Netflix is a fantastic case study for DevOps because their software-engineering process shows a fundamental understanding of DevOps thinking and a focus on quality attributes through automation-assisted process.
From 1:25 Dave Hahn of Netflix sets the scene by showing the frustrating conclusion to a big anticipation of watching Netflix, the user switches on only to find the service is down.
Primary Components of Netflix
He uses this context to define a particularly keen insight about what Netflix actually is, where at 2:45 he describes how streaming media over the Internet is a by product of them being a ‘Large Data and Telemetry Company’.
Breaking down their platform at a very high level Dave explains at 3:19 Netflix is mainly made up of three parts:
- AWS for Compute and Storage
- Akamai for UI and Small Assets
- Netflix Open Connect for all ‘video bits’
At 6:19, he explains that Netflix is a large micro-services infrastructure. He further adds that Netflix is made of 100’s of microservices, 1000’s of daily production changes and nearly tens of thousands of instances running inside Amazon.
Netflix Doesn’t Think About DevOps
From 8:20 Dave asks and answers the core question of ‘What does Netflix think about DevOps’, primary answering by saying they don’t and instead focus on key output principles, notably i) they don’t build systems that ‘say no’, instead developers are empowered to work any time, ii) don’t think about uptime at all costs, but rather prize the velocity of innovation, and they are prepared to balance some cost of availability in return for sustaining this high velocity.
In general he describes what is understood to be a modern DevOps environment, albeit without explicitly naming it such and instead focusing on key enabling activities and supports, that ultimately all lead towards empowering developers to do more, and to take responsibility too.
DevOps Hiring at Netflix
At 20:28, Dave explains how in 2010 they came to the decision to migrate everything to the AWS Cloud, a move they completed by 2015 (and documented in detail here).
He further adds that this capability enables their core business model activity – Understanding what customers want to watch, and catering for that. The approach employed at Netflix is completely data-driven.
At 23:39, he explains that people with the right mindset and those who fit into the right culture would be hired at Netflix.
At 23:52, he briefs that DevOps is a wonderful result of the healthy culture and thinking. He also concludes his talk by explaining the general hiring process that happens at Netflix. He emphasizes that the skills, knowledge, practical, logical thinking, the culture will be test for all of the role-specific positions.
The team of Netflix focuses on quality attributes, hiring innovative DevOps specialists and helping them to make maximum use of the culture. Make sure to keep yourself updated with the open position at the official jobs website of Netflix.