Engineering the Future of Software
Feb 25–26, 2018: Training
Feb 26–28, 2018: Tutorials & Conference
New York, NY

Why Netflix built an evolutionary architecture

Suudhan Rangarajan (Netflix)
3:50pm–4:40pm Wednesday, February 28, 2018
Secondary topics:  Best Practice, Case Study
Average rating: ****.
(4.83, 6 ratings)

Who is this presentation for?

  • Engineers

Prerequisite knowledge

  • Experience with service-based architectures

What you'll learn

  • Explore the evolution of Netflix's Playback API service
  • Learn a goal-based approach to microservice architecture


As Netflix continues it journey beyond 100M members, the company is rearchitecting its critical Playback API service to better serve its business needs for the next three to five years. Suudhan Rangarajan discusses why and how Netflix rebuilt the Playback API service and outlines a rigorous framework that you can use to reason about your microservice architecture.

The Playback API service is responsible for orchestrating workflows whenever a user watches a title on Netflix. In its seven-year journey, the service has gone through three major rearchitectures: it began as a traditional monolith, where the API and its associated business functions were all part of the same service. For take two, the company cracked the monolith open into a few key microservices, but, in the process, it inadvertently built a distributed monolith with tight coupling and thick client libraries. With this third version, the goal is to break away from a distributed monolith and build an evolutionary microservice architecture which places change-driven design above all other principles.

Suudhan offers a deep dive into how Netflix used a goals-based approach to iteratively develop the architecture. Along with providing necessary motivation behind the company’s goals, he explores the choices it considered and how it arrived at an evolutionary architecture. If you’re thinking about rearchitecting any of your systems or planning to build a new set of services, this is the talk for you.

Photo of Suudhan Rangarajan

Suudhan Rangarajan


Suudhan Rangarajan is a senior software engineer on the Playback API team at Netflix, where he is responsible for ensuring that customers receive the best possible playback experience every time they click play. Previously, Suudhan worked on the audio/video decoding pipeline for Adobe Flash and Adobe Primetime products, helping partners create a great video streaming client. Suudhan enjoys developing and running large-scale distributed services. Suudhan holds a master’s degree in computer science from the University of Texas at Austin. He tweets as @suudhan.

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03/05/2018 8:21am EST

Can you provide the presentation material? thanks

Ignacio Castillejos | SOFTWARE ENGINEER
03/01/2018 10:18am EST

Amazing presentation, thanks for sharing your experience.