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Netflix on AWS

Netflix is the world’s leading internet television network, with more than 200 million members in more than 190 countries enjoying 125 million hours of TV shows and movies each day. Netflix uses AWS for nearly all its computing and storage needs, including databases, analytics, recommendation engines, video transcoding, and more—hundreds of functions that in total use more than 100,000 server instances on AWS.

Netflix entertains the world, providing a wide variety of TV shows, movies, and documentaries to hundreds of millions of members across the globe in over 30 languages. Netflix builds diversity, inclusion, equity, and a global outlook into everything it does, and by fostering a culture of courage, empathy, and curiosity, Netflix can move faster to develop new stories and better ways of sharing them with its members around the world. Netflix relies on AWS to help it innovate with speed and consistently deliver best-in-class entertainment. AWS provides Netflix with compute, storage, and infrastructure that allow the company to scale quickly, operate securely, and meet capacity needs anywhere in the world. Moreover, Netflix, a leading content producer, has used AWS to build a studio in the cloud. This virtual studio enables Netflix to engage top artistic talent, no matter the location, and Netflix artists and partners have the freedom to collaborate without technological or geographical barriers.

The Courage of Innovation: A Conversation with Vernā Myers, VP of Inclusion Strategy at Netflix

The Courage of Innovation: A Conversation with Vernā Myers, Vice President of Inclusion Strategy at Netflix

2021

Netflix is a company that believes in invention and reinvention. Netflix's vice president of inclusion strategy, Vernā Myers, shares some of the secrets behind Netflix's culture, addressing the importance of having the courage to break new ground, how the company approaches diversity, inclusion, and equity, and why curiosity is one of the most important traits to creating an inclusive culture.

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Producing “The Crown" in The Cloud

2021

Production of the fourth season of Netflix’s episodic drama “The Crown” faced unexpected challenges, as the world went into lockdown for the COVID-19 pandemic just as post-production VFX work was slated to begin. By adopting a cloud-based workflow on AWS, Netflix’s in-house VFX team of 10 artists was able to seamlessly complete more than 600 VFX shots for the season’s 10-episode run in just 8 months, all while working remotely. 

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Combined photo showing the "before" and "after" of VFX work on "The Crown"

By adopting a cloud-based workflow on AWS, "The Crown” in-house VFX team was able to complete more than 600 VFX shots, working remotely, in just 8 months.

Netflix Uses NICE DCV on AWS to Build VFX Studio in the Cloud for Artists Globally

2021

Netflix expanded into content production in 2012 and is now one of the world's leading studios. With a culture of continual innovation, the company wanted to build a visual effects (VFX) studio in the cloud to attract top VFX and animation artists worldwide and enable seamless collaboration between global teams. Using NICE DCV and Amazon EC2 G4 Instances, Netflix built remote workstations without having to choose between responsiveness and image quality. Learn how Netflix went from beta to launch in just 1 year, reducing technological and geographical barriers for artists while optimizing costs. 

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How Netflix Thinks About Cybersecurity

How Netflix Thinks About Cybersecurity

2020

AWS chief information security officer Steve Schmidt sits down with Jason Chan, vice president of information security at Netflix, to talk about security strategy, building a security program, Zero Trust, and cats as a unique threat model.

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Like other home-entertainment services, Netflix has seen temporarily higher viewing and increased member growth during this unprecedented time. In order to meet this demand our control plane services needed to scale very quickly. This is where the value of AWS and our strong partnership became apparent, both in being able to meet capacity needs in compute, storage, as well as providing the necessary infrastructure, such as AWS Auto Scaling, which is deeply ingrained in Netflix’s operations model.”

Nils Pommerien
Director, Cloud Infrastructure Engineering, Netflix


Netflix Connects with 100 Million Customers in 190 Countries Using Amazon Simple Email Service

2020

Before migrating to Amazon Simple Email Service (Amazon SES), Netflix maintained an in-house solution for sending email. This solution carried its own operational overhead, including running dedicated servers with email-delivery software and optimizing email-send practices for each Internet Service Provider. Netflix needed an email solution that was flexible, affordable, highly scalable, and that had global reach. Learn how Netflix uses Amazon SES to overcome these challenges and the benefits the company realized by using the service.

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Before we migrated to Amazon Simple Email Service, Netflix had to maintain an in-house solution for sending emails. This in-house solution carried its own operational overheads, including running dedicated servers with email delivery software and optimizing email sending practices for each Internet Service Provider. We evaluated several email delivery solutions and decided on Amazon SES because it is flexible, affordable, highly scalable, has global reach, and promises excellent deliverability.”

Devika Chawla
Director, Messaging & Contact Engineering, Netflix


Netflix Uses Close to 1,000 Amazon Kinesis Shards in Parallel to Process Billions of Traffic Flows

2017

Netflix’s Amazon Kinesis Streams-based solution has proven to be highly scalable, each day processing billions of traffic flows. Typically, about 1,000 Amazon Kinesis shards work in parallel to process the data stream. “Amazon Kinesis Streams processes multiple terabytes of log data each day, yet events show up in our analytics in seconds,” says John Bennett, senior software engineer at Netflix. “We can discover and respond to issues in real time, ensuring high availability and a great customer experience.”

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Netflix Realizes Multi-Region Resiliency on Amazon Route 53

What happens when you need to move 89 million viewers to a different AWS region? Netflix's infrastructure, built on AWS, makes it possible to be extremely resilient, even when the company is running services in many AWS Regions simultaneously. In this episode of This is My Architecture, Coburn Watson, director of performance and reliability engineering at Netflix, walks through the company's DNS architecture—built on Amazon Route 53 and augmented with Netflix's Zuul—that allows the team to evacuate an entire region in less than 40 minutes.

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RE:INVENT

2020
Untangling Multi-Account Management with ConsoleMe
At Netflix, the Cloud Infrastructure Security Team manages permissions across hundreds of accounts. In this session, learn about a tool created by Netflix, called ConsoleMe, developed to address this issue securely, reduce inconsistencies and delays experienced by end users, and lower the multi-account management burden. ConsoleMe simplifies permissions management by showing Netflix cloud resources in a single interface. It provides a multistep, dynamic, self-service tool that determines permissions, generates resource policies automatically, and uses Zelkova to intelligently apply low-risk permission requests.
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RE:INVENT

2020
Designing Better Machine Learning Systems: Lessons from Netflix
Data science at Netflix goes far beyond eponymous recommendation systems and touches every aspect of the business, from optimizing content delivery to fighting fraud. Netflix’s unique culture affords its data scientists extraordinary freedom of choice in tools, which results in an ever-expanding set of machine learning approaches and systems. In 2019, Netflix open-sourced its human-centric ML platform, Metaflow. In this session, Netflix shares some lessons learned in its multi-year journey building the ML systems that Metaflow incorporates.
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RE:INVENT

2020
How Netflix Simplifies Delivery as Code Using Spinnaker and Kubernetes
Software delivery can seem simple at first. Step 1: Build code. Step 2: Deploy application. Step 3: The end. Complexity often sneaks into our processes uninvited, disguised as scale, testing, auditing, and sharing. In this session, Netflix and AWS discuss Spinnaker, an open-source continuous-deployment tool that helps transition from an imperative mix of pipelines and stages to a more declarative description of end goals and bring the “delightful” back to “delivery.”
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RE:INVENT

2019
A Day in the Life of a Netflix Engineer
Netflix is a large, ever-changing ecosystem serving millions of customers across the globe through cloud-based systems and a globally distributed CDN. This entertaining romp through the tech stack serves as an introduction to how we think about and design systems, the Netflix approach to operational challenges, and how other organizations can apply our thought processes and technologies. In this session, we discuss the technologies used to run a global streaming company, growing at scale, billions of metrics, benefits of chaos in production, and how culture affects your velocity and uptime.
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RE:INVENT

2019
ML Infrastructure at Netflix: More Data Science, Less Engineering
Netflix is known for its unique culture that gives an extraordinary amount of freedom to individual engineers and data scientists. Our data scientists are expected to develop and operate large machine learning workflows autonomously without the need to be deeply experienced with systems or data engineering. Instead, we provide them with delightfully usable ML infrastructure that they can use to manage a project's lifecycle. Our end-to-end ML infrastructure, Metaflow, was designed to leverage the strengths of AWS: elastic compute; high-throughput storage; and dynamic, scalable notebooks. In this session, we present our human-centric design principles that enable the autonomy our engineers enjoy.
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CUSTOMER VIDEO

2018
Lessons from Netflix on Migrating to Cloud
In this video, Adrian Cockcroft, VP Cloud Architecture Strategy at AWS and former Netflix Cloud Architect, shares how Netflix began its cloud journey. A two-day outage unveiled an imminent capacity crunch, prompting Netflix to explore cloud service providers and ultimately choose AWS. At first, Netflix adopted Amazon EC2 and Amazon S3 for foundational compute and storage services. The company then steadily expanded its migration to AWS, starting with front-end applications before migrating its databases from Oracle, along with other backend infrastructure. Now, Netflix is all-in on AWS, supporting its more than 100 million customers with a fully cloud-based architecture and no longer managing its own data centers.
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RE:INVENT

2017
How Netflix Tunes Amazon EC2 Instances for Performance
Netflix uses Amazon EC2 instance types and features to create a high- performance cloud, achieving near-bare-metal speed for its workloads. This session summarizes the configuration, tuning, and activities for delivering the fastest possible Amazon EC2 instances. Brendan Gregg, a member of the performance and OS engineering team at Netflix, shows how to choose Amazon EC2 instance types, how to choose between Xen modes (HVM, PV, or PVHVM), and the importance of Amazon EC2 features such SR-IOV for bare-metal performance. He also covers basic and advanced kernel tuning and monitoring, including the use of Java and Node.js flame graphs and performance counters.
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RE:INVENT

2017
How Netflix Encodes at Scale
In this session, Netflix explores the various strategies employed by the encoding service to automate management of a heterogeneous collection of Amazon EC2 Reserved Instances, resolve compute contention, and distribute instances based on priority and workload. The Netflix encoding team is responsible for transcoding different types of media sources to a large number of media formats to support all Netflix devices. Transcoding these media sources has compute needs ranging from running compute-intensive video encodes to low-latency, high-volume image and text processing. The encoding service may require hundreds of thousands of compute hours to be distributed at moment's notice where they are needed most.
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