Over at the Netflix blog, they were proudly announcing that they have fully migrated to AWS as a public cloud platform.
Given the obvious benefits of the cloud, why did it take us a full seven years to complete the migration? The truth is, moving to the cloud was a lot of hard work, and we had to make a number of difficult choices along the way.
For Enterprise IT, people should pause and think very carefully about that.
- Netflix is a technology company,
- Able to recruit and pay for the best IT resources.
- They are deeply experienced in AWS design and operations
Arguably, the easiest way to move to the cloud is to forklift all of the systems, unchanged, out of the data center and drop them in AWS. But in doing so, you end up moving all the problems and limitations of the data center along with it. Instead, we chose the cloud-native approach, rebuilding virtually all of our technology and fundamentally changing the way we operate the company.
This paragraph highlights just how complex and difficult it is to consume public cloud. Netflix took the correct approach of adopting “cloud-native” and re-architecting all their apps.
Re-architecting apps requires vast amounts of money, time and resources. The article highlights just how much time, seven years, it takes.
Architecturally, we migrated from a monolithic app to hundreds of micro-services, and denormalized and our data model, using NoSQL databases. Budget approvals, centralized release coordination and multi-week hardware provisioning cycles made way to continuous delivery, engineering teams making independent decisions using self service tools in a loosely coupled DevOps environment, helping accelerate innovation. Many new systems had to be built, and new skills learned. It took time and effort to transform Netflix into a cloud-native company, but it put us in a much better position to continue to grow and become a global TV network.
Moving to the public cloud isn’t easy.
The EtherealMind View
Netflix is a digital-native, technology-only company that has deep experience of operating on AWS. It is high profile in speaking at conferences, releases open-source software on a regular basis and blogs about its technology so that it can attract and retain high quality technical staff.
And its still took them seven years to migrate to the public cloud.
By comparison to this, private cloud for Enterprise IT is a heck of a lot easier. You can sustain your legacy applications while you commence the decades long process of updating your applications, overhauling processes and adapting. And don’t forget that adding and training staff is going to be critical to your success.
Also, Netflix didn’t outsource their transition to the cloud because everything has to be integrated in a DevOps enviroment to consistently apply and reuse the cloud platform. You have to do it yourself.