Migrating its social games from Amazon Web Services to its own cloud computing infrastructure, zCloud, has worked out well for Zynga, the company’s chief information officer, Debra Chrapaty, told GigaOM Structure 2012 in San Francisco Wednesday.
While fundamentally similar to AWS in design, Zynga’s own data center, launched last year, is designed specifically for social games, optimizing network connectivity, server processing power and storage management. These are now essential attributes, given that 290 million Zynga games are being played each month.
“It made more sense to buy the base and rent the spike,” Chrapaty told GigaOM Pro research director Jo Maitland in a brief one-on-one session. “It’s worked really well for us — we’re getting 3X benefit from running our own zCloud because it’s optimized.”
Zynga’s biggest disappointment with running its own data center? Power consumption.
Even though electrical power can account for 40 percent of the cost of running large-scale infrastructure, Chrapaty said Zynga has only seen “slight evolutions” in terms of things like server cooling. “We’ve yet to see true advances like alternative-energy-run data centers,” she said. “It’s certainly a topic worth a couple of hours of discussion.”
This post was updated at 5:11 p.m. PT to correct the time period in which 290 million Zynga games are played.