Neowiz Games is an online game company located in South Korea that offers over 40 online web-board, online action, role-playing, sports and shooting games. An estimated six million gamers in South Korea access Neowiz’s game portal, Pmang, to play. Neowiz plans to become a global name in the online game business. The company purchased a Japanese gaming company to distribute its titles in Japan and developed partnerships with major online game publishers in China, Vietnam, Taiwan, North America and Europe.
Neowiz was using its own data centers as well as colocation hosting to deploy its games and services, but it was becoming expensive to use these resources. Additionally, long delivery cycles for new servers and storage systems led to longer development cycles. As Neowiz expanded its services to more than 20 countries, it was becoming difficult to predict demand. By 2011, the gaming company began to look at cloud-based solutions.
Why Amazon Web Services
Neowiz was looking for a cloud provider with a global, highly available and reliable infrastructure, low-cost implementation and deployment, the ability to scale, and platform independence. “We considered other solution providers, but Amazon Web Services (AWS) met our requirements,” says Kun Su Chang, System Engineer. “AWS offered freedom, flexibility, and a wide variety of options.”
Neowiz operates two games services on AWS using Windows, the .NET Framework, Linux, PHP, Redis, MySQL, RightScale cloud management and the Boto library. The company uses Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon SimpleDB, Amazon CloudFront, and Elastic Load Balancing to run its games services on AWS across two Availability Zones in the Asia Pacific (Singapore) Region. Figure 1 demonstrates the gaming services on AWS.
Figure 1: Neowiz Architecture Diagram
Neowiz relied on AWS Support for the migration to the cloud. “We had challenges during our initial implementation, primarily due to our lack of understanding of the differences between a traditional hosting environment and the cloud environment,” says Chang. “The AWS Support team helped us ramp up our skills and knowledge of the cloud platform.”
For Neowiz, migrating to the AWS Cloud has decreased time for new infrastructure resources from one to two months to about five minutes. “We are not limited by hardware or software anymore,” says Chang. “The barriers that we faced in a traditional environment have been lifted. Now our team can focus on developing products and applications instead of managing an IT infrastructure.”
“Our deployment time has been reduced by more than 80 percent,” Chang continues. “AWS makes it easy to expand into other geographical areas, and we plan to continue to launch several new games on the AWS Cloud. We can leverage AWS as our business grows.”