Netflix’s decision to build its own caching boxes for optimizing its video delivery was in part influenced by the work of online backup provider Backblaze.
OpenConnect boxes are being used to cache Netflix content within an ISP’s data center, bringing it closer to the end user and thus improving the quality of the service. Cockroft said that Netflix opted to build its own systems for this kind of caching because it was much cheaper than buying it from a major hardware vendor. Part of the reason for that is that the legacy vendors build multipurpose systems that have to be tested and optimized for many different use cases. “We wanted a box that would do one thing,” Cockroft said.