How Netflix Handles DevOps, Automation, and Security
There are 62 million Netflix subscribers worldwide—more than the populations of Colombia, South Africa, and Italy. That’s a lot of people stuck to their couches on a Friday night, sifting through different series and rewatching classics like Mad Men over and over again.
Of course, it wasn’t always so big. Just eighteen years ago, there were only thirty employees running the now-monolithic streaming service. Over time, the company had to adapt to its steady climb to prominence, focusing on automation to achieve proper security and DevOps to keep pace with the significant consumer demand.
With code being deployed thousands of times per day, DevOps is Netflix’s best option. It’s a high-speed approach for a high-speed service in a high-speed industry, but with it comes various security risks. Jason Chan, who began working at Netflix in 2011 as a cloud security architect, looked to automation to combat the company’s possible issues.
“The only realistic way of maintaining security in an environment that grows so rapidly and changes so quickly is to make it automation first,” he told The Wall Street Journal. “When you move faster, it’s just logical that the ability for humans to operate effectively diminishes.”
There are more and more ways for people to steal information and cause other forms of security havoc, and while some things are best handled manually, there’s an ever-increasing need for automation—mobile or otherwise. Netflix realized this early, and because of that, it has had a great deal of success in keeping its users safe and sound.
Netflix blends automation with its human resources—because it can’t be one or the other.
“We have to make humans more effective via automated decision-making, automated data gathering, and analysis,” Chan continued. “You really need to help get what’s most important in front of people as quickly and easily as possible, so you’re using your human resources as effectively as possible.”
Netflix's open source automation platform, known as the Fully Integrated Defense Operation (FIDO), reduces the manual effort so that the process of evaluating and responding to malware isn’t just easier, it’s smarter. With the help of the cloud, DevOps, and automation, your information is private.
And it’s this collaboration that’s key for such a massive company. Sure, Netflix might not be bulletproof, but in an age where we trust organizations with credit card data and other personal info, it’s nice to know that Netflix is using a handful of modern resources to provide additional locks on its data safe.