This video is from an OSCON Data Conference that describes how Netflix Online Streaming works. After Netflix’s data centers could no longer handle the amount of streaming traffic it was receiving, Netflix deployed Amazon EC2 instances to handle the storage of their master copies and logging. Netflix first deploys master copies of each movie after receiving the rights to it. Then, Netflix encodes it on EC2, which typically takes approximately 1 day per full HD master copy (this copy is comprised of approximately 50 varying quality versions that Netflix uses according to your internet speed). This amounts to approximately a petabyte of data for all of Netflix’s online content. Then, Netflix copied this petabyte of data to 3 content delivery network providers, Akamai, Limelight, and Level3. The CDN providers are situated across the country, which increases your Netflix streaming speed because you can simply stream from the data center closest to you geographically.
Now, Netflix is forming their own CDN called OpenConnect because they believe it will increase the speed of customer streaming and because it will allow them to work directly with Internet Service Providers. By working directly with ISP’s, Netflix hopes to form a deeper relationship with them in the future since Netflix now accounts for approximately 1/3 of all bandwidth in the United States.
OSCON Data Conference: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Idu9OKnAOis&w=560&h=315
Open Connect: http://techcrunch.com/2012/06/04/netflix-open-connect/