Update: A Netflix spokeswoman provided the following statement: “There is no change in our comprehensive relationship with AWS. We’ve had a few disaster recovery workloads with Google for a while and we always experiment with new technologies. There’s nothing bigger here.” The statement effectively rebuffs a large part of the recent report about Netflix experimenting with Google Cloud on a larger scale than before and outright dismisses any suggestion that the streaming giant is presently transitioning its commercial solutions to Amazon’s rival in any capacity. The implication that Netflix may be eyeing a multi-cloud strategy going forward remains, as per The Information. The original story is as follows, edited for clarity.
Major Amazon Web Services customer Netflix is experimenting with Google Cloud, The Information reported Tuesday, citing sources familiar with the development. While the streaming giant’s backend still largely runs on Amazon’s infrastructure, the Los Gatos, California-based firm is now understood to have started testing some AI services and apps on the servers run by Amazon’s largest rival. Some key business data is also being backed up by Google Cloud where it’s being stored for recovery purposes, whereas Netflix is also said to be experimenting with “applications that span large numbers of machines” and are powered by Google’s solution.
It’s still unclear whether Netflix is using Google Cloud in the context of its streaming service, i.e. for direct commercial purposes. Several company sources are claiming Netflix is aware its decade-long relationship with AWS is now being placed in danger of deteriorating given its commitments to Amazon’s largest cloud rival yet insist diversification is unavoidable if Netflix continues growing at the current pace which is also consistently ramping up its infrastructural requirements. Neither party confirmed any major changes regarding Netflix’s cloud operations, with the streaming firm only suggesting its collaboration with the Mountain View, California-based company isn’t new and adding nothing has changed regarding its Amazon partnership.
Netflix and Amazon’s relationship grew stronger over the course of the last decade as the former often “pushed the boundaries” of AWS in the past due to its unconventional customer requirements, one source claims. The company is now said to be investing in AI applications designed by both Amazon and Google. Last week, Netflix and Google revealed they’re collaborating on Kayenta, an open-source framework for automatically identifying errors in cloud software. Google Cloud is still far behind AWS in terms of market share as Amazon holds well over half of the worldwide market but started profiling itself as a cloud AI leader in recent years, seeing that emerging technology as its path to major long-term growth.