Scaling Event Sourcing for Netflix Downloads and Microservices Observability

May 25, 2017 · Mountain View, United States of America

6:00-7:00: Socializing (Thanks to Netflix for food and drinks!)  
7:00-7:10: Announcements  
7:10-8:15: (Talk 1 and Q&A) Scaling Event Sourcing for Netflix Downloads
8:15 - 8:30: (Talk 2 and Q&A) Observability beyond logging for Java Microservices: Prometheus, OpenTracing & Scope on Kubernetes
8:30-8:45: Overflow

Talk 1 Abstract:

In November of 2016 Netflix successfully launched its new Download feature, allowing users to download and play content offline on their mobile devices. This feature required us to change our previously stateless distributed licensing service to be real time and stateful. In a matter of months we needed to create a brand new stateful service that could evolve with rapid feature requirement iterations, while also being able to scale to millions of members using the feature across the globe.

This talk describes how we achieved these goals with the use of a Cassandra-backed event sourcing architecture. We describe our event store implementation, including the use of data versioning and snapshotting to provide flexibility and scale. We will cover what we learned along the way, and what we could have done better. Finally, we will review some improvements and extensions that we are planning to address going forward. Attendees will take home some compelling reasons to consider event sourcing for their architectures: it’s flexibility to adapt to changing business requirements, the relevance to distributed and scalable microservice architecture, and the means to replay a timeline of events and determine current or potential state.

Talk 1 Speakers:

Phillipa Avery is a Senior Software Engineer at Netflix, where she works on the Playback Team to provide all the licensing services necessary to stream Netflix content. Working on one of the critical path services at Netflix, Phillipa thrives on the fast-paced and ever-changing environment where she gets to play with resiliency, quick deployment strategies, and architectural design.


Robert Reta has been working on the Playback License team for the past 3 years focusing on the full release cycle of Netflix’s PlayReady applications. Before joining Netflix Robert was a Scrum Master and an Android programmer for the DoD providing applications tailored towards geospatial and live streaming solutions. Robert is a graduate of The University of Texas at Austin and Southern Methodist University.

Talk 2 Abstract

Understanding what's going on in a microservices environment can be challenging, especially when things go wrong. In this talk, we'll look at the array of tooling available to help with observability at scale with Java-based microservices. 
We'll cover: 

• Prometheus, for time-series metrics

• OpenTracing for being able to trace a request all the way through the system, and 

• Scope for visualizing a live map of a microservices app for troubleshooting. 

Live demos will be interleaved throughout the talk – where we'll use a real microservices app deployed on Kubernetes as an example.

Talk 2 Speaker

Luke Marsden heads up Developer Experience at Weaveworks, where he spends his time thinking about how to optimise for happy open source users. He gets involved in open source projects, develops software, works on content and user journeys, and enjoys speaking at meetups and conferences. He previously co-founded ClusterHQ.



Event organizers
  • Silicon Valley Java User Group

    This group was started in April of 2003. We switched from java.net to meetup.com at the beginning of 2009. This Java User Group (JUG) is for anyone interested in learning more about JEE web application development. We meet at Google in Mountain View, California, on the third Wednesday of the month. All levels of JEE web application development experience are welcome. Our meetings are always fr...

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