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06 June 2012, 16:06

Netflix announces Open Connect CDN

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Netflix logo Netflix has established its own content delivery network (CDN) called "Open Connect", and is posting the hardware and software design online for others to use. The video-streaming and DVD-by-mail company says that it created the Open Connect project to help deliver "petabytes of data" which had, until now, been delivered exclusively through commercial CDNs.

As part of Open Connect, Netflix is freely sharing its hardware design and the open source software components used in the servers. The 4u chassis server systems, with more than 100TB of storage, use the nginx open source web server and run FreeBSD 9.0.

Zoom Each Open Connect 4u chassis server has more than 100TB of storage and runs FreeBSD
Source: Netflix
The company says that it chose nginx for its "proven scalability and performance", and decided to use FreeBSD over other operating systems such as Linux because of its "balance of stability and features" as well as "a strong development community". Netflix also plans to contribute any changes that it makes as part of Open Connect back to the FreeBSD project.

According to Ken Florance, VP of Content Delivery at Netflix, approximately five per cent of the company's data is already being served to users via Open Connect. "We welcome commentary and improvements, which will be shared with the community with the goal of a faster, less expensive internet for all," said Florance.

Further information on Open Connect, including hardware and software design details, can be found on

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