A Global Streaming Service Provider
BloxOne DDI Helps Global Video Giant Ensure That Its Customers Enjoy Unlimited, Ad-free Streaming
The primary business of this U.S.-based media service provider and production company is a subscription-based streaming service, which offers an online library of films and television programs, including those produced in-house. It has over 148 million paid subscriptions worldwide. Headquartered in the United States, the company maintains offices in India, the Netherlands, Brazil, Japan and South Korea. Its engineering team is U.S.-based, but it has studios and streaming points of presence (PoPs) all over the world.
The Challenge: Ensuring Growth for World’s Sector-Defining Streaming Media Company
With business booming, this global media powerhouse is expanding at a dizzying clip. One hundred and fifty new offices were brought online in a 12-month span from 2019 to 2020, with six new locations in California alone. Company executives found it difficult to find office space large enough to consolidate into a single building or campus in highly commercialized areas, which pushed the company’s engineering team members to work from multiple locations. Also, the company’s production studios and streaming locations are located across the globe.
Initiative: Enhance DHCP capabilities for better performance, visibility and manageability, Boost scalability to support globally dispersed teams and rapid business growth, Move to cloud-oriented networking technology to align with company’s born-in-the-cloud ethos
Outcomes: Upgraded to powerful new DHCP infrastructure via a cloud-based solution, Gained the scalability to accommodate global footprint and easily handle future growth, Forged collaborative relationship with Infoblox that is leading to innovative architectural approaches delivering measurable business benefits
Solution: BloxOne® DDI
With such a widely dispersed workforce, and a business model fundamentally anchored in strong networking capabilities, the company’s IT team paid close attention to the performance of its infrastructure. It constantly monitored for potential points of weakness and areas where improvements could be made. One area of concern for the IT decision makers was with their existing equipment and solutions for managing Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) services.
For years the company had used Palo Alto Networks (PAN) firewalls for DHCP services. DHCP in these devices needs to be managed individually per site, a methodology that proved to be cumbersome with potential site-to-site inconsistencies. Also, the PAN firewalls did not provide a simple mechanism to gather statistics and monitor the devices in an integrated manner. Simply put, the media service provider needed a better way to manage DHCP at the edge.
A Born-in-the-Cloud Mindset
The company is a new breed of digital-first enterprise with no on-premises data centers. Where many legacy media and entertainment companies have had to pursue digital transformations in recent years to update their business models and remain relevant in the fast-changing sector, such an approach was unnecessary for this streaming leader. For this born-in-the-cloud company with 100 percent of its infrastructure in AWS, the company’s IT team wanted a cloud-native offering to address their need for more advanced DHCP capabilities.
Specifically, they wanted the ability to view IP addresses and statistics on leases-per-second at each site centrally through a cloud-based solution, but they did not want to use their AWS console to do so. An efficient IP solution was in place for DNS management, and the IT team explored the possibility of expanding that implementation for managing DHCP as well, but that protocol could not meet their needs. At this point, the firm’s director of infrastructure, who had managed Infoblox solutions at other companies in previous career engagements, invited the Infoblox team to discuss possible options for the network upgrade.
The Solution: Simplify and Scale with Cloud-Native Technology
The company needed a solution that would not only fit a 20-person office but also scale horizontally to support facilities for 2,000 or more employees. Initially an on-premises DDI solution incorporating Infoblox’s Network Identity Operating System (NIOS) was proposed, as on-premises DHCP, DNS and IPAM (DDI) are usually the first choice of such a large enterprise with a global presence. With the company’s cloud-first approach, however, discussions quickly shifted to BloxOne DDI, which can be configured to combine the power of on-premises equipment and the flexibility of cloud-based management.
BloxOne DDI can be configured as a completely cloud-based solution using virtual appliances or on a hybrid model using lightweight commodity appliances sited on location. The IT team preferred bare metal over virtual infrastructure, and for their unique applications and business model, the hybrid approach offered superior efficiency with better overall performance. They agreed to run a proof of concept through which they installed and ran an Infoblox B105 appliance in production at one location directly. The BloxOne system worked so well that the team decided to proceed with a full BloxOne DDI implementation in additional sites globally.
BloxOne DDI is the industry’s first DDI solution that enables centralized management of DDI from the cloud across hundreds to thousands of remote sites with unprecedented cost efficiency. Built from the ground up following cloud-native principles of software development and a microservices-oriented architecture, BloxOne DDI was designed for agility, resilience and extensibility. It vastly simplifies networking for branch locations by moving DDI control and management to the cloud.
The B105 appliance is designed to serve branch offices and remote location environments, making it the ideal choice for an organization with far-flung production facilities. An inexpensive tabletop appliance, B105 provides an optional hardware-based alternative for Infoblox BloxOne software deployments that run on virtual and container-based appliances.
The Result: Keeping Binge Watching Uninterrupted for Millions
To date, the company has 30 appliances deployed in 12 locations across the globe. The IT leadership agrees with and admires Infoblox’s approach of using cloud-native technology to manage remote locations and using the flexibility of lightweight bare metal hardware onsite. With its business continuing to grow, the streaming leader now has the cloud DDI infrastructure that can accommodate the rapid expansion of facilities and operations well into the future.
Infoblox has established a strong collaborative relationship with the firm’s IT team, and the two companies continue to work closely, with Infoblox engineering staff frequently helping to resolve issues as well as identify areas for improvement. For instance, the company’s new development center facility has 14 floors, posing certain technical networking challenges. The IT team requires a BloxOne DDI appliance on each floor but wants DHCP requests load balanced across all these devices. At the same time, the team needs to ensure uniform configuration and policies; a failure on any floor should not impact operations. Infoblox suggested DHCP clustering, which was implemented and provided a perfect solution for this problem.
BloxOne DDI delivers numerous other advantages for the streaming leader. Among them are the greater administrative efficiency and elastic scalability of a cloud-managed platform. In addition, with the platform’s modularity and flexibility, the organization can respond quickly to unexpected events. It has the agility to take advantage of new opportunities today and well into the foreseeable future.
The platform’s flexibility can support the vast diversity of current devices and endpoints, as well as those the company can expect to need to bring online in an increasingly cloud-driven future, such as those necessary in mobile and Internet of Things (IoT) scenarios. Overall, BloxOne has positioned the streaming innovator to continue on its groundbreaking path redefining the media landscape.