FarmVille-maker Zynga reveals its secret for success (Hint: it's in the clouds)

Cloud Computing
Cloud Computing

Contrary to popular belief, Zynga isn't making money by mistake. In fact, according to an in-depth feature on Information Week, the FarmVille pusher's success is thanks to an extremely calculated and technological process known as hybrid cloud computing. This method of storing user data on remote servers (special groups of computers designed to store and recall data, like your crop timers) is behind what keeps CityVille and the gang running.

In fact, Zynga CTO of infrastructure engineering Allan Leinwand says this process of using both internal server farms, or buildings that house hundreds of these data storage units, and public servers like Amazon's cloud computing service for businesses is the 'hidden jewel' of Zynga's rampant success.

I mean, how else did you think Zynga games could handle tens of millions of people logging into its games everyday? Using both Amazon's EC2, or Elastic Computer Cloud, and its own internal servers (known as the Z Cloud), Zynga can easily prepare for huge spikes in traffic by simply buying more public servers rather than building their own. And if a game flops, the company can just cancel those public servers. This especially comes in handy when new games release, like CityVille, which skyrocketed to over 100 million players in just over a month last year, could have just as easily failed. (Though, that was highly unlikely.)