Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Stackify Blog, Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Yeshim Deniz

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, Open Source Cloud, @CloudExpo

Microservices Expo: Blog Feed Post

Why You Can’t Talk About Microservices Without Mentioning Netflix | @CloudExpo #API #Microservices

Netflix is one of the earliest adopters of microservices

Why You Can't Talk About Microservices Without Mentioning Netflix
by Daniel Giordano

About six years ago, Netflix began the move from a monolithic to cloud-based microservices architecture, openly documenting the journey along the way. Netflix is one of the earliest adopters of microservices, a term that didn't even exist when Netflix began moving away from its monolith. Today, the Netflix application is powered by an architecture featuring an API Gateway that handles about two billion API edge requests every day which are handled by approximately 500+ microservices. Netflix has been so successful with its architecture, that the company has open sourced a great deal of its platform including the technologies powering its microservices. Netflix has become one of the most well-known examples of a modern microservices architecture; if an article mentions microservices, odds are, it also mentions Netflix.

Caption: Netflix needed to move to an architecture that could handle the growing number of users and devices connecting to its platform. - Image Credit: Netflix.

Netflix needed to move to an architecture that could handle the growing number of users and devices connecting to its platform. - Image Credit: Netflix.

Netflix Moves to the Cloud
Netflix began moving from a monolithic to AWS cloud-based microservices architecture in 2009, long before the term microservices even existed. Netflix first began with moving movie encoding, a non-customer facing application. In 2010, Netflix began moving customer facing pieces of the website to AWS including account sign up, movie selections, TV selections, metadata, and device configuration. By the end of 2010, the entire customer facing website had been moved to AWS. By December 2011, Netflix had successfully moved to the cloud, breaking up their monolith into hundreds of fine-grained microservices.

About Microservices
The term microservices was coined by a group of software architects in 2012 but didn't start gaining in popularity until 2014, when software developer and author Martin Fowler began using the term in some of his publications.

Netflix trends

Microservices - Google Search Interest Over Time - Data Source: Google Trends

Adrian Cockcroft, a technology fellow at Battery Ventures, is well known for his role as cloud architect at Netflix where he often gave presentations about Netflix's move to the cloud and microservices. Cockcroft has developed his own definition for microservices:  "Loosely coupled service oriented architecture with bounded contexts."

Reasons for the Move
There were a number of reasons Netflix made the decision to move from a monolithic datacenter to a cloud-based microservices architecture. The primary reasons for the move, however, had to do with availability, scale, and speed. The company needed an architecture that allowed Netflix to be up and running 24/7, scale to the next order of magnitude, and be optimized for speed.

Back in 2008, when Netflix was still operating as a monolith, a single missing semicolon brought down the entire Netflix website for several hours. Monoliths tend to become spaghetti code with various components linked together and tightly coupled together. As a monolith, when something was broken in the code, all Netflix engineers had to be alerted to check and see if it was their code that had caused the problem. While it is still possible to have outages with a microservices architecture due to code errors and other issues, outages can be minimized since the platform is divided into separate services that are loosely coupled. A well-designed microservices architecture allows for better availability.

Another reason for the move to a cloud-based microservices architecture had to do with scale. Netflix was unable to build data centers fast enough to keep up with its growth rate. Not only was the number of Netflix users growing very rapidly, Netflix was also branching out to platforms like Xbox, Wii, mobile, and was expanding globally. Thousands of server instances can be commissioned simultaneously if needed to meet increased demand for services. Netflix is able to increase or decrease its capacity in minutes with AWS cloud. In the past, increasing capacity of the datacenter could take hours or days.  Scale is also undifferentiated for a monolithic application; it doesn't allow for different components to scale at different rates. For example, a customer service application could not be scaled at a different rate than a product catalog. However, this is possible with a cloud-based microservices architecture.

The microservices architecture allowed Netflix to greatly speed up development and deployment of its platform and services. The company was able to build and test global services on a large scale without impacting the current system and they could quickly roll back if there were problems. The microservices architecture also allowed Netflix to create about 30+ independent engineering teams that could work on different release schedules, which helped increase the agility and productivity of the development process.

There Were a Few Problems
While the Netflix platform is one of the best examples of a modern cloud-based microservices architecture, the move from monolith to microservices was not without some problems. When Netflix first moved the customer-facing website to the cloud, there were a lot of latency issues with the web pages. One of the ways Netflix dealt with this issue was by managing resources within AWS to avoid co-tenancy and adjust to AWS networking, which has more variable latency than the Netflix datacenters.

In April 2011, there was an outage in AWS US-East that brought down several popular websites hosted on AWS. While Netflix did not experience any large external outages because of the AWS issue, the company did have to make manual changes to its AWS configuration, moving sets of services out of Amazon's Availability Zone (AZ). The company has since automated much of the process, so that failures of this nature are handled without requiring a lot of manual intervention by Netflix engineers.

Netflix faced a number of issues as it steadily moved to a cloud-based architecture such as load increases, instance failures, zone/region failures, and performance problems. Netflix has built many technologies and tools to help address and solve these issues.

Netflix Provides Open Source Software
Netflix has been so successful moving to a cloud-based microservices architecture that the company has open sourced many of the tools and components used to build it. In a recent GOTO Conference presentation, Cockcroft explained what led up to Netflix open sourcing much of its code:

"During 2011, there were a bunch of outages where Amazon went down, and Netflix didn't; everyone else went down, Netflix didn't. So why was that? Well it's because we actually architected to be highly available and people said okay well we like that. So in 2012, we [people] said okay we do like these features; it's scalable, it's highly available, we've got a very fast development pipeline, and you stay up when Amazon goes down, and it's low cost, and you keep going up at conferences and battling people, so that looks good. But they couldn't figure out how to do it themselves because the gap from what Netflix was talking about to what everyone else was doing was just too big. So in 2012, we started seriously open sourcing a lot of code."

The Netflix Open Source Software Center (Netflix OSS) provides tools and technologies that companies can use for building a microservices architecture that runs on AWS.

Conclusion
"When we said we were going to move all of Netflix to cloud everyone said we were completely crazy," explained Cockcroft at a recent GOTO conference. "They didn't believe we were actually doing that, they thought we were just making stuff up."

Today, there are many companies that have moved to the cloud adopting a modern microservices architecture including Amazon, Google, IBM, LinkedIn, Nike, Nordstrom, Orbitz, PayPal, Spotify, Target, Twitter, and the list goes on and on.

Netflix was one of the first companies to move to the cloud and implement microservices, helping to pave the way for other companies to do the same. Netflix has become a technology leader, especially when it comes to cloud computing and microservices. This is why just about every article these days that mentions microservices, also mentions Netflix.

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By SmartBear Blog

As the leader in software quality tools for the connected world, SmartBear supports more than two million software professionals and over 25,000 organizations in 90 countries that use its products to build and deliver the world’s greatest applications. With today’s applications deploying on mobile, Web, desktop, Internet of Things (IoT) or even embedded computing platforms, the connected nature of these applications through public and private APIs presents a unique set of challenges for developers, testers and operations teams. SmartBear's software quality tools assist with code review, functional and load testing, API readiness as well as performance monitoring of these modern applications.

@MicroservicesExpo Stories
It has never been a better time to be a developer! Thanks to cloud computing, deploying our applications is much easier than it used to be. How we deploy our apps continues to evolve thanks to cloud hosting, Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and now Function-as-a-Service. FaaS is the concept of serverless computing via serverless architectures. Software developers can leverage this to deploy an individual "function", action, or piece of business logic. They are expected to start within milliseconds...
Most DevOps journeys involve several phases of maturity. Research shows that the inflection point where organizations begin to see maximum value is when they implement tight integration deploying their code to their infrastructure. Success at this level is the last barrier to at-will deployment. Storage, for instance, is more capable than where we read and write data. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Josh Atwell, a Developer Advocate for NetApp, will discuss the role and value...
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
Regardless of what business you’re in, it’s increasingly a software-driven business. Consumers’ rising expectations for connected digital and physical experiences are driving what some are calling the "Customer Experience Challenge.” In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Marco Morales, Director of Global Solutions at CollabNet, will discuss how organizations are increasingly adopting a discipline of Value Stream Mapping to ensure that the software they are producing is poised to o...
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real r...
Cloud promises the agility required by today’s digital businesses. As organizations adopt cloud based infrastructures and services, their IT resources become increasingly dynamic and hybrid in nature. Managing these require modern IT operations and tools. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Raj Sundaram, Senior Principal Product Manager at CA Technologies, will discuss how to modernize your IT operations in order to proactively manage your hybrid cloud and IT environments. He will be sharing bes...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CollabNet, a global leader in enterprise software development, release automation and DevOps solutions, will be a Bronze Sponsor of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, taking place from June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CollabNet offers a broad range of solutions with the mission of helping modern organizations deliver quality software at speed. The company’s latest innovation, the DevOps Lifecycle Manager (DLM), supports Value S...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus intern...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm. In his Day 3 Keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, will explore t...
This talk centers around how to automate best practices in a multi-/hybrid-cloud world based on our work with customers like GE, Discovery Communications and Fannie Mae. Today’s enterprises are reaping the benefits of cloud computing, but also discovering many risks and challenges. In the age of DevOps and the decentralization of IT, it’s easy to over-provision resources, forget that instances are running, or unintentionally expose vulnerabilities.
There are two main reasons for infrastructure automation. First, system administrators, IT professionals and DevOps engineers need to automate as many routine tasks as possible. That’s why we build tools at Stackify to help developers automate processes like application performance management, error monitoring, and log management; automation means you have more time for mission-critical tasks. Second, automation makes the management of complex, diverse environments possible and allows rapid scal...
One of the biggest challenges with adopting a DevOps mentality is: new applications are easily adapted to cloud-native, microservice-based, or containerized architectures - they can be built for them - but old applications need complex refactoring. On the other hand, these new technologies can require relearning or adapting new, oftentimes more complex, methodologies and tools to be ready for production. In his general session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, Solutions Marketi...
We all know that end users experience the internet primarily with mobile devices. From an app development perspective, we know that successfully responding to the needs of mobile customers depends on rapid DevOps – failing fast, in short, until the right solution evolves in your customers' relationship to your business. Whether you’re decomposing an SOA monolith, or developing a new application cloud natively, it’s not a question of using microservices - not doing so will be a path to eventual ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Linux Academy, the foremost online Linux and cloud training platform and community, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Linux Academy was founded on the belief that providing high-quality, in-depth training should be available at an affordable price. Industry leaders in quality training, provided services, and student certification passes, its goal is to c...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Fusion, a leading provider of cloud services, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Fusion, a leading provider of integrated cloud solutions to small, medium and large businesses, is the industry’s single source for the cloud. Fusion’s advanced, proprietary cloud service platform enables the integration of leading edge solutions in the cloud, including cloud...
SYS-CON Events announced today that HTBase will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. HTBase (Gartner 2016 Cool Vendor) delivers a Composable IT infrastructure solution architected for agility and increased efficiency. It turns compute, storage, and fabric into fluid pools of resources that are easily composed and re-composed to meet each application’s needs. With HTBase, companies can quickly prov...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud taking place June 6-8, 2017, at Javits Center, New York City, is co-located with the 20th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to wait for long developm...
With 10 simultaneous tracks, keynotes, general sessions and targeted breakout classes, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo are two of the most important technology events of the year. Since its launch over eight years ago, Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo have presented a rock star faculty as well as showcased hundreds of sponsors and exhibitors! In this blog post, I provide 7 tips on how, as part of our world-class faculty, you can deliver one of the most popular sessions at our events. But before reading the...
The purpose of this article is draw attention to key SaaS services that are commonly overlooked during contact signing that are essential to ensuring they meet the expectations and requirements of the organization and provide guidance and recommendations for process and controls necessary for achieving quality SaaS contractual agreements.
SYS-CON Events announced today that OpsGenie will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 2012, OpsGenie is an alerting and on-call management solution for dev and ops teams. OpsGenie provides the tools needed to design actionable alerts, manage on-call schedules and escalations, and ensure that the right people are notified at the right time, using multiple notification methods.