Netflix Moves Operations to Cloud, Closes Last Data Center

Netflix will be the first large company to move its information technology to a public cloud, more specifically, Amazon Web Services, reporting its plans to shutter its last data center by the end of the summer. After a major hardware failure in 2008, Netflix started moving its operations to AWS in 2009, first shifting its jobs page and, later, its video player, iPhone-related technology, discovery and search, and accounts pages. As a streaming competitor with Amazon, however, Netflix runs its own content delivery network.

netflix6The move to the cloud has been staggered, explains The Wall Street Journal. Netflix described its strategy in a 2010 blog post, and then pushed Big Data into the cloud in 2013 and billing and payments in 2014. Netflix’s new IT strategy, says WSJ, is “a sign of the maturity of the cloud… [but also] shows [that] moving systems to cloud services can be a slow process.”

Netflix uses several Web-based apps, including Workday Inc.’s human resources software. Netflix’s content delivery network runs through Internet service providers and other third parties.

The number of companies using the public cloud is increasing, but the majority of companies that rely entirely on a public cloud are small and medium-sized. The majority of larger companies prefer a hybrid solution that keeps sensitive software in their data centers or in private clouds. WSJ notes that BetterCloud, a management and security product company, reports that about 12 percent of companies run IT operations strictly in the cloud.

“A 100 percent cloud operation is going to be extremely rare for big established companies,” Forrester Research vice president/research director Glenn O’Donnell says. He adds that “legacy systems and applications are the most difficult to move to the cloud.” WSJ reports that, “by 2022, just slightly more than 20 percent of large enterprise companies are expected to operate entirely in the cloud.”