How AWS helped in growth of the big tech giants like Netflix,Hotstar and DropBox ?

Sriramadasu Prasanth Kumar
9 min readSep 22, 2020


Here in this blog I am going to explain how the major companies like NETFLIX, Disney+ hotstar and DropBox.

What is AWS?

AWS is the one of the top cloud computing company. Amazon Web Services (AWS) is a secure cloud services platform, offering compute power, database storage, content delivery and other functionality to help businesses scale and grow. Running web and application servers in the cloud to host dynamic websites.

Here the question comes what is cloud computing?

What is Cloud Computing?

Cloud computing is the on-demand availability of computer system resources, especially data storage (cloud storage) and computing power, without direct active management by the user. The term is generally used to describe data centers available to many users over the Internet.

:::::::::::::::::::::Case Study on NETFLIX::::::::::::::::::::

NETFLIX: Most of you might be aware of Netflix. It is one of the leading OTT (Over-the-top) Platform over the world.

Netflix is a streaming service that offers a wide variety of award-winning TV shows, movies, anime, documentaries and more — on thousands of internet-connected devices.

You can watch as much as you want, whenever you want, without a single ad — all for one low monthly price. There’s always something new to discover, and new TV shows and movies are added every week!

How Netflix started?

Netflix was first founded in August of 1997 by two serial entrepreneurs, Marc Randolph and Reed Hastings. The company began out in Scotts Valley, California, and has grown to become one of the world’s leading internet entertainment platforms. When it first opened, Netflix was purely a movie rental service. Users would browse and order the films they wanted on their website, put in an order, and Netflix would post them to your door. After renters had finished with the DVDs, they would simply post them back.

Today, Netflix streams movies and has more than 151 million paid subscribers in over 190 countries around the world. It offers a wide range of TV series, documentaries, and feature films across a wide variety of genres and languages, including original productions.

Why Netflix decided to migrate to AWS?

Did you know, in the year 2000, the company Blockbuster LLC had an opportunity to buy Netflix for a mere $50 million? But in 2016, Netflix made a come back and accumulated $8.83 billion in revenue. One would wonder how come a company which was worth $50 million in 2000 is now worth around $87 billion. A layman would guess that the company had a continual impressive growth over 17 years straight. But the fact is that within this time period, in the 2008, Netflix was a victim of a major database corruption.

Netflix began its move to the cloud in 2008, after experiencing a major database corruption that stopped DVD shipments for three days.

“We realized that we had to move away from vertically scaled single points of failure, like relational databases in our datacenter, towards highly reliable, horizontally scalable, distributed systems in the cloud,” said Yury Izrailevsky, vice president, Cloud and Platform Engineering, in the company’s blog post.

Moving to the cloud has brought Netflix a number of benefits, Izrailevsky said, including eight times as many streaming members. The use of public cloud will likely continue to grow among businesses over the next several years, with some large companies potentially following Netflix’s lead.

How did AWS help?

Netflix is currently present in 190 countries. It becomes imperative to avert bad customer experience while migrating to a new service. And that’s what Amazon web services provided them. The elasticity of the cloud platform allowed them to add 1000s of virtual servers within a matter of a few minutes. They were able to expand their services to all the countries with minimal or rather negligible issues.

Leveraging multiple AWS cloud regions across geographies enabled Netflix to dynamically shift and expand their global infrastructure capacity across all countries they are present in. This provided for a brilliant customer experience wherein entertainment provided by Netflix continued to rule, uninterrupted.

As shown in the diagram, Netflix witnessed a tremendous increase in streaming hours from 2008 onwards. This was complemented with the company’s decision to migrate to the cloud.

In this graph you can see the rapid growth of Netflix after the migrating to AWS cloud. Their growth increases to almost 1000x times than before.

On the other side, Netflix’s costs were cutting down to fractions per server. This not only helped them save money but also created an opportunity for them to add more resource hungry features

We believe AWS not only provides for reduced costs but also enables better infrastructure capabilities for the companies

::::::::::::::::Case Study on Disney+ Hotstar ::::::::::::

Disney+ Hotstar (known as Hotstar outside India and Indonesia) is an Indian subscription video on-demand streaming service owned and operated by Star India, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company India. An online video-on-demand service platform, Hotstar is a one-stop destination for Over-The-Top (OTT) video consumers.

Now a days after COVID-19 pandemic situation, these lockdown days shows an enormous impact on the OTT platforms like hotstar.

History of Hotstar:

When it was launched in February 2015, Hotstar became an instant hit. It was launched with the aim to revolutionize content consumption in India using mobile. At the time of the app launch, the Internet speed in India was very low. Hence, the developers designed the app in such a way that the video streaming was possible even at a low speed of 50 kbps.

Records created by Hotstar

  • After launching app in India just within a week achieved the 1.5 million downloads and topped the list of free apps on Google PlayStore. Major apps like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter took 10 months, 2.5 months, and 12 months, respectively to cross the one million mark.
  • In the first 40 days of its launch, Hotstar app downloads reached 10 million.
  • In just one and a half years, the number of downloads crossed 72 million; while it took nine years for Netflix to reach 75 million.
  • It received a whopping 100 million followers during the Indian Premier League (IPL) 2016 as against 41 million during IPL 2015. Video engagement also jumped to 4.5 billion in 2016.
  • Among the cricket lovers above the age of 15 years, living in the six largest cities of India and belonging to Social Economic Classification (SEC) segments A and B, Hotstar received higher viewership than TV during IPL 2016.
  • Hotstar downloads crossed the mark of 175 million in January 2017.
  • Hotstar Sets New Global Record for Live Viewership of 25.3 Million views on IPL match.

How AWS helped Hotstar in achieving success?

At back end side, hotstar uses the architecture having the AWS services [1].

Amazon Route 53[2] and Amazon CloudFront[3] are services for the Hotstar streaming video.

Even they also use Amazon S3 for the Hotstar.

AWS provides better solution for such kind of scenario with reduced cost and efficient manageable services.

Thus, there is no doubt why hotstar application uses AWS for backend tech stack.

Services for Hotstar AWS used are explained below.

Amazon Route 53

The name itself suggests that at the port no 53, the AWS provides the DNS services to its applications. It easily and effectively connects the EC2 instances or Amazon S3 bucket, and it also provides the routing information to the outer side of the AWS infrastructure.

This makes AWS more user friendly.

Amazon EC2

Provide Scalability and reusability to the computing capacity in the AWS cloud. Which makes less to hardware and more to developing and deploying applications to the cloud. Which is more helpful to the application developers who can focus to build the different applications instead of managing them to the cloud servers. Various instances for CPU, memory, network, and storages are available as per need.

Amazon CloudFront

Low latency and High transfer speed of 5700 Gbps for hotstar is somehow possible through cloudfront as it provides Content Delivery Network (CDN) services. Any user can directly use the cloud front who is familiar with other services of AWS. It is already included with AWS subscription for the user.

Amazon S3

Storing the data and fetching them as per the need is the advantage of the AWS services.

To store, retrieve or analyze, millions of data from anywhere at anytime can be possible with the AWS S3. As at the 5700 Gbps bandwidth the hotstar is providing the live match to the millions of India public, who are crazy for match and this has already been cracked the record to provide the live video streaming.

There are just the few names used as a service of AWS. They itself are a huge research topics.
Here, I have just mentioned which services are used by Hotstar and how they make Hotstar application more stable among other video streaming application.

It provides simple, but strong technical architecture for the 5700 Gbps bandwidth for Live match video streaming.

HOTSTAR achieved the world record of maximum live viewers of 25.3M views in IPL match. It is all possible because of the low latency and bandwidth and high availability ,video streaming, higher load balancing of AWS

::::::::::::::::::Case study of DropBox::::::::::::::::::

What is DropBox?

Dropbox is a cloud storage service, which means you can copy your files to the cloud and access them later, even if you’re using a different device. Dropbox will not automatically copy all the files on your computer if you’re on a personal plan, so you will have to pick and choose which ones you want to save.

IF YOU’RE ONE of 500 million people who use Dropbox, it’s just a folder on your computer desktop that lets you easily store files on the Internet, send them to others, and synchronize them across your laptop, phone, and tablet.

How AWS helped DropBox?

For the first eight years of its life, you see, Dropbox stored billions and billions of files on behalf of those 500 million computer users. But, well, the San Francisco startup didn’t really store them on its own. Like so many other tech startups in recent years, Dropbox ran its online operation atop what is commonly called “Amazon Web Services,” a hugely popular service run by, yes, that Amazon — the world’s largest online retailer. Amazon’s cloud computing service lets anyone build and operate software without setting up their own hardware. In other words, those billions of files were stored on Amazon’s machines, rather than machines owned and operated by Dropbox.

But not anymore. Over the last two-and-a-half years, Dropbox built its own vast computer network and shifted its service onto a new breed of machines designed by its own engineers, all orchestrated by a software system built by its own programmers with a brand new programming language.

Amazon, just reported $2.41 billion in revenue for its Amazon Web Services division during the fourth quarter of last year, or more than $9.6 billion in annualized sales — and that’s pretty much after Dropbox’s move.


No only the one or two many technical giants and startups got benefitted from AWS and succeed in their growth. Thus AWS became bigger and stronger competitor among all the cloud providers.

Thanks for reading my article by spending your valuable time.



Sriramadasu Prasanth Kumar

MLOps| Hybrid Cloud | DevOps | Hadoop | Kubernets | Data Science| AWS | GCP |