Nexon Case Study Interview

A little over three months to complete implementation;
Zabbix watches over Nexon’s infrastructure for optimization


Previous monitoring software was not fully able to perform resource monitoring on OS and the virtual platform.

Separate monitoring tools for physical and virtual platforms


Ability to perform accurate resource monitoring of over 1,000 servers consisting of both physical and virtual platforms

Easy management screen

Easy customization


Consulting with Zabbix Certified Partner, Johokobo, Inc. about sizing

Completing the implementation in just over three months under the support of Johokobo, Inc.


Monitoring capabilities improved and VM resources monitoring, which was originally implemented using two different methods, is now integrated in one.

Operation costs decreased due to automating adding, deleting, and grouping of the monitored subjects.

Nexon distributes about 150 online computer games around the world, including the famous Maple Story and Mabinogi, actively expanding into new fields such as mobile games, safe system operation is the core of business. A reliable infrastructure is necessary for the users to enjoy their games whenever and wherever they require it.

The people who are responsible for designing and managing this infrastructure are the members of the Nexon Operation Headquarters Technology Department System Information Room Infrastructure Team. They monitor system operations to build a stable 24/7 service for a stress-free gaming experience.

Integrated monitoring console for physical and virtual platforms

Zabbix is an open source monitoring solution integrated for monitoring Nexon’s infrastructure. It performs real-time monitoring on over 1,000 servers in two locations and also on hardware resources such as disks and memories. It also monitors the condition of server applications for a stable operation.

One of the main reasons for the choice towards Zabbix was its low cost licensing policy, and when combined with the power of enterprise class integrated monitoring capabilities of wide range of environments over physical and virtual platforms, it became clear, that Zabbix is the best solution for this task.

川瀬 俊介 氏
Mr. Shunsuke Kawase
Infrastructure Team,
System Information Room
Operation Headquarters Technology Department
小松 義博 氏
Mr. Yoshihiro Komatsu
Leader of Infrastructure Team,
System Information Room
Operation Headquarters Technology Department
笹井 健太郎 氏
Mr. Kentaro Sasai
Infrastructure Team,
System Information Room
Operation Headquarters Technology Department

“Our company currently operates about 600 virtual servers in addition to 400 physical servers. However, the tools we had been using did not support a part of the virtual platform, and we could not retrieve a detailed status through the real-time monitoring. As a result, there were extra efforts put in setting up VMware vCenter Server for separate monitoring. We were looking for integrating two tools in one.” (Operation Headquarters Technology Department System Information Room Infrastructure Team, Mr. Shunsuke Kawase)

They considered many options, but none of them worked: the control screen was too complicated, there was an extra cost in customizing the default settings, or the product could not guarantee scalability of over 1,000 servers. Zabbix was the only monitoring software that fulfilled Nexon’s needs.

Zabbix performs integrated monitoring on physical and virtual resources on the web-based user interface. Even the operators who are unfamiliar with command lines can easily change the configuration. Configuration changes do not require restarting, thus saving effort and time in scheduling and notifying for maintenance.

“Zabbix is full of possibilities. Once you understand its structures, you can customize it without constrain. It is one of the best open source software solutions available.” (Mr. Kawase)

Before the OS server support expires......
A partner, that made a quick installation possible

There was also another reason they were in a rush to install Zabbix. Their monitoring server platform, Windows Server 2003, was about to expire in July 2015.

Nexon had been anticipating the OS support expiration and was looking for monitoring solutions. However, it was already February 2015 when they decided on Zabbix, after careful consideration. They began defining and designing the requirements, and completed the migration in approximately three months time, after starting the operation in April. Monitoring began in August.

Zabbix’s certified partner, Johokobo, supported the installation operations. Johoko is experienced in Zabbix installation and was able to fulfill Nexon’s sizing demands on a realistic schedule. Because the system was still in use, maintenance time was limited, but it worked out smoothly in the given time frame.

“Zabbix was chosen as a long-term investment, and to avoid any possible issues halting the work flow of the company, and forcing us to restart from the beginning, we commissioned services of Johokobo, who is immaculate at sizing.” (Mr. Kawase)

Both companies had to cooperate, prioritize, and be meticulous to finish the migration within a limited timeframe. “Nexon had requested various types of monitoring. We only set the minimum monitoring items at the time of installation because of the time constraint. They have been fully utilizing our service in operation support and monitoring item expansion,” says Mr. Kazuhiro Mizutani, Johokobo Product Support Department Subsection Chief.

Mr. Kawase adds, “As an open source software, Zabbix carries a lot of information, and it is a bit scary to use it without support. You can also save the time and effort in error solutions by asking the support members rather than figuring it out yourself.” He speaks highly of Zabbix effective and professional services.

During the installation, they discovered that the installation package was unavailable for versions with FreeBSD. Nexon submitted a request through Johokobo to Zabbix Japan and had an installation package created in time to meet the installation schedule. This is another benefit of having a certified partner.

Obtaining detailed information like IOPS and optimizing the infrastructure

Mr. Kazuhiro Mizutani,
Chief of Product Support Department Subsection
Mr. Yutaro Takauchi
Sales Department

Nexon is planning to expand Zabbix’s monitoring target to middle-ware and is organizing a system for gaming and service operation teams to monitor in greater detail by looking at the Web interface.

At the same time, they are aiming for a system to not only find issues quickly, but also anticipate and introduce countermeasures to prevent the issues from occurring. They are also looking at Zabbix’s potential for this.

“For example, before a disk runs out of memory and services are suspended, the system detects and prevents problems from happening. I am also expecting to use Zabbix not only for finding out the remaining disk space, but also for obtaining detailed information like IOPS for hardware replacement and accurate sizing for expanding the memory.” (Mr. Kawase)

Following the future service expansion, there will be more demand for infrastructure capabilities. “We are thinking of how to bring new platforms like the cloud system in addition to physical and virtual platforms under Zabbix’s monitoring systems. We are aiming for the best operations by combining the new trends of automation,” says Mr. Kentaro Sasai, Operation Headquarters Technology Department System Information Room Infrastructure Team.

Mr. Yoshihiro Komatsu, a leader of the Infrastructure Team, says, “We do not want to keep using the old infrastructure. We want to continue being a leading team in making new approaches for maximum efficiency. ” Nexon’s endeavors never end.

System Overview

1 Zabbix Server
Number of sites: 2
Number of monitored devices: 1,000
Number of triggers: 10,000
Number of items: 20,000
Number of users: 30

Hardware for Zabbix server

Server: HP DL380 Gen8 x1
CPU: Xeon E5-2660 2.20GHz (8core) x 2CPU
Memory: 32GB
HDD: 300GB x25
NVPS: 74.51

NEXON Co., Ltd.

We create free-to-play online games that deliver deeply immersive entertainment experiences to a global audience.

We develop, launch and operate PC and mobile games around the world. Our robust lineup includes nearly 150 games across more than 150 countries, including China, Korea, Japan, North America, and Europe. We tailor each game to the unique geography in which it is played, which is one reason that NEXON titles appeal to millions of users across the globe. Our PC titles include the popular franchises MapleStory, Dungeon&Fighter, Mabinogi, and Sudden Attack. We are also an important partner to leading game developers looking for transition into free-to-play.

Together with such partners, we have published a number of successful games including Counter-Strike Online and EA SPORTS™ FIFA Online 3.

Head office:
Tokyo, Japan
4,656 (consolidated)
243 (non-consolidated)
(December, 2014)
52,332 mil.Yen
(October, 2015)

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