not have hired enough [system and database administrators] to build out our own data center this fast. We have added 4-5x as many systems in the cloud as the total we have in our data center over the last year," he said.

Finally, EC2's pay-as-you-go model means costs are elastic. "If you own a resource it sits around a long time waiting to be delivered and installed, and if you no longer want to use that type of resource you are still paying for it for three years."

Cockcroft's remarks add some color to Netflix's announcement in May that it would significantly expand its use of AWS. The company had already been using the service for various customer-facing and internal applications, but decided to add "critical pieces" of its service, including member movie lists, a recommendation engine and film transcoding.

The move enabled Netflix to free up "scarce engineering resources from the undifferentiated heavy lifting of running its own infrastructure," it said at the time.

Netflix's skyrocketing customer count, which now stands at about 16 million, also made the job of running and expanding data centers too unpredictable, according to a presentation Cockcroft gave at the recent QCon conference. In addition, the company has been rapidly transitioning from a DVD-delivery outfit to a mainly streaming operation.

For actually streaming the movies to customers, Netflix contracts with companies like Akamai and Limelight, Cockcroft told Cloudscaling. It also runs systems for account sign-up, billing and other needs elsewhere, he added.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags cloud computingdatabasesIT managementCIO roleinternetOraclesoftwareapplicationshardware systemsit strategyAmazon Web ServicesnetflixInternet-based applications and services

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Chris Kanaracus

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?