Netflix, a popular Internet subscription service provider, is being touted as a trailblazer for the way it runs almost all its services in the public cloud.
This the company accomplished by open sourcing several tools it developed in-house. In doing so, it earned recognition as one of most prominent cloud computing companies globally.
A company, with a market capitalization of $27.49 billion in the second quarter of 2014, is running many of its crucial workloads in the public. It is also sharing with developers how it is managing and, in the process, giving them tips to do the same.
The company has created a collection of Apache code bundles in its open source, Netflix Open Source Service (OSS), which is freely available to developers.
It uses the public cloud of Amazon Web Service (AWS). Many plugins have been created here that are linked to utilizing AWS resources. Other resources it has created on AWS are other open source projects add-ons, such as Hadoop, Apache, Pig, etc. Netflix has, otherwise, mostly focused on implementing resources for cloud computing, developing tools to manage and automate tasks, which guarantee high availability and analysis of use.
Simian Army is one of its prominent OSS tools, which has a sequence of techniques for testing the acceptability of a cloud deployment. It does this by closing down some systems randomly.
On the other hand, Chaos Monkey chooses automatically individual virtual machines to collapse. Chaos Gorilla executes a similar process on a much larger scale by simulating a complete shutting down of Availability Zone in the cloud of AWS.
Asgard tool, meanwhile, offers a cloud management dashboard to handle resources, and ICE keeps a track on cloud spending based on the usage.
This process of disclosing its strategies, where it manages several thousands of instances it uses on AWS, is, however, not being done with an attempt to be charitable towards other open source developers, opine industry analysts.
According to Adrian Cockcroft of Netflix, the man behind its cloud and OSS strategy, Netflix has a manifold agenda behind developing its OSS. One of it is to build a reputation for the company's process, which it is positioning as the public cloud's best practice operating strategy. This will facilitate the company to get inputs from talent in the open source community at large. It will also help Netflix to source quality talent and improve its brand image.
Other companies have reportedly gained from Netflix OSS tools. But some are critical of Netflix's approach on the grounds that the companies that follow it are by default becoming users of Amazon cloud.