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Zynga Delivers Social Games from the Hybrid Cloud

Zynga CTO Alan Leinward

LAS VEGAS. Allan Leinwand, CTO of Zynga is not the typical kind of CTO to take the keynote stage at the Interop networking conference. Instead of representing a networking vendor, Leinwand works for an application vendor that makes games.

Leinwand noted that there are now 292 million monthly active players that play Zynga's games. The way those games get to users, is something that has changed over the last few years as Zynga has built out its' application delivery infrastructure. It's an infrastructure hats to deliver some very big data. On 'gifting' alone across Zynga applications, Leinwand said Zynga players had 36 billion gifts, that produced 24.5 trillion rows, database and 1.4 petabytes of data in their database.

"That's the equivalent of every movie in Netflix in HD, times 10," Leinwand said. "We're bigger than Santa Claus."

To meet that demand, Zynga has a hybrid cloud deployment that they have built out after trying different approach to delivering their application. The first Zynga game in 2007, was deployed in a retail data center and it worked ok for the initial game. Farmville debuted in 2009 and grew from 0 to 10 million active users in six weeks.

"It was explosive growth andwe couldn't get servers fast enough and couldn't scale to match the needs of Farmville," Leinwand said. " Public cloud then became a critical part and allowed us to scale."

Then in June of 2011, Leinwand realized that Zynga was renting what they could own.

"We wanted to own the base and rent the spike," Leinwand said.

So, Zynga built their own internal cloud called zCloud. At the beginning of 2011, 20 percent of Zynga players were on zCloud and 80 percent were playing in the public cloud.

"At the end of 2011, the number flipped with 80 percent playing on zCloud," Leinwand said.

Read the full story at EntepriseAppsToday:
Zynga's Cloud Journey: Delivering Apps in the Hybrid Cloud

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of the IT Business Edge Network, the network for technology professionals Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.