Alibaba Tech

Sep 16, 2021

6 min read

Tedious and Inefficient Game Packaging? Kingcheer Has a New Solution

Introduction: Kingcheer was looking for a high-performance, cost-effective solution to simplify its software packaging process. In the end, they chose Alibaba Cloud Serverless function orchestration and function compute solution, perfectly resolving Kingcheer’s pain points.

Author: Zhe Song, Alibaba Cloud Solution Architect

Founded in 2016, Kingcheer World Shenzhen-Network Technology Co., Ltd. is committed to developing, releasing, operating, and selling online gaming products. The company has over 100 employees and more than 100,000 online users on its platform at one time.

In the game industry, the APK package needs to be divided into ones for different promotion channels, which need to be integrated with specific channel information and channel SDK at the time of distribution. In general, the game’s APK package is several hundred megabits to over one gigabyte. The packaging process is constantly executed in the daily game distribution, and because there are many game channels, usually more than ten of them, the packaging operation for these channels often needs to be carried out simultaneously.

The process of game packaging is usually tedious and inefficient. One computer is often designated to handle all the relevant work and package the game for each target channel one by one. Kingcheer wanted a simple set of concurrent processing operations to improve packaging efficiency and wanted to free up the computer after it finished packaging to stop it from taking up resources.

These are precisely the issues that Serverless is very good at solving.

  1. Worry-free server management

Managing one or two servers may not be a hassle; managing thousands or tens of thousands of servers is not simple. Any server can fail, and Serverless technology can automatically identify the failure and remove the problem.

2. Auto Scaling

Today’s Internet applications are designed with scalable architectures. When the server is going through peak time and downtime, or when the operation has temporary volume demands (during marketing campaigns, for example), the Serverless platforms conduct auto scaling with stability and time efficiency.

3. Billing by actual resource usage

Serverful bills by the number of ECS instead of actual usage, which means if a user purchases three ECSs on the cloud, they need to pay in full for all three ECSs, regardless of how much CPU and memory they use. However, with Serverless, the user is billed by actual resource usage. For example, if a request uses 1 core 2g server for 100ms, then the user only pays for the unit price of the server multiplied by the time used (i.e., 100ms).

4. Less code, faster delivery

The code based on Serverless architecture usually makes heavy use of backend services, separating data and state management from the code. In addition, the FaaS architecture more thoroughly leaves the Runtime of the code to the platform management. This means that there is much less code in the Serverless mode for the same application than the Serverful mode, making distribution and launch more rapid. The Serverless platform usually provides very mature code build and release, version switching, and other features to improve delivery speed further.

Alibaba Cloud Function Compute (FC) is an elastic, low-cost, maintenance-free, and event-driven Serverless platform that allows millions of developers to focus on software development with no need for purchasing and managing infrastructure, including servers. This innovative technology helps software companies deliver software quickly and create business value.

In the first Cloud Native User Survey Report released by the China Academy of Information and Communications Research (CAICT), Alibaba Cloud Serverless product, tested and strengthened by the technical challenges and practice opportunities presented by Double 11 Shopping Festival, has 66% of the domestic Serverless users, far exceeding the user sum of other cloud providers. It is considered to be the first choice of the domestic Serverless users.

At the Trusted Cloud Summit organized by CAICT, Alibaba Cloud’s Function Compute passed 21 tests, including basic capabilities, platform observability, service performance, service security, and service measurement accuracy; and it was awarded the Trusted Cloud Function certification with a perfect score.

  1. Sudden traffic peak scenarios such as spikes and promotions

In industries such as new retail, online education, and interactive entertainment, enterprises often face the problem of handling sizable unexpected traffic during promotion times, and they can’t accurately predict the peaks and downtimes of their operation; meanwhile, due to complicated resource budgeting process and high-cost operation & maintenance, resource utility rate cannot be ensured.

Function Compute’s auto scaling is down to the hundred milliseconds extreme when solving the resource bottleneck under unexpected heavy traffic. It is event-driven, offering more than 20 cloud products and end-to-end solutions. Function Compute also provides 1ms granularity on demand, a 100% resource utilization rate, with no need to pay idle resources.

2. Interactive live streaming, audio & video transcoding, and other scenarios

These scenarios are usually compute-intensive with peak requirements. A significant sum of compute resources is required within a short time. A self-developed platform is costly, but most generic platforms on the market can’t be customized to a satisfactory level. Function Compute is flexible and lightweight on this front and addresses these pain points by supporting high-level customization of the FFmpeg environment and zero-change smooth migration.

3. Web API/frontend & backend, image processing, and AI

These are common scenarios in Function Compute. Companies often face problems such as lack of multi-terminal adaptation, frontend & backend standards inconsistency, low R&D efficiency, complex operation & maintenance. Data, images, scripts are not easy to maintain, the resource utilization rate is low, and the cost is high. Function Compute can easily solve these difficulties.

Function Compute supports one-click Serverlessization with a multi-language and multi-framework web application, significantly improving iteration efficiency; it also supports Serverless timed tasks and automatic capacity expansion, considerably reducing operation and maintenance costs and reducing server resource costs by allowing the users to pay on demand.

Kingcheer was looking for a high-performance, cost-effective solution to simplify its software packaging process. In the end, they chose Alibaba Cloud Serverless function orchestration and function compute solution, perfectly resolving Kingcheer’s pain points.

Based on Serverless architecture, Alibaba Cloud Function Compute provides a highly accessible, high-capacity service platform with millisecond-level auto scaling to scale up and down quickly. During peak times, it scales up to handle the pressure from heavy traffic with ease; during downtimes, it scales down to optimize resources, providing stable compute power while optimizing cost control.

Efficiency improvement: With Function Compute’s hundred milliseconds scaling capacity and task scheduling capability to handle concurrent processes, the execution efficiency of packaging is improved. Before, packing time was T=P*N (P is the packaging time for one, and N is the packaging target). With Function Compute, the total execution time is always around P regardless of how many packages need to be processed, achieving complete concurrent processing.

Pay-as-you-go billing: Function Compute generates computation instances when events are triggered, and frees up unnecessary resources after events are handled. Kingcheer only needs to pay for the time when resources are used.

Comprehensive monitoring: Various fine-grained monitoring is automatically added during execution (execution time, execution details, and invocation).

“Function Compute has gracefully set up a game software packaging environment for Kingcheer for concurrent execution based on demands to reach maximized packaging efficiency. This solution also inspires us with a new approach: Independent and stateless tasks can be better implemented by leaving them to functional computation.”

Kingcheer’s Technical Director said.

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