Netflix cloud strategy

MBA is full of case analysis and here I come across a case on Netflix’s cloud strategy. Why did Netflix make such a big decision to move to Cloud completely  and that to choose Amazon. Is Netflix not confident on its own business, is it scared of investing in infrastructure with the fear of it being a dead investment. Netflix is moving most of its online business to cloud infrastructure with only corporate IT being operated from its own data center. Given the exponential growth the company is witnessing in streaming business, it makes a good business sense to adopt cloud but what is scaring is the 100% adoption of cloud and completely moving away from its own datacenter. Is company saving money or risking itself.

Cloud adoption saves a company in terms of infrastructure setup, IT staff and maintenance but will put it at a risk of many factors which are beyond the control of the company. Once the company’s data is in cloud, it poses higher risk interms of data security and also higher dependence on the cloud vendor to provide a uninterrupted service. In future Amazon may increase the prices of its cloud offerings or there might a hacking community backlash against amazon web services taking the whole amazon data centers down. How is Netflix positioned to handle this. Given the existing situation where Netflix has completely  migrated to cloud based infrastructure, in a extreme scenario if Netflix had to provide a similar level of service from its own datacenter then it would take Netflix a minimum of 3 to 4 months. Is Netflix prepared for this, well Amazon, Hulu and other players will grab the market and Netflix would be out its business for sure. According to Netflix, infrastructure is only a small component of its business and hence is not heavily focused on setting up the datacenters on its own, but I believe that Netflix should rethink about infrastructure. Even though bigger challenges for Netflix are the content and agreements. At the end of the day, consumer consumes the product through streaming service and if there is any interruption to that, it would not be accepted well.

Netflix believes that by spreading the content across all of the Amazon datacenters, it is protecting itself against any adversities. But in my view to protect itself from all the adversities, I believe that Netflix should have atleast one data center of its own, which would be similar to the multiple Amazon datacenters which Netflix uses. This way, Netflix would not be 100% dependent on a cloud vendor, this would also help Netflix develop its technology in a manner where it is not tightly coupled with Amazon web services. In future, when demand is predictable then Netflix can scale up its own datacenter and migrate from Amazon cloud.

May not be a big issue, but it also needs to be considered that Amazon Prime video is a competitor to Netflix’s streaming business. Fair and ethical play can be expected  from Amazon, considering that Netflix is a major consumer of Amazon web services hence success of Netflix’s cloud adoption is crucial for the success of both the companies. But again 100% dependency on a cloud vendor is not acceptable.

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Just 2 more months

Come September my life is gonna change a lot. For the last 5+ years , I should say I have had a very comfortable life. It was just work , earn and relax. Well  “change is scary” , its gonna be very difficult for me to let go of this comfortable life and to wear the student hat back on. With no paycheck coming on the 1st of every month, managing finances are gonna be difficult too.

That’s the difficult part . Then is it worth leaving all this comfort and start a new journey. Well I am not sure . But what I am sure of is , I think its going to give me a good time to realign my goals , learn and  also meet great people.

Before I do start on this MBA journey , I do have some things to take care of in these two months  such as visa,loan and my present job. I hope it all goes well and the journey starts :).

Done with gmat test, scored 700

I am done with gmat yesterday, scored 700 ( q50 , v34) .I know that it is not a great score but I am happy with the score , considering the roller coaster ride I had during preparation.When I started the preparation my scores were around 660 , after some serious preparation scores came down to 620s and finally by the exam time scores were around 700. I learnt a lot during this preparation and let me share my experience ,hoping that it will be useful to atleast some of you.

I started my preparation in December 2009. Covered SC,CR and RC from Manhattan and OG.I did this very slowly taking around 2 and half months.I booked my date in April and it was on June23rd.

This is when I really started preparing and I also realized that all the study I did from December to April was just waste of time( 4 months ) .During which I had  neither done any serious study nor utilized my time for other activities. So the First advise I would like to share is , don’t prepare without any clear plan of when you are going to write the test. Do not wait for your preparation to be done to book your GMAT date,which according to me may never happen.

I did one more round of SC,CR and RC from Manhattan and OG and then started writing the tests every week.

Manhattan 1 — 650 ( q46 , v34 )  , GMAT Prep 1 — 660 , MGMAT 2 — 620 ( q47 , v29 ) , MGMAT 3 — 610 ( q47 , v 28 ) , MGMAT 4 — 600 ( q43 , v31 ) , GMAT prep2 — 680 ( q50 , v31) , MGMAT 5 — 690 ( q48 , v36 ) , Kaplan 1 — 680 ( q52 , v28 ) , Kaplan 2 — 670 ( q51 , v26 ) , GMAT Prep 1 — 720 ( q50 , v38 )

I was very disappointed after my MGMAT score of 600 .Even though I was studying hard , my scores were badly going down. I took a 1 week break from study, I realized that I was concentrating too much on verbal and ignored the quant which was my best area. I realized that if I can manage with mid 30’s in my verbal and score 50 in quant , then I can end up with a good score. That was my strategy going forward. And it was evident in the tests after that where my scores were around 680.

Coming to individual areas , I would say Manhattan SC is awesome. Just go through it and then do the OG SC ( I did this 4 times ).Make a not of your mistakes and go over them multiple times.After this , I would say just go over the mistakes you are making in the practice tests.

For CR , I went over the Manhattan and then did the OG couple of times.What I realized in CR that I was mostly making mistakes only in couple of types of questions like weakening the conclusion and analyzing the structure. So the tip I can offer is , find out if you are repeating the mistakes in any particular question type.

RC was tough for me.I did the RC from Manhattan and OG. But to be frank the Manhattan methodology is tough to follow in exam conditions with time ticking away. I did some research online and read lots of articles showcasing different strategies like the skimming or taking notes. After some couple of tests , I figured out that none of those strategies work for me. In my opinion it is always important to understand the passage,without that it would be impossible to answer the questions correctly.So my aim was to understand the passage irrespective of how tough it is and the strategy I used was

Easy RC  — don’t take notes  , just go over it , but understand the flow and main point of the RC .

Tough RC — To stay focused and to understand the passage well I used to take notes  and crack some jokes on the RC while reading it .

Test Day

I went half n hour earlier to the test center , tried to be very calm. Utilized the two 8 min breaks fully,had some biscuits and chocolates.During the test , I kept saying myself that I should not think of the whole test and what the score might be.But instead should tackle each question as it comes ,irrespective of whether its a tough or easy question.

I think that hard work is not the real key to getting a great score .But instead you need to be smart in analyzing your performance and need to concentrate in right areas.

Don’t skip AWA in pratice tests

I wrote a Manhattan test today and the result was 620 ( q47 , v29 ) . Less compared to my previous Manhattan test where I got 650 ( q46 , v33 ) . The difference between both the tests is , I have written the AWA today which I skipped in the previous test. I am not sure if it has made a difference ,but I was certainly feeling very drained by the time I was half way through the Verbal section. I ended up not answering 5 questions in the in the verbal section which might have dragged the score down to 29.

One take away from this test was , never write practice tests by skipping the AWA section. I could make out a lot of difference between this test and the ones before. Writing those essays was not the difficult part , but I could feel the tiredness slowly increasing as I was going through the Quant section and was literally counting each question of verbal section. I can’t afford this in the final test , need to make sure I am very comfortable sitting for 4 hrs and writing the test.  I will increase the frequency of writing tests probably two per week , also will make sure that I do the AWA section.

But what’s happening with my preparation.I have given the first Manhattan test three weeks back in which I scored 650 and now I scored  620 . The scores are supposed to be reverse 😦 . Between both these tests I was preparing on quant and SC . I am not that worried on quant , as in the GMATPrep I scored 50 . I feel I am almost there when it comes to quant with a little work in some areas.

But with SC , I am still making lots of mistakes.I did put some effort in SC , by going through the entire SC OG for second time and also solving some online quizzes in Kaplan and Mahattan.But looks like I am still not there. I am in a kind of confusion now on how I can improve the SC scores,help me :(.

Manhattan 1 — 650 ( 46q , 33 v )  — 2nd May 2010

GMATPrep  1 — 660 ( 50q , 30v )  — 14th May 2010.

Manhattan 2 — 620 ( 47q , 29v )  — 21st May 2010.

…….

My first GMATPrep test

I started my preparation in January and was planning to write my gmat some time in April . Was planning to book the date once my preparation comes to a level :). But neither happened. So on my friends push I booked the date ,it is Jun 23rd.Hardly a month left 😦 .

I wrote the GMATPrep today and scored 660 ( 50 quant , 30 verbal ) . Well the quant score looks good , But I still got 10 questions wrong in it. Considering the score of 50 , I will reduce my concentration on quant for couple of weeks now . Will only be reviewing the quant questions from the tests I write.

Verbal score of 30 was bad. On reviewing the questions I found that most of the SC questions were wrong , RC was average and CR was good.Also as I didn’t finish on time as a result I haven’t answered one question,would have paid penalty for that too.Will concentrate on SC for a week now and will check the progress in one week with the next test.

I have gone through the manhattan SC and completed the OG 12 SC questions. Even though I completed the OG SC , I don’t think I have really benifitted from that. As I couldn’t understand most of the answers from it. I have started with OG SC once again today. But I still don’t have the confidence , that I would make the most of it this time. I am taking the approach of looking up the OG SC questions in online forums of BeatTheGmat and Manhattan,its taking a lot of time though. But this is the best plan I have as of now 😦 for SC.

One more problem I am facing with SC is , while I am preparing,I am kind of cool and look out for different approaches to solve.But when writing the test with the pressure of time ticking away, I am not able to do that. I am just reading the answer choices and selecting the best I feel.