Open source distributed database provides resilient infrastructure and eases growing pains.
Basho Technologies has announced that Angry Birds creator, Rovio, has implemented Riak.
The scalable, open source NoSQL database has enabled Rovio to economically and effectively manage growing data volumes and operations resulting from its growing number of data operations resulting from its new cartoon series, Angry Birds Toons, and new mobile video games.
During December 2012, Rovio had 263 million monthly active users and by March 2013, its games had been downloaded 1.7 billion times. With global demand surging and the launch of Angry Birds Toons and new mobile games set to put further strain on the infrastructure, Rovio needed to ensure that its high service levels could be maintained in a cost effective way.
To add further complexity, data transactions across multiple platforms, including smartphones and tablets, meant that investment was needed to keep the user experience consistent.
"Rovio started as a gaming company in 2003, but the success of Angry Birds meant we were facing an exponential increase in the amount of data we were dealing with. The game is now the number one paid app of all time and this popularity prompted us to release Angry Birds Toons. We had to find a way of dealing with the spikes in demand caused by our new releases as well as supporting the continued growth of Angry Birds," said Juhani Honkala, Vice President of Technology at Rovio.
"Basho’s distributed data store, Riak, allows us to deliver availability to our customers whilst maintaining a standard of service that we can pride ourselves on. These standards are crucial for us as gaming users will simply not continue to play if the interface is latent or unreliable."
Angry Birds Toons and new mobile games were expected to draw in a large audience but as with any game or entertainment medium, popularity is hard to predict. Rovio needed an infrastructure that could support viral growth if needed without failing and causing downtime. Similarly, if demand was lower than anticipated, flexibility was needed to ensure that infrastructure could be reined back, avoiding unnecessary expenditure.
The Riak solution addressed these goals and Rovio’s IT team is now able to scale from tens of Riak servers to hundreds, based on customer demand.
Maintaining impeccable customer service has been a key benefit of this project and internal development has also become more streamlined since implementing Riak. A new in-house user-interface named ‘Bigbird library’ has been created on top of Riak, providing Rovio’s developers with a consistent and simple interface.
This means that less time is spent grappling with complex IT systems, and more time can instead be focused on improving existing services and developing new, engaging creative.
"Providing the infrastructure for hundreds of millions of users is no small feat. The world is becoming much more connected, and people are using more devices than ever before. Keeping track of those data types and scaling to meet demand cost-effectively can be a huge challenge," added Juhani Honkala, Vice President of Technology at Rovio.
"With Riak, Basho has provided us with the fast, scalable and flexible foundation needed to address the challenges associated with cross-platform entertainment. This has been done while keeping operational costs affordable and while providing the best possible experience to our global fan base."