Cloud computing done the Netflix way

By Bernard Golden, CIO |  Cloud Computing, Amazon Web Services, Netflix

I serve as the co-chairman of the SVForum Cloud and Virtualization SIG, based in Silicon Valley. Thanks to our location, we are able to call upon an array of innovative and interesting speakers and attract a sophisticated, knowledgeable audience.

Last week's SIG meeting was one of the most interesting we've had in our more than three-year history. Its title was "Cloud Computing the Netflix Way," and we had two Netflix guest speakers: Adrian Cockcroft, director of architecture for cloud systems (his presentation is here), and Jason Chan, Netflix's security architect (his presentation is here).

If you're not familiar with its technology infrastructure, Netflix has, over the past few years, migrated almost entirely from an on-premises data-center environment to a cloud-based setup located in the Amazon Web Services infrastructure.

As a follow-up to my recent CIO.com article titled " Cloud Computing Calls for Rebuilding Enterprise IT," these two presentations are almost a perfect complement. Learning about what Netflix has done is an excellent primer about what, in my opinion, most enterprises will go through in the future.

One thing to be addressed right at the start: Is Netflix a good model for enterprise IT? When Netflix is brought up as a model, I hear many people respond along the lines of, "Well, it only has a couple of applications. We have thousands." Or, "It's an online company and not really an enterprise," the implication being that what Netflix did is not applicable to "our" situation and environment, so it's interesting but not really germane.

Nothing could be farther from the truth.

First, Netflix started its journey with a traditional enterprise environment and a traditional data-center infrastructure. It found that the infrastructure was too fragile for its needs (i.e., things stopped working all the time), and the traditional operations model didn't respond fast enough to the needs of the business. Netflix changed its approach because it recognized that the future of its business required a different way of doing things.


Originally published on CIO |  Click here to read the original story.
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