infoTECH Feature

February 16, 2012

Zynga Moves Away from Amazon Public Cloud, Invests in Private ZCloud

Social gaming powerhouse Zynga (News - Alert) is stepping up use of its private cloud – zCloud – as was revealed during the company’s earnings call this week.  

Zynga disclosed that its private cloud infrastructure, zCloud, has been “scaling significantly” in the past year, investor website Seeking Alpha reported. Zynga’s move toward investing in its own private cloud is part of a larger trend of enterprise-scale companies building their own cloud while also outsourcing to a public one, also known as a hybrid model.

In fact, since the beginning of 2011, 60 percent more of Zynga’s daily users are in zCloud – up to 80 percent from 20 percent, leaving the remaining 20 percent in Amazon Web Services’ (News - Alert) public cloud.

This week as it geared up for the Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference 2012, Zynga provided more details about zCloud and how much data is being transmitted through its infrastructure.

“Zynga has been quietly investing in powering up the zCloud over the past few years, explains Allan Leinwand, Zynga’s CTO of Infrastructure,” Seeking Alpha reported.

According to Leinwand, the infrastructure “looks, feels, and operates” similar to the AWS public cloud, but allows for greater performance, scale and reliability.

What’s also different is that Zynga’s private cloud has been designed especially for social games in terms of availability and performance, he added. In addition, Zynga has created tailored automation tools for large server environments and built custom monitoring and management tools, the report said.

Zynga announced its fourth quarter 2011 earnings earlier this week, posting revenue of $311.2 million, up 59 percent year-over-year. It was the company’s first earnings report since going public in December. The social-gaming company beat analyst expectations, however its profitability took a tumble, with a loss of $435 million, or $1.40 per share.

In a company statement, Founder and CEO Mark Pincus said, “2011 was another milestone year for Zynga’s mission of connecting the world through games. We are seeing social games and more broadly play become one of the most popular pastimes on web and mobile. Zynga set new records in the year in terms of audience size, revenues and bookings. We saw great momentum in mobile and advertising and ended the year with a strong pipeline of new games. We are excited about the opportunities in front of us to continue delighting our current players and to bring play to millions of new people.”

Erin Harrison is Executive Editor, Strategic Initiatives, for TMC, where she oversees the company's strategic editorial initiatives, including the launch of several new print and online initiatives. She plays an active role in the print publications and TMCnet, covering IP communications, information technology and other related topics. To read more of Erin's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Jamie Epstein

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