Boosteroid is an online gaming company that is seeking to grow its presence globally to meet the demand of the booming online gaming market. Today the most important business challenge for companies like Boosteroid is scaling. Boosteroid launched its online gaming service in 2019, and is already experiencing a 5X growth in customer base. The company focuses on providing an easy-to-use, affordable online gaming platform that lets anyone play any game, no matter which device they are using.
Inspired by the success of hyperscale cloud service providers, Boosteroid wanted to build a highly scalable platform. The company looked to Intel and ASUS to help develop and enhance its global solution. The ability to scale with confidence while being able to deliver the low-latency performance and operational efficiencies required by its business was key.
To address scalability and performance issues, Boosteroid is collaborating with Intel and ASUS. Intel and ASUS helped Boosteroid choose the appropriate server hardware. A team of Intel experts also helped Boosteroid use Intel® VTune™ Profiler. This enabled Boosteroid to optimize the performance of the hardware and the performance of its specially developed video capturing module providing a great cloud gaming experience.
Boosteroid’s hardware platform, combined with the optimized module provides a nearly instant response to gameplay and doesn’t require gamers to download any software. Customers can play the most demanding gamers, even without a top-end PC or console. The highly scalable platform will enable Boosteroid to keep up with customer growth and make new game developments available to its customers.
Scaling to Keep Pace with Market Growth
The global online gaming market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 10 percent through 2025, reaching a value of USD 79 billion.1 To keep pace with that rate of growth and to take advantage of new opportunities and new customers, online gaming companies must choose an infrastructure that provides high performance and that can scale quickly and affordably. When Boosteroid began forming its business model, it was looking for server hardware that met these needs.
With many servers to choose from, ASUS, Intel, and Boosteroid spent a year working to pick the right one for the business. By talking with engineers from ASUS and Intel, Boosteroid was able to crystallize its requirements and choose a server that provided high performance and power efficiency at a good price point. Selecting partners with a quality gaming reputation and strong technical support were also important considerations for Boosteroid. These choices were critical in setting the business up for fast and extensive scaling as it expands its services across Europe.
Affordable Online Gaming Server Powered by Intel and ASUS
Boosteroid’s cloud gaming platform (see Figure 1) is unique in the industry because all the games are hosted on Boosteroid’s high-performance, low-latency servers; users receive an interactive video stream of their gameplay over the Internet. The user’s device is irrelevant to the gaming experience. What’s more, customers don’t have to download special browsers or software tools—all updates (both software and hardware) are carried out by the company itself. This means gamers can run high-end games from low-performance, outdated or ultraportable devices, and play wherever there’s an Internet connection. But providing efficient web-based access to high-end video games requires powerful hardware that can respond instantly to gaming activity.
Figure 1. Boosteroid uses high-performance technology from ASUS and Intel to implement its high-performance, scalable online gaming platform.
Boosteroid worked closely with both Intel and ASUS to choose the right server model that provided the necessary online gaming performance. Because ASUS is known worldwide as a gaming brand and has broad adoption in the gaming community, Boosteroid was confident that ASUS could provide a server that met its needs: the ASUS* ESC4000-G4S. This server is equipped with Intel® Xeon® Gold 6248 processors and a total of 3.84 TB of storage. The server also has 192 GB of memory, a 10 Gbps network connection, and a gaming graphics processing unit (GPU). The company originally considered using a previous-generation Intel® Xeon® Scalable processor but went with 2nd generation because of the impressive performance gains. For example, a 2nd generation Intel® Xeon® Gold processor can provide up to a 1.33X percent performance gain compared to the previous generation.2
Boosteroid uses Intel® processors based on their high performance. A sufficient margin of performance of these processors allows us to withstand an ever-growing load. And these processors are not a bottleneck in the performance of the host as a whole.”— Ivan Ostretsov, chief technical officer, Boosteroid
Optimized Software Complements High-Performance Hardware
Boosteroid used Intel® VTune™ Profiler to customize its module for video capturing. The custom code enables full highdefinition (60 frames per second/1080 pixel) gaming even when the internet connection is only 14 Mbps. By reducing the internet connection quality requirements, Boosteroid makes its gaming platform available to a larger number of users. The company also uses other advanced software tools to reduce latency and jitter and provide dynamic bitrate adjustment. The latter capability means Boosteroid’s network can adjust the content quality or size on-the-fly in response to varying internet connection quality.
Boosteroid, Intel, and ASUS Collaborate to Improve Platform Performance
Knowledge sharing and collaboration between Boosteroid, Intel and ASUS helped Boosteroid find the right solution for its needs. As mentioned earlier, ASUS engineers advised Boosteroid about what sort of hardware it needed to accomplish its scalability and performance goals. Intel engineers in collaboration with Boosteroid optimized the performance of the online gaming platform. Through the use of Intel® VTune™ Profiler, Boosteroid gained insight into various aspects of hardware and software performance and was able to tune and improve it. For example, based on information gathered from Intel® VTune™ Profiler, Intel engineers suggested increasing the amount of memory to improve CPU utilization. Intel® VTune™ Profiler also helped optimize performance.
Boosteroid Poised for Significant Growth
The close collaboration between Boosteroid, Intel and ASUS has set the online gaming company up for success in a fast-growing market. Boosteroid’s technical solution is ready to provide cloud gaming services worldwide, because it was tested on ASUS distributed global technology hubs. The company now plans to scale rapidly, adding several hundred servers to its data centers in Europe and elsewhere. With high-performance hardware at an affordable price point, Boosteroid can attract new customers. It will soon offer a free-to-play model in addition to its affordable gaming subscriptions. Other future plans include offering loyalty programs and gaming championships, as well as virtual reality gaming. Outside of the gaming industry, the company plans to explore providing virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) services to businesses, taking advantage of underutilized compute resources outside of peak gaming periods. The three companies are looking forward to a long-standing successful relationship that will help Boosteroid bring online gaming to the masses.
Intel engineers always help us solve issues related to the optimization of the host virtual machine settings, and share their valuable experience and knowledge. Their support helps us solve the most complicated technical challenges.” —Maksym Maksymov, head of DevOps, Boosteroid
Spotlight on Boosteroid
Boosteroid is an international online gaming company with offices in Ukraine, Romania, Serbia, the United Arab Emirates, and other countries. The co-founders conceived the business in 2017, and launched initially in Eastern Europe in 2019. The company’s customer base has been expanding quickly; the company expects to launch services all around Europe in September 2020. The company’s game catalog includes more than 200 games, and they have more than one million user registrations with approximately 100,000 active players. Currently Boosteroid employs more than 80 people, with expectations to grow the team over time.
Spotlight on ASUS
Established in 1989 and headquartered in Taipei, ASUS is a multinational company known for creating some of the world’s best motherboards and high-quality personal computers, monitors, graphics cards, routers and other technology solutions. ASUS has long-lasting relationships with other leading industry players, including Intel. As the company expanded various product lines, it developed a unique sub-brand called Republic of Gamers (ROG), a division dedicated to creating outstanding gaming gear with high performance and quality. Inspired by the In Search of Incredible brand spirit, ASUS won more than 11 awards every day in 2019 and ranks as one of Forbes’ World’s Best Regarded Companies and Fortune’s World’s Most Admired Companies. Today, ASUS employs more than 15,000 people.
Technical Components of Solution
- ASUS* ESC4000-G4S. Delivers incredible 2U server performance with best-in-class memory capacity and bandwidth.
- Intel® Xeon® Gold 6248 processor. Provides the necessary high performance for a desktop-as-a-service offering.
- Intel® VTune™ Profiler. Platform performance is enhanced through optimizations for Intel hardware.