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September 24, 2012

Netflix Dumping Data Center in Shift to Public Cloud

By Erin Harrison, Executive Editor, Cloud Computing

As further evidence of the movement toward the cloud, Netflix is moving as much as 95 percent of its internal applications and corporate IT services to Amazon Web Services (News - Alert) as well as other Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) providers.

The decision is based on the company’s strategy of focusing IT operations on providing services to the business, and not managing hardware, Mike Kail, vice president of IT operations at Netflix, recently told Computerworld.

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“Part of my charter is to reduce my data center footprint as much as possible,” he said, according to the report.

By shifting to public cloud services such as Amazon, Kali said, “He will no longer have to worry about hardware refreshes, operating system patches and paying for power and space.”

Kali anticipates Netflix’s move to a cloud-based infrastructure to be completed in the next 12 to 18 months.

In addition to Amazon, Netflix is also reportedly working with SaaS vendors such as Workday, storage provider Box (News - Alert) and Sumo Logic, as well as launching its own Amazon instances of its internal IT applications.

In related news, Netflix recently made its primary app-crashing tool, Chaos Monkey, open source so that other cloud services can make themselves stronger, more resilient, and better overall.

Chaos Monkey, named for its ability to cause chaos and, as a result, failure in applications in AWS, is designed to help developers see not only what goes into a crash, but also gives them the opportunity to see how to fix the apps to help ensure such crashes don't happen in the first place. Chaos Monkey, according to Netflix, “Randomly disables production instances to make sure it can survive common types of failure without any customer impact.”

Setting Chaos Monkey loose, meanwhile, allows engineers to develop automated recovery processes, which in turn allow failures to go by largely unnoticed as the system recovers from its own failures without outside prodding.

Want to learn more about cloud communications? Then be sure to attend Cloud Communications Expo, collocated with ITEXPO West 2012 taking place Oct 2-5, in Austin, TX.  Stay in touch with everything happening at Cloud Communications Expo. Follow us on Twitter.

Edited by Brooke Neuman
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