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How the right cloud management solution can keep gamers playing

Our client

Founded in 2011, Scirra is the team behind the Construct 3 game development toolkit that allows anyone to make games. Used by over 180,000 users worldwide Construct 3 is used to create and sell thousands of games across a range of platforms including desktop and mobile.

Developed as Software as a Service (SaaS), Construct 3 runs directly in a browser rather than being installed on a desktop/server so it is easy to switch between devices and locations without additional infrastructure and support costs. The Construct 3 community of users and developers continues to grow with it now being used in education to help students learn a wide range of skills and abilities including the principles of programming, team working, prototyping, publishing and marketing.

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Scirra Azure Managed Infrastructure

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The Challenge

With a global network of Construct 3 users, Scirra wanted to ensure that their software was available 24/7. This meant that their cloud infrastructure needed to be robust enough to grow as the number of users increased as well as minimise downtime.

They opted for Microsoft Azure through a cloud services partner (CSP) who would have the knowledge and capabilities needed to help grow the business.

“Initially we partnered with a CSP who we thought would be able to support us as the business grew but it soon became apparent that they were not the right partner for a dynamic growth business like ours,” commented Tom Gullen, founder of Scirra.

 

Tom discovered like many software companies that the Microsoft CSP programme is a way of passing on billing and support to a third party and doesn’t provide much value to the end user.

Scirra highlighted a number of challenges with their existing support partner which would need to be addressed as the number of users of Construct 3 grew including:

  • Support – The service Scirra received from the CSP was very impersonal with different people dealing with issues every time. The in-house team had to spend time explaining the business and operations when they had a support requirement rather than getting on with the task. This led to cost increases as well as delays in fault resolution which affected users.
  • Deployment of new features and functions – Scirra had hoped that the CSP would support them as new applications, servers and features were deployed to the infrastructure. They found that there was limited expertise available at the CSP and all new feature requests were treated as new business rather than as an addition to the existing service. This meant Scirra dealt with a sales person rather than a cloud expert who could provide the comprehensive advice and support they needed.
  • Spiralling Costs – Because of the ease in which new virtual machines and resources can be added to the infrastructure, Scirra found that their operational costs were rapidly increasing, and they were not getting the ROI they expected from Azure.

The Approach

Scirra approached igroup to conduct an audit of their infrastructure and make recommendations on how Azure could be made more resilient as well as ensure that it was able to grow with the number of global users of Construct 3.

“Working with igroup was like a breath of fresh air,” explained Tom Gullen. “Their team instantly recognised the challenges we were facing and because they were all Azure experts were able to make initial recommendations which showed they understood our business and what we wanted to achieve.”

 

 

Having undertaken the audit of Scirra’s existing Azure infrastructure igroup recommended implementing their CloudOps Active Management Solution (CAMS). As an always-on cloud support and management solution it provides cloud performance and cost monitoring tools, support processes and infrastructureadministration tools in a single portal which addresses many of the support issues Scirra were having with their existing CSP.

“Initially we were nervous about moving our Azure infrastructure to igroup because of the potential for service disruption to our users but the team at igroup walked us through the process and were able to set up a proof of concept to show us the migration process,” said Tom Cullen.

Using the proof of concept, igroup demonstrated the cost savings and improved performance which would be achieved with CAMS as well as the new features which would be available to the Scirra team including:

  • Cost savings of between 35% and 40% through better utilisation of resources
  • Access to a dedicated account manager who understands the issues faced by Scirra and the users of Construct 3
  • CAMS 24/7 monitoring helping to resolve issues in the infrastructure that would previously have caused problems for users
  • A team of experts on hand who have the knowledge and understanding of Azure so that Scirra can maximise their return from the cloud
  • A more resilient and better performing cloud infrastructure for Construct 3 users
Tom Gullen commented, “Because of the skill and knowledge of the team at igroup moving our infrastructure has been seamless. They communicated with us clearly throughout the process, understood our business and ensured that we could maximise our return

The Results

Following the successful proof of concept demonstration igroup managed the move of the Scirra cloud infrastructure from the existing CSP. This ensured that there was no disruption to users and it was ready for future growth.

Within two weeks the move had been successfully completed and CloudOps Active Management Solution (CAMS) was working on Scirra’s cloud giving a number of significant benefits including:

  • Cost savings of between 35% and 40% through better utilisation of resources • Access to a dedicated account manager who understands the issues faced by Scirra and the users of Construct 3
  • CAMS 24/7 monitoring helping to resolve issues in the infrastructure that would previously have caused problems for users
  • A team of experts on hand who have the knowledge and understanding of Azure so that Scirra can maximise their return from the cloud
  • A more resilient and better-performing cloud infrastructure for Construct 3 users

Tom Gullen commented, “Because of the skill and knowledge of the team at igroup moving our infrastructure has been seamless. They communicated with us clearly throughout the process, understood our business and ensured that we could maximise our return from moving to CAMS very quickly.”

The Future

Being a CAMS user means that Scirra have a dedicated account manager allocated to them who holds regular planning meetings with the Construct 3 development team. Using data gathered in the CAMS platform they use the information to assist resource planning, identifying potential cost savings and improving performance across the Azure infrastructure.

“We have found an Azure infrastructure partner who is helping us take our cloud to the next level. They support the day-to-day management of the infrastructure as well as help us introduce new features and functions which improve our operational performance,” concluded Tom Gullen.

 

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The Challenge

  • The existing CSP could not offer the level of expert support required by Scirra
  • Lack of support meant that Scirra did not get the full benefit of new features 
  • Costs were increasing and becoming unmanageable

The Solution

The Results

  • Cost reduction of almost 40% 
  • A fully managed and completed move from the existing CSP within 2 weeks
  • Significant improvement in infrastructure performance as soon as the migration was completed
  • Access to cloud experts who understand the needs of Scirra and users of Construct 3

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