Net Neutrality, and Performance | Netflix Might have It

Blaine's picture
Netflix uses their own hardware located at select ISPs. The problem is being allowed to place hardware between their hardware and you | Zero Net Neutrality

Net Neutrality with Netflix

Did you realize that Netflix has their own hardware they use at "participating ISPs" so Netflix traffic can flow through this device, hence offloading the traffic from heavy processing with the ISP infrastructure. The immediate gain, Netflix regains some control over their hardware. The immediate drawback, the ISP has more finite control of Netflix traffic since the source of the traffic can be physically intercepted by another device the ISP could place to fine tune (read: control) your Netflix experience. Hmmm.... o.O Net Neutrality?

To quote the Netflix article linked above:

"In building this system we collaborated with a wide range of suppliers who we would like to thank for their assistance: The teams at Sanmina and Intequus, our system integrators. Storage guidance and troubleshooting from HGSTLSI and Micron, and Chelsio for network card and driver assistance."

Yes, that actually means they made their own hardware.  And essentially Netflix is creating their own CDN to reduce latency on the internet as a whole.  Don't lose sight of the fact that they can also use it to better geo-target their content better.  And per this article here from Netflix, the software they use has an interesting twist.  They refer to their "Routing Intelligence Proxy" where they essentially enable transfer of the network topology from the ISP to the "Netflix control system that directs clients to sources of content."  

For those looking for the conspiracy, there is none.  This is actually insanely smart.  Any incoming Netflix traffic to the ISP goes directly to this "Netflix Control System", which then takes over as a high performance proxy to route traffic where it needs to go.  While they haven't flat out said it, I assume it is also acting as a caching proxy.  This would allow it to "prefetch" your data at the closest participating ISP that has one of these devices, which is then served to you as your buffered stream.

End result, you get your Netflix stream to you faster, and it costs ISPs a lot less in infrastructure costs and need for expansion of bandwidth due to the rise in streaming content use.  

Cool beans, huh?

 

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