Table of Contents Hide
- DevOps Best Practices at Netflix
- Netflix’s DevOps Infrastructure and Data
- How Netflix Builds Its Robust and Reliable Systems
- PipeOps for Better Software on the Cloud
- Final Thoughts on DevOps Best Practices at Netflix
Netflix has scaled its platform using DevOps best practices like microservices architecture, continuous integration, and continuous delivery (CI/CD), infrastructure as code, and chaos engineering. This has helped Netflix meet the needs of its growing user base while maintaining high reliability.
Netflix is one of the most popular streaming services in the world, with over 220 million subscribers. Netflix’s streaming platform is a complex system comprising various components, including video encoding, transcoding, delivery, and storage.
Though complex, it is essential to the company’s success. By investing in its streaming platform, Netflix has been able to become one of the most popular streaming services in the world. Netflix has scaled its platform using a combination of DevOps best practices and microservices. We will be looking closely at these DevOps best practices. Let’s get right in.
DevOps Best Practices at Netflix
The concept of DevOps is the combination of software development (Dev) and IT operations (Ops) to shorten the system development life cycle and provide continuous delivery with high software quality.
DevOps is important for scaling applications because it helps automate the software development and deployment processes. This allows organizations to deliver new features and bug fixes to their users quickly and reliably. DevOps also helps to improve communication and collaboration between development and operations teams. This can lead to a more efficient and effective software development process.
A significant database corruption incident that resulted in a three-day service outage in 2008 served as the catalyst for Netflix’s entry into the world of DevOps. This incident served as a wake-up call for Netflix, prompting them to recognize the limitations of their traditional data center model in terms of scalability, reliability, and efficiency as their business expanded. As a solution, Netflix strategically decided to transition to the cloud, selecting AWS as their cloud service provider.
In their shift to the cloud, Netflix completely redesigned their applications to be truly cloud-native. They embraced a microservices architecture, where each service has a specific role and can be deployed independently. Netflix also established a self-service platform, equipping its engineers with tools and frameworks to create, test, deploy, and monitor their services. They further harnessed the power of open-source tools like Hystrix, Eureka, Zuul, and Spinnaker to enhance their cloud capabilities. Importantly, they empowered their engineers to take full ownership and responsibility for their services.
DevOps Best Practices and Tools Used by Netflix
The transition to the cloud presented Netflix with numerous challenges, including issues related to scalability, reliability, security, performance, and complexity. The dynamic and unpredictable nature of the cloud meant that resource availability was not always guaranteed, and failures were a constant concern.
Netflix had to implement stringent measures to protect customer data and defend against cyber threats while complying with various regulations across different markets. Managing the intricacies and interdependencies of hundreds of microservices and thousands of instances was also complex. Furthermore, Netflix had to find ways to optimize costs and enhance performance in the cloud environment.
To tackle the challenges above, Netflix applied DevOps principles and practices to their cloud operations. They utilized automation, monitoring, feedback mechanisms, and experimentation to continuously improve their cloud-based services’ performance and reliability.
Some of the key tools and practices that Netflix uses include:
- Continuous integration (CI): Netflix uses CI to automate its software’s build and test processes. This helps to ensure that the software is always in a deployable state.
- Continuous delivery (CD): Netflix uses CD to automate the deployment of its software to production. This allows Netflix to deploy new features and bug fixes to its users quickly and reliably.
- Infrastructure as code: Netflix uses infrastructure as code to define and manage its infrastructure programmatically. This helps to automate the provisioning and management of new infrastructure.
- Containerization: Netflix uses containerization to package its software into containers. This makes it easier to deploy and manage the software in production.
By automating its software development and deployment process, Netflix can deliver new features and bug fixes to its users quickly and reliably. For example, Netflix deploys new features to production multiple times per day. This allows Netflix to experiment with new features and get feedback from its users quickly.
Netflix’s DevOps Infrastructure and Data
Netflix’s technical infrastructure can be divided into three key components:
- Computational power and storage, which are overseen by Amazon Web Services (AWS),
- User interface and small resources, which are created using Akamai.
- Netflix Open Connect is their custom-built video content delivery management system.
You can refer to Netflix’s GitHub for more in-depth information about their Content Delivery Management system and other open-source projects and software.
Now, onto the data aspect. Netflix handles:
- Hundreds of microservices
- Thousands of daily production changes.
- There are tens of thousands of virtual instances within Amazon.
- There are hundreds of thousands of customer interactions per minute.
- Millions of customers.
- Billions of time series metrics
Remarkably, they manage all of this with only around 70 operations engineers and no network operations centers. If that isn’t impressive, it’s hard to say what is.
How Netflix Builds Its Robust and Reliable Systems
Netflix is known for its focus on building robust and reliable systems. This is essential for a company that relies on its platform to deliver high-quality streaming video to millions of users worldwide.
One of the key ways that Netflix builds robust and reliable systems is through the use of microservice architecture. Microservices architecture is a software development approach that breaks down an application into a collection of small, independent services. Each service is responsible for a single task, and the services communicate with each other through well-defined APIs.
Microservices architecture has several advantages for building robust and reliable systems. First, it makes it easier to isolate and fix problems. If a problem occurs in one service, it is less likely to affect the other services. Second, the microservices architecture makes it easier to scale the application. If more capacity is needed, new instances of individual services can be added.
Netflix breaks its platform down into several small, independent services using the following approach:
- Identify the core services: Netflix first identifies the core services that its platform needs, such as video encoding, transcoding, delivery, and storage.
- Break down the core services into smaller services: Next, Netflix breaks down the core services into smaller, more focused services. For example, the video encoding service might be broken down into services for encoding different video formats and different video resolutions.
- Define the APIs between the services: Once the services have been identified, Netflix defines the APIs between the services. These APIs allow the services to communicate with each other.
The microservices architecture makes it easier to recover from failures. If a service fails, the other services can continue to operate. This improves the overall reliability of the Netflix platform.
DevOps Best Practices – Chaos Engineering
Another key way that Netflix builds robust and reliable systems is through the use of chaos engineering. Chaos engineering is the practice of intentionally introducing failures into a system to identify and fix weaknesses. This helps to ensure that the system is resilient to failures in production.
Netflix uses a variety of chaos engineering techniques, such as:
- Randomly killing services: Netflix randomly kills services in production to see how the system responds.
- Simulating network outages: Netflix simulates network outages in production to see how the system responds.
- Injecting latency into requests: Netflix injects latency into production requests to see how the system responds.
Using chaos engineering, Netflix can identify and fix weaknesses in its systems before they cause problems for its users.
DevOps Best Practices – Strong Culture of Experimentation
Netflix also has a strong culture of experimentation. This culture encourages engineers to try new things and learn from their mistakes. This culture is essential for building robust and reliable systems.
Netflix engineers are encouraged to experiment with new technologies and new ways of building systems. They are also encouraged to fail quickly and to learn from their failures. This culture of experimentation helps Netflix build systems that are more robust and reliable.
PipeOps for Better Software on the Cloud
PipeOps is a no-code platform that helps developers deploy and manage applications in the cloud. It provides a simple and visual interface for configuring and executing deployments without the need to write any code. PipeOps also supports a variety of cloud providers, including AWS, Azure, and GCP.
PipeOps can help developers deploy better software on the cloud in several ways:
- Automation: PipeOps automates the entire deployment process, from building the application to deploying it to production. This frees developers to focus on tasks like building new features and fixing bugs.
- Consistency: PipeOps helps to ensure that deployments are consistent and repeatable. This reduces the risk of errors and makes it easier to troubleshoot problems.
- Scalability: PipeOps can scale to meet the needs of even the largest and most complex deployments. This makes it a good choice for enterprise organizations.
Pipeops offers a free trial of all their subscriptions for 30 days, starting at $4.99 per month (without AWS, GCP, and Azure) and $35.99 per month (with AWS, GCP, and Azure).
If you are a developer or DevOps engineer who is looking for a way to improve your cloud deployments, I recommend checking out PipeOps.
Final Thoughts on DevOps Best Practices at Netflix
Netflix is one of the world’s largest and most successful streaming platforms, with over 220 million subscribers. To support its massive user base, It relies on DevOps best practices to get the best for its users and business. Netflix uses a robust and scalable platform that can deliver high-quality video streaming on a global scale. Netflix has achieved this scalability by combining DevOps best practices and microservice architecture. DevOps is a set of practices that combine software development and IT operations to shorten the system development life cycle and provide continuous delivery with high software quality. Microservices architecture is a software design approach that breaks down an application into a collection of small, independent services.
Netflix has achieved remarkable results by using DevOps and microservices architectures. For example, Netflix deploys new features to production multiple times per day. Netflix can also deliver high-quality streaming video to its users worldwide, even during peak usage times.
If you want to scale your applications and improve their reliability and speed of innovation, we encourage you to learn more about DevOps and microservice architecture. One tool you can use to help you implement DevOps and microservice architectures is Pipeops.
So get registered on Pipeops to kick-start your DevOps journey and watch how you grow the way Netflix did. Thank you for reading!