When a cold-blooded shooter is bearing down on you with murderous intent, you require the lethal help of enormous compute horsepower behind your pitch-perfect bullet shot - meaning, no server stutters. Keeping backend server support punched with loads of power for a smooth gameplay experience was the challenge of our game developer client, having multiple games in operation played by millions of people around the globe.
For a game development company, backend infrastructure is the backbone of their application since its crash can bring the imaginary world for gamers around the globe to mere ashes. In the early days of cloud computing, the cloud IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) offerings were pretty basic in nature with less than significant solutions for problems existing in that period. Multiple games required various robust applications and database servers running in continuity, such as the Linux Server operating system with MySQL database, the Nginx load balancer, PHP code, and Redis Cache. To eliminate performance lags and application breakdowns, organizations had to maintain constant gameplay monitoring and the preemptive addition of servers with a varying load on the servers. The then effective existing solution was to retain extra machines, which led to over-provisioning and hefty bills for the organization.
With increasing maturity in cloud offerings, our client decided to shift its backend infrastructure to the cloud. They seek advice from our experts at MozoCloud about what services to transfer, which platform will be most suitable according to their needs, how much time and cost will be associated with the shift. Our team ran complete TCO calculations and KPI measurements on their requirements and came up with a uniquely devised plan for load migration on the cloud. The Azure platform had all the bells and whistles to run the LAMP stack for the organization. Azure was highly compatible with Terraform as well, an open-source infrastructure configuration and management tool that served as an infrastructure build and versioning tool.
Our cloud architects took just 2 weeks to migrate major games from a physical hosted infrastructure to Azure platform, reducing our clients' server use by half in the migration process. Azure cloud platform helps to add new compute and database nodes on demand, which helps form a much lighter infrastructure with the ability to add more servers in minutes. A 10-server infrastructure comprising of 4 application servers and 6 database servers was reduced to merely 5-server infrastructure with 2 applications and 3 database nodes. Linux Virtual machines were in use with MySQL database servers, Nginx for application servers, PHP code, and Redis. Azure Premium Storage, which features solid-state drives (SSDs), boosted the gaming performance to a different level and resulted in a massive reduction of the database server. The Azure platform allows complete flexibility to all the migrated games with real-time server adjustment capacity on systems according to the varying traffic.
It took us just 5 days to upgrade the existing MySQL and other companion softwares to take full advantage of the more advanced tools in the Azure platform. Azure infrastructure in union with Terraform was setup. It took our team just 24 hours to transfer 1 TB of data to the newly set up virtual machines on the cloud. Game traffic was switched to Azure from the then-current on-premise environment. The migration from on-premise environment to the cloud helped the organization in improving reliability with minimum efforts since servers and databases are present on demand. The organization need not worry about the capacity of its infrastructure anymore. Backing up applications and data in the Azure environment is automatic, thus reducing risks even if anything goes awry.
Our client is truly impressed at how the Azure products are genuinely advanced in their form and how it is moving on the right path to becoming more invincible. The numbers that MozoCloud and our client have achieved are truly astonishing and without the cloud, this would surely be- unreal. Transfer of backend data in 24 hours to the cloud, up-gradation of applications and data within a week’s time and 55% reduction in infrastructure helped our client save $110,000- a true game-changer for the gaming giant.