More than 30 million Netflix streaming members around the globe watch more than a billion hours of movies and TV shows each month. In the US, Netflix video streaming accounts for a third of peak downstream Internet traffic. Netflix created Open Connect, a single-purpose content delivery network, to help deliver these petabytes of data.
The main component of Open Connect is the Open Connect Appliance, a small-footprint network streaming device. The Open Connect Appliance is a 4U Intel-based server that is designed to economically maximize storage density in a space and power footprint that is ideal for both ISP data centers and metro-area network interchanges.
The Open Connect Appliance runs on FreeBSD 9. Netflix picked FreeBSD 9 because it is a high performing, low-maintenance and reliable operating system that is supported by major hardware vendors. FreeBSD 9 provides a foundation of reliability, performance, and hands-free manageability. Combined with NGINX, a light-weight and high performance Web server, FreeBSD 9 provides a simple but powerful solution that is capable of serving tens of thousands of simultaneous video streams across multiple 10Gbit fiber optic links.
Beyond its technical strengths, FreeBSD comes with an outstanding ecosystem of developers, vendors, and users who openly share expertise, talent, and technical improvements. Netflix has embraced this community and is committed to giving back its bug fixes and enhancements, thus completing the circle of community collaboration.
– David Fullagar, Director of Content Delivery Architecture, Netflix