What led Netflix to shut their own data centers and migrate to AWS?



Moving to the cloud has allowed Netflix to keep its existing members well engaged with overall viewing growing exponentially.

Netflix stats showing the rising streaming hours

Netflix itself has continued to evolve rapidly by using many new features and relying on ever-growing volumes of data. Supporting this fast growth would not be possible earlier using their own in-house data centers. Netflix could not have racked the servers fast enough to support their own growth. While Cloud brings elasticity, which allows Netflix to add thousands of virtual servers and petabytes of storage within minutes which makes the whole process easier

As of January 2016, Netflix has expanded into 130 new countries. It uses multiple AWS Cloud regions which are spread all over the world to create a better and more enjoyable streaming experience for Netflix members wherever they are.

Netflix relies on Cloud for all its scalability, computing, and storage needs (not only video streaming) — Netflix business logic, distributed databases, big data processing, analytics, recommendations, transcoding, and hundreds of other functions that are used by Netflix all go through their Cloud infrastructure. Netflix also has its own Content Delivery Network (CDN) known as Netflix Open Connect which is used to deliver videos globally in an efficient manner.

When Netflix was using their own data centers, it faced a lot of outages. Cloud Computing is not perfect either, even though Netflix has hit some rough patches in the cloud, a steady increase in the overall availability has been noticed. Failures are ultimately unavoidable in any large-scale distribution system, even a cloud one. However, a Cloud-based system allows you to create redundancy measures while become quite helpful. Cloud Computing has made it possible to survive failures without impacting the member experience.

Why Netflix shifted to the cloud although it took so long?

The benefits are very clear, but it still took seven years for Netflix to complete the migration. Moving to the cloud is a lot of work and a lot of factors need to be considered. Netflix could easily move all of its existing systems to AWS but bringing existing systems also brings all the problems and limitations that were present. So, Netflix took the cloud-native approach, they rebuilt all of their technology and fundamentally changed the way they operate the whole company. Netflix migrated from a single application to thousands of micro-services.

How Netflix Gains New Efficiencies Using AWS Lambda by Neil Hunt, Chief Product Officer, Netflix

Netflix Realizes Multi-Region Resiliency Using Amazon Route 53

Netflix: Multi-Regional Resiliency and Amazon Route 53

In this episode of This is My Architecture, Coburn Watson, director of performance and reliability engineering at Netflix, walks through the company’s DNS architecture — built on Amazon Route 53 and augmented with Netflix’s Zuul — that allows the team to evacuate an entire region in less than 40 minutes.


Netflix is the world’s leading internet television network, with more than 100 million members in more than 190 countries enjoying 125 million hours of TV shows and movies each day. Netflix uses AWS for nearly all its computing and storage needs, including databases, analytics, recommendation engines, video transcoding, and more — hundreds of functions that in total use more than 100,000 server instances on AWS.

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I am a DevOps Enthusiast and recently taken to Cloud Computing. Learning Flutter App Development currently. In my free time I engage in competitive coding.

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Shirsha Datta

I am a DevOps Enthusiast and recently taken to Cloud Computing. Learning Flutter App Development currently. In my free time I engage in competitive coding.