Using Traffic Modeling to Load-Balance Netflix Traffic at Global Scale

Netflix Infrastructure supports personalized UI and Streaming experience across 230M+ members around the world. Spread across multiple locations, it’s important to have predictability and control over how user traffic is balanced across them, to ensure balance between latency, infrastructure costs, and availability risk. 

This talk will tell a story of how Netflix has shifted from geo-based DNS load-balancing to latency-based approach, relying on real-user measurements and building a global data model of Netflix traffic to reduce costs while reducing latency and outage risks. We will cover challenges of integrating the solution into Cloud and CDN components of Netflix infrastructure, and trade-offs between model accuracy and traffic model complexity. The talk also demonstrates how the data-driven approach was applied to influence future infrastructure decisions, by simulating impact of potential infrastructure changes with precision and minimal engineering effort.


Niosha Behnam

Staff Software Engineer @Netflix

Niosha is a Staff Software Engineer on the Compute Abstractions Team at Netflix.  Over his tenure he was a founding member of the Traffic & Chaos Team where he helped build the software that powers cloud traffic management, regional failover, and resilience.  Most recently, in addition to exploring opportunities for expanding Netflix’s global cloud footprint, Niosha has been tackling improved traffic steering visibility to minimize cloud cost while optimizing user experience.

Prior to Netflix, Niosha built custom IaaS offerings for specialized private clouds and contributed to R&D leveraging big data approaches to ingest, analyze, and visualize large volumes of relational data.

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Sergey Fedorov

Director of Engineering @Netflix

Sergey is a hands-on engineering leader working for the Content Delivery team at Netflix. An early member of the team that built an Open Connect CDN delivering 13% of the world Internet traffic, he spent years building monitoring and data analysis systems for Netflix video streaming. As part of that work, he released — one of the most popular Internet speed tests.

Today Sergey focuses on improving interactive requests from Netflix applications to achieve better latency, reliability, and control over client-server communications. Prior to Netflix, he worked on optimizing developer infrastructure at Microsoft and real-time photorealistic rendering at Intel.   

Sergey is a vocal advocate of an observability approach to engineering and making data-driven decisions. Finding actionable signals in loosely controlled environments is what keeps him awake, much better than caffeine. This might also explain why outside of work Sergey can be seen playing ice hockey, brewing beer, or exploring exotic travel destinations.

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Tuesday Jun 13 / 10:35AM EDT ( 50 minutes )


Salon A-C (North Tower)


Architecture Platform Engineering Data Analytics Traffic Management Capacity Management


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