Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Netflix is Ready to Shut Down its Last Data Center

Netflix is Ready to Shut Down its Last Data Center

            Netflix will become one of the first large companies to run all of its information technology in the “public cloud”.  However, Glenn O’Donnell, VP and research director at Forrester Research, said that “a 100% cloud operation is going to be extremely rare for big established companies”, due to legacy systems already in place that are unable to switch to the cloud. The closer of the last data center has been in sights of Netflix since 2008, when it experienced a major hardware failure; over the next couple years Netflix began using Amazon Web Services to start bringing different platforms to the cloud, including their streaming service, iPhone related technology, and BigData.
            I think the biggest part of this story that stuck with me was that Netflix now has no more data centers. It seems mind boggling that a company as large as Netflix could feasibly do this; while, at the same time continuing the streaming services with no interference or malfunctions to the service itself. Netflix is in a unique place now, where they don’t ever have to worry about blackouts, natural disasters, etc. because there is nothing to destroy. They have effectively backed up tiny pieces of their data centers to every single Netflix user’s computer in the world, and in turn, those connections create a failsafe for Netflix.
            Another thing that caught my eye was that only a small percentage of large companies are doing what Netflix has done. Whether it’s because of legacy systems that can’t be converted to the cloud, or just lack of trust in the cloud system, I think that large companies should start to put in place a hybrid system between public cloud and private cloud (ie. data centers), that favors a large percentage in the public cloud. This system, which some companies are beginning to implement, complements each other by using the public cloud as a failsafe for data centers, and data centers as a failsafe for the public cloud.
            Lastly, the only thing Netflix has kept out of the Amazon Web Service is its content delivery, this is because of its competition with Amazon’s video-streaming service, which is gaining popularity and giving Netflix a run for its money. To make up for this lack of service from Amazon, Netflix uses Internet service providers and third parties to deliver their content fast and reliably to the users.
            I thought that this article overlooked many of the risks associated with putting your entire IT in the cloud, they are essentially putting all their eggs in one basket and better hope that that basket is sturdy enough to carry such a heavy burden. Also I thought there was a lack of discussion in two areas: the inevitable breaches in Netflix security by spreading their services out among millions of people, and that Netflix put an awful lot of their services into the hands of Amazon.


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