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DevOps for Video Streaming Services

Netflix Inc, the Los Gatos, California-based video streaming services giant, now boasts more than 200 million members, $25 billion in revenue, and $2.8 billion in profit. For a company that is heavily dependent on technology, such a huge feat can only be achieved by providing reliable video streams to clients on all possible devices.

To provide such reliable streams, the software developers focus on the quality attributes of robustness and reliability for server and client-side components. They state that by implementing DevOps practices, it’s possible to deal with failures quickly and efficiently. Netflix has dramatically changed their engineering process by applying a powerful tool known as Chaos Monkey. It is the first in a myriad of tools named the Netflix Simian Army. Chaos Monkey is best described as a script that runs continually in all Netflix environments.

Therefore, Netflix programmers are operating in an environment characterized by unexpected outages and unreliable services. It allows the developers to test their software in failure conditions and encourages them to build fault-tolerant systems.

Netflix is one of the greatest success stories in the sphere of DevOps for video streaming. The development process is altered using automation to build a system, where behavioral economics favor producing software with desirable quality.

Main Differences between Traditional IT and DevOps

Challenges Encountered in the Video Streaming Industry

Software challenges have been known to cause massive losses to technology-dependent industries. In 2012, a software bug caused Knight Capital Group losses amounting to $440 million. Video streaming services, due to their heavy dependence on software, are not exempt from such challenges. These can come in several forms and cost video streaming services millions of dollars, even if they only occur for a short period of time. Some of the challenges in the streaming services industry are highlighted below.

  • Maintaining seamless viewing across multiple devices.
  • Data transmission problems leading to packet losses.
  • Dynamic scaling for high demand streams.
  • Ensuring high-quality video.
  • Handling slow clouds, outages, and Content Delivery Network (CDN) issues.
  • Wider coverage on demand.
  • Delivering fast-track rollouts to support next-generation media services.
  • Coping with data leakages.

DevOps Solutions

Adopting DevOps for video streaming makes for frequent releases, improved software reliability, high automation, and improves the stability and upgradability of applications. Discussed below are some of the DevOps solutions that the streaming industry can implement to improve the services they provide.

Cloud Technology

In recent times, most organizations have been tapping into cloud computing. Fundamentally, companies should embrace cloud strategies to ensure scalability on demand. Cutting-edge technologies have brought forward the best option for any Information Technology requirement, including the streaming services industry. The infrastructure provides flexibility, toolsets, and horizontal scaling. These allow for a reduction in downtime and also provide dynamic scaling abilities to applications. DevOps teams in the streaming industry can also benefit from the recently introduced serverless architecture on clouds. It reduces their effort by basically eradicating server management tasks.

Failure Tolerant Systems

DevOps developers realize that some sections of their applications will not work as anticipated. Therefore, it is paramount that programmers brace for this possibility and plan for the best way to handle it. Netflix was the first to implement this practice, and they called it Failure Injection Testing. Building for failure is a great DevOps philosophy as it ensures that there is continuity even if a certain aspect of the platform crashes.

Automation

Automation has always been one of the top benefits of adopting DevOps as it reduces human error and infrastructure downtime. The automation of development, testing, configuration, deployment, and delivery procedures is DevOps golden rule. Since most of the processes on video streaming services are repetitive, there are lots that can be automated. This allows developers to eliminate time-consuming work and focus on other critical activities.

Segmented Networks Approach

Traditionally, Content Delivery Networks servers are deployed throughout the world. The segmented approach implies that there are multiple networks in different places. Such a multi-CDN approach is ideal for security as segmented networks reduce cybercriminals’ line of sight. As a result, it will reduce delivery time.

Conclusion

Online video services providers should know their priorities and analyze how DevOps can suit them. All the platforms, Video On Demand, Over-The-Top, streaming, direct-to-consumer, and live broadcasting share the common goal of serving customers in the most efficient way. To be successful, the systems involved should be dynamically scalable and resilient.

With a DevOps expert, you’ll have no need to worry about secure and fault-free work of your video streaming service. Analyze your weak points and vulnerabilities and choose skilled DevOps engineers to fix those issues in no time.

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