Earlier this month (March), Netflix announced $100,000 in prize money for the developers who do the most to improve its open source tools for controlling and managing application deployments on cloud computing. Before spearheading this contest, Netflix's cloud architect, Adrian Cockcroft, released many internal Netflix tools as open source. Currently, 8 cloud-architecture-specific tools are available from Netflix, and their architect has open in sharing his and Netflix's knowledge in the public arena.
Some find Netflix' reliance on Amazon Web Services a mixed bag. It is clear Amazon's offering was out in front early (beating out Google), and few others have the core offerings necessary to build comparable applications -- streaming services, multiple data center in other time zones, and an enterprise service bus and backend databases with snapshots and quick restores.
Netflix responded to customer demand by moving services to the cloud -- for the classic reasons. Netflix could not build out data centers fast enough to match their growth rate, and a global roll out. They leveraged Amazon’s ability to build and run large-scale infrastructure. Netflix works with three “terabit-scale” content delivery networks -- Level 3, Limelight, and Akamai -- who stream films to the end customer. If there is too much latency with one edge content router, traffic automatically switches to another.
When consumers think of the most popular internet services -- and they don't typically associate the term "cloud computing" with services they use -- they are tapping into cloud computing. Amazon, Google, Apple, Netflix and others have built huge enterprises on this concept.