I was reading an article in EGR this week about website performance and the challenges that gaming companies face when dealing with spikes in user traffic due to certain events (for example the Grand National or Wimbledon). The article mentioned the fact that the National Lottery crashed when people tried to place bets for the £54 million jackpot and last year many bookmakers had to give out free bets to its customers when they suffered website crashes.
The article explained (quite rightly) that these issues are inexcusable, because of the array of technologies available today to alleviate such issues. “Sites don’t have to scale their servers to deal with the spikes. Thoroughbred websites likes Pinterest and Vimeo, with high-bandwidth requirements and massive, event-driven spikes use a new class of software in their web architectures to handle this.”
What kinds of software are we talking about?
The EGR article refers to this software as “Web Architecture Performance” and explains how these tools can give a competitive advantage. The 5 concepts of these web architectures are:
This is basically storing data in a temporary location. Normally files are stored in a server, but storing them in a cache saves times and network traffic.
This involves ensuring that when data changes, the web page cache is cleared or else an old version of the page is shown to the user with inaccurate information (especially important for betting and gaming).
This involves “divvying up workload between two or more computers to raise output and serve users faster.”
Application Programming Interface (API) Management
Computer code that lets two software programs talk to each other; useful, for example, when wanting to access market data information for sports betting.
Content Delivery Network (CDN)
“This is a distributed network of servers, delivering users’ web content from the servers nearest to them.”
Undeniably, these concepts are extremely significant. However, it is important to note that they are all passive solutions to web performance issues. What do I mean by this? Take caching, for example. A cache is only useful when you request something from it. This kind of caching is basically ‘pull’ caching; a user has to make the ‘request’ for an information update. Similarly, Content Delivery Networks (CDN) use caches. However, you only receive the information when you request it. And moreover, in a CDN, the cache can take seconds or minutes to clear when it becomes invalidated.
Here at Push Technology, we are focus on doing things pro-actively, in real-time and go a step further. In the example of caching, we proactively update webpages directly on the users screen rather than simply invalidate a cache; users do not even have to make the request, the changes just appear on their screen as and when they occur. Because we make changes as and when they happen, they don’t take seconds or minutes to update – they happen in real-time.
What’s achieved by doing this is not just a reliable, fast web or mobile betting app, but also a far superior user experience – which is what all the major sports betting companies are aiming to achieve. In fact, we are already working with the likes of William Hill (our real-time messaging solution is now powering its new application), 888 Holdings, Betfair, Sportingbet, Racing Post, and Oddschecker. Sports betting companies are trying to achieve that performance edge and what’s required is a solution like real-time messaging that allows you to compete in today’s online and mobile world by embracing event-driven data, reliably and at scale – without impacting traditional business.
If you’d like to find out more about our gaming customers and how we are working together, click here. Alternatively, if you have more specific challenges around reliability, speed, scale and the networks, read our whitepaper: 5 Ways to Get a Sportsbetting Dream App. It’s packed full of insight on the main challenges gaming companies need to overcome.
The Diffusion® Intelligent Event-Data Platform makes it easy to consume, enrich and deliver event-data in real-time across all network conditions. Push Technology pioneered and is the sole provider of real-time delta data streaming™ technology that powers mission-critical business applications worldwide. Leading brands use Push Technology to bring innovative products to market faster by reducing the software development efforts using the low-code features. The Diffusion® Intelligent Event-Data Platform is available on-premise, in-the-cloud, or in a hybrid configuration. Learn how Push Technology can reduce infrastructure costs, and increase speed, efficiency, and reliability, of your web, mobile, and IoT application.