“Using IBM and Docker container solutions, we have been able to build a gaming platform that is massively scalable, highly performant, and meets our deployment velocity needs.” – Scott Porter, EA Firemonkeys Studios

EA Firemonkeys mobile video games

Mobile video games are the fastest-growing sector of the $70 billion video game industry, far outpacing traditional gaming consoles. But companies that aspire to create the next hot title need to account for more than just the app downloaded to the player’s device. They must prepare for huge spikes in game activity with scalable backends to handle the massive amount of data and huge number of transactions behind socially linked user profiles and global leaderboards.

At the upcoming InterConnect conference developers from IBM and EA Firemonkeys Studio will show you how we successfully partnered to overcome vertical scaling limits thanks to a new scale out design built on Docker technology and deployed to SoftLayer. This cloud native architecture is able to handle the next big influx of players for upcoming Firemonkeys mobile game releases.

Build, deploy, and scale at top speed

Based on a design that deploys Docker containers (instead of starting host processes) on SoftLayer bare metal nodes, this cluster architecture provides massive horizontal scaling capability while also simplifying operations considerably, all at near native performance.

Docker architecture on SoftLayer

Electronic Arts’ new scalable, Dockerized game logic architecture on SoftLayer bare metal servers

In addition, by packaging the PHP application runtimes and gaming logic layer code inside of automatically built, tagged, and versioned Docker images, EA is now able to deploy new releases with zero downtime and roll them out instantaneously across a set of commodity Linux servers.

To scale out in response to demand, EA now needs only to provision new bare metal nodes from SoftLayer and install a minimal set of native host services. From there, the game logic images are pulled from a private Docker registry, containers are started on the new servers, and capacity is added seamlessly behind a load balancer.

And what good is all that power without complete control? EA’s new architecture includes a dashboard to monitor the game versions that are deployed against development, staging, load test, and production environments and to capture real time metrics that drive future improvements for each successive deployment.

Join us out on the open road

If you’re heading to InterConnect, attend our talk at 3:45pm on Wednesday, February 24th in Breakers L, Mandalay Bay South: “Taking the Next Hot Mobile Game Live with Docker and SoftLayer.” If you haven’t yet, you can still register.

For a preview of the session, listen to the podcast below from DockerCon Europe. Then hit the open road with Real Racing 3 and Need for Speed No Limits (or any of the other EA Firemonkeys titles) for your smartphone or tablet!

1 Comment on "Electronic Arts hits the open road with an open cloud architecture"

  1. […] At InterConnect see how IBM successfully partnered with Electronic Arts Firemonkeys to design and deploy a new Docker-based architecture on SoftLayer.  […]

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