Netflix reveals challenges in the Cloud

Technology managers at video distributor Netflix Inc. have started a remarkably candid blog about their experiences with mission-critical cloud computing.

Technology managers at video distributor Netflix Inc., which last year took a big plunge into the public cloud, have started a remarkably candid blog about their experiences with mission-critical cloud computing.

Netflix redeployed most of its customer-facing applications -- including its Web site, search, recommendations, video streaming and huge data stores -- to Amazon.com Inc.'s cloud service. It's been a "Herculean effort," wrote John Ciancutti, one of three Netflix vice presidents of engineering, in The Netflix Tech Blog ( http://techblog.netflix.com ).

One reason for moving to the cloud was the need to completely rethink IT strategy as the company's business model moved from mailing DVDs to streaming video over the Internet, he said. It made sense to have Amazon handle data center infrastructure so that Netflix engineers could focus on innovation and customer experience.

But Ciancutti acknowledged some big challenges. "There were some dark days as we struggled with the sheer size of the task we'd taken on, and some of the differences between how [Amazon's cloud] operates vs. our own data centers," he wrote.

For example, Netflix must cope with hardware failures and slow response times in the cloud, where IT resources are shared with other tenants. "Co-tenancy is hard," Ciancutti said. To address that problem, Netflix developed a software architecture that it calls "Rambo," in which each application can succeed even if related systems fail, he said.

Read more about data center in Computerworld's Data Center Topic Center.

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 computinginternetOracleData Centerhardware systemsnetflixamazon.comConfiguration / maintenance

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

Mitch Betts

Computerworld (US)
Show Comments

Brand Post

Shining a light on creativity

MSI has long pushed the boundaries of invention with its ever-evolving range of laptops but it has now pulled off a world first with the new MSI Creative 17.

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Pope

Dynabook Portégé X30L-G

Ultimately this laptop has achieved everything I would hope for in a laptop for work, while fitting that into a form factor and weight that is remarkable.

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?