How Netflix works: the (hugely simplified) complex stuff that happens every time you hit Play - Deepstash
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In a nutshell: How Netflix works

In a nutshell: How Netflix works

This is what happens when you hit that Play button:

  • Hundreds of microservices, or tiny independent programs, work together to make one large Netflix service.
  • Content legally acquired or licensed is converted into a size that fits your screen, and protected from being copied.
  • Servers across the world make a copy of it and store it so that the closest one to you delivers it at max quality and speed.
  • When you select a show, your Netflix app cherry picks which of these servers will it load the video from.
  • Your lifespan decreases as your binge watching turns you into a couch potato.

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Hundreds of microservices, one giant service

Netflix estimates that it uses around 700 microservices to control each of the many parts of what makes up the entire Netflix service: one microservice stores what all shows you watched, one deducts the monthly fee from your credit card, one provides your device with the correct video files that it can play, one takes a look at your watching history and uses algorithms to guess a list of movies that you will like, and one will provide the names and images of these movies to be shown in a list on the main menu. And that’s the tip of the iceberg. 

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