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Amazon Prime Video team throws AWS Serverless under a bus

Monoliths are sexy again.

Amazon Prime Video has dumped its AWS distributed serverless architecture and moved to what it describes as a “monolith” for its video quality analysis team in a move that it said has cut its cloud infrastructure costs 90%.

The shift saw the team swap an eclectic array of distributed microservices handling video/audio stream analysis processes for an architecture with all components running inside a single Amazon ECS task instead.

Prime Video microservices to monolith
Prime Video blasts both barrels at AWS serverless.

(Whether this constitutes a "monolith" as it is described in a Prime Video engineering blog that has triggered huge attention its or instead is now one large microservice is an open question; it has saved it a lot of money following the approach Adrian Cockcroft describes as "optimiz[ing] serverless applications by also building services using containers to solve for lower startup latency, long running compute jobs, and predictable high traffic.")

Senior software development engineer Marcin Kolny said on Prime’s technology blog that toolings built to assess every video stream and check for quality issues had initially been spun up as a “distributed system using serverless components" but that this architecture "caused us to hit a hard scaling limit at around 5% of the expected load" and the "cost of all the building blocks was too high to accept the solution at a large scale.”

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