Welcome!

@DevOpsSummit Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, William Schmarzo, Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: @DevOpsSummit, Linux Containers, Containers Expo Blog

@DevOpsSummit: Article

Pokémon Go: A Developer’s Perspective | @DevOpsSummit #APM #DevOps

Every app developer dreams of the kind of success that Pokémon Go is enjoying right now

Pokémon Go: A Developer's Perspective
By Anand Akela

Every app developer dreams of the kind of success that Pokémon Go is enjoying right now. A month ago, it was just a rumor. Just 24 hours after it was released, it was the number one top grossing app, even though it was free to download and play. Within a single week, Pokémon Go servers were slammed with traffic from 21 million players while they tried to fix production errors.

Today it has 3X more Android downloads than Tinder, nearly as many daily active users as Twitter and users spend twice as much time in the app as they do in the phenomenal Snapchat. Even Facebook can't hold up against the Pokémon onslaught. By any mobile app performance metrics you want to use, Pokémon Go has been a smashing success. It's also at the center of a media firestorm.

How did they do it? Why are so many people so upset about it? What lessons about better software performance can you take away from the whole experience? Here's your instant history of an app that tapped into far more demand than the developers could handle. It's both a best-case scenario and a cautionary tale.

The Birth of Pokémon
It's just a game for kids. Really, that's all it is, but that's exactly what people said when Nintendo released Pokémon 20 years ago. It's a game where you capture little monsters and make them fight each other - part insect collection and part sci-fi gladiator arena. Kids continued to love it as they grew up and then came the anime manga, the trading cards, the TV cartoons, the dolls and the movies. Now, the Pokémon franchise is worth over $46 billion.

In 2014, as an April Fool's Day prank, Nintendo teamed up with Google Maps to make Pokémon monsters appear in real places using augmented reality. The response was so enthusiastic that suddenly everyone got real serious about it.

Monsters Unleashed
Enter Niantic, an augmented reality game maker led by former Google Earth developers. It's best known for Ingress, a real-world/sci-fi mashup where gamers travel to real places using Google maps and fight for supremacy of "portals" in the app. A portal could be a business, a school, a park, etc. If it could be mapped, it became a battleground. Pokémon Go was built on the skeleton of Ingress and former portals became "gyms" for training monsters or "Pokestops."

Niantic CEO John Hanke said they started building the game based on a data set of public artwork that they chose from among geo-tagged photos inside Google Earth. "We basically defined the kinds of places that we wanted to be part of the game," Hanke said. "Things that were public artwork, that were historical sites, that were buildings with some unique architectural history or characteristic, or a unique local business. There are portals in Antarctica and the North Pole, and most points in between."

Tech Specs and Coding Languages
There's no official word about the code base of Pokémon Go, but the greatest probability is that the game was coded mostly in Java/libgdx because that's what Niantic used to create Ingress. Although the bulk of the game may be Java on the server side, many coders who have played it suspect that there has clearly been some work in Objective-C/Swift for the iOS version so that it runs as a native app.

The strongest piece of evidence to support this comes from the Niantic employment page, which reads: "Create the server infrastructure to support our hosted AR/Geo platform underpinning projects such as Pokémon Go using Java and Google Cloud." Niantic is also looking for coders with "Key Skills: Unity3D (Unity 3D), C# - You will work with a proven and experienced team of mobile and cloud developers to turn the entire world into a gameboard."

The database supporting the game is NoSQL running inside Google Cloud Services. That implies that the game is probably integrated with Cloud Bigtable or Cloud Datastore, perhaps using JSON or CSV for data handling. While many other apps interface with their se RESTful APIs, Pokémon Go seems to be relying on an RPC interface for its server interactions using Protocol Buffers.

Safety and Privacy
In terms of data safety, the iOS version initially asked customers for full access to their Google accounts. That means it could have gotten into user Gmail histories (which often contain passwords and other private information), classified information in Google Docs/Drive or very personal info from Google Calendar. Niantic had to issue an apology and said it never intended to collect all that private data, but industry watchdogs just have to take their word for it.

At one point, due to this privacy problem, their sign-up process was broken and the company had to turn away new signups. That can be particularly bad from a developer perspective because most apps lose 60 percent of their customers over the first month, and 96 percent after a year. New sign-ups are the only way to stay alive.

When the Servers Crashed
Pokémon Go started out with a great deal of talent, serious backing from major industry players and a built-in audience of brand fanatics. What could go wrong? A lot, it turns out. A few days after Pokémon Go's official release, Forbes posted an analysis that declared, "The launch has been an unmitigated disaster. The list of things that have gone wrong with the launch goes on and on. Players unable to login; players in the U.S. unable to download the game to begin with; game crashes; maps bereft of any and all Pokémon, gyms, etc. Everything from sign-in issues to overwhelmed servers have plagued the game's launch."

This is the perfect example of the danger of popularity. Normally, the last days leading up to pre-launch can be frantic. App developers have often used the days after launch to work out the kinks. That clearly couldn't happen under the crush of new user sign-up traffic that hit their servers. Others have made the same mistakes, though.

As for the production team at Pokémon Go, could they or should they have anticipated so much traffic? Yes, and Niantic's launch problems might have been catastrophic if it were another business critical application. The average cost of a critical application failure per hour is $500,000 to $1 million, according to a research by analyst firm IDC. It is even more important to get things right and deliver exceptional end user experience when applications are primarily consumed via a mobile App. Nearly a quarter of apps are only opened once.

Many enterprises are using AppDynamics to avoid such catastrophic situations and to minimize the negative impact on their brand reputation. With AppDynamics, they are empowered to have real-time insights into application performance, user performance and business performance so they can move faster in an increasingly sophisticated, software-driven world.

Where Pokémon Is Going
Pokemon Go brought reality to the concept of meshing the virtual with the real, so you should expect augmented reality to develop quickly now that it's finally become profitable. Expect a huge second mover advantage in the world of app development because you can be prepared to address the server traffic spikes, the user privacy issues and the public safety controversies.

The days of actual immersive virtual reality, complete with a 3D experience, might not be far off, but preparation is everything, especially with app developers, programmers, and IoT experts. The most important takeaway from the story of Pokémon Go is that companies of all sizes need to prioritize performance monitoring before errors start impacting customers. The best way to do that is to simulate heavy traffic and deploy tools like AppDynamics to filter out common errors and exceptions as soon as possible and long before the app hits production. In this case, the users kept coming, but not every app maker will be so lucky.

The post Pokémon Go: A Developer's Perspective appeared first on Application Performance Monitoring Blog | AppDynamics.

More Stories By Jyoti Bansal

In high-production environments where release cycles are measured in hours or minutes — not days or weeks — there's little room for mistakes and no room for confusion. Everyone has to understand what's happening, in real time, and have the means to do whatever is necessary to keep applications up and running optimally.

DevOps is a high-stakes world, but done well, it delivers the agility and performance to significantly impact business competitiveness.

@DevOpsSummit Stories
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Progress, a global leader in application development, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Enterprises today are rapidly adopting the cloud, while continuing to retain business-critical/sensitive data inside the firewall. This is creating two separate data silos – one inside the firewall and the other outside the firewall. Cloud ISVs often get requests to connect these silos using technologies such as VPN; however, these tend to be difficult to manage and are not engineered for accessing business data from the cloud.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Outscale, a global pure play Infrastructure as a Service provider and strategic partner of Dassault Systèmes, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 2010, Outscale simplifies infrastructure complexities and boosts the business agility of its customers. Outscale delivers a secure, reliable and industrial strength solution for its customers, which include solopreneurs, fast-growing startups, large multi-national companies and government agencies. The company is a strategic partner to Dassault Systémes, and today powers hundreds of organizations throughout North America, Europe and Asia. Outscale’s U.S. headquarters is located in Jersey City, New Jersey, and its global headquarters is in Saint-Cloud, France.
SYS-CON Events announced today that DivvyCloud will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. DivvyCloud software enables organizations to achieve their cloud computing goals by simplifying and automating security, compliance and cost optimization of public and private cloud infrastructure. Using DivvyCloud, customers can leverage programmatic Bots to identify and remediate common cloud problems in real time. DivvyCloud was founded by seasoned technologists who understand first-hand what is necessary to succeed in today’s fast-changing, multi-cloud world.
While some vendors scramble to create and sell you a fancy solution for monitoring your spanking new Amazon Lambdas, hear how you can do it on the cheap using just built-in Java APIs yourself. By exploiting a little-known fact that Lambdas aren’t exactly single threaded, you can effectively identify hot spots in your serverless code. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, David Martin, Principal Product Owner at CA Technologies, will give a live demonstration and code walkthrough, showing how to overcome the challenges of monitoring S3 and RDS. This presentation will provide an overview of necessary Amazon Lambda concepts and discuss how to integrate the monitoring data with other tools.
Interested in leveling up on your Cloud Foundry skills? Join IBM for Cloud Foundry Days on June 7 at Cloud Expo New York at the Javits Center in New York City. Cloud Foundry Days is a free half day educational conference and networking event. Come find out why Cloud Foundry is the industry's fastest-growing and most adopted cloud application platform.
Most DevOps journeys involve several phases of maturity. Research shows that the inflection point where organizations begin to see maximum value is when they implement tight integration deploying their code to their infrastructure. Success at this level is the last barrier to at-will deployment. Storage, for instance, is more capable than where we read and write data. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Josh Atwell, a Developer Advocate for NetApp, will discuss the role and value extensible storage infrastructure has in accelerating software development activities, improve code quality, reveal multiple deployment options through automated testing, and support continuous integration efforts. All this will be described using tools common in DevOps organizations.
SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @CloudExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and management into a single platform to drive unprecedented simplicity in the data center. Customers can start with a base infrastructure and scale to multi-site and multi-geo infrastructures with predictable economics and performance.
New competitors, disruptive technologies, and growing expectations are pushing every business to both adopt and deliver new digital services. This ‘Digital Transformation’ demands rapid delivery and continuous iteration of new competitive services via multiple channels, which in turn demands new service delivery techniques – including DevOps. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, panelists will examine how DevOps helps to meet the demands of Digital Transformation – including accelerating application delivery, closing feedback loops, enabling multi-channel delivery, empowering collaborative decisions, improving user experience, and ultimately meeting (and exceeding) business goals.
As DevOps methodologies expand their reach across the enterprise, organizations face the daunting challenge of adapting related cloud strategies to ensure optimal alignment, from managing complexity to ensuring proper governance. How can culture, automation, legacy apps and even budget be reexamined to enable this ongoing shift within the modern software factory?
SYS-CON Events announced today that A&I Solutions has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 1999, A&I Solutions is a leading information technology (IT) software and services provider focusing on best-in-class enterprise solutions. By partnering with industry leaders in technology, A&I assures customers high performance levels across all IT environments including: mainframe, distributed, virtual, and cloud platforms. With expertise in the entire application lifecycle —Plan, Build, Test, Deploy, Operate, and Secure— A&I enables customers to transform their businesses by driving consistency and maximizing efficiency.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tappest will exhibit MooseFS at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. MooseFS is a breakthrough concept in the storage industry. It allows you to secure stored data with either duplication or erasure coding using any server. The newest – 4.0 version of the software enables users to maintain the redundancy level with even 50% less hard drive space required. The software functions on all major operating systems and is used around the world by businesses, universities and NGOs. The MooseFS team provides on-site implementation and support for your operations.
SYS-CON Events announced today that EARP will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. "We are a software house, so we perfectly understand challenges that other software houses face in their projects. We can augment a team, that will work with the same standards and processes as our partners' internal teams. Our teams will deliver the same quality within the required time and budget just as our partners' teams would do. It helps our partners to expand their operations with our forces."
SYS-CON Events announced today that delaPlex will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. delaPlex pioneered Software Development as a Service (SDaaS), which provides scalable resources to build, test, and deploy software. It’s a fast and more reliable way to develop a new product or expand your in-house team.
Regardless of what business you’re in, it’s increasingly a software-driven business. Consumers’ rising expectations for connected digital and physical experiences are driving what some are calling the "Customer Experience Challenge.” In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Marco Morales, Director of Global Solutions at CollabNet, will discuss how organizations are increasingly adopting a discipline of Value Stream Mapping to ensure that the software they are producing is poised to offer continuous improvements to customers’ experience of products and services.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Outscale will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Outscale's technology makes an automated and adaptable Cloud available to businesses, supporting them in the most complex IT projects while controlling their operational aspects. You boost your IT infrastructure's reactivity, with request responses that only take a few seconds.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Systena America will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Systena Group has been in business for various software development and verification in Japan, US, ASEAN, and China by utilizing the knowledge we gained from all types of device development for various industries including smartphones (Android/iOS), wireless communication, security technology and IoT services.
DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Among the proven benefits, DevOps is correlated with 20% faster time-to-market, 22% improvement in quality, and 18% reduction in dev and ops costs, according to research firm Vanson-Bourne. It is changing the way IT works, how businesses interact with customers, and how organizations are buying, building, and delivering software.
Cloud promises the agility required by today’s digital businesses. As organizations adopt cloud based infrastructures and services, their IT resources become increasingly dynamic and hybrid in nature. Managing these require modern IT operations and tools. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Raj Sundaram, Senior Principal Product Manager at CA Technologies, will discuss how to modernize your IT operations in order to proactively manage your hybrid cloud and IT environments. He will be sharing best practices around collaboration, monitoring, configuration and analytics that will help you boost experience and optimize utilization of your modern IT Infrastructures.
Five years ago development was seen as a dead-end career, now it’s anything but – with an explosion in mobile and IoT initiatives increasing the demand for skilled engineers. But apart from having a ready supply of great coders, what constitutes true ‘DevOps Royalty’? It’ll be the ability to craft resilient architectures, supportability, security everywhere across the software lifecycle. In his keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Jeffrey Scheaffer, GM and SVP, Continuous Delivery Business Unit at CA Technologies, will share his vision about the true ‘DevOps Royalty’ and how it will take a new breed of digital cloud craftsman, architecting new platforms with a new set of tools to achieve it. He will also present a number of important insights and findings from a recent cloud and DevOps study – outlining the synergies high performance teams are exploiting to gain significant busin...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Twistlock, the leading provider of cloud container security solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Twistlock is the industry's first enterprise security suite for container security. Twistlock's technology addresses risks on the host and within the application of the container, enabling enterprises to consistently enforce security policies, monitor and audit activity and identify and isolate threats in a container or cluster of containers.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CollabNet, a global leader in enterprise software development, release automation and DevOps solutions, will be a Bronze Sponsor of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, taking place from June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CollabNet offers a broad range of solutions with the mission of helping modern organizations deliver quality software at speed. The company’s latest innovation, the DevOps Lifecycle Manager (DLM), supports Value Stream Mapping for the development and operations tool chain by offering DevOps Tool Chain Integration and Traceability; DevOps Tool Chain Orchestration; and DevOps Insight and Intelligence. CollabNet also offers traditional application lifecycle management, ALM, for the enterprise through its TeamForge product.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Peak 10, Inc., a national IT infrastructure and cloud services provider, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Peak 10 provides reliable, tailored data center and network services, cloud and managed services. Its solutions are designed to scale and adapt to customers’ changing business needs, enabling them to lower costs, improve performance and focus internal resources on core competencies.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Super Micro Computer, Inc., a global leader in compute, storage and networking technologies, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Supermicro (NASDAQ: SMCI), the leading innovator in high-performance, high-efficiency server technology, is a premier provider of advanced server Building Block Solutions® for Data Center, Cloud Computing, Enterprise IT, Hadoop/Big Data, HPC and Embedded Systems worldwide. Supermicro is committed to protecting the environment through its “We Keep IT Green®” initiative and provides customers with the most energy-efficient, environmentally friendly solutions available on the market.