Welcome to Open Connect
The goal of the Netflix Open Connect program is to provide our millions of Netflix subscribers the highest-quality viewing experience possible. We achieve this goal by partnering with Internet Service Providers (ISPs) to deliver our content more efficiently. We partner with over a thousand ISPs to localize substantial amounts of traffic with Open Connect Appliance embedded deployments, and we have an open peering policy at our interconnection locations. If you are an ISP with a substantial amount of Netflix traffic, review this information to learn more about the program.
For more information about Open Connect, see:
- Open Connect Briefing Paper: A cooperative approach to content delivery (PDF - English only)
- Overview of Open Connect (PDF - English only)
- Open Connect blog post
Key links on this site:
- ISP partnership options
- Engagement process
- Requirements for deploying embedded Open Connect Appliances
- Deploying embedded appliances
- Peering guidelines and contact information
- Peering locations
Fill out the appliance request form if you are interested in embedded appliance solutions.
What is Open Connect
The Netflix Open Connect program provides opportunities for ISP partners to improve their customers' Netflix user experience by localizing Netflix traffic and minimizing the delivery of traffic that is served over a transit provider.
There are two main components of the program, which are architected in partnership with ISPs to provide maximum benefit in each individual situation: embedded Open Connect Appliances and settlement-free interconnection (SFI).
Embedded Open Connect Appliances (OCAs)
Open Connect Appliances can be embedded in your ISP network. Embedded OCAs have the same capabilities as the OCAs that we use in our 60+ global data centers, and they are provided to qualifying ISP partners at no charge. Each embedded OCA deployment will offload a substantial amount of Netflix content traffic from peering or transport circuits. Multiple physical deployments can be distributed or clustered on a geographic or network basis to maximize local offload.
- Network architecture and technical turn-up expertise
- Ongoing monitoring and issue resolution
- Partner support
ISP partners work with Netflix to configure BGP sessions with the OCAs to steer traffic, and the appliances require a small amount of data center rack space, power, and connectivity.
If you have substantial Netflix traffic destined to your ISP customers, deploying embedded OCAs is usually the most beneficial option. However, embedded OCAs are not always deployed, depending on your traffic levels, data center limitations, or other factors.
The OCA Deployment Guide provides deployment details. If you are interested in OCA deployment at your ISP, please fill out our OCA request form.
Settlement-free interconnection (SFI)
Connect via direct Private Network Interconnect (PNI) or IXP-based SFI peering to Netflix Open Connect Appliances in our data centers. Peering alone can be beneficial.
If you deploy embedded OCAs, you also set up SFI peering for additional resiliency and to enable nightly content fills and updates.
Netflix has the ability to interconnect at a number of global data center facilities and public Internet Exchange fabrics as listed on our Peering Locations page. We openly peer with any network at IXP locations where we are mutually present and we consider private interconnection as appropriate. If you are interested in interconnection, please review the information on the Peering Locations page.
ISPs who do not currently participate in public peering might want to consider that a single IX port can support multiple peering sessions, providing direct access to various content, cloud, and network providers. In addition to Netflix, many large organizations such as Akamai, Amazon, Facebook, and Google/YouTube widely participate in public peering and combine to deliver a substantial percentage of traffic to a typical ISP.
From a connectivity standpoint, IX ports can be reached locally in a data center or via transport. We recommend http://peeringdb.com as a detailed source of information that can help you find an IX that best meets your needs.
How to get started
The following diagram shows the typical workflow for a new ISP partner engagement:
- To begin the engagement process, you complete one of the following actions:
- If you are engaging with Netflix for the first time, please submit an online Open Connect Appliance request, and a Netflix Open Connect Partner Engagement Manager (PEM) will contact you.
- If you already have an established relationship with a Netflix PEM and you are interested in modifying an existing configuration, contact your PEM directly.
- Netflix works with you to determine whether you meet the basic requirements for deploying embedded OCAs. If embedded OCAs are not warranted or cannot be deployed for some reason, SFI peering alone can be established.
- Netflix collaborates with you to determine the optimal network design.
- Your legal team works with our legal team to review and execute the necessary legal agreements.
- To facilitate shipping and initial configuration of your embedded OCA(s), you fill in a short online site survey form.
- Based on the information you provide in the site survey, Netflix performs initial configuration of the embedded OCAs and pre-fills them with the appropriate content for your geographical location. This process typically takes 1-2 weeks, depending on catalog size.
- Netflix ships you the configured and filled appliance(s) for installation in your data center. SFI is also established to enable optimal resiliency and fill/updates. Shipping typically takes approximately 1 week, depending on your geographical location.
- After the appliance is enabled into production, Netflix performs ongoing health monitoring and maintenance to ensure smooth operation of the appliance.
The following examples illustrate how Open Connect deployments can be configured for resiliency and maximum benefit to the customer.
The following diagram shows an example of an OCA that is embedded in a partner network, in conjunction with SFI peering which is used to provide additional resiliency and to enable nightly content fill and updates.
In contrast, the next diagram shows an example of SFI (peering) without the deployment of embedded OCAs in the partner network. In this scenario, traffic is delivered to end users via SFI from Netflix appliances that are located in local IXPs, to avoid both the cost and congestion that is associated with transit.
Failover scenarios for embedded deployments
The following diagram illustrates a scenario where an ISP partner has two embedded OCAs deployed in two different sites.
In the next diagram, the embedded appliance on Site 1 is down, but the embedded appliance on Site 2 is up. Traffic is re-routed and served from Site 2.
In the final diagram, the embedded appliances on both Site 1 and Site 2 are down. Traffic is re-routed and served from Netflix IX appliances.