If you're thinking that you might be able to sell Netflix an alternative cloud to Amazon Web Services, or better still, convince the online TV show and movie distributor to go back to building its own infrastructure using an open source cloud stack such as OpenStack in the hopes of saving money, just forget it. Adrian Cockcroft …
On one level his decision makes sense.
You can look at it this way...
On one level of thought, he has outsourced his infrastructure. This allows him to run a lean IT shop and if there is an outage, all he has to do is point a finger at Amazon. This is essentially the same as if he outsourced his IT shop to IBM, HP, etc ... to run his operations for him.
Sure he's paying for it. But its still could be considered cheaper because it allows his lean team to focus on growing the business and find new/more revenue generating ideas.
At the same time, its a short term view of how to run an IT shop. Getting up to speed and to market faster than the competition, along with have less assets and infrastructure to sell or manage if there's a buyout ... essentially a take the money and run approach...
However, having said that. Based on the size of the operation, it would be less expensive if he were to make the investment and build out their own infrastructure. This is taking a longer viewed approach.
Here you build up your production staff, networking expertise, and build out your own data centers. You then have to deal with the costs of the facilities, electricity, communication costs, redundancy, all sorts of things which would be cheaper for you to do if you weren't too busy doing something else.
Build it or outsource it. Whichever side of the fence you're on, you will choose the option you think is best.
Mine's the jacket with the padding so I can place it between my legs as I straddle the fence.
Consider Tax Law
One issue hindering the "build your own" solution is tax law. Every penny you pay someone else for services is unquestioned as a business expense. But build those services yourself and you get mired in regulations limiting what you can expense against your taxes.
In capital intensive industries it is common to sell one's resources to another on a lease-back. Formerly amortized deductions are once again deductible as a lease expense. This is a large part of how Ford pulled themselves up by the bootstraps w/o government assistance. Ford was smart enough to take their medicine early before the disease was terminal.
Netflix could ...
Always pull an Apple and host it at both AWS and on the Azure cloud.