Netflix, and their move to the cloud

23 Jan

Over the past couple of years we have seen a slow migration in the way consumers purchase and view entertainment. Originally, there was only one way to rent a movie. You would need to run down to the movie store and obtain a physical copy. As technology slowly took over, and internet connections were upgraded to allow home users the same high speed bandwidths as large corporations, a new invasive technology arose: the internet based rental. This invasive technology originated with just a few start-ups, most notably Netflix, but within a few years the larger corporations realized the profitability of this new market and also decided to jump in, enter Amazon and the major cable providers.

With more and more material being made available via streaming straight to your TV through your cable provider and less new content available on Netflix, where does this leave the once major giant of online streaming?

In a major fight for lowering their cost of operations and to continue to maintain profitability Netflix’s VP of IT, Mike Kale, has decided to migrate 95% of their internal operations to the cloud and utilize new SaaS products. With this move, Kale is looking to outsource the tedious tasks of HW refreshes and outages and focus more on the application side of the house. But, with the recent outages they have been experiencing with Amazon’s AWS, is a fully private cloud the right move?

While moving to “the cloud” sounds like a great advantage, many IT professionals miss the inherent dangers that migrating all of your data to someone else’s charge. Primarily, you’re no longer in charge of your data! That means you have no say in when scheduled outages occur, the type of disaster recovery that is in place, and if you are utilizing SaaS…how to you get your data back if you decide to use a different platform? And, who actually “owns” that data? This was a major question when international poker companies were keeping their data in US based clouds.

While migrating to the cloud provides start-ups and small businesses the opportunity to run an Enterprise level IT department within their budget and can be a great place for tier two data where service levels are more lenient, I am surprised that a giant like Netflix is willing to risk their primary data and their business to someone else’s control, especially after their Christmas disaster with AWS.

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Posted by on January 23, 2013 in Technology


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