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Sharing lessons learned with the container management community

Netflix open sources Titus, a container management platform

Jane Elizabeth
Titus
© Shutterstock /  Wang An Qi

Big news from the video streaming giant Netflix: they’re open sourcing Titus, a container monitoring platform that powers their streaming, recommendation, and content systems.

Netflix has been all-in for the cloud for an entire decade. That’s right, they started migrating all of their services to run on VMs on Amazon Web Services circa 2008. In that time, they even developed their own container technology despite being a cloud-native company. Enter Titus.

Titus is a container management platform that provides scalable and reliable container execution and cloud-native integration with Amazon AWS. It’s used in production to power streaming, recommendation, and content systems at Netflix. And now, it’s available to general use for everyone to take advantage of this powerful and innovative tool.

Netflix is open sourcing Titus for a couple of reasons. First and foremost: developers kept asking whenever Netflix talked about it. By sharing Titus, Netflix hopes to aid like-minded teams and share lessons learned with the container management community.

SEE MORE: Netflix open-sources Conductor, a microservices orchestration engine

Titus

Titus runs a number of critical aspects for Netflix, including video streaming, recommendations and machine learning, big data, content encoding, studio technology, internal engineering tools, and more. That’s right. You now can use the same tool that creates the addictive recommendation algorithm.

This container manager offers a convenient platform for developers to manage compute resources and maintain their application artifacts. It even provides a consistent developer experience for laptop to production with container-focused engineering tools.

Titus offers:

  • A production ready container platform.
  • Cloud-native integrations with AWS.
  • Netflix OSS integration.
  • Docker-native container execution.

Sure, there are a lot of other container management platforms out there, including Moby, container-d, and CRI-O. However, Titus has incredibly tight integration with Amazon and Netflix, with seamless integration for AWS.

Titus is also very scalable, capable of launching up to half a million containers and 200,000 clusters per day. Netflix has a lot of applications, from compute heavy media encoding, stream processing, and even algorithm training. (Let’s be real, our Netflix habits are pretty CPU heavy.) Titus ably handles this workload without a misstep. There are few off the shelf solutions that can take on challenges of this scale.

Plus, Titus is adaptable. Netflix tries to maintain a philosophy of “just enough” vs “just in case”, with the goal of keeping things as simple and maintainable as possible. Titus helps with that.

SEE MORE: Netflix: “Moving to the cloud is hard” | JAX DevOps

Getting Titus

If you’re interested in using Titus for all you container management needs, you can find out more about building Titus here and deploying here. An overview of Titus’ architecture is here. More information can be found on GitHub.

As always, contributions are extremely welcome!

Author
Jane Elizabeth
Jane Elizabeth is an assistant editor for JAXenter.com.

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