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With Your Call Football needing to ensure a smooth, real-time, and instantaneous user experience during large traffic spikes, Mission teamed up AWS and Kubernetes.
Just like in the on-field football game, Your Call Football’s app saw intermittent bursts of intense activity that required real-time high availability to guarantee an issue-free fan experience.
Your Call Football initially turned to Cantina for help building out its architecture, application, and game logic. Cantina then tapped Mission with very specific infrastructure challenges regarding the inherent nature of the Your Call Football application: how to handle bursts of traffic from 100,000 concurrent users during the three hours each week when games are played, while seeing relatively little concentrated traffic at other times.
In a second major concern, everyone playing the game votes during the exact same 10-second window. Each burst of online activity would be followed by the live action on the field. Once the play is run, the entire cycle is repeated (up to 100 times per game). Any lag, delay in service, or timed-out request could result in a fan’s vote not getting counted – and potentially missing out on prize money.
These tight performance requirements meant that even autoscaling might prove too slow to guarantee the high-quality user experience required. Mission needed to execute a mobile application infrastructure strategy providing real-time high availability during short bursts of extreme usage, and do so in a high-stakes environment where the penalty for any “delay of game” could be a loss of users (as well as issues on the field of play itself).
“As game creators striving to execute Your Call Football’s exciting and truly unprecedented concept, we needed absolutely trustworthy cloud experts supporting and helping build our infrastructure. With as many moving parts as Your Call Football has – from the live games to the backend to the app in the hands of fans – everything must work correctly, and the fan experience is everything. Mission has been incredible in making sure what we provide our fans is exactly as intended.”
To get Your Call Football’s backend in game shape, Mission implemented infrastructure-as-code that tapped into Kubernetes, Amazon RDS, Amazon ElastiCache, and other solutions.
Mission’s first step was building out a backend utilizing infrastructure-as-code; this proved a strong fit for Your Call Football’s use case given that pieces of its infrastructure needed to be enabled quickly. Mission then set about drafting the right players for the job – selecting Kubernetes, Amazon RDS, and Amazon ElastiCache as must-have tools.
Kubernetes delivers the critical benefits of being able to scale higher than AWS’s Elastic Container Service, while also being more configurable, and easier and faster for getting clusters up and running. At the same time, Kubernetes is powered by a vast community of open source developers who regularly contribute new features and support. Amazon RDS similarly stood out as a powerful and versatile choice for cloud database needs, offering the performance Your Call Football necessitated. ElastiCache provides a way of ensuring seamless deployment of in-memory data across thousands of users, enabling the app’s periods of particularly high-volume activity (play call voting) to function successfully.
Mission also leveraged Terraform, Elastic Beanstalk, and a queuing service to complete the infrastructure-as-code strategy, and built an elastic load balancing system to prepare load balancers ahead of massive load spikes, further ensuring a smooth user experience.
Thanks to Mission’s deft implementation of Kubernetes-with-AWS and other successful strategies, Your Call Football’s backend remains poised in the pocket even when rushed by thousands of users.
By leveraging Kubernetes and other solutions to optimize the speed and performance of Your Call Football’s cloud environment, the app is successfully providing thousands of football fans with a fun, unique, and issue-free gaming experience – all in real-time. At the same time, Your Call Football and Cantina Consulting have found Mission to be an ideal teammate in ensuring the game’s successful launch, and look forward to continue counting on Mission’s cloud expertise and support as the YCF, fan play-calling series continue.
Your Call Football offers a wholly unique football experience where fans get to call plays in real time, then see them run on the field by real players. For each down in a live football game, the offensive coach selects a grouping of three plays that are all in YCF’s ‘digital call sheet’ (an iPad). Fans receive the coaches’ plays on their phone, then vote on which one they want to see executed on the field by the players. The majority fan-voted play comes back to the coaches’ digital call sheet and is communicated to the quarterback. The players then execute the play on the field. Once the play is complete, the cycle starts all over again. In conjunction with the voting, the YCF system also awards ‘points’ to fans in real-time based on the fan’s vote and how well the players executed on the field. The YCF system updates all fans’ scores and competitions – head-to-heads, leagues and overall leaderboard – in real-time. Fans are eligible for cash prizes based on their play-calling prowess. Most fans playing via the app are not at the stadium for the live game, but are engaged in real-time – playing at home, with friends at a bar, etc. – while streaming the game live, from anywhere.