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How the success of 'FarmVille' forced Zynga to build its own data centers

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After the explosive growth of FarmVille in 2009, Zynga had to start building its own data centers to accomodate the influx of new players.

Zynga Draw Something
Zynga Draw Something

Prior to the launch of FarmVille in 2009, Zynga didn't have much trouble when it came to its IT model — but when the game eventually took Facebook by storm the developer started having problems getting enough servers to keep its ever-growing fanbase happy. A new in-depth report over at Ars Technica looks at how Zynga managed to cope with its newfound popularity. Initially the company was largely dependant Amazon's cloud services to keep things going, but eventually Zynga began to build more of its own data centers to give it more control over its infrastructure.

Zynga's own data centres now take care of around 80 percent of its gamers, while the remaining 20 percent are still handled by Amazon. And that's not something it plans on changing anytime soon — working with Amazon provides a nice buffer for times of explosive growth, like when Alec Baldwin reveals his Words With Friends addiction. While the company didn't reveal specifics about the number of servers or data centres it operates, it did say that for every server it had two years ago, it now has 100. And as the company continues to acquire the most popular new games, that number will likely only continue to grow.