What the Netflix Open Connect Announcement Means for You


By Chris Sharp

This week, Netflix announced it has created its own single-purpose content delivery network (CDN) to help deliver the petabytes of data required to stream movies and TV shows to its customers.

Netflix’s internal CDN, called Open Connect, is already serving approximately five percent of its overall data load with the remaining percentage serviced by existing commercial CDNs. However, the company estimates that over the next several years, most of its data will be transitioned off of commercial CDNs and onto Open Connect.

At Equinix, we believe that creating its own CDN is a smart economic move for Netflix given its size and growth and the sheer volume of content it delivers to customers-Netflix reportedly makes up more than 30 percent of peak web traffic in the U.S. Undoubtedly this move will reduce its costs of delivery and improve delivery of its content.

Open Connect will also allow ISPs to peer directly with Netflix at one of several settlement-free peering exchanges at various locations across the U.S. and London including four Equinix data centers.

In addition, Netflix will have access to a number of strategically distributed servers that will enable optimal performance because where you locate your infrastructure plays a huge role in how well your site or application performs.

For more on this, check out our blog series on how to Optimize Internet Application Performance.

But you don’t need to be a Netflix to reap the benefits of control, visibility and cost reduction that an internal CDN offers.

By leveraging the advantages of Platform Equinix−network density, global reach, and access to rich ecosystems−companies of all sizes can launch their own CDNs or accelerate the performance of their existing CDNs, thereby increasing end-user satisfaction and improving revenue.

If you are looking to build your own CDN, consider the following benefits of Platform Equinix:

  • Scale your operations globally with our 99 data centers representing over 6.5 million sq. ft. of data center space across 38 markets in 13 countries on 5 continents
  • Optimize performance by choosing from among more than 700 network providers
  • Connect directly to your customers and partners, including the top social media and ad networks, through our ecosystem of more than 485 content providers
  • Leverage the world’s largest Internet Exchange, peering 1.2 Tbps of traffic through sites in the Americas, Europe and Asia-Pacific

We believe that internal CDNs are an emerging trend among content companies and expect that many of the 485+ content providers inside Equinix data centers may also be looking to do something similar to Netflix. Needless to say, we’ll be watching this space closely.