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January 28, 2015

Netflix binging made easy with data architecture revamp

Firm is re-designing the architecture “in order to scale to the next order of magnitude”.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

In a blog post, Netflix said that its engineering team is redesigning the company’s data architecture "in order to scale to the next order of magnitude".

The architecture is currently designed to know a subscriber’s viewing history; knowing where in a given title did a user stop watching and knowing what else is being watched on someone’s account.

While the architecture allows Netflix to handle this activity, it has "ended up with a complex solution that was less robust than mature open source technologies" that has lacked in scalability.

For the upcoming architecture, Netflix set out the building blocks for the design, stating in its blog:

"Availability over consistency – our primary use cases can tolerate eventually consistent data, so design from the start favoring availability rather than strong consistency in the face of failures," Netflix said in the blog post.

"Microservices – Components that were combined together in the stateful architecture should be separated out into services (components as services).

"Polyglot persistence – Use multiple persistence technologies to leverage the strengths of each solution."

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Guided by these architectural principles, Netflix believes it can provide a "strong foundation to meet the needs of our massive and growing scale, enabling us to delight our global audience".

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