Daniel Hook, Managing Director, Rockolo, looks at a number of the factors an eGaming operator or software supplier needs to consider when choosing a cloud platform provider.
The eGaming landscape is forever changing both from a technical and licensing perspective, this provides both challenges and opportunities for companies such as Rockolo. eGaming is an industry with no borders only constrained by local legislation.
Service providers need to match the agility and vision of the operators and games providers while at the same time providing an infrastructure that is easy to deploy, fast, stable and secure. The best compliment is when the infrastructure isn’t even noticed, this means it is just doing its job.
The range of cloud services (private, public and hybrid clouds) available offer some very attractive options compared to the traditional hosting model. However, there are still some misconceptions about cloud services, especially when it comes to legislation and the licensing authorities. A better description would be Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), cloud implies that the data sits somewhere but nobody can be quite sure where – nothing could be further from the truth.
The big advantage of a cloud platform is that you only pay for what you use with added benefit of being able to use additional computing power as you need it. This is ideal for operators around major sporting events such as the Football World Cup and the Grand National or for development projects.
To host or not to host?
The operators are the most demanding of clients and Rockolo has built up many years of experience servicing their needs through its traditional datacentre hosting business. We have seen a number of operators fully deploy into the cloud and make it their technology hosting platform for their business. In some cases, operators have moved completely out of existing physical deployments and moved across to the cloud such is their confidence and desire for an agile and flexible platform.
With the games providers we are seeing two types of companies. The first group are a number of larger long-established providers who serve the operators in many jurisdictions and have been deployed in traditional co-location hosting for many years. This group is slowly coming around to the concept of not continuing to own and have full physical control over its deployed technology. M&A activity increasingly brings these businesses into contact with the cloud deployments they inherited through acquisitions, creating change and understanding from the inside.
The second group are the challengers and innovators. They are typically younger, more energetic companies who’ve never had deployments in their own physical infrastructures. They fully embrace the concept of ‘pay-as-you-use’ technology platforms from the outset and as such are free from heavy CAPEX requirements that can anchor them in one place for long periods. They are agile and cloud (from many vendors across the world) enables them to deploy with speed then scale their costs and infrastructure on-demand when they win new integration deals wherever this maybe globally.
No Cloud is an Island
With the ease of deployment and low set up costs, cloud products or IaaS makes perfect business sense for many, but choosing the right combination; private public or hybrid, needs to be taken into consideration. Companies also need to make sure that the provider’s infrastructure is connected by a private network so your distributed cloud platforms are integrated and “speak” to each other rather than being isolated.
One trend that we at Rockolo have seen, and we don’t see this changing in the near future, is the use of Global Hyperscale Cloud providers such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud and many more especially for development work or business elements that fall outside of the regulator’s requirements. Again, you need to make sure that if you have infrastructure in one of the Hyperscale Cloud providers that this can be integrated by private protected connections to your other cloud hubs.
Moving your infrastructure to a cloud platform is a big step and might not be the right choice for all companies but it is now a proven technology that needs to be considered as a feasible option to traditional hosting.
Article featured in Gambling Insider March / April 2020 edition