APIs Power Netflix’s Move to Cloud, Enabling World Domination

Kin Lane, June 20th, 2011

The Netflix API launched in 2008 with the same hope as many API providers: to attract developers who would build amazing applications on top of the service. Fast-forward 3 years: with more than 23 million subscribers in the United States and Canada, Netflix is the world’s leading Internet subscription service and the way in which millions of people are watching movies and TV shows — not just via DVDs shipped to their home, but increasingly online.

The Netflix API was a success, but not in the way the company anticipated. Third-party developers did build some cool applications. But where the API really succeeded was internally for Netflix itself — piping movies and TV shows to over 200 devices, setting the stage for the company’s next round of growth. The success of Netflix instant now shows in the company’s recent API changes, removing DVD-related calls to focus on instant, where the company has seen such tremendous growth.

Externally, this growth isn’t apparent. What you see publicly in the Netflix developers area is only the tip of the API iceberg. At the 2011 O’Reilly Velocity Conference last week, Netflix’s Adrian Cockcroft outlined how APIs are the center of its system architecture, and essential to their growth.

The APIs that Netflix uses internally have decoupled its systems, unwinding years of legacy code, making them more flexible and allowing them to move their legacy, data-center infrastructure to operate almost completely in the Amazon Cloud.

Facing unprecedented, and unpredictable growth, Netflx could only look to the Amazon Cloud to provide the scale it needed. Before it could migrate, it had to untangle the complex set of objects and dependencies that made up its data-center operations and its legacy Oracle database.

Netflix opted to go with a set of API to deliver the services it needed, something that would give its systems the flexibility and independence needed to scale the way Netflix operations needed to.

With a flexible API core and with systems running almost entirely in the cloud, Netflix plans to expand into an additional markets in the second half of 2011. And if the second market delivers as expected, it will continue to invest and expand aggressively in 2012.

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

11 Responses to “APIs Power Netflix’s Move to Cloud, Enabling World Domination”

June 20th, 2011
at 1:58 am
Comment by: APIs Power Netflix’s Move to Cloud, Enabling World Domination – ProgrammableWeb (blog) | Popular Hot News

[...] APIs Power Netflix's Move to Cloud, Enabling World DominationProgrammableWeb (blog)The Netflix API launched in 2008 with the same hope as many API providers: to attract developers who would build amazing applications on top of the service. Fast-forward 3 years: with more than 23 million subscribers in the United States and Canada, …Why is BluRay losing to Netflix?Orlando Sentinel (blog)all 2 news articles » [...]

June 20th, 2011
at 2:14 am
Comment by: APIs Power Netflix’s Move to Cloud, Enabling World Domination – ProgrammableWeb (blog) | The Latest Info

[...] developers who would build amazing applications on top of the service. Read the original post:APIs Power Netflix’s Move to Cloud, Enabling World Domination – ProgrammableWeb (blog) Related Post : Leave a Comment for APIs Power Netflix’s Move to Cloud, Enabling World [...]

June 20th, 2011
at 4:44 am
Comment by: APIs Power Netflix’s Move to Cloud, Enabling World Domination – ProgrammableWeb (blog) | Daily Articles Trends and News

[...] APIs Power Netflix's Move to Cloud, Enabling World DominationProgrammableWeb (blog)The Netflix API launched in 2008 with the same hope as many API providers: to attract developers who would build amazing applications on top of the service. Fast-forward 3 years: with more than 23 million subscribers in the United States and Canada, …Why is BluRay losing to Netflix?Orlando Sentinel (blog)all 2 news articles » [...]

June 22nd, 2011
at 11:10 am
Comment by: Enterprise APIs – APIs are not just for the cool kids | Atmosphere

[...] developments, fueling growth at an impressive rate. For more on the idea, here’s a great blog post by Kin Lane on [...]

June 26th, 2011
at 8:44 am
Comment by: Streaming Video Linkfest for 6/26 | My Cable Alternatives

[...] APIs Power Netflix’s Move to Cloud, Enabling World Domination – For those times when Netflix itself isn’t cool enough, you can learn how it works [...]

July 6th, 2011
at 10:33 pm
Comment by: Big Media Has Big Dreams in the Cloud: Ex-Startups Taking the Lead | SiliconANGLE

[...] that there will be more focus on Netflix, a world leader in internet subscription services. Their API-powered movement to the cloud 3 years ago was not expected to be this dominant, scoping a worldwide [...]

October 12th, 2011
at 5:26 pm
Comment by: Evil Plans: Having Fun on the Road to World Domination | Mr Funny Web

[...] that others will hate you for it. MacLeod's insights are brash, wise, and often funny.[/amazon_link][amazon_link id="1591843847" target="_blank" locale="US" container="" container_class="" ] "It has n…t you love. But to make it happen, first you need an EVIL PLAN. Everybody needs to get away from [...]

March 9th, 2012
at 5:39 pm
Comment by: Irene Gojcaj

Even though the law of competition could be sometimes hard to the individual, it’s a good idea for your race, because it ensures the survival with the fittest in most department.
Most of that which you call management contains which makes it a hardship on visitors to manage to get thier work done.

June 25th, 2012
at 10:00 pm
Comment by: intex piscines

And we don’t use a monopoly. We’ve business. You will find there’s difference.

August 17th, 2012
at 2:23 pm
Comment by: Trevor

Do you mind if I quote a couple of your posts
as long as I provide credit and sources back to your webpage?
My blog site is in the exact same area of interest as yours and my visitors would definitely benefit from some of the information you
provide here. Please let me know if this alright with you.
Cheers!

December 16th, 2012
at 3:00 am
Comment by: Netflix Architecture (Movie /Content) « Bhaskaruni's Blog

[...] 1. Netflix APIs Power Netflix’s Move to Cloud, Enabling World Domination [...]

Follow the PW team on Twitter

ProgrammableWeb
APIs, mashups and code. Because the world's your programmable oyster.

John Musser
Founder, ProgrammableWeb

Adam DuVander
Executive Editor, ProgrammableWeb. Author, Map Scripting 101. Lover, APIs.