UltraPlay — ready-made platforms for sports betting and eSports
September 15, 2022
The Bulgarian company UltraPlay uses the IONOS Cloud to offer high-quality esports and betting solutions to online operators worldwide
UltraPlay, a company that has already received many awards, has developed a large number of turnkey platforms and streams for sport and esports betting. In the past 12 years, the team of experienced igaming pros has made a name for itself and become established as a reliable business partner. The projects involve both esports betting and online casinos — in real time.
This means that enormous requirements need to be met by web services and mobile apps so that the service can be made available to the customer at high speed.
With the IONOS Cloud, the company has found just the right infrastructure to achieve its strategic goals.
Stable, powerful, scalable, and secure platforms for sports betting
As a provider of betting solutions, UltraPlay needs to meet a large number of requirements to ensure that over ten thousand users worldwide have secure and reliable access to the betting services of various platforms at the same time, especially during peak periods. And this is likely even more important for the gambling industry than for others — the odds need to
be updated constantly so that users can place bets at any time, even during a live event. Even minor delays or missing one single update can cause the service to lose its reputation and ultimately lose customers.
Furthermore, the real-time betting solutions need to be able to deal with the number of users changing rapidly, and sometimes in unpredictable ways.
Major sporting events like the Champions League, the FIFA World Cup, the Super Bowl, the Formula One Grand Prix, or even live events in the up-and-coming esports sector, attract large audiences and large numbers of bets, causing access figures to peak. Users need to be able to place bets quickly, carry out financial transactions, and receive the latest information such as betting odds and scores in real time. A reliable betting solution therefore needs to have the following properties:
• High availability combined with low error tolerance
• Low latencies for a positive user experience and minimized liability risks
• High scalability, as provided by a dynamically elastic server tier, for example, in order to support a large number of simultaneous users.
• Guaranteed data integrity to prevent users from losing confidence in the solution
UltraPlay provides data feeds to customers that will not tolerate any interruptions, such as the internationally renowned and popular betting company Cbet. “With the
low latencies in the IONOS Cloud and the high levels of performance of the data centers, meeting these requirements is
made easy,” explains Mario Ovcharov, CEO of the company.
There are, however, other factors that need to be taken into account. The IT infrastructure used in a cloud needs to meet certain criteria if the betting providers are to obtain a betting license. The licensor requirements of Europe’s Malta Gaming Authority and corresponding authorities in England or Curaçao are extremely strict and even go beyond the stipulations of the European General Data Protection Regulation. If they are not met, the gambling license can quickly be revoked. This means that the fundamental cloud infrastructure/the server
needs to be effectively protected from cyber attacks and physical threats. For this reason, applications for new licenses involve regular checks of the cloud infrastructure
that is used. A reliable cloud provider needs to be prepared for this at all times and fulfill the latest security standards. This is another area where UltraPlay benefits from the cloud infrastructure of IONOS: When one of the company’s end customers applies for a gambling license, IONOS can generally meet all the necessary requirements without any problems.
Lastly, the cloud environment must be easy to manage. Computing resources must be put to use where they are needed without delay, and UltraPlay employees need
to be able to tend to other tasks. This means that the service provider can remain in charge of operating the platforms and avoids any unnecessary overhead costs for UltraPlay. It is, of course, important for not to cut corners here. Platform providers should be given a cost-effective solution that is perfectly tailored to the customer’s specific needs and can be scaled up or down as needed. Performance and security, however, should not be comprised to save costs.
Implementation with IONOS Cloud as a partner
The team of passionate igaming pros with extensive experience in developing and marketing betting products, and in esports as a whole, opted for IONOS as
their cloud provider as this would enable their specific business requirements to be met. “IONOS enables us to offer high-quality products at all times. We now hardly use an in-house hardware environment anymore and we make use of the IONOS Cloud infrastructure and services even for test and development environments,” says CEO Mario Ovcharov, summarizing the approach.
Virtual servers, storage, and infrastructure in the IONOS Cloud
The Data Center Designer (DCD) gives UltraPlay an important competitive advantage. It enables the company to assign required components as needed via drag and
drop, so computing resources can be distributed to wherever they are currently needed. Users like UltraPlay appreciate the system’s intuitive user interface, which
makes employee training much easier. They also value being able to monitor activities more effectively and to respond rapidly if values deviate from the norm or if load
peaks occur. The company uses this feature every day to distribute resources to other servers, for example if they are needed for a specific upcoming sport event. And the
best thing is that IONOS Cloud customers benefit from these monitoring processes at no extra charge.
UltraPlay has been working with IONOS for some time — initially in relation to individual services for setting up betting solutions, and now for complete operation of its
infrastructure. This means that UltraPlay almost makes use of the entire IONOS portfolio, from virtual servers and storage to databases and load balancers. The latter
is especially helpful if a company guarantees high availability and if multiple servers are responsible for providing the applications. To prevent server overload
and excessively long response times, the load is evenly distributed across multiple servers on the basis of predefined rules automatically, effectively, and efficiently.
UltraPlay now stores 10 terabytes of data on the scalable IONOS cloud storage and uses an average of 50 virtual servers. In relation to the VMs in particular, the sports
betting provider appreciates the great user experience, the reliability, and the fact that there have so far not been any failures. Even if problems do occur, UltraPlay can
always count on the reliable customer service, which is always on hand to help with appropriate support and can find answers promptly. “Whenever we make a support
request, we are given expert help right away. This means that minor failures can be rectified quickly,” the company explains.
The company is clearly more than happy with the results: “The IONOS platform meets all our requirements and is fast, secure, straightforward, and easy to manage. On
top of this, it comes at a fair price. And while this is not the main reason we have remained loyal to IONOS for so long, it is an important factor,” says CEO Mario Ovcharov.
After all, in a rapidly growing sector like sports betting, and in particular in the up-and-coming esport segment, every company has to use new innovations in the cloud
sector to remain futureproof and competitive.
This is the only way for UltraPlay to deal with the constantly increasing traffic and the flood of data. For this reason, the provider had already taken a look
at the advantages of solutions based on containers and managed Kubernetes services, which would help it to respond even more quickly and flexibly. Apart from
the required IaaS elements, this service is also free of charge within the IONOS Cloud. Managed Kubernetes has now been integrated into the Data Center Designer.
Containers have now become a standard method for managing and providing applications within the cloud.
They are used to decouple the applications from the physical environment and make them more accessible, regardless of whether a public or a private cloud is
involved. Furthermore, container-based applications can be migrated to the cloud more easily.
UltraPlay’s long-standing and close collaboration with IONOS is therefore set to remain very interesting in the future. There will be many challenges to overcome,
especially as esports is still a relatively unknown field of application involving a diverse range of issues. The highly knowledgeable UltraPlay trading team collects data and
information on players and teams from various sources such as social media, and feeds them into its mathematical esports models in order to calculate probabilities for
future events. This then serves as a basis for the odds for a game such as League of Legends or the Madden NFL video game. The course has therefore already been
set for UltraPlay’s continued success in the future, and IONOS is delighted to be involved.
The long-standing productive partnership between UltraPlay and IONOS is a clear example of how the IONOS Cloud satisfies the demanding performance
requirements of its customers and also passes the strict security checks performed by state authorities in relation to betting and financial transactions. Furthermore, the
Data Center Designer is an important instrument when it comes to booking new resources and managing them in accordance with the particular sport season or event
and demand peaks. At the same time, it provides the customer with various integrated analysis tools for a high level of control over the entire cloud product and a
transparent overview of current competitor platforms.
The entire IONOS Cloud infrastructure, with its virtual servers, storage, and load balancers, is extremely reliable and highly available. It features scalability and
low latency, so even new features can be integrated into existing infrastructure quickly and easily.