Friday, April 1, 2016

How Netflix Uses John Stamos to Optimize the Cloud at Scale

Netflix Technology relies heavily on the Cloud, thanks to its low latency and high compatibility with the internet.  

But the key to great Technology is having great Talent.  So when John Stamos expressed an interest in becoming more involved in our Engineering initiatives, needless to say, we were 
on Cloud Nine!


 
John Stamos, star of Fuller House
and world-renowned bongo player

Dreamy Results

Let’s take a look at the numbers.  Earlier this year, we were operating at a median average 
of Cloud 3.1.  We introduced Mr. Stamos into the system in early March, and in just under a month, he has helped us achieve a remarkable 290% gain.


Here’s what our architecture looks like today:

Highly Available Micro-Stamos Cloud Architecture
Highly Available Micro-Stamos Cloud Architecture

Personal Forecast

As a Netflix user, you may already be seeing this effect on the quality of your recommendations, which has resulted in increased overall user engagement.  For example, with the release of Fuller House, users watched an additional REDACTED million hours, and experienced an average heart rate increase of 18%.  

One might say that our personalization algorithms have a lot more personality!

Stamos-optimized home page
Stamos-optimized home page

Lifting the Fog

How does Mr. Stamos drive these results?  

After extensive analysis and observation (mostly observation), we are certain (p=0.98) that the biggest factors are his amazing attitude and exceptionally high rate of Hearts Broken Per Second (HBPS).  

Based on these learnings, we are currently A/B testing ways to increase HBPS.  For example, which has a greater effect on the metrics: his impeccable hairstyle or his award-winning smile?  

We’ll go over our findings in a follow-up blog post, but they look fabulous so far.


Hearts Broken Per Second
HBPS: Stamos (red) vs Control (blue)

Staying Cool

Long-time readers will be familiar with our innovative Netflix Simian Army.  The best known example is Chaos Monkey, a process that tests the reliability of our services by intentionally causing failures at random.  

Thanks to Mr. Stamos, we have a new addition to the army: Style Monkey, which tests how resilient our nodes are against unexpected clothing malfunctions and bad hair days.  

As a pleasant side effect, we have noticed that the other monkeys in the Simian Army are much happier when Style Monkey is around.


The Style Monkey API
The Style Monkey API

A Heavenly Future

Look for an Open Source version of our Stamos-driven Cloud architecture soon.  With contributions from the community, and by hanging out with Mr. Stamos every chance we can get, we think we can achieve Cloud 11 by late 2016.

Gosh, isn’t he great?


-The Netflix Engineering Team