Netflix opens door to leaving Amazon Web Services

Just this week, Netflix expects to finish porting its entire streaming business to Amazon

Netflix designed its cloud architecture so that it has the option to move to an Amazon Web Services competitor, but doesn't expect a real competitor to emerge for a few years, a Netflix executive said on Wednesday.

"I don't see another cloud right now that has the scale and features we could operate on," Adrian Cockcroft, director of cloud systems architecture for Netflix, said. He spoke at the CloudBeat conference in Redwood City, California, on Wednesday.

Still, Netflix built its cloud implementations so that they are abstracted by layers of Java code, making them portable, he said. "We built it with the idea that it could be ported. It wouldn't be easy and we don't see a place to port it to right now," he said.

"We think in a few years' time we're likely to be in a situation where cloud vendors are interchangeable," Cockcroft said. "It's just not there now."

Netflix is an Amazon poster child of a large enterprise moving its core technology into the public cloud. Just this week, it will complete the process of moving everything it plans to to Amazon. "We've been moving the back-end data sources that still live in the data center one by one to the cloud. We're in the final stages this week," he said.

Netflix started experimenting with public cloud services in 2009, but got serious about moving its website and streaming business to Amazon last year. It continues to run its corporate IT services and DVD shipping business internally.

The company has around 1,000 virtual machines running internally and 10,000 with Amazon, he said. "A year ago our cloud deployment was maybe a fifth of that," he said.

Amazon offers Netflix "immense flexibility," he said. Netflix routinely spins up 1,000 machines in a weekend, and might decide in a day or two it doesn't need them. Few other services could support that volume, he said.

Netflix is in the process of setting up its streaming services from Amazon's Ireland data center in order to offer its service in Ireland and the U.K.

While Rackspace is starting to add cloud capabilities designed for larger customers, it started out targeting people deploying Web apps on 20 to 30 servers, Lew Moorman, CSO and president of the cloud at Rackspace, said. "At Amazon, they started with the super computing use case and now they're making it more useable for the average user. Adrian [Cockcroft] is not the average user. So we come at it in different ways. We're moving into high-scale elastic use case and they're moving down." He figures there are maybe 20 companies in the world with similar demands as Netflix.

Nancy Gohring covers mobile phones and cloud computing for The IDG News Service. Follow Nancy on Twitter at @idgnancy. Nancy's e-mail address is Nancy_Gohring@idg.com

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 computinginternetAmazon Web ServicesnetflixInfrastructure services

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

Nancy Gohring

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Stocking Stuffer

SmartLens - Clip on Phone Camera Lens Set of 3

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Microsoft Office 365/Dell XPS 15 2-in-1

I’d recommend a Dell XPS 15 2-in-1 and the new Windows 10 to anyone who needs to get serious work done (before you kick back on your couch with your favourite Netflix show.)

Maryellen Rose George

Brother PT-P750W

It’s useful for office tasks as well as pragmatic labelling of equipment and storage – just don’t get too excited and label everything in sight!

Cathy Giles

Brother MFC-L8900CDW

The Brother MFC-L8900CDW is an absolute stand out. I struggle to fault it.

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

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.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?