AWS Case Study: Paprika Lab
About Paprika Lab
Paprika Lab is a world-class social gaming developer based in South Korea. Coming from online gaming industry giants such as NCsoft, Nexon, and Neowiz, Paprika Lab develops accessible and engaging games on social networking platforms like Facebook, Mixi, Renren, and Cyworld.
Paprika Lab staffers are all avid gamers, so fun and creativity are a big part of the company, bringing valuable assets and insights to the creation of great products.
The company is in the process of migrating all of its operations to Amazon Web Services (AWS). Currently, Paprika Lab still has some existing projects on other platforms, but they plan to release all future titles on AWS.
Why Amazon Web Services
According to John S. Kim, Founder and CEO of Paprika Lab, as of June, 2011, the company had been using Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) and Amazon CloudFront for many months; and Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) and Amazon Elastic Block Store (Amazon EBS) for a couple of months. Kim says, "Due to virtualization and ease of managing the instances through third party solutions like RightScale, we believe a cloud platform like AWS is a perfect fit for highly volatile services like social games."
Paprika Lab uses Amazon EBS for managing their NoSQL databases with RAID settings; Amazon S3 and Amazon CloudFront combined to deliver static assets like images, sounds, and flash assets; and Amazon EC2 to scale their service automatically, based on user demand. Kim explains, "This was particularly interesting because it was hard to foresee what kind of traffic and user behavior might emerge from a newly launched game. Using a cloud service gave us the flexibility to adapt to the usage rather than to predict the uncertain."
So far with AWS, Kim notes, "Upfront cost savings have been about 50%. In terms of man hours, it will definitely save us a lot of pain once we get to a level where we need to scale faster."
Overall, the benefits the company sees with AWS are primarily scalability and flexibility. Kim says, "Now that we have gathered experience and working knowledge of managing AWS with our existing product, we believe we can accelerate our time to market for future products, and free ourselves from the burden of managing a physical server infrastructure."
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