Frequently Asked Questions
Embedded Open Connect Appliances
How much network offload will an embedded appliance help me achieve?
A single appliance provides significant offload of Netflix traffic. The actual amount varies depending on country catalog size and other factors. Multiple appliances operating together in a manifest cluster can provide even greater levels of traffic offload.
How much does the appliance cost my organization?
Appliances, including replacement appliances, are provided to qualifying ISPs at no charge when used within the terms of the license agreements.
How do I determine if an additional OCA will benefit my facility?
Initially, Netflix will work with your network planning group to deploy the appropriate number of appliances to optimize offload for your network. After the initial deployment, Netflix will continually monitor load and recommend additional appliances as your needs change.
What happens in the event of a recoverable or non-recoverable hardware fault?
Netflix will attempt to recover the appliance. If Netflix cannot recover the appliance, a new one will be shipped to you. Replacement (RMA) guidelines are described on the Fill, Updates, and Maintenance page.
Is any field service required for OCAs?
No. In general, you should not attempt to modify, upgrade, or repair the appliance. See the the Fill, Updates, and Maintenance page for more details about the minimal maintenance that is needed for power supplies and SFP+ optics.
How can I test the offload performance of the appliance before live deployment?
Netflix can provide estimates to you during planning discussions, however there is very little value to testing in a lab environment. The benefits of the appliances are only realized when they serve video streams to Netflix members. This cannot be replicated in a lab setting.
Can I change from a single network interface to two?
Yes. Please contact Netflix Open Connect operations for instructions. The updated configuration will only take effect after a reboot, so it is important to ensure that there is no traffic on the system.
Do you allow MD5 digests on BGP sessions?
No, we feel that this is unnecessary due to other security measures which are implemented.
Does Netflix reference BGP communities?
No, Netflix does not use any BGP community information that is advertised by partners to OCAs or via Open Connect peering.
Do appliances support multiple BGP sessions?
No, not at this time.
Do appliances support jumbo frames?
No, not at this time. Please use standard MTU size.
Do OCAs use ICMP rate-shaping?
Yes, OCAs will drop some packets in the event of a Ping flood test.
Do OCAs support VLAN tagging?
No, VLAN tagging is not supported by OCAs.
Are OCAs compatible with CGN (Carrier Grade NAT)?
CGN has multiple flavors; some of them are compatible with OCAs, some are not. In general, Netflix advises not to use OCAs in a CGN context, however if this is mandatory to your organization, make sure this is mentioned in the early steps of the discussion.
Some important notes:
- RFC1918 and RFC6598 prefixes announced to OCAs are filtered and therefore cannot be used to deliver traffic to privately-addressed end users.
- OCAs cannot have their IP interface addressed with an RFC1918 or RFC6598 IP, even if this IP has a 1-to-1 NAT equivalent from the outside.
How does Netflix determine which content to store on an appliance?
Netflix uses a popularity-based algorithm to determine what content should be on the appliances. A number of factors affect popularity, and the contents of an appliance are expected to change on a daily basis.
Is the popularity calculation used to populate the appliance done on a regional basis?
Testing has shown that a single popularity per country catalog is the most effective model for providing optimal popularity to content change ratios. This analysis continues on a regular basis, and the system allows for continual improvement of popularity algorithms.
How can I change the appliance fill window?
The fill window is initially determined based on your input and an analysis of your network conditions. If you need to change it, contact the Open Connect operations team.
How do the appliances determine where to receive update or fill content from?
See the fill information.
What throughput does the appliance require during fill?
See the fill information.