Game hosting: How to choose the best infrastructure provider for your game

The gaming industry has seen record growth over the past few years. As global access to gaming increases and new technologies expand what’s possible for gamers, the sector is experiencing a new wave of opportunity. With that opportunity comes new challenges, and fierce competition in the industry means organizations need to prioritize innovation and create stellar customer experiences in order to stay ahead. In a recent survey of gaming leaders, 83% said that the gaming industry is under constant pressure to innovate and create new gaming experiences.

So how can indie games stay ahead in an ecosystem that includes multibillion-dollar companies and increasing competition? By freeing up developer time to focus on innovative new experiences for your players.

Optimizing cloud infrastructure costs and performance is a good place to start. Reducing infrastructure costs frees up money in the budget for things like Research and Development or hiring more talent. And simpler, more reliable infrastructure allows game developers to move faster and teams to run leaner, freeing up developer time to prioritize what matters most—the game.

Performance will always be top of mind of gaming companies, and cloud providers play a critical role in providing reliable services. Take some time to look into the reliability and support promised by your cloud provider. There’s significant potential for revenue growth—or loss—based on game performance. A game that goes down as its popularity goes up isn’t set up to outperform the competition. And if you need someone actively manning the keyboard to bring things back up, that’s valuable time a developer could use to improve the player experience. Consider how you can automate infrastructure management for deploys, scaling, healing, and any other repetitive tasks.

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Choose a cloud provider you can count on

Service Level Agreement (SLA) to ensure that it fits your needs, but don’t stop there. Confirm that data backups, network load balancing, autoscaling, failovers, and other fail-safe mechanisms suit the needs of your business. Finally, explore options for fully managed services through your cloud provider, and weigh the time savings with the likely additional cost of implementation. If internal teams weren’t bogged down with infrastructure maintenance, are there high-value initiatives they could work on instead?

As games become more popular, the infrastructure resources needed to support the application increase. Because cloud providers commonly bill by the hour or second and users are only charged for what they use, bills can fluctuate quite a bit from month to month, especially when games are scaling. By choosing the right virtual machine for their workload and being cognizant of bandwidth charges, organizations can cut costs without sacrificing performance.

Choosing the right virtual machine

choosing the VM that features appropriate specifications for your needs, you can save money while maintaining high performance. Most gaming companies benefit from DigitalOcean’s Premium CPU-Optimized Droplets, which provide up to 10 Gbps of outbound data transfer, reliable performance, super fast NVMe storage, and dedicated CPU to meet the needs of games serving thousands of users at once.

Planning for bandwidth costs

transparent and straightforward bandwidth pricing models so they can plan for scale.

Because bandwidth costs are usually listed as pennies per GB, it’s easy to overlook their significance, but choosing a provider with affordable base bandwidth pricing could save you hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars as your game scales. DigitalOcean has proven especially popular with gaming companies for this reason, as we charge only about 10-20% of what other clouds do for bandwidth.

DigitalOcean’s low bandwidth costs enable gaming businesses to spend less on bandwidth, while our flexible and scalable compute options ensure we’ll support your growth. From Droplet virtual machines to Spaces, our Object Storage offering, and Managed Kubernetes, we provide the tools you need to build and grow your applications.

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