You may have seen that several members of our team were just nominated for the Netflix Cloud Prize. Folks have been asking me, why did we participate in this contest? Well... The software industry is in a transformational stage as middleware evolves beyond packaged software offerings towards Software as a Service (SaaS). I’m particularly interested in our transformation to SaaS. We are in a transformational stage of our cloud evolution. For years, I’ve been involved with building software that customers run and operate. With SaaS, we will also be running and operating our own software. Netflix operates one of the best cloud services in the industry and they've open sourced a key set of assets aimed at ensuring manageability, performance, scalability, availability and resiliency of cloud-based services. Based on what we’ve experienced so far, I see a place for Netflix OSS components as a part of our cloud strategy. Our participation in the Cloud Prize enables us to immerse ourselves in Netflix’s methodology, collaborate with the community, and explore how we could add additional value to that community. We felt the best places to start were the “Best App” and “Portability” categories and that’s where we’ve made our submissions.
For the "Best App" prize we created an interactive application delivered via a mobile experience that acts as a good tutorial for using the Netflix OSS services. The app also shows a “1+1=3” where we blend IBM services like WebSphere Liberty, WebSphere eXtreme Scale and Worklight Mobile together with Netflix OSS components. We call the app “Acme Airlines”. This sample represents an airline app that operates at “cloud scale”, handling extremely high volume of concurrent requests. For this sample, we have delivered code, machine images, documentation and videos that show how a user can bring the system up with the app running in only an hour or two.
For the "Portability" prize we delivered an entry that shows how we’ve liberated the Netflix OSS components to run on multiple clouds. Our first implementation brings Netflix OSS to SoftLayer. Our solution leverages our business partner RightScale to deliver automatically managed, recoverable, and scalable application clusters. With this port, we’ve demonstrated devops concepts, HA automatic recovery of servers, manual elastic scaling, and the HA provided by the Netflix OSS platform on top of the SoftLayer IaaS layer. Our entry has also ported some of the Netflix OSS components to OpenStack, which demonstrates our commitment to standards and cloud portability.
More details on Andrew Spyker's Blog on what we've been doing here.
Congratulations to Andrew, Jonathan and Richard on the nominations! Win, lose or draw, this has been a great experience for our team. We look forward to further collaboration with the Netflix OSS community.