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Netflix, NASA Migrates to Amazon Web Services

When businesses select the services they want to migrate to the public cloud, it’s critical that they understand the impact of service availability. Netflix and NASA did just that when they chose AWS.

NETFLIX

Netflix had been moving huge portions of its streaming operation to Amazon Web Services (AWS) for years now, and has finally completed its giant shift to the cloud by early January 2016.

What made Netflix to opt for cloud migration and to choose AWS?

According to Netflix, their journey to the cloud began in August of 2008, when they experienced a major database corruption and for three days could not ship DVDs to their members. That’s when they decided they had to move away from vertically scaled single points of failure, like relational databases in their data center, towards highly reliable, horizontally scalable, distributed systems in the cloud. They chose Amazon Web Services (AWS) as their cloud provider because it provided them with the greatest scale and the broadest set of services and features.

Netflix operates “many tens of thousands of servers and many tens of petabytes of storage” in the Amazon cloud, Netflix VP of cloud and platform engineering, Yury Izrailevsky, told in an interview. Not only that, Netflix also has multiple backups of all data within Amazon.

Netflix spoke of the advantages of scale and reliability in leveraging AWS and how they could realize the cost savings due to the elastic nature of their workloads.

Moving to the cloud has brought Netflix a number of benefits and they didn’t simply lift and shift monolithic applications from their private data center to an AWS VM/Container.

Considering that Netflix has finally reached a four nines (99.99%) availability when it’s very tough to achieve five nines availability in a cloud-based application, stands to show how much planning they put in their migration strategy and trust in AWS services.

And now they have eight times as many streaming members than they had before they began the migration to AWS in 2008.

NASA

NASA sought the services of a 3rd party agency instead of going straight to the cloud service provider, who announced in January 2016 that it will help the space agency migrate to the cloud to get help scout NASA’s requirements and review all the options.

They helped NASA to consolidate and move legacy storage and migrate research datasets created at the Ames Research Center over to the Amazon’s AWS. And NASA’s migration to a public cloud infrastructure has now become a use case for speed, cost savings and increased security.

Since getting started in the 2nd quarter of 2013, NASA has migrated almost 160 applications to the cloud – most of which are in a public or hybrid environment. In 2014, NASA moved its public facing websites onto AWS with zero downtime.

Once the AWS was complete, NASA saw an immediate 40% drop in operations and maintenance costs, according to Roopangi Kadakia, Web Services Executive in NASA’s CIO Office. But she also stressed the importance of an organization to know it’s requirements before getting started – whether they need public, private or hybrid cloud, what kind of security is needed and what level of resources are needed.

The hybrid solution will ensure that NASA is using its current resources in the most beneficial way, prioritizing the applications and services that need to be in the cloud to run on AWS, while keeping other aspects of its infrastructure operating on existing networks.

Thus, organizations need not migrate everything to cloud. In some cases, it would make more sense to move certain services to the cloud while continuing to operate others on-premises.

Also, there are several strategies that help enterprise companies take advantage of the cloud when going for migrating workloads and applications to new environments. And it would do good, if organizations evaluate their current application architecture rather than the lift-and-shift to the cloud which may just shift your existing problems to a new platform.

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