Zynga, the Latest Cloud Computing Success

Zynga, the Latest Cloud Computing Success

The business world is abuzz with the upcoming Zynga IPO which is expected to raise $1 billion from investors and value the gaming company as high as $20 billion. Just for the record, Zynga is a California-based game developer that made FarmVille and CityVille, two of its most popular products, part of the popular lexicon.

From modest beginnings in 2007, Zynga now has more than 2,000 employees across the world, annual revenues of $850 million, and a whopping 250 million daily online users. In fact, its meteoric growth has far surpassed expectations, even of its management. As Mark Williams, VP of network operations, said, “Zynga has been horrible in terms of its ability to predict its success.” However, it has been able to survive, and thrive, due to cloud computing.

It was a mere stroke of luck that brought Zynga to the cloud. When the company launched FarmVille in June 2009, it had run out of data center space and decided to use Amazon’s EC2 as a stopgap measure. At that time, Zynga expected to rack up 200,000 daily active users in the first two months at best; however, the game added 1 million users every week.

Without the scalability of cloud computing, Zynga could very well have crashed and burned. In fact, Williams believes that without Amazon EC2, FarmVille couldn’t have become as successful as it is today. For a then-small company, cloud computing indeed allowed Zynga to play with the big boys ( Fighting Above Your Weight Class through Cloud Computing ).

Nowadays, Zynga has a different approach to cloud computing than is the norm. Whereas many companies treat the cloud as an extension of their own data centers, using it only when in-house resources fall short, Zynga does exactly the opposite by launching its products in the cloud and then bringing them in-house once demand stabilizes. This allows for maximum efficiency at minimum costs.

As Zynga gets ready for its first public listing, the company is highlighting its use of cloud computing as one of its core strengths, stating that it has “created a scalable cloud-based server and network infrastructure that enables us to deliver games to millions of players simultaneously with high levels of performance and reliability.”

Going by its filing documents, the company seems to have found the right balance between traditional data centers and cloud computing. “Our physical network infrastructure utilizes a mixture of our own datacenters and public cloud datacenters linked with high-speed networking. We utilize commodity hardware, and our architecture is designed for high availability and fault tolerance while accommodating the demands of social game play,” says the S-1 document.

We have developed our architecture to work effectively in a flexible cloud environment that has a high degree of elasticity. For example, our automatic provisioning tools have enabled us to add up to 1,000 servers in a 24-hour period in response to game demand. We operate at a scale that routinely delivers more than one petabyte of content per day. We intend to invest in and use more of our own infrastructure going forward, which we believe will provide us with an even better cost profile and position us to further drive operating leverage,” it added.

By Sourya Biswas

sourya

Sourya Biswas is a former risk analyst who has worked with several financial organizations of international repute, besides being a freelance journalist with several articles published online. After 6 years of work, he has decided to pursue further studies at the University of Notre Dame, where he has completed his MBA. He holds a Bachelors in Engineering from the Indian Institute of Information Technology. He is also a member of high-IQ organizations Mensa and Triple Nine Society and has been a prolific writer to CloudTweaks over the years... http://www.cloudtweaks.com/author/sourya/

3 Responses to Zynga, the Latest Cloud Computing Success

Comics

At CloudTweaks, we're plugged into the cloud, the internet of things and all that the web has to offer. From wearable technology, to mobile computing, cloud computing and big data, CloudTweaks is your source for updates and news on the most innovative technology.

Popular

Top Viral Impact

BYOD Will Continue To Define Workplaces In 2014

BYOD Will Continue To Define Workplaces In 2014

BYOD Will Continue To Define Workplaces In 2014 The bring-your-own-device trend has been the subject of scrutiny ever since its initial formation. Given how quickly personal smartphones and tablets became a fixture in everyday life, it makes perfect sense that these mobile machines would slip into workplaces. While BYOD has caused headaches for many businesses,…

Monetization of the Internet of Things – Q&A With Brendan O’Brien

Monetization of the Internet of Things – Q&A With Brendan O’Brien

Q&A With Brendan O’Brien, Co-Founder of Aria Systems (Part 1) Monetization of the internet of things (IoT) is one of the most exciting and challenging issues facing the industry today, so we spoke with Brendan O’Brien to learn more. Brendan is the Co-Founder of Aria Systems, who are one of the leading innovators in recurring…

Forrester Releases Its “15 Emerging Technologies To Watch Before 2020” Report

Forrester Releases Its “15 Emerging Technologies To Watch Before 2020” Report

15 Emerging Technologies To Watch Before 2020 The cloud, big data, the internet of things, and wearable technology have all featured heavily in Forrester’s latest list of fifteen technologies to watch before 2020. It is becoming a reality for businesses that they need to adapt and change to an increasingly technologically-minded customer base. Traditional marketing…

5 Considerations You Need To Review Before Investing In Data Analytics

5 Considerations You Need To Review Before Investing In Data Analytics

Review Before Investing In Data Analytics Big data, when handled properly, can lead to big change. Companies in a wide variety of industries are partnering with data analytics companies to increase operational efficiency and make evidence-based business decisions. From Kraft Foods using business intelligence (BI) to cut customer satisfaction analysis time in half, to a…

Featured Sponsors

Watching You Shop: Stores And Mannequins “Read” Their Customers And Respond

Watching You Shop: Stores And Mannequins “Read” Their Customers And Respond

Watching You Shop The mannequin in the store window stares blankly ahead as shoppers look at the clothes it is dressed in and contemplate a purchase. One shopper makes some comments. “It’s nice. I wonder if they have my size.” Another takes a few steps inside the store to see where these particular clothes might…

Sponsors

Can You Run Your Business Entirely From A Mobile Device?

Can You Run Your Business Entirely From A Mobile Device?

Can You Run Your Business Entirely From A Mobile Device? You know the feeling. It’s 8:00 a.m. Your bus is stuck in traffic, so you pull out your phone and start answering work emails. While you may rely on your mobile device’s apps for everything from an alarm clock to a fitness tracker to a…

Placement Opportunities - Find Out!

Established in 2009, CloudTweaks is recognized as one of the leading influencers in cloud computing, big data and internet of things (IoT) information. Our goal is to continue to build our growing information portal, by providing the best in-depth articles, interviews, event listings, whitepapers, infographics and much more.

You can help continue to support our community by social sharing, sponsoring, partnering or contributing to this great educational resource.

Contact

CloudTweaks Media
Phone: 1 (212) 763-0021

Join Our Newsletter