Netflix Cloud Prize offers over $100,000 in rewards to cloud computing gurus

Netflix has a vested interest in fostering cloud computing -- after all, that's increasingly the company's core business. Accordingly, it's not going to just sit around and wait for a breakthrough. The subscription service is kicking off its Netflix Cloud Prize competition in the hopes that developers can move technology a little faster. Programmers who build upon Netflix's open-source code before September 15th can win from a pool of $100,000 spread equally among 10 categories, ranging from performance improvements to what has to be our automatic favorite: "best new monkey." Each winner also gets $5,000 in Amazon Web Services credit, flights to Las Vegas and a spot at Amazon's user conference this November. The challenge won't completely make up for the end to Netflix's public API, but it does show that at least some tinkerers are welcome in the streaming video giant's world.

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Netflix Offers US$100,000 In Prizes To Advance Cloud Computing

Netflix Will Award "Cloud Prizes" To Those That Improve Cloud Computing For Everyone

Mar 14, 2013

LOS GATOS, Calif., March 14, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Netflix, Inc. (NASDAQ: NFLX) today announced the Netflix Cloud Prize, a competition designed to make cloud computing better for everyone.

With US$100,000 in available prize money, the Netflix Cloud Prize challenges developers around the world to do their very best to improve the features, usability, quality, reliability and security of computing resources delivered as a service over the Internet, popularly known as cloud computing. Contest submissions will be judged by a panel of experts. All submissions will be available freely to anyone.

"Cloud computing has become a hot topic recently, but the technology is still just emerging," said Neil Hunt, chief product officer at Netflix. "No doubt many of the key ideas that will take it to the next level have yet to be conceived, explored, and developed. The Netflix Cloud Prize is designed to attract and focus the attention of the most innovative minds to create the advances that will take cloud to the next level."

Netflix is a cloud pioneer, starting adoption back in 2009. Today more than 33 million Netflix members worldwide benefit from Netflix cloud technology. Every piece of the Netflix experience that members see when browsing TV shows and movies to stream on any device is delivered from the cloud. The cloud also enables features such as advanced personalization, mobile capabilities, social features, and bookmarks that remember where members are in a show or movie.

Netflix runs on a general purpose cloud platform, making it easy to provide a reliable service for a rapidly growing global membership. As Netflix migrated to the cloud, the company's engineers created state of the art technologies which have since been shared freely with the general public as open source software.

"We're laying railroad tracks for cloud adoption and usage," said Hunt. "The Netflix Cloud Prize is designed to improve understanding of what it takes to build native applications for the cloud that take full advantage of the opportunities for scalable computing."

The Netflix Cloud Prize is divided into 10 categories that offer a US$10,000 prize each, judged by a panel of independent, renowned, technology pioneers: Amazon.com Chief Technology Officer (CTO) Werner Vogels, Thoughtworks Chief Scientist Martin Fowler, Strategist Simon Wardley, Telx Senior Vice President and author of Cloudonomics Joe Weinman, University of Aarhus Developer Training Expert Aino Corry and Netflix Cloud Vice President Yury Izrailevsky. The entry period runs from March 13, 2013 to Sept. 15, 2013. Winners will be announced in October with prizes presented at the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Re:Invent conference in November. All winners will be invited to attend the conference in Las Vegas as guests of Netflix.

More details on the Netflix Cloud Prize, including the prize categories and existing Netflix open source projects, are available at: http://netflix.github.com/