Home Enterprise Podcast #66: Dan Williams, Roblox

Podcast #66: Dan Williams, Roblox

by Brian Beeler
RobloxPromoPhoto

Roblox is one of the most popular game development platforms in the world. They enable developers to create games or experiences that are often easily approachable, making Roblox games perfect for families. In fact, any household with kids likely either knows the Roblox name or has been asked by a kid to re-up their Robux stash. Like many gaming platforms, Roblox saw a surge in traffic as lockdown hit across the globe. Before COVID their most popular day was Saturday. After COVID, every day was Saturday. In fact, they’ve seen record numbers of participation, including 5.2 million concurrent users and over 3 billion hours of engagement a month on the platform.

Roblox is one of the most popular game development platforms in the world. They enable developers to create games or experiences that are often easily approachable, making Roblox games perfect for families. In fact, any household with kids likely either knows the Roblox name or has been asked by a kid to re-up their Robux stash. Like many gaming platforms, Roblox saw a surge in traffic as lockdown hit across the globe. Before COVID their most popular day was Saturday. After COVID, every day was Saturday. In fact, they’ve seen record numbers of participation, including 5.2 million concurrent users and over 3 billion hours of engagement a month on the platform.

Roblox Numbers for Pod

Not all infrastructures are ready for this kind of hit. While economically a massive surge sounds great, IT systems are often in a “barely holding on” mode, rather than a proactive planning one. Fortunately for Roblox, they recently re-architected everything, literally, everything. They moved away from reliance exclusively on third parties for game serving and got off of bare metal servers, containerizing critical elements of the platform.

The IT mission is simple. The platform needs to be available, it needs to be fast, and IT investments cannot be lead by a cost-first attitude. For Roblox being online is life. Life hasn’t always come easy for them, however. On this podcast, I talk with Dan Williams about Roblox’s adventures to bring stability to a sprawling platform and how their hybrid cloud strategy is leading the way. We also cover many more topics including:

  • Roblox studio for learning and creating new experiences
  • The potential to administer data centers via Roblox experience
  • How Roblox solved outages to meet their #1 goal of availability
  • Why Roblox didn’t go all-in on public cloud
  • How Roblox uses distributed edge nodes to put matchmaking closer to end-users
  • The impact of new technologies on their compute nodes and the benefits they’re seeing from AMD EPYC CPUs when it comes to user concurrency on a node
  • Why they went with HashiCorp for containers
  • Why they use most major cloud providers at once
  • And, some of Dan’s favorite game picks!

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