Case Study

GoldenRace: Improving the virtual betting experience by optimizing cloud performance

Golden Race
Amazon Aurora, Amazon Web Services


Months to fully review the entire cloud infrastructure


Reduction in cloud costs


Days saved generating monthly usage reports

Meet GoldenRace

Across a range of virtual sports and games, GoldenRace generates more than 25 million betting tickets per day as a global leader in virtual games. The company was founded in Malta in 2006 and has since grown to offer virtual sports betting opportunities across virtual racing, football, and more on more than 500 websites. By simulating realistic games and realistic odds, the company provides new opportunities for entertainment and unique viewing experiences worldwide. GoldenRace belongs to the Softquo Holding, a world-leading gambling holding company, committed to innovation and technology, providing easy access to all betting verticals through four powerful brands.

The challenge

With nearly 20 years of technology built and layered together, GoldenRace wanted to identify areas of its cloud infrastructure it could optimize to reduce operational costs. At the same time, the company is constantly searching for ways to create novel gaming and spectating experiences.

It’s doing this while navigating increasingly complex gambling-related regulations at state, regional, and national levels. “We operate in multiple countries with multiple cloud accounts,” said Alejandro Gomez, IT Director at GoldenRace. “Since everything is separate it was difficult to understand exactly where or how we were spending our money to power our cloud infrastructure.” The team wanted to find ways to reduce costs while also working toward its internal “PFB” (Prouder, Faster, and Better) initiative that aims to improve collaboration and efficiency across the organization.

Optimizing the company’s cloud spend would also allow GoldenRace to continue to scale and expand without costs growing at the same rate. “Data usage grows, so costs grow, but we knew with the right tools and FinOps practices we could make smarter decisions about our cloud spend,” Alejandro added. “With the right information, we could improve our data throughput and latency and reduce costs at the same time.” To support the company’s growing datasets and user base, improve visibility, and improve security to save money on its infrastructure, GoldenRace teamed up with DoiT.

The solution

While GoldenRace had a clear sense of its goals, it partnered with DoiT to dive more deeply into understanding the core of its challenges, including an update from AWS Aurora 2 to Aurora 3. “We came to DoiT with the challenge of reducing costs, and they sat down with us to really understand our goals,” Alejandro shared. “They reviewed our database usage to identify spikes and showed us where we could optimize and also AWS costs we were not seeing.”

Improving efficiency during a complex migration
During the upgrade from Aurora 2 to Aurora 3, DoiT helped GoldenRace recognize areas of its database that could be improved while simultaneously migrating versions. By recommending changes to specific configurations, the team could accelerate its processing speed and allow the database to be more adaptable to ebbs and flows in usage. Additionally, GoldenRace implemented DoiT Flexsave™ to support ongoing, automated compute management.

“Flexsave is simple because you don’t really have to do anything. If you turn it on, you’ll get discounts.” Alejandro shared. “DoiT also showed us that the standard Aurora wasn’t meeting our needs and suggested Aurora I/O because it’s optimized with MySQL 8.0.” By offering direct technical suggestions about which temporary tables would work with specific cloud configurations, DoiT helped GoldenRace update its infrastructure, customized around its inserts, updates, queries, and usage rates.

Gaining greater visibility across cloud environments with consolidated reporting
Variation in regional regulations and data storage laws means that GoldenRace maintains multiple AWS accounts. The company wanted to make more data-driven decisions and strategize for the future, but compiling cross-account data took several days every month.

The company combined these datasets into DoiT dashboards and Cloud Analytics to gain clearer insight across the entire organization. “The first steps to controlling costs are having better data and the right tools to make decisions,” Alejandro said. “Reducing the time we have to spend manually finding and processing data helps us focus on growth.”

Protecting company data with proactive cloud security
GoldenRace wanted to ensure its new and improved cloud infrastructure was secure from potential threats. With Anomaly Detection, the company can automatically catch and quickly correct unwanted activity that drives up costs. “Automating our review process means we don’t have to monitor our workloads, and if a vulnerability appears — and it’s affecting our system — we’re alerted immediately and can mitigate,” Alejandro shared. “We also avoid surprise costs. Before, we might not have known something happened until we saw a large bill at the end of the month.”

The team can now catch common vulnerabilities and exposures (CVEs) before they’re deployed in a production environment. “We detected a vulnerability in one of the variables we built using a third-party tool,” Alejandro said. “But DoiT’s Anomaly Detection, combined with Lacework, we were able to catch the CVE and provide recommendations to remediate before it reached production, so our environment was never compromised.”

The results

Only two months to migrate cloud infrastructure during the holiday season
With DoiT, GoldenRace was able to complete its AWS Aurora 3 migration in just two months in the middle of the busy holiday season. “We migrated in record time. We manage so much data, and we had to ensure that we minimized downtime so we didn’t disrupt our users,” Alejandro said. “With DoiT’s support, we managed to complete the process in two months with Christmas in the middle of it.” This process was made even easier by DoiT-hosted training sessions that provided Goldenrace with deep dives workshops and labs to make the most of Aurora.

21% reduction in overall cloud costs
Automatically optimizing cloud resources with Flexsave, the company saw an almost immediate 3% reduction in cloud cost across each server, and that has grown to more than 5% as it scales and finds new ways to optimize.

Additionally, GoldenRace has worked with DoiT’s team to find new discounts and areas to optimize its entire cloud spend. “DoiT is a trusted partner of ours. Whatever we do is a win for us and a win for them,” Alejandro said. “We have a bi-weekly sync with the team where we review our current needs, and they’ve helped us turn their industry expertise into negotiating discounts on annual pricing that has saved us 20 to 30 percent of our software costs.”

Monthly reporting in just one hour
Gaining insight across multiple cloud accounts was a necessary part of GoldenRace’s next growth stage. By gaining a clearer understanding of all of its performance and cost data, the company can find new, small ways to optimize over time and continue to reduce cloud costs. “For some resources, finding specific information isn’t easy,” said Alejandro. “You have to go console by console to see how much we spend and then do it all over across each account. With our DoiT dashboard, it takes a few clicks, and we can quickly have all of our cost data.”

What's next

GoldenRace continues to leverage its relationship with DoiT to explore new opportunities to optimize. Currently, this involves finding new ways to reduce workloads, including Kubernetes clusters. “DoiT’s expertise helps me see options I might have missed. Their point of view helps me think beyond what’s in front of me and discover new solutions to optimize our cloud processing,” said Alejandro.

Alejandro Gomez, IT Director at GoldenRace
“DoiT’s expertise helps me see options I might have missed. Their point of view helps me think beyond what’s in front of me and discover new solutions to optimize our cloud processing.”

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