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Autumn Games Relies on Mission to Successfully Leverage Docker on AWS

Seeking more efficient scaling and a better-optimized AWS infrastructure, Autumn Games got to the next level with Mission

Highlights

  • Mission helped Autumn Games get the most out of Docker on AWS using Amazon Elastic Container Service (Amazon ECS); doing so enabled efficient scaling and the ability to set up separate pipelines that matched the game publisher’s requirements.
  • Mission’s highly-responsive 24/7 support gives Autumn Games peace of mind by providing incident-free operations and freeing technical staff to focus on game development.
  • In Mission, Autumn Games has a trusted partner it can count on to implement and support future expansions to its AWS infrastructure.

The Challenge

Autumn Games needed a partner it could trust – and one with the expertise and responsiveness to properly support operations and leverage Docker on AWS.

Autumn Games used Docker to deploy application server software (using a pipeline connecting to an EC2 machine for development), but needed an expert partner to provide guidance in bolstering its pipeline and introducing efficient scalability in production. The game publisher also required better support with infrastructure automation, change management, active guidance in AWS best practices, and improvements with the reliability of its applications on AWS. Because the studio’s biggest concerns were reliability and operations, Autumn Games looked for a provider able to eliminate single points of failure and improve resiliency.

“For our production pipeline using Docker on AWS, we needed the capability to use Amazon ECS and scale by standing up EC2 machines when traffic is high, and then destroy them when low. Mission provided the expertise we sought, setting up that ability to scale as well as create deployment pipelines within our specifications.”

Charley Price
Co-founder and Creative Director

The Solution

AWS recommended Mission – an AWS Well-Architected Launch Partner and trusted managed services provider for AWS with expertise in Amazon CloudFront. Once vetted and selected as a partner, Mission immediately engaged in an AWS Well-Architected Review to make sure all sides aligned on the current state of Autumn Games’ workload. This was followed by a directive from Autumn Games to move to a managed services environment that would help the studio achieve its full potential on AWS while maintaining reliability and operational excellence.

Mission was able to move the gaming company’s infrastructure to a managed services environment. Improvements were then made to Autumn Games’ cloud environment based on the output of the Well-Architected Review, and Mission delivered the operational support and professional services necessary to implement CI/CD pipelines for Autumn Games’ infrastructure and applications. This included a re-architecting of the environment to include a custom DNS failover for the MongoDB stack using both AWS Lambda and Amazon Route 53.

Autumn Games utilized AWS for its application workload, as first implemented by its previous provider. The game publisher’s workload consists of a Java 8 application running on Docker containers, using Amazon EC2 instances behind elastic load balancers. Autumn Games also leveraged AWS CloudFormation for infrastructure automation, Amazon CloudFront as the CDN, and Amazon CloudWatch for monitoring the infrastructure.

On Mission’s recommendation – and in-line with Autumn Games’ requirements – Mission then proceeded to streamline cloud processes by leveraging infrastructure-as-code tooling and managing infrastructure programmatically. Mission developed a multi-account infrastructure orchestration process using Jenkins as the orchestrator and Terraform as the template tool. The CI/CD pipeline polls a version control repository for changes and, depending on the branch, deploys infrastructure changes to the specified AWS account. Mission also isolated all components in the environment that were single points of failure, and then redeployed them as autoscaling groups with load balancing.

The Benefits

Based on its Well-Architected Review, Mission continues to implement operational improvements to Autumn Games’ AWS deployment (while also preparing the company for future infrastructural expansions).

Mission successfully provided Autumn Games with Well-Architected Review remediations across all pillars of AWS’ Well-Architected Framework. This included ensuring that Autumn Games’ log centralization, root MFA, password policies, cloudtrail enablement, instance rightsizing, operational runbooks, environment documentation, full-scale monitoring, and other critical components were all well-architected per current best practices. Through its partnership with Mission, Autumn Games has achieved operational excellence and maximized reliability by leveraging AWS much more advantageously.

Per Autumn Games’ needs, Mission has implemented two separate development and production pipelines that the company uses along with Docker on AWS to deploy application server software: a development pipeline featuring continuous integration, and a production pipeline featuring a controlled “pull the trigger” step to ensure software can be deployed as ready. Mission’s expertise was integral in achieving this design in-line with Autumn Games’ requirements.

Looking ahead, Autumn Games is counting on Mission to continue executing on the Well-Architected Review and introducing further optimizations. At the same time, the game publisher knows it has the trusted partner it needs to add to existing infrastructure and introduce new capabilities to support potential new modes for its games going forward.

About Autumn Games

Autumn Games is a global video game publisher known for publishing Skullgirls, among other popular cross-platform titles. It works closely with Hidden Variable Studios, the game developer.

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