Netflix started the move to AWS in 2008 after a database corruption trashed its DVD-as-a-Service platform
Netflix has finished its nearly eight-year long migration to the cloud, announcing this week that it is now entirely running on Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Netflix started the slow path to cloud in August 2008 when the company experienced a “major database corruption” that meant it was unable to ship DVDs to customers for three days.
Seven and a half years later, and sans DVD, Netflix pins its explosive popularity on the success of its cloud migration as it shuts down its last remaining data centre.
“We are happy to report that in early January, 2016, after seven years of diligent effort, we have finally completed our cloud migration and shut down the last remaining data centre bits used by our streaming service!” the company wrote on a blog post this week.
Yury Izrailevsky, Stevan Vlaovic and Ruslan Meshenberg from Netflix wrote:
“Given the obvious benefits of the cloud, why did it take us a full seven years to complete the migration? The truth is, moving to the cloud was a lot of hard work, and we had to make a number of difficult choices along the way. Arguably, the easiest way to move to the cloud is to forklift all of the systems, unchanged, out of the data center and drop them in AWS. But in doing so, you end up moving all the problems and limitations of the data center along with it. Instead, we chose the cloud-native approach, rebuilding virtually all of our technology and fundamentally changing the way we operate the company.”
Netflix said that the majority of its systems, including all of its customer-facing services, were up and running in the cloud before 2015. Since then, Netflix has been figuring out how to operate its billing infrastructure in the cloud – a problem that was seemingly solved in January.
Cost reduction was not the main factor in Netflix’s move, and in fact, moving to the cloud has made Netflix the streaming giant it is today.
“We have eight times as many streaming members than we did in 2008, and they are much more engaged, with overall viewing growing by three orders of magnitude in eight years,” said the company.
In 2015, Netflix users streamed a total of 41.5 billion hours of TV.
“Netflix streaming technology has come a long way over the past few years, and it feels great to finally not be constrained by the limitations we’ve previously faced,” it said.