Zynga, the Latest Cloud Computing Success

Zynga – 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.
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

Sorry, comments are closed for this post.

Cloud Native Trends Picking Up – Legacy Security Losing Ground

Cloud Native Trends Picking Up – Legacy Security Losing Ground

Cloud Native Trends Once upon a time, only a select few companies like Google and Salesforce possessed the knowledge and expertise to operate efficient cloud infrastructure and applications. Organizations patronizing those companies benefitted with apps that offered new benefits in flexibility, scalability and cost effectiveness. These days, the sharp division between cloud and on-premises infrastructure…

Virtual Immersion And The Extension/Expansion Of Virtual Reality

Virtual Immersion And The Extension/Expansion Of Virtual Reality

Virtual Immersion And Virtual Reality This is a term I created (Virtual Immersion). Ah…the sweet smell of Virtual Immersion Success! Virtual Immersion© (VI) an extension/expansion of Virtual Reality to include the senses beyond visual and auditory. Years ago there was a television commercial for a bathing product called Calgon. The tagline of the commercial was Calgon…

7 Common Cloud Security Missteps

7 Common Cloud Security Missteps

Cloud Security Missteps Cloud computing remains shrouded in mystery for the average American. The most common sentiment is, “It’s not secure.” Few realize how many cloud applications they access every day: Facebook, Gmail, Uber, Evernote, Venmo, and the list goes on and on… People flock to cloud services for convenient solutions to everyday tasks. They…

The Future Of Cloud Storage And Sharing…

The Future Of Cloud Storage And Sharing…

Box.net, Amazon Cloud Drive The online (or cloud) storage business has always been a really interesting industry. When we started Box in 2005, it was a somewhat untouchable category of technology, perceived to be a commodity service with low margins and little consumer willingness to pay. All three of these factors remain today, but with…

How To Humanize Your Data (And Why You Need To)

How To Humanize Your Data (And Why You Need To)

How To Humanize Your Data The modern enterprise is digital. It relies on accurate and timely data to support the information and process needs of its workforce and its customers. However, data suffers from a likability crisis. It’s as essential to us as oxygen, but because we don’t see it, we take it for granted.…

Data Breaches: Incident Response Planning – Part 1

Data Breaches: Incident Response Planning – Part 1

Incident Response Planning – Part 1 The topic of cybersecurity has become part of the boardroom agendas in the last couple of years, and not surprisingly — these days, it’s almost impossible to read news headlines without noticing yet another story about a data breach. As cybersecurity shifts from being a strictly IT issue to…

How To Overcome Data Insecurity In The Cloud

How To Overcome Data Insecurity In The Cloud

Data Insecurity In The Cloud Today’s escalating attacks, vulnerabilities, breaches, and losses have cut deeply across organizations and captured the attention of, regulators, investors and most importantly customers. In many cases such incidents have completely eroded customer trust in a company, its services and its employees. The challenge of ensuring data security is far more…

Cloud-Based Services vs. On-Premises: It’s About More Than Just Dollars

Cloud-Based Services vs. On-Premises: It’s About More Than Just Dollars

Cloud-Based Services vs. On-Premises The surface costs might give you pause, but the cost of diminishing your differentiators is far greater. Will a shift to the cloud save you money? Potential savings are historically the main business driver cited when companies move to the cloud, but it shouldn’t be viewed as a cost-saving exercise. There…