Sportradar Migrates to the Cloud, Reduces Data Latency by 76% on AWS
As a leading global sports technology company creating immersive experiences for sports fans and bettors, Sportradar wanted to sustain its competitive edge by migrating its computing infrastructure to the cloud. Although the company was seeing year-over-year growth, its on-premises data centers took up a substantial portion of its staff time and resources. With a history of using Amazon Web Services (AWS) solutions for its US division, Sportradar turned to AWS to explore the possibility of cloud computing for its other divisions across 19 different countries.
As a result, AWS recommended the AWS Migration Acceleration Program (AWS MAP), a comprehensive and proven cloud migration program based on the migration experiences of thousands of enterprise customers. Joining AWS MAP prompted Sportradar to adopt a combination of AWS solutions to modernize its technological stack. By migrating to the cloud and finding the right mix of AWS solutions, Sportradar has not only increased its agility, staff productivity, and cost savings but it has also reduced latency for the transfer of time-critical data across different regions and the time to market for its products.
AWS MAP provided the support we needed to focus on quality of service. We’re able to double our customers and not flinch in terms of capacity.”
Chief Technology Officer, Sportradar
Migrating from On Premises to the Cloud
Beginning as a software-as-a-service company in 2001, Sportradar has expanded to become a global sports technology leader, providing data-driven betting and sports entertainment products and services. Now, the company has more than 2,300 full-time employees across 19 countries around the world. Its mission is to enhance sports entertainment for consumers by providing a wide range of services from game predictions to match-fixing detection to 24/7 sports data support. Its clients primarily consist of sports federations and leagues as well as media companies.
Before joining AWS MAP, Sportradar used traditional on-premises data centers for the majority of its divisions. Its system administration team members spent up to 90 percent of their time patching and setting up servers and only 10 percent of their time on high-level tasks, such as designing networks or supporting application development. “Sportradar’s revenue was historically growing in the double digits—by 20–40 percent year over year,” says Ben Burdsall, chief technology officer of Sportradar. “But there comes a point when you can’t keep that up if you’re going to be on premises.” To maintain its competitive edge in the sports entertainment industry, Sportradar wanted to move away from building out physical infrastructure on an as-needed basis and help its system administration team to focus on application development.
The company looked to AWS for accomplishing this goal because of its prior history using AWS services. Before joining AWS MAP, Sportradar used cloud computing on AWS for its US division. “AWS is our go-to,” says Burdsall. “We reach out to AWS first when we have a problem.” In 2019, the AWS team suggested AWS MAP to Sportradar for migrating the rest of its computing infrastructure to the cloud. Through this program, the company received the support it needed to expedite its migration process and focus on optimizing costs. Sportradar also began using AWS Migration Hub, which provides a single location to track the progress of application migrations across multiple AWS solutions. “AWS offers all the tools we need to focus on cost per transaction and driving it down,” says Burdsall. “This isn’t something we can do on premises.”
Undergoing a Digital Transformation Using AWS
Sportradar’s migration to the cloud has reduced the amount of time its system administration team spends on low-level tasks. “AWS migration helps our administrators and network engineers to get out of the weeds,” says Burdsall. “Now, 80 percent of their time is spent on design and 20 percent on lower-level tasks.” This shift has also led to an increase in staff productivity, which has resulted in a decrease in the amount of time it takes for the company to develop and release new products and services to the market. Moreover, the migration has let Sportradar focus on delivering high-value experiences to its clients, regardless of computing demand. “AWS MAP provided the support we needed to focus on quality of service,” says Burdsall. “We’re able to double our customers and not flinch in terms of capacity.”
After completing the migration, Sportradar began to explore more options for innovating and modernizing its services. “We quickly went from using AWS for computing infrastructure to making use of higher-value, managed services,” says Burdsall. Sportradar started using AWS Global Accelerator, a networking service that helps companies improve the performance of their users’ traffic by up to 60 percent using the global network infrastructure of AWS. In turn, the company has reduced latency in the transfer of data across regions, creating a better experience for its international clientele. “Using AWS Global Accelerator combined with local processing, we’ve seen an average of 76 percent reduction in data latency for data collected in Asia or the United States, rising to 87 percent reduction for Singapore,” says Burdsall. “The solution provides additional points of presence on the network, so we’re reaching people in Asia, the United States, and Europe with the best connection.”
Sportradar also began to migrate its workloads to AWS Lambda, a serverless compute service that lets users run code without provisioning or managing servers. Although using AWS Lambda has helped the company save on computing costs, Sportradar considers time savings to be the biggest operational benefit. “AWS Lambda was quicker, so we’ve reduced the customer wait time by 75–80 percent,” says Burdsall. Moreover, Sportradar’s engineering team has more flexibility when it comes to writing code. “It’s not about just the functional features but also the quality that comes in the nonfunctional features—things like availability, resiliency, capacity, and horizontal scaling,” says Burdsall. Using AWS solutions, Sportradar has seen exponential growth in its transactions while also improving its overall quality of service. Further, it has reduced the cost per transaction on its systems by as much as 51 percent.
Moving Forward with New Partnerships and Acquisitions
As Sportradar accelerates its migration to AWS, it is prepared to expand its reach more than ever. In June 2021, Sportradar announced an official 10-year partnership with the National Hockey League. In forming this partnership, the company plans to enhance the hockey entertainment experience and provide deeper insights into the game using its newly modernized technological stack.
Further, Sportradar plans to sustain its momentum through new acquisitions and is committed to using AWS as it continues to grow. “We’re a very inquisitive company,” says Burdsall. “We make three to four acquisitions a year, buying up whole companies. For building new systems, my first choice is AWS.”
Sportradar is a global provider of data-driven sports entertainment products and services. Its mission is to enhance sports entertainment for consumers with its wide range of services from game predictions to match-fixing detection.
- Reduced employee time spent on low-level tasks from 90% to 20%
- Helped employees increase their time spent on application design from 10% to 80%
- Increased staff productivity
- Reduced cost per transaction by as much as 51%
- Enhanced quality of service
- Reduced customer wait time by 75%–80%
- Reduced data latency by 76%
- Saved on computing costs
AWS Services Used
AWS Migration Acceleration Program
The AWS Migration Acceleration Program (MAP) is a comprehensive and proven cloud migration program based upon AWS’s experience migrating thousands of enterprise customers to the cloud.
AWS Migration Hub
AWS Migration Hub is the one destination for cloud migration and modernization, giving you the tools you need to accelerate and simplify your journey with AWS.
AWS Global Accelerator
AWS Global Accelerator is a networking service that improves the performance of your users’ traffic by up to 60% using Amazon Web Services’ global network infrastructure.
AWS Lambda is a serverless, event-driven compute service that lets you run code for virtually any type of application or backend service without provisioning or managing servers.
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