Netflix already offers 400 Gbps of video bandwidth
Until now Netflix had the capacity to offer 200 Gbps of TLS encrypted video bandwidth. However, the high demand means that, in order to maintain an optimal service, this figure must increase. And it has done so by no less than doubling the capacity to 400 Gbps, thanks to the hardware used, as they have announced in the EuroBSD of this year 2021.
Keep in mind that their servers are based on FreeBSD and it is necessary that they have the appropriate hardware to be able to offer a service of these characteristics. We are talking about a platform widely used worldwide, in which there are large peaks of people using the service at the same time.
Netflix servers, in order to reach 400 Gbps of bandwidth, have the processor AMD EPYC 7502P, codenamed “Rome.” This processor has 32 cores with a base clock of 2.5 GHz. This processor, as reflected in the information presented in the EuroBSD, is capable of offering up to 128 PCIe 4.0 lanes and thus achieving a bandwidth of 250 Gbps and some 2 Tbps in network drives.
If we focus on RAM, it has 256GB DDR4-3200 and each of them uses 18 WD SN720 SSD hard drives with 2TB capacity. Regarding the network adapter, it uses the Mellanox ConnectX-6 Dx, with a PCIe 4.0 x16 interface. Are 4 x 100 GbE total.
Optimized for maximum speed
But all this we mentioned had to be optimized to get Netflix to reach 400 Gbps of video. Through software and optimization when it comes to TLS encryption, they managed to improve that total bandwidth that they can offer and thus reach the figure of 400 Gbps.
Here the key was using NUMA mode, which is the acronym for Non Uniform Memory Architecture, with four nodes and two network adapters. This means that memory and / or devices may be “closer” to some CPU cores.
Will we see more bandwidth capacity from Netflix soon? The truth is that in a matter of a year we have seen how the capacity has doubled, going from 200 to 400 Gbps. There are already previous reports that indicate that the company’s goal is to reach 800 Gbps. It will undoubtedly be a significant challenge, but it may be necessary if we take into account how the use of this type of platform is growing and what this requires in terms of capacity. It is also important at the user level to take into account some things, such as the fact of using VPN or proxy for Netflix.