AWS Case Study : MPL (Mobile Premier League)✨

In past few years, due to the availability of affordable yet performance oriented smartphones as well as the affordable data plans, mobile gaming is on a boost and has became a common past time in India. According to the reports, India currently ranks fifth among the world’s top mobile gaming markets.

Mobile Premier League, an Indian esports startup

Mobile Premier League (MPL)

MPL is one of the biggest and fastest growing esports platform in India. It offers more than 40 games through its esports platform, some of them including fantasy sports like cricket as well as Rummy, both being widely played in India. The fact that they can be played for cash prizes makes these games widely attractive across the subcontinent.

The MPL mobile application was launched in September 2018 and surprisingly, it acquired 10+ million users within three months, which met the company’s one-year subscriber goal.

As of 2019, MPL has more than 40 million users across the country making it control the 14 percent of the total mobile gaming market in India.

Role of Amazon Web Services in making MPL an instant hit

1. Small Team for Big Jobs

The startup launched on the Amazon Web Services (AWS) Cloud because many of its DevOps engineers had experience on the platform, which accelerated time-to-market. Scalability and automation were also a priority for MPL’s AWS Cloud infrastructure. The startup began with Amazon Aurora as its primary database, using Amazon Relational Database Service (Amazon RDS) to automate administrative tasks such as provisioning and backups. However, as its dataset grew — particularly its volume of unstructured data — MPL found that Amazon DynamoDB NoSQL database service worked better for gaming use cases because it offered low-latency data access and easy horizontal scaling.

Amazon DynamoDB can efficiently handle volume, velocity, and veracity for the data-heavy workloads typical of gaming companies. Additionally, the database automatically scales capacity to maintain performance during peak periods such as nationwide sporting events, when online traffic for MPL’s fantasy games can spike to 2.5 million hits per minute. Such automation is key in MPL’s architecture and resource planning.

Despite being a year and a half into operations, MPL’s DevOps engineering team have never had to expand since launch. Its DevOps engineers currently use a microservices architecture for development, automating the deployment of more than 50 separate microservices using AWS CodeDeploy and AWS Lambda.

2. Dedicated Support

With such rapid growth, MPL has relied on support from AWS for debugging and periodic re-architecting to scale. The startup recently subscribed to AWS Enterprise Support to prepare for the launch of a big campaign. Teams appreciate having an AWS technical account manager (TAM) and AWS Infrastructure Event Management (IEM) as part of the support package, with focused planning and ready assistance leading up to and during the launch.

Early on, AWS hosted an AWS Dev Day event, where MPL teams used Amazon Inspector to uncover potential security vulnerabilities in their infrastructure. These vulnerabilities have since been resolved, and MPL has implemented Amazon GuardDuty for ongoing security monitoring.

3. Performance at Scale

AWS solutions architects held several discussions with MPL and shared the benefits of containerization. Following that, MPL conducted its own evaluation and moved ahead with containerizing its microservices using Kubernetes. The aim of this is twofold: to stabilize application performance at scale and improve operational efficiency. Its engineers use Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS) to run the containers with high availability.

Implementation of containers is just the first step in MPL’s cost optimization journey. During its first year of operations, the company was focused on scaling and right-sizing its architecture. Now, teams are working on optimizing infrastructure costs and looking to innovate further.

Working with their assigned TAM on finding the right instance types for production versus non-production workloads has gone a long way toward reducing costs. In addition, MPL signed up for the AWS Enterprise Discount Program. Since beginning cost optimization exercises, MPL has cut infrastructure costs by 40 percent.

4. Keeping Customers Happy

A large portion of MPL’s new customer base comes from referrals, so the business focuses heavily on customer satisfaction. For instance, because sub-millisecond latency is critical in gaming to ensure players don’t experience a lag between moves, MPL has been able to maintain an API response time of 30 milliseconds or less since its launch.

In working with AWS to fine-tune its architecture, engineers have also improved the app’s service availability and increased their uptime to 99.9 percent. Due to MPL’s confidence in the underlying AWS architecture, the DevOps team is more geared up to take on new challenges. Taking advantage of managed services from AWS and increased automation allow the team to take on development tasks they find interesting and to learn about technology applications such as containers firsthand.

In its road to expansion, MPL launched its gaming platform in Indonesia in July 2019 and is awaiting the launch of AWS data centers in the country by 2022.

Benefits of using AWS

  • Ensures API latency of 30 milliseconds or less
  • Maintains application uptime of 99.9%
  • Cuts infrastructure costs by 40%
  • Provides automation to support growing its business without increasing resources

AWS plays a vital role in cutting upfront infrastructure costs which helps any company to focus on the product/services they provide. This is especially beneficial for startups as they can take advantage of the scalability of AWS in expanding their infrastructure as per demand. This also helps in making a new product/startup an instant hit and capable of handling huge traffic ina short amount of time.



Final Year Undergrad from Indian Institute of Information Technology Ranchi interested in learning the ins and outs of Technology

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Akshansh Singh

Final Year Undergrad from Indian Institute of Information Technology Ranchi interested in learning the ins and outs of Technology