TMCnet Feature
March 27, 2013

Will Netflix Make a Mess of Cloud Computing?

By Erin Harrison, Executive Editor, Cloud Computing

What was designed as an incentive for developers to improve the features, usability, quality, reliability and security of cloud computing, Netflix’s offer of $100,000 in prizes may actually be undermining the cloud industry’s efforts.

While the Netflix Cloud Prize is designed to attract and focus the attention of “the most innovative minds” to create the advances that will take cloud to the next level, the contest could potentially leave cloud computing with subpar practices and architectures for years to come, according to industry expert Joe Masters Emison.

“The reason the Netflix contest is likely to leave organizations worse off is because it thoroughly embraces this ‘Cloud Computing v1.0’ mindset, both from an ‘AWS-is-the-only-vendor’ standpoint as well as from an architectural standpoint,” Emison said.

Netflix officials maintain the contest has the potential to draw ideas that would take cloud to the next level.

“Cloud computing has become a hot topic recently, but the technology is still just emerging,” Neil Hunt, chief product officer at Netflix. “No doubt many of the key ideas that will take it to the next level have yet to be conceived, explored, and developed.

Yet a skeptical Emison says Netflix needs to embrace a less proprietary, more highly available, more standardized cloud, saying the “some of Netflix’s tools embrace a cloud architecture that was fine in the days of Cloud Computing v1.0.”

The Netflix Cloud Prize – which runs through Sept. 15, 2013 – is divided into 10 categories that offer a $10,000 prize each, judged by a panel technology experts including (News - Alert) Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Werner Vogels, Thoughtworks Chief Scientist Martin Fowler, Strategist Simon Wardley, Telx Senior VP and author of “Cloudonomics” Joe Weinman, University of Aarhus Developer Training Expert Aino Corry and Netflix Cloud VP Yury Izrailevsky.  

Winners will be announced in October with prizes presented at the Amazon Web Services (News - Alert) (AWS) re:Invent conference in November.

Edited by Brooke Neuman
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