Home Blogs Case Study: How Netflix Is Using AWS with its own CDN

Case Study: How Netflix Is Using AWS with its own CDN

by Anup Maurya
10 minutes read
Case Study: How Netflix Is Using AWS with its own CDN

Netflix is a major customer of AWS, relying on its services for various computing and storage needs. AWS supports Netflix with databases, analytics, recommendation engines, video transcoding, and more, utilizing over 100,000 server instances.

AWS offers a wide range of cloud services for any company or startup. With over 175 options available worldwide, it provides everything businesses need to operate in the cloud. Startups often aim to grow quickly and handle more customers, but this can be tough without straining their servers. AWS solves this problem by giving businesses access to the resources they need when they need them. They only pay for what they actually use, which is great for startups at any stage, whether they’re just starting out or have plenty of funding. AWS helps companies reach their goals efficiently and effectively.

Why should use AWS?

  • Amazon’s AWS has everything you need.
  • AWS Provides Scalability and Reliability
  • AWS is continuously innovating
  • AWS has Strong Monitoring tools.
  • AWS gives startups worry-free backups.
  • Access to a wide range of affordable services without contracts and legal terminologies.
  • Testing and development are easy on AWS and can create new development and testing environments on the fly.

How Netflix Aboard on AWS Services

How Netflix Makes Money

Netflix makes money through a subscription-based business model. They offer three plans: Basic, Standard, and Premium, which allow subscribers to stream a wide variety of series, movies, and shows. Netflix is also known for its on-demand concept, meaning users can watch content whenever they want. It’s not just a streaming service; it’s a media production company. The brand has become iconic, and among the millions of subscribers, there are groups of fans who gather around specific Netflix series, which have become representative of our generation.

Netflix Without Superpower of AWS

Netflix, Inc. started in 1998 by sending out physical copies of movies, shows, and video games to customers through the mail. They used a regular mailing system for this service. However, as technology rapidly advanced, Netflix changed its business model. Instead of mailing out DVDs, they allowed customers to stream their favorite content online, making it more convenient for people to watch from home.

In 2006, Amazon introduced its own video on demand service called Amazon Prime Video. Around the same time, Netflix reached a significant milestone by delivering its one billionth DVD. This marked the beginning of their transition away from their original business model of mailing DVDs. They started offering video on demand through the internet. With Amazon entering the streaming market, they became Netflix’s biggest competitor.

In 2007, Netflix constructed two datacenters next to each other. However, they faced a challenge of not being able to build data centers quickly enough to meet the fluctuating demand from their users. They would frequently reach their capacity limits, and the process had to start again.

From this experience, Netflix learned an important lesson: building datacenters was not their strength. Instead, their expertise lay in delivering video content to their members. They realized that it was more beneficial for them to focus on improving their video delivery capabilities rather than becoming proficient at building datacenters.

For Netflix, the competitive advantage lies in their ability to deliver high-quality video content, not in constructing datacenters.

When and Why Netflix Decided to Move On AWS

In August 2008, Netflix faced a problem when their database became corrupted, causing them to be unable to ship DVDs for three days. This was not acceptable, so Netflix knew they had to take action.

Despite Amazon being their biggest competitor, Netflix made a bold decision to move to Amazon Web Services (AWS) at that time. They chose AWS because they wanted a more reliable infrastructure. Netflix aimed to eliminate any single point of failure in their system. AWS offered dependable databases, storage, and redundant data centers. Netflix also desired to utilize cloud computing, avoiding the need to build large, unreliable systems themselves. They wanted to expand globally without constructing their own data centers, something their existing infrastructure couldn’t provide.

The process of migrating to AWS took almost eight years for Netflix. By early January 2016, they had completed the migration and shut down their last remaining data center components used for their streaming service.

However, as the number of Netflix users increased, they decided to build their own Content Delivery Network (CDN) called Open Connect. This network would store and transmit data efficiently. Nevertheless, most aspects of Netflix’s operations are still handled by Amazon Web Services.

How AWS helps Netflix to get back its users

Netflix is available in over 190 countries around the world. They were able to expand their services quickly and smoothly thanks to the flexible nature of the cloud platform. Within minutes, they could add thousands of virtual servers to meet the growing demand.

By using multiple AWS cloud regions in different parts of the world, Netflix could easily adjust and expand their infrastructure capacity as needed. This meant that no matter which country you were in, you could enjoy uninterrupted entertainment from Netflix, providing a fantastic customer experience.

Aws Helps Improving Customer Experience with Real-Time Network Monitoring. Netflix is now able to identify new ways to optimize its applications, whether that means moving an application from one region to another or changing to a more appropriate network protocol for a specific type of traffic. “Our solution built on Amazon Kinesis enables us to identify ways to increase efficiency, reduce costs, and improve resiliency for the best customer experience,” says Bennett.

And The Most Important AWS is way cheaper than their personal cloud.

Note : Netflix Does not use AWS for Storing Content and Transmitting it, they have their own CDN.

How Netflix Provides Seamless and Low Latency Video Streaming Around The Globe

In January 2016, Netflix expanded its service to 190 countries worldwide. To ensure a great viewing experience for users everywhere, Netflix created its own global Content Delivery Network (CDN) called Open Connect.

Open Connect is responsible for delivering all of Netflix’s video content, which amounts to over 125 million hours of viewing per day. This results in a tremendous amount of data being transferred, making Open Connect one of the largest networks in the world.

What does a CDN like Open Connect do

Basically, it takes the original Netflix website and its media content and copies them across many servers located in various parts of the world. When you log in to Netflix from, let’s say, Mumbai, instead of connecting to Netflix’s main server in the United States, you connect to a nearby server in Mumbai that has an exact copy of the content. This helps reduce the time it takes for the content to load, which is called latency, making everything load much faster.

But Netflix goes a step further than other CDNs. They collaborate with internet service providers (ISPs) and install their own specialized hardware, called open connect appliances, either at the ISP’s exchange points or within the ISP’s facilities. These appliances can store up to 280 terabytes of video content and have the capacity to transfer 90 terabits of data per second. They come preloaded with almost the entire Netflix library. This means that instead of connecting to a server located far away to watch a movie, you connect to an appliance that is much closer to you, reducing latency even more. Moreover, these appliances are updated regularly with new content by Netflix.

In simple terms, Netflix’s Open Connect CDN helps make your Netflix experience smoother by bringing the content closer to you, reducing delays, and ensuring that your Netflix data doesn’t have to compete with other internet traffic.

Netflix rely on AWS for Like Recommander system, user Information, traffic Routing, Log, DNS Routing, and more but they have their own Data Center or CDN’s For Media Storage and Transmitting.

Which AWS services does Netflix use and what is their purpose

Netflix uses various AWS services to power their streaming and other services. Here are a few examples:

  1. Amazon Kinesis Data Streams (KDS): Netflix uses KDS to collect large amounts of data from many different sources in real-time. This data is stored in Amazon S3 and helps Netflix improve customer experiences and enhance their recommendation system.
  2. AWS Lambda: With AWS Lambda, Netflix has built a self-managing infrastructure that automates processes and reduces errors. They can set up rules to automate tasks like data backups, storage copies, and security validations. Lambda helps Netflix save time and ensure their infrastructure is secure and properly configured.
  3. Amazon Route 53: Netflix operates in over 190 countries, and to ensure a resilient experience for users, they rely on a complex DNS architecture. Amazon Route 53 is a service that helps Netflix quickly route traffic to different regions in case of server failures or overloading.

Apart from these, Netflix also uses other AWS services such as EC2 (Elastic Compute Cloud), ELB (Elastic Load Balancing), machine learning, and more. These services contribute to the overall performance and reliability of Netflix’s streaming platform.

related posts

Leave a Comment