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MYTONA Finds AWS Changes the Game

2021

MYTONA, a mobile game publisher, has been using Amazon Web Services (AWS) since 2016. One of the largest game developers in the Commonwealth of Independent States, MYTONA publishes casual games—such as Seekers Notes and Cooking Diary—that are played by millions of people around the world.

MYTONA asked AWS Enterprise Support for help with cost optimization and re-architecting. This concierge-like service provides access to high-quality engineers, tools, and technologies that help AWS customers achieve operational excellence, address security concerns, and pursue a diverse and tailored cost optimization strategy.

Enterprise Support quickly identified that one of the key invoice issues for MYTONA’s team was rising data transfer fees between Availability Zones (AZ), which accounted for 15 percent of its total AWS costs. The existing architecture made it difficult to optimize costs without compromising the highly available Multi-AZ setup.

Working with Enterprise Support allowed MYTONA to halve its spending on AZ data transfer. In addition, the company did it while retaining the same level of Multi-AZ resiliency and with minimal architectural changes.

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We can say with confidence that if we have any difficulties, we can always turn to our Enterprise Support team, which is ready to help us at any time."

Vitaly Krivoshapkin
CTO, MYTONA

Reviewing the Options

Changing its architecture to use more Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) Spot Instances also saved costs on running all compute workloads. Game servers are used to manage player profiles, metadata, real-time gameplay, and other in-game features. These servers now run using Spot Instances for both development and production environments.

The Spot Instances migration took about six months, while changes to Inter-AZ data transfer were implemented in about four months after first engaging Enterprise Support.

Enterprise Support ran an AWS Well-Architected review with MYTONA developers to identify potential operational issues and suggested measures to mitigate them. The AWS Well-Architected review assessed MYTONA’s infrastructure against five pillars: operational excellence, security, reliability, performance efficiency, and cost optimization.

At the end of the AWS Well-Architected review, MYTONA—with the help of Enterprise Support—generated an action plan that they continuously implement, enabling the company to achieve a consistent operational excellence experience across all teams and workloads, games or analytics related.

Part of the Team

Vitaly Krivoshapkin, CTO at MYTONA, was pleased with the Enterprise Support team’s fast response and its ability to quickly identify issues and escalate them to the right people.

The service provides MYTONA with fortnightly calls for briefings or to discuss ongoing issues, as well as immersion days and game days on specific topics, services, or infrastructure events.

The Enterprise Support team helped MYTONA achieve significant savings after identifying a fairly high percentage of charges for inter-AZ traffic. The team also showed MYTONA how to cut costs by rerouting data between the base and backend services so that it runs strictly in its Availability Zones, and highlighted potential security issues that were quickly addressed.

Enterprise Support has made MYTONA’s use of AWS more informed, Krivoshapkin says.

“We can say with confidence that if we have any difficulties, we can always turn to our Enterprise Support team, which is ready to help us at any time.” he says.

Freeing Up Talent

The move to AWS has changed the working culture at MYTONA. New games can be launched more quickly with less time needed to plan, prepare, and test the network of servers needed. This frees up time to work more creatively.

AWS services allow the company to create modular systems for many projects. This lets MYTONA quickly configure and launch new projects with existing modules.

Using AWS lets MYTONA focus on high-value activity by ensuring that everything runs smoothly and reliably. Reducing development time is important, as MYTONA must constantly tweak and update games to keep users engaged. The company had started building its own analytics capabilities, but that meant more effort was going into maintenance rather than into games innovation.

Now MYTONA uses Amazon CloudWatch dashboards to monitor and observe game sessions and the instance status.

The company analyzes thousands of games reviews with Amazon SageMaker and machine learning to sort and classify comments. It also runs daily Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS) tasks to collect and pre-process data and to label new reviews. This provides feedback about games in near-real time.

“We have been using AWS for a long time,” says Krivoshapkin. “AWS services ensure that our games are stable and secure. Supporting players from all over the world requires a network of gaming servers that can quickly scale to match fast-changing demand in different regions. The day-to-day concerns are just taken care of.”

Ready for the Next Level

Amazon Redshift RA3 (Redshift RA3) has simplified MYTONA’s use of Amazon Redshift to scale more easily. The company is an early adopter of Redshift RA3 nodes, which increase compute capacity without increasing storage costs. MYTONA also uses high-performance solid-state drives for hot data, and the cheaper Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3) for cold data. This controls costs, especially where data volumes can change rapidly.

MYTONA uses Amazon SageMaker to simplify workloads and the deployment of endpoints for ML. Using Spot Instances for both game servers and microservices saves costs. And the company is testing AWS Thinkbox Deadline to more easily manage and administer different content systems and render farms in the cloud.

MYTONA uses Amazon GameLift to develop its mid-core multiplayer games and plans to use it to expand its portfolio.

Freed from routine maintenance, MYTONA has embraced the opportunity for growth that AWS offers.

“Now that we’ve optimized how we use AWS, we’re focused on expanding our capabilities further,” says Krivoshapkin. “It’s like finding the gold key; it’s unlocked a whole new level for us.”


About MYTONA

MYTONA is a games developer and one of Russia’s largest technology firms, with over 1,000 staff. It is all-in with AWS, which it credits with speeding up development of new games and easing the creation of the networks needed to support its games.

Benefits of AWS

  • Shorter TTM for new games
  • Better global access
  • Reduced maintenance burden
  • Agility and performance
  • Improved predictions via ML
  • Better insight into ops

AWS Services Used

Amazon EC2

Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) is a web service that provides secure, resizable compute capacity in the cloud. It is designed to make web-scale cloud computing easier for developers.

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Amazon Gamelift

Amazon GameLift is a dedicated game server hosting solution that deploys, operates, and scales cloud servers for multiplayer games. Whether you’re looking for a fully managed solution, or just the feature you need, GameLift leverages the power of AWS to deliver the best latency possible, low player wait times, and maximum cost savings.

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Amazon Redshift

No other data warehouse makes it as easy to gain new insights from all your data. With Redshift, you can query and combine exabytes of structured and semi-structured data across your data warehouse, operational database, and data lake using standard SQL. 

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Amazon SageMaker

Amazon SageMaker helps data scientists and developers to prepare, build, train, and deploy high-quality machine learning (ML) models quickly by bringing together a broad set of capabilities purpose-built for ML.

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