It’s true: that addictive little app you play in the palm of your hand can teach us a lot about managing massive amounts of critical data. What’s the connection between a mobile gaming app and a robust and effective enterprise infrastructure? Countless (and growing) amounts of critical data and the pressure to constantly meet high customer experience expectations.
Rovio (creators of Angry Birds) deals with more data than many enterprises. As of last year, Angry Birds experienced over two billion downloads, 263 million monthly users, and was downloaded on 50% of new mobile devices. Now, consider all the data these users bring (personal information, player stats, etc.). The numbers get big fast.
Gamers are arguably the most challenging audience - with extremely high expectations that demand low latency gameplay and 24/7 access to their accounts on all of their devices. Gaming companies like Rovio have nailed down critical data by focusing on the key factors—performance and availability—that affect business revenue, attrition rates, and user experiences.
The number one factor in gaming success is performance. A few seconds of downtime or latency can be disastrous: Do you think a gamer who has great skills but can’t shoot fast enough due to game latency will hang around? Not a chance. Gamers also expect that their data (scores, stats, user profiles, etc.) will always be accessible and never lost. Nearly all of the successful gaming companies have implemented a distributed database to better serve their users, and the benefits below can also easily be translated to the enterprise:
Rovio is not the only gaming company that is successfully utilizing data to positively impact their bottom line. Having previously worked with a relational database that required costly and time-consuming manual sharding to scale and deliver data, Hibernum Creations deployed a distributed NoSQL database architecture to more effectively store user game information and serve thousands of requests per second for over a million monthly active users. Additionally, Mochi Media, a flash-based gaming platform, uses a distributed architecture to store social graph data for Mochi Social and MochiGames, serving data quickly and reliably. Lastly, Kiip builds rewards and achievements into games using a distributed database to achieve low read/write latencies and horizontal scalability for session and device data.
Gaming companies of all sizes have realized the benefits of distributed NoSQL systems and have built successful businesses by understanding a few key rules:
Many companies have spent the last few years learning to capture big data, but now they need to learn how to leverage it. These ever-growing data sets can drastically improve the bottom line of various businesses. And no one understands that better than the gaming community.
Andy Gross, Chief Architect, Basho
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