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Netflix Launches Its Own Content Delivery Network

Soulskill posted about 2 years ago | from the putting-on-a-different-hat dept.

Networking 117

1sockchuck writes "Netflix has launched its own content delivery network to manage data delivery for its streaming video service. ISPs can choose to host caching appliances in their data centers, or peer with Netflix at Internet Exchanges. 'Netflix will provide either form of access at no cost to the ISP,' it said. As part of Open Connect, Netflix is sharing its hardware appliance design and the open source software components of the server. Does this mean Armageddon for the CDNs currently serving Akamai? Not really, according to analysts, citing the leverage Netflix had in dealing with providers."

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What is the stat of peering these days? (1)

Toe, The (545098) | about 2 years ago | (#40228183)

Just as an aside to this conversation, how is peering doing these days? Back in the day, anyone with a big enough to have a massive pipe, like a T1, could peer with anyone else. What's the deal in this more mature environment?

Re:What is the stat of peering these days? (1)

silas_moeckel (234313) | about 2 years ago | (#40228723)

Not great, still plenty of exchanges around but few eyeball networks are willing to peer. Schools are generally the exception. The content networks are happy to peer.

What about Comcast? (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40228199)

So Comcast is going to roll over for this? Comcast is an integrated Cable TV/ISP, which wants to favor their own delivery mechanism and content relationships. Only Common Carrier status for Internet delivery will break that stranglehold - lots of luck for achieving that in the USA!

- Leonard

Re:What about Comcast? (4, Interesting)

TubeSteak (669689) | about 2 years ago | (#40228337)

If Netflix can get its hardware inside Comcast's network, does that mean Comcast won't count it against their data caps?

Re:What about Comcast? (4, Informative)

Bengie (1121981) | about 2 years ago | (#40228433)

The actual problem is Comcast's congestion is in the last mile. No amount of ISP caching will reduce last-mile congestion.

Re:What about Comcast? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40228531)

The actual problem is Comcast's congestion is in the last mile. No amount of ISP caching will reduce last-mile congestion.

Last mile congestion is not Comcast's problem - they use fiber optic to their head ends and copper coax broadband drops to splits at the domicile that drive TV, cable modem, and/or DVR. The proof that this is not their problem? They do not count using their ISP service to deliver the same content that you get with their CTV, if you have a CTV subscription. (Although if you have a subscription you are more likely to watch via broadband rather than via internet, IMHO.) This uncapping is a scheme to keep customers in their TV + ISP realm, simply because (by CTV content bundles) they can make a mint and they are afraid (very afraid) of customers using ISP only delivery of video content, which would put them in a different competitive environment.

- Leonard

Re:What about Comcast? (2)

znapel (13296) | about 2 years ago | (#40229563)

I beg to differ. While most cable ISPs have a fiber network with tons of bandwidth, that last mile over coax will always have comparatively terrible bandwidth, especially upstream. They can split the network up by lowering the number of houses on each coax downstream, but that comes at an added cost of headend equipment and the like. It's a careful balance of cost/performance. The CDN would probably help a lot with upstream costs/bandwidth but it won't do diddly for congestion in the last mile.
I don't have Comcast, so I don't know what CTV is, but if it's just cable TV, that's just broadcast traffic that doesn't take up much room. If it's VOD, it's probably compressed terribly and there's an associated cost increase for the service that helps offset the bandwidth used.

Re:What about Comcast? (4, Insightful)

Bengie (1121981) | about 2 years ago | (#40230687)

If you look at the complaints of Comcast customers, it's that "the internet is slow and I'm getting packetloss" during peak and they don't use P2P or anything hoggish. But you will notice that these people also mention they live in high density areas like large apartment complexes. You will also notice other people claim to be using Comcast in the same city and don't have any issues at all.

During the whole L3 vs Comcast issue, L3 requested 270Gb of additional peering bandwidth. Remember, L3 is a tier1 back-bone. This means Comcast and send data to L3 and L3 will route that data to anywhere in the world. Being that Comcast and L3 have a peering agreement, it effectively means Comcast gets its internet for FREE. When L3 comes to you and offers you 270Gb of free bandwidth and you turn it down, that means you don't have an issue at your trunk. That's enough bandwidth for almost 70k 4Mb data streams

If Comcast doesn't have have congestion at their trunk, then the only other place is their last mile or their middle mile(or whatever it's called). When you own your own network or lease fiber, upgrading the "middle mile" is almost free. The logical conclusion is that the last mile is the bottle-neck.

Re:What about Comcast? (2)

Amouth (879122) | about 2 years ago | (#40231407)

I only see one flaw in your comment.

If L3 requested 270Gb of peering bandwidth and Comcast turned it down.. you have at least one side of a network that recognized a need for 270Gb of bandwidth that is missing..

Given L3 vs Comcast i'd have to side with L3 as the intelligent network provider. Sure somethings up for Comcast to turn it down BUT i doubt they turned it down because its "not needed" from a raw network traffic perspective.

Also "if" all data being treated equal - the fact that these people who complain about things like Netflix not working at peek time but at the same time Comcast's internal stuff works shows that the "last mile" and the trunk lines are not the issue.

Re:What about Comcast? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40229243)

The actual problem is Comcast's congestion is in the last mile. No amount of ISP caching will reduce last-mile congestion.

So basically you are claiming that ALL of comcast's congestion is in the last mile, and they have exactly zero congestion anywhere else?

That is the only possible combination of factors that would result in a local caching server not helping at all. It's also a physical impossibility.

Or are you just one of those types who thinks any small improvement must be no improvement at all because it isn't a 100% solution for any and all cases?
The type that turns down a $100 gift because that gift alone won't make you a billionaire.

No, the fact of the matter is you are just factually wrong, and do not grasp how networking works. A local caching server will reduce backbone congestion, which will result in improved speeds.
No one else claimed it will deliver content to you faster than light before you realize you wanted to watch it. It will not do the dishes or magic up you a unicorn.

Those facts do not mean it is useless and of no help, even if your facts were correct.

Re:What about Comcast? (3, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 2 years ago | (#40229951)

Or maybe, just maybe, Comcast is like the cableco in my area and oversubscribing like mad while pocketing all the profits and not spending dick on upgrading squat?

Sadly I've found traveling around the south that most ISPs while making money hand over fist frankly have creaky as hell last miles and many are even ignoring places where they could make money simply because it would require spending a dime and they are too fucking greedy to do that. I know that when I was there in the mid 00s there were places in downtown nashville without cable OR DSL because they were both too fucking greedy to spend a dime on infrastructure while the places that did have it were oversubscibed horribly. One of the reasons i love my current apt is I'm the only one getting cable net in the whole building so i have the pipe pretty much to myself but I can tell you in many areas cablenet is so damned oversold it practically crawls between 9AM and 11PM.

So he may have just found out as i did that they will sell 100 people on a line that could reasonably take 30 and then stuff the money in their pocket instead of adding more pipes. Its sad but that's ISPs in America, too fucking greedy and shortsighted to see anything beyond the next quarter.

Re:What about Comcast? (1)

AngryDeuce (2205124) | about 2 years ago | (#40231113)

Or maybe, just maybe, Comcast is like the cableco in my area and oversubscribing like mad while pocketing all the profits and not spending dick on upgrading squat?

You just described my ISP as well. I live in an area that's predominately apartments and condos, mostly young professionals, and our local node is so oversaturated that we can barely pull down 10% of our supposed 28 Mbps during peak times to the point where even standard definition Netflix or Youtube streaming is unwatchable from all the stopping and rebuffering required. The last service tech I had out told me to my face that this node has way too many individual users on it, but Charter won't replace or augment it until it's costing them more money having the shitty, out-dated node deployed then the replacement cost...but that sure as shit doesn't stop them from signing up new people every month and constantly trying to talk their customers into upgrading our bandwidth. I even had a rep try to sell me an upgrade package after I called to complain about our speed being in the toilet...how ridiculous is that? Like I'm going to upgrade to a higher tier when they can't even reliably provide the lower one...

Word has it that Verizon FiOS is going to be coming in here soon, and rumors have been going around that AT&T U-Verse was going to be coming in for years, but so far it's just Charter and their suckfest or 7 Mbit DSL, which I've heard is really no better due to the fact that the lines in these buildings are all ancient and noisy as fuck.

Re:What about Comcast? (4, Insightful)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 2 years ago | (#40231155)

I know that when I was there in the mid 00s there were places in downtown nashville without cable OR DSL because they were both too fucking greedy to spend a dime on infrastructure while the places that did have it were oversubscibed horribly.

Of course, whenever the issue of those under-served towns getting municipal broadband comes up, the big ISPs like Comcast suddenly become very interested in developing there. Not enough to actually develop, mind you, but enough to lobby to squash the project on the grounds that it would be unfair competition. You know, should they ever decide to build there.

Re:What about Comcast? (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#40231259)

. Its sad but that's ISPs in America, too fucking greedy and shortsighted to see anything beyond the next quarter.

they can see beyond the next quarter most adequately. they will be using their influence to buy legislation to make community and municipal WISPs illegal...

Re:What about Comcast? (3, Interesting)

milkmage (795746) | about 2 years ago | (#40229289)

FWIW when I got comcast (internet only if that matters)... they told me my area gets X amount of bandwidth, and they won't signup any more users, if you don't average the advertised speed. I pay for 20. early AM and late night (say before 8AM, and after 8PM) I can get 30-35 sustained... during peak hours, drops to about 15-17. last mile is not really an issue for me (and comcast is about the only high speed network in town - we have very little to no fiber where I live because of local politics)

as much as I want to hate them, they do deliver.. (and I haven't seen an outage in 3 years)

Re:What about Comcast? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40228803)

They are now basically going to call their bluff and offer to fix the problems that make it cost prohibitive to ISPs.

This is purely a legal tactic in my opinion.

Re:What about Comcast? (3, Informative)

milkmage (795746) | about 2 years ago | (#40229247)

cap? what cap?

http://arstechnica.com/business/2012/05/comcast-answers-data-cap-questions/ [arstechnica.com]

How has Comcast "killed" its caps? "Each of these pilot approaches will effectively offer unlimited usage of our services because customers will have the ability to buy as much data as they want."

Will Comcast raise prices? "We offer tiers of service starting at $9.95 a month and ranging up to higher price tiers. We're very comfortable with the pricing. We don't have any current intention to change our pricing."

Re:What about Comcast? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40229775)

to quote arstechnica: http://arstechnica.com/business/2012/05/comcast-answers-data-cap-questions/

"If every site is treated equally, why does Xfinity get special treatment on Xbox? This is really not the call to debate this, but the 15-second elevator speech is that the Xfinity TV app on the Xbox does not travel over the public Internet. Cohen noted that only the Xfinity TV app on Xbox is exempt from data use threshold. Xfinitytv.com on a computer does count against the cap, just as Netflix does."

This would suggest not. I am normally against federal government interference of telecommunication networks and net neutrality, but if Netflix does not get a data cap exemption for avoiding the internet, the Feds should take some action against Comcast.

Re:What about Comcast? (1)

sdnoob (917382) | about 2 years ago | (#40230091)

comcast will still be capped, will still charge overages, will still try to screw over their customers every chance they get, and will still be hostile towards competitors' services and traffic. nothing has fundamentally changed:

and that $10 per month internet is only for certain, qualified low-income families.

Re:What about Comcast? (2)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 2 years ago | (#40228347)

No, only the free market can break that stranglehold. The problem is, we don't have a free market with ISPs we have a lot of state, local and federal $$$$$ invested in the infrastructure for a single ISP. If we had a free market and true competition between ISPs (beyond competing for government money). For example, if Comcast made Netflix unusable, customers would leave Comcast for other ISPs. It is only because of the lack of a free market that people would continue to use Comcast if Netflix was unusable (assuming they enjoyed watching Netflix)

Re:What about Comcast? (1)

NouberNou (1105915) | about 2 years ago | (#40228397)

Yea, cause I mean those sole provider markets are totally willing to leave the internet behind right? Total free markets do not work, they become predatory and violent (literally).

If you want a country where you can do anything you want if you have the money try Somalia or Afghanistan, I prefer to live in a society where the weak are given the same standards as the powerful.

Re:What about Comcast? (2)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 2 years ago | (#40228467)

If you look at the sole provider markets, the vast, vast, vast, majority of them were given money either by the federal, state or local government to get a "head start" and were either given a monopoly or given such a large amount of money for infrastructure to effectively prevent any other competitors. It is only through the destruction of the free market that sole provider markets have been able to establish themselves and thrive.

Re:What about Comcast? (4, Insightful)

dgatwood (11270) | about 2 years ago | (#40228541)

And the vast majority of those companies were given money by the government because for many years, every company they asked to serve those areas responded, "Hell, no". The free market works well when there are enough customers per square mile to make competition feasible. In more rural areas, true competition can't possibly work, which means the only viable alternative is a government-run last-mile infrastructure that leases access out to multiple competing ISPs.

Re:What about Comcast? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 2 years ago | (#40228611)

Which, in the absence of subsidies leaves a huge opportunity for companies to creatively find solutions. Who knows what could have happened. Large scale wi-fi networks? Large investments in cell phone technology to have had 3G in the 90s? Better satellite internet? Of course it didn't (and doesn't) make sense to run cable to each individual house in low population density environments but the free market would have undoubtedly found a way.

Re:What about Comcast? (1)

Mattcelt (454751) | about 2 years ago | (#40228687)

This is true, but how long would it take? Remember the old adage: you can have it fast, cheap, and good... but you can only pick two. The model you're proposing is cheap and (hopefully) good, but certainly not fast.

Re:What about Comcast? (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 2 years ago | (#40228741)

Its impossible to say what could have been because so much capital and research would have been shifted around, but its mostly just that the principle stands that the free market would have provided a way to get internet to a good chunk of the people who lived in places of low population density, it just would have looked differently. Sure, its possible it might have not been as good of internet or it might have been better or mostly the same. But one thing is for sure that there would not be only one ISP controlling everything like there is today in much of the rural market.

Re:What about Comcast? (4, Interesting)

dgatwood (11270) | about 2 years ago | (#40229633)

I think we can safely say what would have happened. Almost nothing. In the U.S., somewhere around a quarter to one fifth of the people are spread out across approximately 97% of the land mass, and the other 70-75% are concentrated in the remaining 3% of our land mass. Even with the best wireless technology we have at our disposal, covering much of the U.S. is infeasible because of geography (mountains, etc.). And the cellular phone industry has doubtless poured more money into wireless research than the total spending on ISPs nationwide.

Let's take my hometown in Tennessee as an example. Many of my friends did not have cable service because even with subsidies, it was not profitable. It costs about $30,000 to run a mile of coax or fiber, and in many places, that would serve only one or two households. Even if they stood to make $30 profit per month (unlikely), it would take over 40 years to break even, without factoring in such pesky things as interest.

So what about wireless? Realistically, most wireless Internet services cap out at somewhere on the order of ten miles or so. Assuming you placed a cellular tower ($150,000 or so) in a location where it could serve the areas between towns, there are many areas where a tower with a ten mile radius would serve only a low four-digit number of households). Many of these areas do not even have basic cellular phone service today from any carrier.

Given that probably 90% of those four-digits worth of people live in a town (and thus would likely already be served by a wired Internet provider because it would be profitable to do so, subsidies or not), you're talking about almost half a grand per household served. And that's just for the initial tower construction costs. On top of that, you have to add the cost of a trunk line out to the middle of nowhere (at $30,000 per mile times 10+ miles to the nearest town), plus hundreds of dollars in customer premises equipment costs for each household (that many of those households could not realistically afford). Granted, $2,000 per customer is a far cry from $15,000, but it is still something that no sane person would invest in.

Even if you could miraculously crank up the radius up to 30 miles, it would barely be profitable, and short of insanely tall towers, that's about where the curvature of the earth itself will bite you in the you-know-what.

And the bigger problem is that all this proposed infrastructure is unlikely to pay for itself before the technology becomes obsolete.

In short, there is just no feasible way to solve the last-mile problem except for either A. the government forcing private enterprise to build out the wired infrastructure in exchange for the right to serve other, more profitable areas or B. the government building the infrastructure itself. Your viable choices are basically the system we have now or socialism. Take your pick.

Re:What about Comcast? (0)

able1234au (995975) | about 2 years ago | (#40229831)

Internet access is fast becoming as important as water, gas, electricity, roads etc and having the correct infrastructure is not something to be solely left to private enterprise. If we need a bit of socialism to solve it then lets have some socialism.

Re:What about Comcast? (2)

GNU(slash)Nickname (761984) | about 2 years ago | (#40230345)

Internet access is fast becoming as important as water, gas, electricity, roads etc and having the correct infrastructure is not something to be solely left to private enterprise. If we need a bit of socialism to solve it then lets have some socialism.

With the exception of electricity, those are all examples of infrastructure that follows the same model as broadband. Water and gas are only available in more densely populated areas, and roads have "less bandwidth" as they become more rural. In fact, although electricity is almost ubiquitous, there are still places that remain unserviced due to high deployment costs with no payback possibility.

Not sure how socialism ties in - at least where I am, water is a public service and gas is private.

Re:What about Comcast? (2)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#40231313)

Internet access is fast becoming as important as water, gas, electricity, roads etc

With the exception of electricity, those are all examples of infrastructure that follows the same model as broadband.

Water and gas can be delivered by road. I'm having gas delivered by road tomorrow. Electricity is carried on the very same poles as broadband and it is tree-networked as well. "Grid" is a lie.

Re:What about Comcast? (1)

Dog-Cow (21281) | about 2 years ago | (#40230719)

And a lot of rural homes are not on the grid for one or more of those other services too.

Re:What about Comcast? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40231101)

The Rural Electrification Act of 1936 provided federal loans for the installation of electrical distribution systems to serve rural areas of the United States.
The funding was channeled through cooperative electric power companies, most of which still exist today.

These co-ops already have the rights of way and poles to get to every rural residence. How much does it cost to add a fiber bundle alongside existing power lines ?

Let's get on with it.

Re:What about Comcast? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#40231295)

How about C. The government gets out of the fucking way in the form of granting some no-cost wireless licenses for bouncing the signals into remote locations? Or hey, granting some other companies the right to lay fiber? All the fiber coming in my county is owned by AT&T so my WISP bounces the signal in across four mountaintops to get it into my county. I'm sure some other party would love to bring more fiber in here, because they would be the only competition for AT&T and everyone and their mom would jump ship.

Re:What about Comcast? (1)

NouberNou (1105915) | about 2 years ago | (#40228561)

They were given the money to go there because no one would go there with out any sort of subsidies. In addition to that, since the lines are still allowed to be solely owned by the private companies in those areas then no one else still feels like its a market they can compete in with out those subsidies either because they'd have to make their own investments and ultimately be making a medium-term loss in a developed market. If anything the government should be investing more in bringing in competitors.

The ultimate goal of a business is to make money and they stand to not make money in a lot of areas, that is where government can help out people that might not get these services otherwise, by making undesirable markets desirable. Ultimately for society and the economy these investments by the government do pay off because you open new markets to internet trade, you can revitalize businesses and attract new businesses, etc. This is a very simple concept that most libertarian/conservative fools can not even begin to grasp, that infrastructure costs money, usually doesn't turn a profit, but is the backbone of economy. They have a mentality that contradicts thousands of years of history in regards to infrastructure. It is like they just see roads and rail networks and assume they have always been there and thats how it will always be and do not even for a second consider the forces that created them. A strong partnership between business and government with an eye towards what is best for their customers and their citizens is the best system. Look at Japan for an example.

Re:What about Comcast? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40228499)

Free markets are ones that respect private property. You gave examples of places where property is not respected.

Re:What about Comcast? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40229035)

"Total free markets do not work, they become predatory and violent (literally)."

Nonsense. Anything but free markets are predatory and violent(literally).

Re:What about Comcast? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40228519)

So Comcast is going to roll over for this? Comcast is an integrated Cable TV/ISP, which wants to favor their own delivery mechanism and content relationships. Only Common Carrier status for Internet delivery will break that stranglehold - lots of luck for achieving that in the USA!

- Leonard

comcast can go pound sand

Re:What about Comcast? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40230079)

Now Netflix offer this service Comcast and other ISPs have no justification for applying caps to Netflix which they don't apply to their own services. I predict if ISPs continue to cap Netflix where they don't cap their own services then Netflix will take legal action against them.

Re:What about Comcast? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40230081)

All the coax and fiber should be seized via eminent domain and turned into co-ops for the public benefit.

It is completely justified because these companies are obstructionist, de facto monopolies and in the US their original runs were subsidized with tax payer money.

Political move on Netflix's part? (1)

tapspace (2368622) | about 2 years ago | (#40230567)

Perhaps this is a political move on the part of Netflix. They can say that they're acting in good faith to alleviate the ISPs bandwidth concerns. If the ISPs keep balking, it could expose their motives more. What I mean is eventually it could be come indeniable that bandwidth isn't their concern and any unfair treatment of Netflix's traffic is just that, plain unfair. It could be good for all of us, backing the ISPs into a corner where they either have to admit defeat to Netflix in some sense (the lesser good outcome) or their nefarious tinkering with internet traffic comes under fire (a real win).

So bottom line (2, Funny)

gelfling (6534) | about 2 years ago | (#40228223)

Less buffering, more buffering? Will the Wii app still suck? Will their website still suck? Will all Android Netflix apps still app still suck?

Re:So bottom line (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40228273)

yes, no. yes. yes. yes maybe

And also (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40228321)

Will their available content still lack about 60-70 percent of what I want to watch?

Re:And also (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40228455)

Will their available content still lack about 60-70 percent of what I want to watch?

No, now that NetFlix has their own CDN, they will source whatever video you want. Anything that isn't natively in their library will be sourced from BitTorrent.

Re:And also (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 2 years ago | (#40228539)

Exactly. I looked at getting Netflix and getting rid of cable because most of the shows I watch are rarely on TV anyways... But it was about a month and then I canceled my subscription it had nothing on that I really wanted to watch.

I was really optimistic that the rise of things like Netflix, Hulu, etc. would make it easy for me to watch some foreign shows (legally), but alas, not so much

Re:And also (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | about 2 years ago | (#40228585)

My experience was just the opposite. I've used only Netflix for years now and never got cable. Tens of thousands of videos, compelling content. The financee is moving in so she wanted cable. I got Verizon's package with about 300 channels. Not a damn thing on that's worth watching...all pedestrian shit.

So whenever I read about people that can't find anything to watch on Netflix, but seem happy with dead common shows with commercials (and are paying more), I question the veracity of their statements.

Re:And also (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 2 years ago | (#40228671)

I really didn't like cable either, but the amount of streaming content on Netflix was just pathetic. I regularly follow a good chunk of British TV (I can't find it on cable) and so I figured that Netflix would have a lot of it. Nope, can't even find British Comedies from the '70s that regularly show up on my local PBS station. And forget about anything more obscure than that...

I seem to be perpetually disappointed with online distribution because I expect it to be a truly global place where things that aren't worth the trouble of "localizing" or the cost of distributing or marketing would be. For example, Nintendo's Virtual Console service I was hoping would be filled to the brim with all sorts of stuff that never made it out of Japan... Not so much.

Re:And also (1)

Ryanrule (1657199) | about 2 years ago | (#40229663)

A lot of that is licensing, because the contracts were never written with something like the Internet in mind. They would have to be rewritten, permission obtained, ect ect. It only tends to be worth it for popular things, new things, or things with pretty clean paperwork. Otherwise you just end up paying for lawyers yachts.

Re:So bottom line (1)

bill_mcgonigle (4333) | about 2 years ago | (#40229317)

I bet they'll still inexplicably insist that my e-mail address is invalid, no matter how many times I try confirming it again (given up at this point).

Re:So bottom line (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | about 2 years ago | (#40231949)

any ideas as to why your email address is not "valid"?? flip me an email and maybe i can see whats wrong (not a netflix employee just want a puzzle).

Re:So bottom line (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40231033)

I have no idea if this is relevant to you, but we used to use our Wii to watch BBC iPlayer - in a 30 minute show, it would buffer at least once, and would flat-out fail to recover once every 5-10 shows we watched. Then I bought a wired ethernet adaptor for the Wii, and now it's pretty much bullet proof. Oh, then I got XBMC, and now it's even better ;-)

That said, I don't have Netflix, and as their penetration into the UK is low, I probably won't be bothering for quite some time. Oh, that and not really watching too much of the goggle-box these days. And that most films produced in the last 5-10 years are pretty terrible.

Re:So bottom line (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#40231335)

It cannot possibly be relevant. I can't imagine why that would happen, but I imagine it had something to do with the Wii not having enough horsepower to speak USB and run the iPlayer at the same time. But I've used the Wii with Netflix via WiFi and not had any more problems than you normally have, due to the fact that the client is shitty and has gotten shittier over time.

OMG! A caching server! (0)

msobkow (48369) | about 2 years ago | (#40228259)

Stop the presses! No one has ever done a network caching server before.

Truly this is "news".



Re:OMG! A caching server! (4, Insightful)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about 2 years ago | (#40228339)

I think the real story here (which the summary completely missed) is that Netflix is not just setting up caching mirrors, they are trying to get the competitors to host the caching servers! Most ISP's in the US (which is about the only place netflix works anyways) are the same companies that have been trying to destroy netflix to save their cable-TV interests.

Re:OMG! A caching server! (1)

NoKaOi (1415755) | about 2 years ago | (#40228497)

Most ISP's in the US (which is about the only place netflix works anyways) are the same companies that have been trying to destroy netflix to save their cable-TV interests.

I think you're half right. It seems like most people in most areas have the option of their cable TV provider or their phone company as an ISP. Obviously Comcast wants to get your money from their streaming services, and presumably other cable providers would rather you buy PPV movies from them instead of watching Netflix, but phone companies don't generally offer their own PPV service. If the phone company ISPs go for this in places where the cable TV companies have a significantly larger market share, thus offering better Netflix service, perhaps this will be good for competition?

Re:OMG! A caching server! (1)

bhcompy (1877290) | about 2 years ago | (#40228633)

Well, I dunno about where you live, but FIOS(Verizon) and AT&T(U-Verse) both offer PPV/On-Demand where I live... but they're okay with these kind of things because they are trying to migrate all of their customers to fiber/VOIP so they can dismantle their copper networks as soon as possible

Re:OMG! A caching server! (2)

BitZtream (692029) | about 2 years ago | (#40228857)

You do realize their competitors are already hosting Akamai content servers ... which is who currently does this function for Netflix ... right?

So what you're saying is that netflix is going to be destroyed because their competitors are not going to do what they are already doing for them?

And when Netflix just continues to use Akamai in those data centers, how exactly does this destruction of Netflix come about?

You're comment would only qualify as Insightful if netflix didn't already have its content cached in the datacenters you say aren't going to let it cache its content there. Pretty dumb dontcha' think?

Re:OMG! A caching server! (1)

DarwinSurvivor (1752106) | about 2 years ago | (#40230689)

I never said that caching would destroy them, I said that the companies ALREADY want to destroy them (since they are a competition that is starting to win).

Levels the playing field (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40229055)

This is significant because when Comcast or AT&T offer video on demand to their customers it "costs" them less because all the traffic stays on their own network. If Netflix offers free peering and if they make these caching boxes free or nearly free (cost of commodity h/w only) it negates that difference. Comcast and AT&T will still hate Netflix and want to drive it out of business (just as Netflix is trying to eliminate the need for cable/Uverse) and will want to favor their own services but they won't be able to use the cost of the service as a reason.

Re:OMG! A caching server! (1)

clarkn0va (807617) | about 2 years ago | (#40229207)

Just because the bigger ISPs want to see Netflix die a fiery death doesn't necessarily mean they wouldn't want to host their CDN servers. The fact is, until that magical imaginary day when they do kill off Neflix, they're having to carry this traffic or host the CDN servers anyway.

Large corporations have no problem taking cost-cutting measures, even if said measures appear to be working opposite to the direction of some other part of the organism. Witness the companies that produce and distribute documentaries like The Corporation, or Michael Moore's work, which ostensibly carry a message that is against the corporation, but brings the promise of profiting from the promotion of these seemingly self-destructive messages. Also Microsoft and Apple, who have a history of publishing software for each other's OS and keeping voodoo dolls of the other's CEO in the lunch room.

Re:OMG! A caching server! (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#40231345)

Most ISP's in the US (which is about the only place netflix works anyways) are the same companies that have been trying to destroy netflix to save their cable-TV interests.

That is not true at all. The ISPs with the most users in the US are the same companies blah blah blah. Most ISPs by number are not Comcast, or AT&T, etc.

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awesome! (4, Insightful)

asshole felcher (2655639) | about 2 years ago | (#40228353)

Now they just need some content to deliver.

Re:awesome! (1)

utkonos (2104836) | about 2 years ago | (#40228769)

What, you don't want to watch every episode of Star Trek ever made?

Re:awesome! (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#40231235)

What, you don't want to watch every episode of Star Trek ever made?

What, again? I guess I could dig out my DVDs...

Netflix needs new content bad. I can't find shit to watch any more. There's loads of stuff I haven't watched, but sure enough, when I try some its ingredients are 1/2 c shit and 1 tbsp shit.

Re:awesome! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40231809)

I already did, also farscape, working on stargate now. A few others I dont recall right now...

Re:awesome! (2)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 2 years ago | (#40231857)

You Yanks get Star Trek on your Netflix? You jammy bastards. The UK content just has Dr Who - the Sylvester McCoy Dr Who.

Actually, I have no idea what it has now, I watched everything that I wanted during a month's free trial, then cancelled. Since then, I've received an increasingly desperate succession of "Jesus Christ, please come back, there's even more ways to watch the exact same content!" emails.

I strongly suspect they may have shot their bolt way too early, with far too scattered a catalogue - providing a little of everything just means that everybody rips through what they want to see in short order. And since I'd have to re-subscribe in order to actually search the content library (lolwut?) there's essentially no chance that they'll see any more money out of me.

Re:awesome! (1)

Rogerborg (306625) | about 2 years ago | (#40231885)

Self correction: not any "more" money out of me, any money at all. I'd be surprised if they've covering their office coffee budget.

Re:awesome! (1)

archen (447353) | about 2 years ago | (#40231671)

Lillyhammer is a netflix exclusive and not that bad. And honestly "content" is pretty arbitrary considering the amount of network tv which is simply news, reality tv, and documentaries like behind the music, etc.

Content providers won't do it (3, Interesting)

Hamsterdan (815291) | about 2 years ago | (#40228355)

Seriously, The Cablecos and Telcos won't probably even bother. In an *ideal* world, they would do it to save bandwidth (and therefore not charge their costumers for that bandwidth), but I really doubt Videotron, Rogers, Bell and all the other money-hungry monopolistic providers will do it. It would eat into their Rape-the-customer-tv business. Besides, since we can get about third-world country 50GB/month of bandwidth here in Quebec, how many hours of Netflix does that give me?

Those big ISPs already have a bunch of cdn servers (Akaimai comes to mind), but they still count their usage towards your monthly cap, even if it doesn't cost them a penny on their peer links (since the content is already mostly cached).

Re:Content providers won't do it (1)

clarkn0va (807617) | about 2 years ago | (#40229083)

Many Canadians these days have access to alternative ISPs that aren't stepping on the customer to protect their own selfish interests. Can you not get hooked up on Acanac or Teksavvy, where the transfer caps are much more reasonable and they don't content distribution markets to protect?

Do they? (1)

Sparticus789 (2625955) | about 2 years ago | (#40228449)

Can I get a content caching server for my house?

Re:Do they? (2)

clarkn0va (807617) | about 2 years ago | (#40229143)

Apparently the answer is now YES! Keep in mind that keeping your CDN server updated will generate a steady inflow of 80-100 Mbps* *This is the actual number that was given to a WISP operator by a Netflix agent, as reported on dslreports.com many months ago. Sorry, I went looking but wasn't able to dig up the old thread. I'm sure that number has only grown in the intervening months.

Major Source of Traffic (1)

relikx (1266746) | about 2 years ago | (#40228461)

In October at least, so after their ridiculous Quikster stumbling, it was reported that Netflix accounted for 32.7% peak U.S. downstream traffic, so I could see how ISP's even with competing interests would benefit from this arrangement.

The ISPs should love it for the traffic reduction. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40228479)

It lets them move the traffic from transiting their internal network (from the peering point to the edge switches) for every stream to mostly from caches much nearer the edge switches.

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Linux support? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40228685)

So will using their own CDN mean we can finally get Linux support proper? Because that would be AWESOME.

Re:Linux support? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40228917)

Not gonna happen until Linux gets a protected media path, and probably not even then due to size of the desktop Linux market being essentially a rounding error.

Re:Linux support? (1)

clarkn0va (807617) | about 2 years ago | (#40229153)

1) I don't see the connection.
2) Android (Linux) has had a functioning Netflix app for a while now.
3) If you mean desktop Linux, then yeah, I'd be all over that.

Re:Linux support? (3, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | about 2 years ago | (#40230287)

Given that they are using FreeBSD on their new CDN (and most of their new back-end infrastructure), why do you think it would make Linux support more likely?

Awesome!!! (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40228743)

I for one really look forward to taking advantage of NetFlix's offer. I run a small ISP serving five to six computers as well as several hardware appliances. All my servers as well as my customers are crammed into my house.

Its just Netflix trying to save money on CDN bills (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40228785)

Netflix no doubt pays a ton of money to CDNs. Its also obvious from the amount of traffic they push that they can fill up any CDNs network. They also don't want to pay any CDN much money - even at a very low price per 100Gb their CDN costs must be a significant part of their cost structure. The question is do network providers really want to pay to serve all of this traffic that actually undermines their business by encouraging cord cutting, and that takes eyeballs away from their own proprietary services.? Perhaps yes, perhaps no. It could save them some transit bandwidth, but with a big possible downside. Big CDNs don't make much money on Netflix - the margiins in media delivery suck and Netflix is notoriously cheap. CDNs might not mind losing some bad paying traffic so they can fill their networks with stuff they get more money for serving.

Re:Its just Netflix trying to save money on CDN bi (2)

hawguy (1600213) | about 2 years ago | (#40228847)

Big CDNs don't make much money on Netflix - the margiins in media delivery suck and Netflix is notoriously cheap. CDNs might not mind losing some bad paying traffic so they can fill their networks with stuff they get more money for serving.

If the CDNs want to stop serving Netflix traffic so they are free to serve up other, more lucrative traffic, couldn't they already do that by charging Netflix more money, which would either give the CDN more revenue, or get Netflix off their network, so they win either way? Why would they want to see Netflix create an open source CDN appliance that Netflix (and others) can use to replace the CDNs?

Competirors Deploy It - No and Yes (1)

ZPO (465615) | about 2 years ago | (#40229531)

When it comes to Netflix competitors, there are two main issues in the game:

1) Will they exempt Netflix content from their data caps - No. For as long as possible, providers with competing VoD services will continue to count the Netflix content against data caps while exempting their own offerings. This one is a no-brainer.

2) Will they provide the space, power, and cooling to host the boxes within their networks - Yes. Whatever their competing offerings, bandwidth still costs money. At the very least, peering with Netflix at the listed exchange points will likely reduce transit costs. Given the somewhat sparse availability of peering points, I expect to see large metro ISPs consider putting the devices in their datacenters.

Sucks to be a small ISP (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40229609)

Killing us softly.

Larger ILECs and Cable BDUs will deploy this, up their UBB charges and laugh all the way to the bank and the small ISPs will continue to choke on Netflix video with no relief in sight. Way to kill the only businesses that would love to help deliver Netflix video since small ISPs don't own highly profitable cable tv properties.

Just tell us how to cache your F*ing content and we will do it ourselves.

Dying (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40229655)

The appliance runs FreeBSD. BSD is dying. Therefore, Netflix is dying.

FreeBSD (5, Informative)

Jon Stone (1961380) | about 2 years ago | (#40229687)

All these posts and no-one has mentioned it runs on FreeBSD?

Netflix's New Peering Appliance Uses FreeBSD [freebsd.org]

Re:FreeBSD (1)

Bengie (1121981) | about 2 years ago | (#40230757)

Awesome info

Netflix is also at the front of the internet pack with IPv6 roll-out, and FreeBSD plays an essential part of that. We've been working hard on stabilizing the FreeBSD IPv6 stack for production-level traffic

But but but.......BSDL gives no incentive to give back!

Re:FreeBSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40231277)

And that's the beauty of it! It gives you the choice! I love choice! But but but, thankfully netflix has announced that any stability fixes made to the os will be contributed back to the community, bolstering my interests and loyalty to the company even further.

Re:FreeBSD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 2 years ago | (#40231549)

They're not "giving" anything back, really. As far as IPv6 goes they're most likely contracting Bjoern Zeeb, bz@freebsd.org, to finish tuning the IPv6 stack for them.

as long as they are paying for BEER (1)

RobertLTux (260313) | about 2 years ago | (#40232107)

me i don't care HOW they are doing it (as long as they don't NDA wrap the results) as long as it gets done (and they cut some sort of deal with the coder(s))

What about content? (1)

teslatug (543527) | about 2 years ago | (#40230763)

It's great that they're getting their delivery in top shape, how about fixing their content? It's become nothing but made for tv, classics, and old tv series. Lilyhammer is not going to cut it.

On the technical side, why do we still have a queue for streaming? It doesn't make sense since you can view anything instantly. They should allow sorting. They also need better human curated movie lists. I can't find anything worth watching any more. It's nothing but 1-2.5 star selections left for me. And most of the suggestions are for tv series. I've gone and made the choice that I never watch tv series to get them to stop recommending them to me, and still I get recommendations for tv series. The scrolling method of finding movies blows. They should just make it sortable lists (by date, by stars, etc). I've even noticed audio lagging behind the video in the last week.

Is it even worth it to get Netflix anymore?

Re:What about content? (2)

Jason Levine (196982) | about 2 years ago | (#40231207)

If they keep with the Queue concept, I'd like to see multiple queues. So I can set one up for shows my kids like to see and one for shows I like watching. This way, I don't need to scroll through Bob the Builder Live and Yo Gabba Gabba to find my shows.

Re:What about content? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | about 2 years ago | (#40231363)

SHIT YES. Right after not being able to sort all lists by clicking on the headers like a good little website, not being able to have multiple instant queues is the thing that pisses me off the most. I want per-device queues!

Division of labor and specialization (1)

dumky2 (2610695) | about 2 years ago | (#40233433)

I'm surprised that Netflix is choosing to build this in-house. Outsourcing to specialized firms such as Akamai or other CDNs seems like it would be more economical.
Does anyone have an idea how the costs differ?
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