Zynga’s Shift from the Public to the Private Cloud

Zynga’s Shift from the Public to the Private Cloud

Zynga’s Shift from the Public to the Private Cloud

Zynga is a company that has grown tremendously since its modest beginnings in 2007. Named after a bulldog named Zinga once owned by founder Mark Pincus (who also features prominently in the company logo), Zynga began life as a startup and got $29 million in venture funding. VC firm  Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers, who are now contemplating a dedicated startup fund in the cloud computing space (See: Iconic VC Firm Kleiner Perkins Considering Focused Fund for Cloud Startups), was one of its early backers.

Zynga hit the jackpot when it started offering its products – multiplayer games – on Facebook. As the social networking site grew in popularity, so did Zynga. As I outlined in an earlier post (See: Zynga, the Latest Cloud Computing Success), this rapid growth pushed Zynga towards cloud computing. At the time Zynga filed its IPO in July last year, it was heavily dependent on Amazon’s cloud services. Mark Williams, VP of network operations, had then gone on record with his gratitude for Amazon Web Services (AWS), without which Zynga wouldn’t have tasted as much success. However, things have changed since then.

While 80% of Zynga’s active users at the beginning of 2011 were hosted on the Amazon public cloud, the load has now shifted proportionately to Zynga’s private zCloud. Although Amazon EC2 offered amazing advantages in scalability to Zynga, the company felt constricted in terms of customizability. As Allan Leinwand, CTO of Zynga mentioned at the Cloud Connect conference in February, Zynga “launched with AWS and then began to understand the stresses of the traffic” how to manage it. This insight led Zynga to invest heavily in its own private cloud, quadrupling its capital expenditure to $238 million last year.

And this investment has yielded rich returns. The zCloud has enabled Zynga to replace every three AWS servers with one in-house server, considerably reducing operational costs. Additionally, Zynga says that the zCloud allows for greater flexibility in terms of responsiveness to customer demand. Leinwand compared AWS to a four-door sedan for general purpose use while he called the zCloud as a racecar built from the ground up to serve Zynga’s interests. “We love four-door sedans, but it’s a car that’s used for a lot of things –  doing the shopping, moving the kids. I like to think of zCloud as the sports car built for the Le Mans of social gaming. It’s tuned for the track,” he added.

While Zynga will continue to use AWS, the latter will act more as a buffer to deal with unexpected demand surges rather than its core demands. Here’s a look at Zynga’s impressive hybrid cloud infrastructure and the load it supports:

This development gives rise to an interesting observation. While startups lean more towards public clouds, as they grow bigger and need more customizable solutions, they prefer dealing more with their own private clouds. Therefore, it’s not surprising that cloud computing service providers have dedicated a lot of effort towards attracting the smaller players (See: Ninefold and Rackspace Battle for Australian Startup Mind Space). At the same time, there is a possibility that as public clouds become more advanced, secure and customizable, this shift from the public to the private cloud may again reverse direction.

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/

0 Responses to Zynga’s Shift from the Public to the Private Cloud

Join Our Newsletter

Receive updates each week on news, tips, events, comics and much more...

Can I Contribute To CloudTweaks?

Yes, much of our focus in 2015 will be on working with other influencers in a collaborative manner. If you're a technology influencer looking to collaborate with CloudTweaks – a globally recognized leader in cloud computing information – drop us an email with “tech influencer” in the subject line.

What is the 12/12 Program?

This program is designed to better handle the thousands of requests we receive from people looking to submit articles. The 12/12 program is the commitment of 12 articles delivered over a 12-month period.  

Wait! What if I just want to submit one article?

Our popular pay as you go sponsorship program provides the flexibility to submit as you wish and is designed for all budgets.

Contributors

Ten Tips For Successful Business Intelligence Implementation

Ten Tips For Successful Business Intelligence Implementation

Ten Tips for Successful Business Intelligence Implementation The cost of Business Intelligence (BI) software goes far beyond the purchase price. Time spent researching, implementing, and maintaining your BI investment can snowball quickly and mistakes are often expensive. Your time is valuable – save it by learning from other businesses’ experiences. We’ve compiled the top ten

Knots And Cloud Service Providers

Knots And Cloud Service Providers

How Do These Two Compare? In Boy Scouts, I learned how to tie knots. The quickest knot you can tie is the slipknot. It’s very effective for connecting one thing to another via the rope you have. It was used in setting up tents, mooring boats to docks temporarily and lifting your food up into

What Ever Happened To Google Glass?

What Ever Happened To Google Glass?

What Ever Happened to Google Glass? It was supposed to be the next big thing in tech so where did it go? Last year you could not go anywhere without hearing about some insane new use for the product and now it seems to have vanished in a plume of smoke. A Lackluster Rollout Back

Posted on by

Big Data

To Have and Have Not: Big Data Initiatives In Developing Countries

To Have and Have Not: Big Data Initiatives In Developing Countries

Big Data Initiatives In Developing Countries The poor of the developing countries are becoming increasingly connected, to the point where they too are part of the Big Data revolution that’s happening across the globe. It didn’t come with laptops, though, as some supposed it would. Whereas it costs a fortune to connect broadband to a

Big Data In Your Garden: Initiatives For Better Understanding Nature

Big Data In Your Garden: Initiatives For Better Understanding Nature

Big Data in Your Garden Big Data and IoT initiatives are springing up all across the globe, making cities, protesters–and just about everything else–smarter. However, thus far there’s been little attention paid to the interactions between these bizarre technologies and living things other than humans. Biology, that is, human biology is one field where Big

Who Holds the Key to the City: Big Data and City Management

Who Holds the Key to the City: Big Data and City Management

Big Data and City Management Cities like New York, Madrid, and especially Rio de Janeiro are augmented with Big Data-powered initiatives that range from combating crime with predictive analytics (New York & Madrid) to providing real-time data for improved management. Although Big Data is no panacea and is mainly used in conjunction with a greater

Internet of Things

Where’s the Capital of the Internet of Things?

Where’s the Capital of the Internet of Things?

Where’s the Capital? We all know the capitals of fashion are London, New York and Paris, while the capital of film is Hollywood (or Bollywood!) – but what’s the new capital of the internet? Specifically, the internet of things? The answer – according to new research by Ozy – might surprise you. It’s not Tokyo, Seoul,

Smart Cities – How Big Data Is Changing The Power Grid

Smart Cities – How Big Data Is Changing The Power Grid

Smart Cities And Big Data As Anthony Townsend argues in his SMART CITIES, even though the communications industry has changed beyond recognition since its inception, the way we consume power has remained stubbornly anachronistic. The rules of physics are, of course, partially to blame, for making grid networks harder to decentralize, as opposed to communication

Aggregated News

Popular News Sources

Why Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Loves What Steve Ballmer Once Despised

Why Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Loves What Steve Ballmer Once Despised

“I don’t want to fight old battles,” says Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. “I want to fight new ones.” It’s Sunday evening, and Nadella is sitting in a glass-enclosed room at the back of a Japanese restaurant in San Francisco’s North Beach neighborhood, eating sushi with a few reporters. The post Why Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Loves

Apple sales soar after record-breaking iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launch

Apple sales soar after record-breaking iPhone 6 and 6 Plus launch

The US tech giant reported a 16 per cent jump in iPhone sales between July and September, and the strongest growth in Mac computer shipments in years. Read the source article at dailymail.co.uk About Latest Posts souryaSourya Biswas is a former risk analyst who has worked with several financial organizations of international repute, besides being

Q&A: Intel’s Take on Chinese Startups, Innovation

Q&A: Intel’s Take on Chinese Startups, Innovation

Intel’s venture-capital arm on Tuesday said it would be investing $28 million in five Chinese startups that work on new technologies ranging from wearable devices to iris detection. It is Intel Capital’s first infusion from a $100 million China fund launched in April … Read the source article at WSJ Blogs About Latest Posts souryaSourya Biswas is a former risk analyst