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“Blockbuster you can laugh but there wasn t quite anything like popping over to one one of the 9000. Locations. They had globally renting a gently used copy of home on vhs and settling down in the glow of your crt tube television with a big bucket of popcorn of course once the internet came along and netflix with it blockbuster stores became all. But a memory as there are now only a dozen of them left in the united states mostly in alaska do too outrageous broadband prices.
So intuitively you d think that it would take a rather massive enterprise to pull the rug out from under literally thousands of brick and mortar stores and you d be right during periods of peak usage. Netflix accounts for over a third of all downstream internet traffic in the united states a third. But exactly how do they fling videos to so many people at once do they just have one giant server farm that constantly pours episodes of house of cards and family guy onto the internet backbone not exactly like many other large sites focused on media delivery. Netflix uses a content delivery network or cdn to store and transmit movies and tv shows you see.
Although. Netflix s entire library could certainly fit on a few servers housed in a single building. There are some problems with this approach. One locations far from that facility would suffer from high latency.
Not what you want for streaming video. This architecture. Would be basically the definition of a bottleneck since a single connection that fast doesn t exist. And if it did it would be astronomically expensive and three it would mean a single point of failure that could cause netflix entire service to go down.
If something happened at that one location a cdn solves these problems by utilizing redundant servers in multiple locations to serve many geographic areas more quickly to balance server load between them so they don t get overworked and to ensure that there will be backups in case of an incident or outage at one or even several locations. But netflix in particular takes this concept a step further because they are so big they actually work directly with a number of isps to install their own hardware. These boxes called open connect appliances at either exchange points or even within the isps facilities themselves holding up to 280 terabytes of video each these come preloaded with close to the entire netflix library. So what this means for you the consumer is that instead of connecting to some super far away land server to watch a movie.
You re connecting to an appliance at your own isp that s much closer cutting down on latency and making it so that your netflix data packets don t have to fight with all the other internet traffic that is upstream from your isp and when it s time for catalog updates netflix pushes them to these appliances during the morning when there s typically less internet traffic overall meaning that by the time everyone gets home from work ready for a night of binge. Watching the repository of content at their isp has already been updated and is ready to go. And if lots of people fire up their computers at once the appliances are equipped to push out data at over. 90 gigabits per second the equivalent of over 13000.
People. Watching an hd movie at once. Then if that s not enough bandwidth. Netflix can just install more boxes for larger isps that serve greater numbers of people.
But to keep speeds high the open can xboxes. Only handle storing and transmitting video for everything. Else. Keeping track of what shows you like recommendations.
Billing. Logins and the search. Feature. Netflix uses amazon web.
Services. Or aws. A massive cloud processing service. That netflix can quickly buy more time on in the form of virtualized servers as their customer base and traffic volume grows and it s also very failure tolerant due to high amounts of redundancy.
But wait a second amazon has that prime video thing. But they re trying to get everyone to buy why in the world would they let netflix a huge competitor use their servers. Well amazon does make quite a bit of money from their deal. With netflix possibly into the range of hundreds of millions of dollars and may not want to start pushing out certain customers just because they might compete in a different market segment.
I mean think of how samsung manufacturers chips that apple puts in their phones because if amazon wants to be the go to company for cloud processing. They can t behave in that way. It s kind of like how comcast won t stop you from watching a disney movie through their internet service. Yet do you find yourself racing against the clock as a freelancer or small business owner do you have trouble keeping track of your accounting and expenses and your invoices freshbooks cloud accounting software is the solution for you it s the simplest easiest way to be more productive.
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