Professional Cloud Architect

Sample Case Study: Mountkirk Games

This is a sample case study that may be used on the Professional Cloud Architect exam. It describes a fictitious business and solution concept to provide additional context to exam questions.

Mountkirk Games Case Study

Company Overview

Mountkirk Games makes online, session-based, multiplayer games for the most popular mobile platforms.

Company Background

Mountkirk Games builds all of their games with some server-side integration, and has historically used cloud providers to lease physical servers. A few of their games were more popular than expected, and they had problems scaling their application servers, MySQL databases, and analytics tools.

Mountkirk’s current model is to write game statistics to files and send them through an ETL tool that loads them into a centralized MySQL database for reporting.

Solution Concept

Mountkirk Games is building a new game, which they expect to be very popular. They plan to deploy the game’s backend on Google Compute Engine so they can capture streaming metrics, run intensive analytics, and take advantage of its autoscaling server environment and integrate with a managed NoSQL database.

Technical Requirements

Requirements for Game Backend Platform

  • Dynamically scale up or down based on game activity.
  • Connect to a managed NoSQL database service.
  • Run customized Linux distro.

Requirements for Game Analytics Platform

  • Dynamically scale up or down based on game activity.
  • Process incoming data on the fly directly from the game servers.
  • Process data that arrives late because of slow mobile networks.
  • Allow SQL queries to access at least 10 TB of historical data.
  • Process files that are regularly uploaded by users’ mobile devices.
  • Use only fully managed services.

CEO Statement

Our last successful game did not scale well with our previous cloud provider, resulting in lower user adoption and affecting the game’s reputation. Our investors want more key performance indicators (KPIs) to evaluate the speed and stability of the game, as well as other metrics that provide deeper insight into usage patterns so we can adapt the game to target users.

CTO Statement

Our current technology stack cannot provide the scale we need, so we want to replace MySQL and move to an environment that provides autoscaling, low latency load balancing, and frees us up from managing physical servers.

CFO Statement

We are not capturing enough user demographic data, usage metrics, and other KPIs. As a result, we do not engage the right users, we are not confident that our marketing is targeting the right users, and we are not selling enough premium Blast-Ups inside the games, which dramatically impacts our revenue.

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