Six Aspects You Should Consider before Developing or Streaming Games in the Cloud

The Online Gaming Industry

Online gaming is a multi-billion dollar industry that over the last three decades has gradually become one of the main entertainment media, comparable in revenue to the film and music industries. According to the Global Games Market Report, the global video games market will reach $137.9 Billion in 2018. In addition, with the rapid technological advancement and the development of technologies such as virtual, augmented and mixed reality online gaming is becoming a more immersive experience, attracting a steadily growing and diverse consumer base.

As the online gaming community is evolving worldwide, so are its demands regarding the video gaming experience. Gamers are expecting a high quality service from gaming companies, that have to keep up with the newest generation of hardware and software, while continuing to push the limit of what can be done with games online.

Main Infrastructure Challenges for Online Gaming

The need for constant innovation in this dynamic market requires a high-performing, reliable and extremely flexible infrastructure. Companies are striving to find new ways of creating and delivering products in order to stand out from the competition and having the right infrastructure is the key to achieve that.

Taking into consideration the competitive nature of the online gaming market and the specifics of its IT infrastructure, game developers are facing several challenges in their efforts to stand out in the crowd. First, online games are extremely sensitive to latency. Therefore, identifying the right latency threshold is crucial when looking for the right infrastructure solution. Another challenge is to ensure a high performance of the infrastructure. A failure to do so could result in a negative gaming experience and even a crash in the system. Next to that, a successful online gaming infrastructure must be scalable and flexible in order to handle sudden influxes and outflows of players. Costs of the infrastructure also present a significant challenge, especially for industry newcomers. Other challenges such as having dynamic customer support and secure servers are also key factors for online gaming platforms that are searching for the right infrastructure solution.

In this blog post we have compiled a list of the most important features that make a cloud based infrastructure perfect for overcoming all of those challenges.

What the Cloud Can Offer

Cloud computing has been a revolutionary force in changing the way organizations deploy web applications and services, and the video gaming industry makes no exception. At the same time, choosing the right cloud provider, tailored for the specific needs of the gaming industry could make the difference for a company’s success.

We have gathered the most important features of the cloud that make it an ideal solution for the online gaming IT infrastructure and then we have expanded on why CloudSigma is the right partner for video game providers that want to get the best out of the cloud. We have also included testimonials from our clients that have shared how deploying with our platform has given them a competitive advantage in their respective industries.

CloudSigma – the Right Partner for Online Gaming Platforms

Flexibility & Scalability
“One of the most important components of our location-based games is the map tile technology, which shows user’s position in the real world and really immerses them in their surroundings. This requires a lot of CPU, but comparatively little RAM. CloudSigma was the only provider that let us pick and choose exactly what we needed, which was a huge cost benefit too as it avoided any over- or under-provisioning.”Vice President of Game Platforms @ a leading U.S. based mobile media company

The first benefit of cloud computing in the gaming industry is flexibility, as it allows customers to purchase only those resources that they actually need. It also gives the ability to fine-tune cloud servers in order to meet specific application requirements on a per server basis.

Scalability is also very important, as with a highly scalable cloud platform, the limitation caused by memory requirements, graphic capacity and processing power diminishes. In the cloud, gamers can play high-end games on lower-end machines, which provides an exceptional gaming experience without an investment in high-end devices.

CloudSigma is the perfect platform for supporting the gaming industry, because with us you can create the combination of CPU, RAM, storage and bandwidth you require. This allows for the best combination of cloud resources without the limitation of fixed server sizes. Hence, each customer deployment is unique like a snowflake. Our platform gives video gaming companies the opportunity to experience true utility computing in order to quickly react to the dynamic market changes.

“The mix of burst and subscription pricing that CloudSigma offers allows Attained to easily scale up resources temporarily during periods of high resource demand and scale back down as necessary. This is great for our customers who receive the cost savings.”Blake Burton, Director of Sales @ Attained

CloudSigma’s great flexibility and scalability is accompanied by a unique pay-as-you-go structure that requires customers to only pay for what they need and achieve best price-performance ratio. CloudSigma’s platform offers 5-minute-billing-cycles, so if additional CPU is required only for 5 minutes, the customer will pay only for this time frame and not for the whole hour. Thus, clients reduce their costs without compromising the quality of the service.

Latency
“We first tested the latency from Switzerland to Italy, which was the first installation we needed to make and it was very, very good, so we ended up choosing CloudSigma.”Director of Engineering & DevOps @ an online casino company

Another crucial advancement that cloud computing can deliver to gamers is a reduced latency. When it comes to video gaming, a lower latency delivers a smoother game play and a user experience without lagging. As timing is crucial in many games, a high latency can greatly diminish the experience for players.

“The focus of our operations is on Europe, but we are providing logistic services also in other parts of the globe and we are planning to expand further our operations. In this regard it was important for us to work with a partner who has different cloud centers around the globe. Furthermore our platform provides live information so the latency is an additional parameter that is influenced by the number of data centers and their location.”Markus Berner, Team Leader Digital Logistics @ Bertschi

CloudSigma offers multiple locations around the globe and works with multiple global carriers in each cloud location, allowing customers to receive the most appropriate national legal framework under which to run their cloud infrastructure.

CloudSigma also constantly updates its routing based on live latency measurements to optimize latency from any given Internet eXchange point to the cloud locations. This allows for exceptionally low latency and faster load times. From clients’ perspective, this means less down timе, lower latency and faster load times.

Stability
“With CloudSigma we have seen a 50% increase in the storage performance compared to the performance of our cloud provider in the U.S., which is great for us. You guys have full SSD hard drives and it was really easy to benchmark it and there was definitely a significant increase in the performance.”Daniel Gavrila, Infrastructure engineer @ Figshare

With cloud computing, companies can be sure that their servers and networks will stay securely virtualized and easy to retrieve in the cloud. This reduces risk in server investment, giving video game providers the security and convenience to scale their services to meet the demand of their clients.

With CloudSigma, companies have a 100% guarantee of availability of virtual servers. We also provide a network backed up by strict SLA and full hardware & network redundancy.

Interoperability

The cloud also offers an easy transition during the deployment process, With the right cloud service provider that delivers support and guidance along the way, migration to the cloud could be an easy process.

“Cloudsigma offered everything we needed to deploy our infrastructure 1:1 to the cloud without a single change to the Picturepark application.”Nick Berthet, CTO @ Picturepark

One of the advantages of CloudSigma’s platform is that any x86 OS or application can run in our cloud unmodified. We offer a completely open software layer that imposes no restrictions to companies’ preferred applications or operating systems. By using our seamless live migration tool you can get up and running in the cloud without any modifications to your existing infrastructure.

Immediate & Dynamic Customer Support
CloudSigma’s support team is just incredible, and for me one of the most important things in a partner is to provide good customer support. I have absolutely no problem cutting ties with a company just because the customer service they provide is not up to 8080 Solutions’ standard. With so many clients, we have limited time waiting for someone to call us back when there is a problem, and CloudSigma was always able to solve our issues right away.”Daniel Lengert, Chief Solutions Architect @ 8080 Solutions

Another benefit of cloud-based gaming is that it gives game developers access to customer support since the beginning of the journey from on on-prem into the cloud throughout their customer experience.

With CloudSigma companies may rest assured that they will get an excellent customer support experience. Our technical support is available 24×7, instantly providing the important answers. At CloudSigma, we provide a high quality service, with a deep understanding of the specific needs and pain points of every single customer. For that reason, each CloudSigma customer gets a dedicated account manager as a single point of contact, maximizing trust and appreciation from clients.

Security
“Security and where we keep the data is very important for our end customers. This is all cash register data, revenues, etc., which is highly relevant for the accounting. Keeping this data safe was a major factor when selecting a cloud provider.”Ron Ritschard, Owner at Baldegger+Sortec AG

Another aspect where the cloud comes into play is security. Cloud computing providers are able to ensure industrial level security which prevents external interruptions. With the right provider, companies can be confident that their servers will be stored at storage facilities protected against thieves and natural disasters. A cloud solution could also provide a backup plan that is based on a cloud storage system that cannot be broken, providing unprecedented security and reliability.

CloudSigma delivers the highest degree of security in accordance to various aspects of computing. This is reflected in CloudSigma ISO-27001 certification. We regard this as a top priority and are committed to openness and transparency with respect to our security procedures and policies.

Conclusion

Thanks to cloud computing, game developers and operators can concentrate on delivering innovative game content that pushes the limits of technology. With the cloud supporting their infrastructure, companies can continue to revolutionize the industry, and the cloud can take care of the rest.

Did you know that CloudSigma has extensive experience in supporting online gaming companies? Take a look at our customer success stories with a US based mobile media company and an online casino company to learn more about how CloudSigma’s clients stay ahead of the competition with the help of our flexible cloud environment and incredible performance.

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About Zhenya Mocheva

Zhenya is a Digital Marketing Expert at CloudSigma, focusing on brand strategy, social media marketing and digital marketing campaigns. She is passionate about the continuous innovation within the digital environment and the endless growth opportunities that inbound marketing brings.

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