Interop 2012 Notes: Zynga Moves from Public to Hybrid Cloud

One session in particular garnered a lot of attention at Interop 2012, Las Vegas. That session was Gaming the Hybrid Cloud: Lessons from Zynga’s zCloud given by Allan Leinwand, CTO at Zynga.

TechTarget’s Alex Barrett summarized the session in her article: Why Zynga moved from public cloud to hybrid cloud. In it, she asked a few cloud insiders for their thoughts on why Zynga developed its own internal private cloud.

Leinwand alluded to the cost savings, saying by using its own zCloud, Zynga is able to use only one server to every three servers it would have used in the public cloud.

“As they gained more maturity with their apps, they learned the optimizations they could make that were not common options in the public cloud,” said Kurt Marko, an independent IT analyst in a panel discussion. “That’s probably what led them to that 3:1 efficiency.”

Indeed, at scale, running any application 24/7 in the public cloud costs more than running it on dedicated servers, said John Engates, CTO at Rackspace, Inc. the San Antonio hosting and cloud provider. As such, the company advises its customers to follow the “own the base; rent the spike” principle.

That leaves most mainstream IT organizations to use public cloud mainly for dynamic workloads such as test/dev, virtual demos and training, said Brett Goodwin, vice president of marketing and business development at Skytap, Inc., another cloud provider based in Seattle.

“Most folks are still saying, ‘I’m not going to put my production data in the cloud,’” Goodwin said.

But that is changing. One Skytap customer, for example, operates under the “DOS” principle: Don’t Own Stuff.

“If at all possible, they don’t want to buy stuff, provision stuff, depreciate stuff, or end-of-life stuff,” Goodwin said.

You can watch the full session, Gaming the Hybrid Cloud: Lessons from Zynga’s zCloud, on Interop TV.

And tune in next week for more on the Don’t Own Stuff principle mentioned by Brett Goodwin. It’s a concept we see making its way into the hearts and minds of corporate clients–and we think it’s worth talking about.

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