Netflix open sources traffic intuition tool Vizceral
Dark grey keyboard red button image via Shutterstock
Netflix’s traffic intuition tool Vizceral (previously Flux) is now open source. This traffic intuition tool helps the company intuit decisions based on the holistic state of the system.
Netflix needed a tool which “gives them an intuitive understanding of the entire system at a glance.” This is how Vizceral, the company’s first, flagship example of Intuition Engineering, came into being.
Netflix’s Intuition Engineering Team open sourced four repos:
- vizceral: the main UI component which allows users to view and interact with the graph data.
- vizceral-react: The visualization can be easily integrated into a react project thanks to the react component wrapper around vizceral.
- vizceral-component: The visualization can be easily integrated into a project using web components thanks to the web component wrapper around vizceral.
- vizceral-example: The team revealed that this is an example project which uses vizceral-react and sample data as a proof of concept and a jumping off point for integrating the visualization into your own data sources.
Getting started with Vizceral
If you would like to give Vizceral a try, all you need to do is follow the setup instructions in the vizceral-example project. As the blog post points out, “this will setup a fully functional project with dummy data, running on your development machine.”
Flux before Vizceral
In Flux’s home screen, the Traffic Team receives a representation of all traffic coming into Netflix from the internet, and being directed to one of their three AWS Regions.
Netflix’s Traffic Team wrote in October last year that “even before Flux v1.0 was up and running, when it was still in Alpha on a laptop, it found an issue in our production system.” As they were testing real data, Justin Reynolds noticed a stream that was discolored in one region. They quickly learned that their proxy layer had not scaled to a proper size on the most recent push in that region and was rejecting SSO requests.
“Even a split-second glance at the Flux interface is enough to show us the health of the system,” they concluded.