Founded in 2007, gumi Inc. is an innovative social gaming company based out of Tokyo. gumi is one of the largest mobile social games developer  on Gree, a mobile social network based in Japan.

Mr. Horiuchi, CTO of gumi Inc, describes what the company was using for their infrastructure prior to signing on with Amazon Web Services (AWS): “We used to rent racks at a datacenter, and ran our service using one Web server and one database server.” He notes that the company looked for a new offering mainly because they faced difficulty meeting demand: “So much traffic was coming from the social apps we were running on a mixi [a Japanese social networking site] platform, but we did not have the physical IT resources to manage it.”

One of the deciding factors in their choice to use AWS was the capability to easily add servers as traffic increases, or remove them if it decreases. Horiuchi says, “Using AWS, we do not have to be limited by the number of physical servers. For example, we can easily carry out distribution of traffic using memcached or tokyotyrant when the database load gets higher, and if traffic decreases, we can reduce costs by canceling those instances. Even if there is no one who understands our in-house infrastructure very well, we are able to carry out this process automatically using AWS.” The number of gumi Inc. users is still increasing, and they are able to handle the increase in traffic.

“Now,” says Horiuchi, “we are operating all services on AWS, except the delivery of static images.” The company uses Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) with the Multi-AZ deployment option, and Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) for running social applications in a very efficient way that requires only a small number of people to manage the system. “In particular,” notes Horiuchi, “Amazon RDS is a really good solution to reduce the time and heavy-lifting involved in database management.” The company is using the following server spec—the most high-spec instances they can choose—for their social application:

Gumi Architecture Diagram

Figure 1. gumi Architecture on AWS

Load Balancer:

App Server:

  • Amazon EC2
  • CentOS 5.4 + Apache2.2.3 + mod_wsgi + Python2.5.4
  • Instances: c1.xlarge High-CPU Extra Large Instance x 8

Memcached Server:

  • Amazon EC2
  • CentOS 5.4 + memcached
  • Instances: m1.xlarge Standard Extra Large Instance x 1

Tokyotyrant (key-value store):

  • Amazon EC2
  • CentOS 5.4 + tokyotyrant
  • Instances: m1.xlarge Standard Extra Large Instance x 2

DB Server:

  • Amazon RDS
  • MySQL 5.1.38
  • Instances: Quadruple Extra Large DB Instance: 68 GB of memory, 26 ECUs (8 virtual cores with 3.25 ECUs each), 64-bit platform x 2 (Multi-AZ HA Option)

Horiuchi says gumi, Inc will use AWS for future social applications. The company is particularly pleased that AWS allows them to quickly perform testing and evaluation, reducing time to market and development costs.

Horiuchi offers an example: “We quickly inspected and tested several candidates when we examined the introduction of the key-value store [KVS] for an anti-load measure of our database.” They look forward to quickly building their services with additional solutions from AWS, especially KVS-type services.

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