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February 15, 2016updated 04 Sep 2016 10:17pm

Netflix completes 7-year move to AWS cloud

News: The company's IT operations have been shifted to Amazon Web Service.

By CBR Staff Writer

Netflix has completed a seven-year cloud migration process in which it shifted its entire IT operations to the Amazon Web Service (AWS) cloud computing platform.

The decision to move to cloud followed an August 2008 disruption, when Netflix experienced a database corruption affecting its DVD-rental business for three days.

The company has since taken steps to move away from vertically scaled single points of failure, such as relational databases in its datacentre, towards reliable, horizontally scalable, distributed systems in the cloud.

Netflix said moving to the cloud has brought several benefits as it currently has eight times the number of video-streaming members as it did in 2008.

Netflix vice president of cloud and platform engineering Yury Izrailevsky said: "The Netflix product itself has continued to evolve rapidly, incorporating many new resource-hungry features and relying on ever-growing volumes of data.

"Supporting such rapid growth would have been extremely difficult out of our own data centres; we simply could not have racked the servers fast enough."

Izrailevsky noted that the elasticity of cloud computing has enabled the company to add several virtual servers and petabytes of storage within minutes.

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The migration allowed Netflix in January to expand video services to more than 130 new countries by tapping several AWS cloud regions and strengthening its worldwide infrastructure. The cloud has also enabled the company to increase its service availability.

The company has also added new languages to its offering – Arabic, Korean, Simplified and Traditional Chinese, bringing the total languages it offers up to 21.

The online film and television streaming service added 5.6m subscribers during the final quarter of 2015, with 4m of them outside the US.

Last November, Netflix released Spinnaker, an open-source tool designed for testing and rolling out software updates in the cloud.

The tool, which took a year to build, is based on its internal toolkit that supports the speedy deployment of new features from deployment through testing and production.

The move to cloud is attributed as an important factor in the rise in security risks that companies are facing currently.

IDC estimates that the public-cloud market will reach $141bn by 2019, up from $70bn in 2015.

BetterCloud predicts that more than 20% of large enterprise companies will operate entirely in the cloud by 2022.

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