Golden Manager and limitless growth on Amazon Web Services

Executive summary:

Challenge: Golden Manager, Kerad Games’ online game, needed a cloud solution with the capacity to absorb exponential increases in users across the world, developmental agility and real-time data analysis.

Solution: Claranet designed a solution that would scale in line with the growth of the game – going from a hybrid platform to complete migration to Amazon Web Services, with test environments, large-scale data analysis and monitoring.

Result: The solution allowed Golden Manager to make maximum use of the scalability, price flexibility and technological innovation of AWS, ensuring availability and optimum performance across the board.

Kerad Games

Kerad Games is a company that specialises in the design, development and commercialisation of social games for the whole family that are accessible from any device.

In 2013, Kerad Games launched Golden Manager, a multi-platform game that, in the space of less than two years, has garnered over 4.5 million users across the world.

Golden Manager was born from an idea by Gerard Piqué, a footballer at FC Barcelona, which is based on turning players into the managers of their own football club, controlling everything from signings and training, to the games and the ticket prices. It follows a free-to-play model and is designed to function across all devices and on the majority of internet browsers. It’s also available as an app on Apple’s App Store.

The challenge

In 2014, Kerad Games chose Claranet – as an AWS Advanced Partner – to design a cloud solution capable of growing at the same rate as Golden Manager.

To achieve success, an online game like Golden Manager requires:

  • Capacity to absorb an exponential increase in users
  • Real-time analysis of enormous data sets
  • Uninterrupted availability and continuity of gameplay
  • Constant agile development of new functionality
  • Global reach to serve users from all over the world
  • Kerad Games needed a technology partner with the experience and knowledge necessary to understand the demands of the application, and that would be capable of providing solutions at the same rate at which the game and the community are growing.

    The project consisted of complementing Kerad Games’ existing on-premises infrastructure for Golden Manager with scalable solutions built in AWS’s cloud, to allow them to concentrate on development and innovation in the game itself.

    When we started this project it was clear to us that the focus of the company had to be the product. To best make use of the platform, the server infrastructure would have to provide a service that would work and that wouldn’t throw up problems. If we achieved this, our design team and engineers would be able to dedicate themselves exclusively to creating and developing the game.”

    Alberto Guerrero
    CEO, Kerad Games

    The ultimate objective would be a complete migration of the whole platform to the AWS cloud, orchestrating all the solutions in such a way as to guarantee maximum performance for the game at all times.

The solution

The solution designed for Golden Manager was developed progressively in line with the growth of the game: from the first hybrid platform, to the complete migration to AWS.

  • Hybrid platform: in order to progressively introduce AWS services, a hybrid solution was designed, including, for example, a system of high-availability load balancers based on Ruby technology and combining backends in MySQL, REDIS and DynamoDB.
  • Test environments: to enable the agile launch of new functionality without affecting the performance of the game, different test environments were created in the AWS cloud – replicas of the production environment – allowing developers to create demos and detect problems before moving code into production.
  • Large-scale data analysis: thanks to integration with Amazon RedShift, all the data used in the game is constantly gathered at great speed and with greatly reduced acquisition costs. The data is then integrated into the team’s business intelligence tools for analysis.
  • Complete migration: organised to coincide with the launch of Golden Manager in the App Store, the complete migration to the AWS cloud was completed in record time, and resulted in a system that is 100% orchestrated and based on AWS OpsWorks, which serves users in different geographic zones very quickly and automatically scales in response to unexpected, as well as expected, peak usage.
  • Monitoring: 24x7 coverage of all aspects of the functioning of the game.

The application is an example of how a wide range of AWS solutions can work together towards perfection: Elastic Load Balancing, Elasticache, S3, CloudFront, Foute 53, EC2, RCS, CloudTrail, RedShift, SQS, SNS, VPC, IAM and DynamoDB.

Benefits

Claranet’s support in migrating Golden Manager to AWS’s cloud has given Kerad Games the following key advantages:

  1. The platform is totally managed, so developers can focus on innovating the product and growing the business.
  2. They have designed a scalable system that can support the demands of a game that is growing at full-tilt.
  3. Global expansion and exponential growth are now technologically possible.
  4. They are deriving maximum benefit from the AWS environment and the benefits that it offers regarding agility, innovation and cost.

Thanks to the close partner-client relationship between Claranet and Kerad Games, it has been possible to orchestrate a complex combination of services in a bespoke fashion, in order to successfully build a platform that maximally utilizes AWS’s scalability, cost flexibility and technological flexibility.

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