Cloud Brokers are service providers who sit between the user and the cloud to offer additional value add on top of the cloud. The research firm Gartner lists
- adding services like security and management on top of the cloud
- aggregating the services of customers over many different cloud platforms
- arbitrage between the cloud services making the marketplace competitive
as three opportunities for Cloud Brokers. One such company is Rightscale, a California based company founded in 2006 and having launched close to 100K servers on the cloud. They are one of the largest Cloud Brokers helping companies of all size and shapes take advantage of the cloud. Rightscale already supports AWS, GoGrid, Flexiscale, Eucalyptus and Rackspace. They also support VMWare’s vCloud and announced plans to support Windows Azure. In my opinion, they are one of the most agile companies out there in the space and you can know this by just listening to their CEO, Michael Crandell, talk. His enthusiasm for Cloud Computing is truly infectious.
Yesterday, they announced Rightscale Social Gaming Edition to support companies building games on top of the social networks like Facebook, Myspace, etc.. Three of the biggest social gaming companies, Zynga, Crowdstar and Playfish, use Rightscale to manage their infrastructure on Amazon EC2. As a result, eight of the 12 most popular games on the Web today, with a total of over 77 million daily active users, run on RightScale, including FarmVille, Café World, Mafia Wars, FishVille, Happy Aquarium, Pet Society, PetVille, and Restaurant City.
Sensing an opportunity, Rightscale tweaked their management platform to support social gaming requirements and have announced the release of Rightscale Social Gaming Edition. This edition provides pre-configured gaming deployments with “Facebook-ready” services and, also, comes bundled with consulting services to help companies deploy and manage on the cloud with ease.
The basic configuration comes with a 6-server infrastructure including load-balancing, application, and database tiers. Once the application is either ported over or developed, it is extremely easy to autoscale and, even, rearchitect the setup for the exploding traffic. Another important addition to this edition is a dashboard that provides critical insight into the cost of each game through powerful real-time metrics. The cost of the basic version of Rightscale Gaming Edition is $3500 that comes bundled with 30,000 server management hours.
This release once again emphasizes how Cloud Brokers can add real value to the users and how important they are to the success of cloud computing. Rightscale, with their agile approach to the cloud business, are positioning themselves for the long grind.