AWS Case Study: NEOWIZ
Neowiz is the first-generation online game company in South Korea that offers gaming portal services, develops online and mobile games and runs a publishing business in Korea and across the world. As of now, Neowiz provides over 40 online web-board, online action, role-playing, sports and shooting games. The company chose to close its existing data centers and go all in with Amazon Web Services (AWS).
AWS offers infrastructure of high reliability and scalability as well as a highly secure environment. It also has a wide range of customer references in the gaming industry. We chose AWS because AWS is shaping the landscape of the cloud market.”
General Manager, Neowiz Games
Neowiz led by CEO Jisoo Moon is the first-generation online game company in South Korea founded in 2007 that offers gaming portal services, develops online and mobile games and runs a publishing business across the globe. It has subsidiaries such as Neowiz Play Studio, GameOn and GAMFS.
Neowiz is focused on developing its own intellectual properties (IP) that could resonate with global audience to expand to the global market. Some of its competitive and globally popular IP-based games include Brown Dust, Bless Unleashed and the DJMax series that are available on various platforms including console, mobile and desktop. Pmang New Matgo that has over 1 million users in South Korea provides the same unified experience across mobile and desktop, providing users with the same familiar play experience regardless of platforms. The success of this game named the company as one of the Best Game Studios on Apple App Store in 2019. Based on the years of experience and broad network of partners, Neowiz is growing into a global game studio.
Neowiz wanted to improve the speed and quality of its games while increasing service stability. It was also looking for ways to advance its services with new technologies. One of the traits of online games is that events in games that can lead to sudden traffic spikes – Neowiz needed flexible infrastructure to handle them. At the same time, it needed to refresh the entire on-premises resources including over a thousand servers that ran its major games and Pmang gaming portal website. Instead of making on-premises investments, it wanted to save costs and build flexible and safe infrastructure that can meet its constantly changing needs. In addition, it did not want to hire more data center engineers but to train the existing resources to use new technologies. All of these made it wonder if an investment in traditional investment was the best choice, especially considering the operational complexity that comes with it.
“Our old data centers were not scalable enough to support our growing mobile game business and expansion to the global market. This made us question if we should refresh aging equipment and hire more people to manage them or just move to the cloud.” - Taegeun Bae, General Manager
Why Amazon Web Services
Neowiz decided to close its data centers and migrate the entire on-premises resources —including over a thousand of servers in operation — to AWS Cloud. Neowiz is getting help from AWS and Megazone Cloud, an APN partner, on this project and expects to shut down its physical locations and complete the migration to AWS Cloud in about a year.
Bae says that Neowiz chose AWS because of its highly reliable and scalable infrastructure, broad range of customer references in the gaming industry, and highly secure environment. He believes that the global network of AWS partners will help the company accelerate its global expansion initiative. It was also agreed within Neowiz that AWS was the leader in the cloud market.
To easily launch and expand the capacity required to manage increasing traffic, Neowiz uses Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2), Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS), and Amazon CloudFront. These services rapidly scales up the resources and provides seamless gaming experience in the event of unforeseen surges in the number of players. Neowiz also simplified the development and deployment of games through microservice architecture (MSA), database modernization, and DevOps, which allowed it to deliver new gaming content to its users faster than before.
Neowiz also plans to implement additional AWS services in areas like database, analytics, machine learning and container. The notable change is that it decided to shift from commercial-grade databases to open source ones through this migration and started replacing the existing ones with Amazon Aurora and Amazon Redshift. It also plans to expand the use of container services such as Amazon EKS. With AWS, Neowiz expects to rapidly expand to global players without the burden of managing on-premises infrastructure.
Neowiz believes that the AWS migration will reduce the time and costs of infrastructure implementation. It estimates that the cost of establishing and operating technology infrastructure will decrease by 30 percent, accelerating the launch of gaming platforms to new markets. What took 1-2 months with old physical servers now takes only a few hours on AWS. In addition, Neowiz expects to rapidly expand to global game players across 20 countries.
“We have seen that AWS provides reliable and successful platforms, so we decided to move to AWS and implement a new, scalable, and high-performance environment to accelerate game development, save costs and develop innovative services,” says Bae. “We have built up know-how in using the cloud in a cost-effective way over the past few years. With the broad service portfolio of AWS, we believe that our resources will focus more on developing games and maintaining the business growth, rather than on establishing and operating infrastructure.”
Neowiz received a full range of support from AWS teams from selecting a cloud provider to migrating to AWS. By leveraging the broad AWS service portfolio, Neowiz seeks to build groundbreaking games and maintain the growth momentum, instead of continually managing and assigning resources to new infrastructure. It plans to expand to the global market by partnering with AWS, which is one of the leaders in cloud technology.
About the Partner | Megazone Cloud
• Megazone Cloud, AWS Premiere Consulting Partner in AWS Partner Network (APN), provides IT infrastructure design, build, and management services for enterprise customers. It provides Korean and global SAP ERP customers with comprehensive services from cloud migration to management to operation of AWS infrastructure, security, and managed services.
• For more information on how Megazone can help build and manage your AWS environment, find Megazone on the AWS Partner Directory.
- Reduced costs
- Decreased time for infrastructure build
- Receives comprehensive support from APN partners whenever needed
- Leverages AWS global network to expand to the global market
- Leverages a variety of services and benefits of AWS Cloud
AWS Services Used
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.
Amazon CloudFront is a content delivery network (CDN) service built for high performance, security, and developer convenience.
Amazon Aurora is a MySQL and PostgreSQL-compatible relational database built for the cloud that combines the performance and availability of traditional enterprise databases with the simplicity and cost-effectiveness of open source databases.
Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service
Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) is a managed container service to run and scale Kubernetes applications in the cloud or on-premises.
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