Netflix closed the last of its data center operations supporting its streaming video service last week, and now boasts a "cloud-native" architecture powering not only its consumer-facing services, but also its billing infrastructure and data management systems. The architecture rests in the public cloud, using virtual storage and computing instances operated by Amazon Web Services.
If there was ever a more stark contrast between OTT video provider Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) and the monolithic operations of the cable industry, it's hard to imagine.
Even as the most forward-thinking cable operators are now migrating to cloud-based video delivery, the industry as a whole still has a long way to go before it reaches Netflix's level of cloud sophistication. The language isn't even the same. Cable operators talk about CCAP chassis and the real estate demands of video headends and hubs. Netflix talks about virtual servers and micro-services and the elasticity of Amazon's cloud.
As in the telecom industry -- where vendors like AsiaInfo Inc. (Nasdaq: ASIA) are pushing to migrate BSS systems into the public cloud -- the cable conversation is slowly changing. (See Amazon, AsiaInfo Team Up to Disrupt the Telco Back Office.)
Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) is a loud proponent of open source technologies and has been using Amazon Web Services Inc. as a backup system for years. The company's engineers are also working hard to make Comcast's network more dynamic and programmable. (See Speed, Agility, Virtualization – Is This Cable? and Cable Forecast: Cloudy With a Chance of DevOps.)
But there is still transformative work to do, and nothing makes that clearer than the completion of Netflix's eight-year journey into the cloud.
— Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, Light Reading