The Future of Cloud Services for Online Gaming
The Ultimate Marriage
Cloud Computing and Online Gambling is like the series How I Met Your Mother, you know the outcome but the journey to the end of the series is filled with failed relationships, trials, tribulations and the most beautiful moments! We all live for those moments and there is one on the horizon waiting for us.
Cloud and Online Gaming\Gambling are a match made in heaven! There are certain key aspects that align well to the industry these include:
- Peak Load scalability, why buy hardware for a peak load that occurs once a year when you can scale on demand?
- Distributed Denial of Service (“DDoS”) mitigation comes as part of the service.
- Agility, move into new markets in days not weeks or months.
- Test new markets: fail early, fail fast allows experiments to occur more often with minimal financial impact.
- Perfect for disaster recovery solutions.
- Access capability that your budget would typically never allow.
- Your challenge here
In the words of Robin Sherbatsky, “BUT UM” is this legal and allowed?
The online gambling industry has always been at the front of the technical curve but when it comes to the adoption of cloud based technologies they have historically been constrained by the highly regulated environment that they operate in.
Traditional enterprises, faced with highly competitive economic forces, have not been constrained by the same and have adopted cloud technologies in pursuit of competitive advantage. They have effectively paved the way in formulating an approach that balances risk and reward as can clearly be seen in the graphic featured later in this post.
For the gambling industry, the first step into the cloud does not have to be the critical production workload, in fact there are a number of auxiliary workloads that are probably better suited. Examples of these types of workloads are Content, Data Feeds, Big Data Analytics, Development and Test Environments.
An excerpt below from the Amazon Web Services’ Acceptable Use Policy clearly addresses the issue of illegal activities. In today’s highly regulated markets and legal framework for online gambling operators, they are clearly operating in a LEGAL environment no matter what your personal bias may be.
No Illegal, Harmful, or Offensive Use or Content
You may not use, or encourage, promote, facilitate or instruct others to use, the Services or AWS Site for any illegal, harmful or offensive use, or to transmit, store, display, distribute or otherwise make available content that is illegal, harmful, or offensive. Prohibited activities or content include:
- Illegal Activities. Any illegal activities, including advertising, transmitting, or otherwise making available gambling sites or services or disseminating, promoting or facilitating child pornography.
Let us move on then.
Help I’m in a Jurisdiction!
Through time we’ve seen regulators soften to the ideas of the modern computing architecture. We’ve progressed from dedicated systems to virtualisation, content distribution from outside the jurisdiction rather than inside, shared platforms for auxiliary systems and a much released grip on the back-office operations (IT specifically not the processes!).
It is only a matter of time before regulators warm to the idea of cloud infrastructures, granted through persistence from the smart licensees. Amazon Web Services now have enter ever changing number here data centres throughout the world, take a look at the existing and planned presence of the Amazon Web Services Global Infrastructure. There should be less and less reason why regulators must enforce in country or region jurisdictions, albeit job creation is a nice excuse.
A great recent example of jurisdictional risk is the Australian Lottoland crash, read at your leisure.
Your journey is yours to control.
Not having a strategy to deal with cloud computing will be a risk to your business.
Some applications are better suited to the cloud, are quicker to migrate, are of less value and of less risk to the business. Selecting the right applications to move is an important step in a successful cloud migration.
Why not start with something easy such as content distribution networks (Amazon CloudFront), archiving and cold storage (Amazon S3 and Glacier) or web services protected by DDoS mitigating services like Elastic Load Balancing and Amazon CloudFront? Content distribution, what a great way to start experimenting with cloud services as the gaming industry has been doing this for years already.
Amazon Web Services is not simply an alternative to servers or storage, it is a best-of-breed Infrastructure as a Service and Platform as a Service provider, well ahead of the rest. Independent reports show that Amazon is clearly the leader in the market.
Enterprise Migration Path Example
Source Migrating Enterprise Applications to AWS: Best Practices & Techniques (ENT303) | AWS re:Invent 2013
Is it Secure?
Let’s be frank, Amazon Web Services wouldn’t have the rate of adoption it has without good security. Security is paramount and interwoven into every aspect of systems design, deployment and management. There are indeed operators that haven’t invested in advanced security because of the price and cost of ownership, cloud services greatly reduces the barriers to adoption of the best security tools and practices available. Just pay-as-you-go, it becomes really affordable and you will improve your security and availability if correctly planned. Satisfy yourself by visiting the Amazon Web Services Security page or take a look at the accreditations achieved.
The Future of Amazon Web Services for the Gaming Industry
I encourage you to read further as Amazon are investing heavily in architectures to support gaming, much of the same applies to gambling architectures:
Amazon Lumberyard is a free, cross-platform, 3D game engine for you to create the highest-quality games, connect your games to the vast compute and storage of the AWS Cloud, and engage fans on Twitch.
By starting game projects with Lumberyard, you can spend more of your time creating great gameplay and building communities of fans, and less time on the undifferentiated heavy lifting of building a game engine and managing server infrastructure.
Amazon GameLift, a managed service for deploying, operating, and scaling session-based multiplayer games, reduces the time required to build a multiplayer backend from thousands of hours to just minutes. Available for developers using Amazon Lumberyard, Amazon GameLift is built on AWS’s highly available cloud infrastructure and allows you to quickly scale high-performance game servers up and down to meet player demand, without any additional engineering effort or upfront costs.
Amazon Web Services offers a comprehensive suite of products and services for video game developers across every major platform: mobile, console, PC and online. From AAA console and PC games, to educational and serious games, AWS provides the back end servers and hosting services for your game studio.
Build, deploy, distribute, analyze and monetize with AWS. Pay as you go, and only pay for what you use. Focus on your game, not your infrastructure.
GO EXPERIMENT and Barney Stinson says “BE LEGEN-wait-for-it-DARY!”
TechConnect will be happy to Make YOUR Cloud Journey a Success!