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Entain at a Glance

Entain plc (LSE: ENT) is one of the world’s largest sports betting and gaming groups, operating both online and in the retail sector.

5 billion-dollar global sports betting & gaming giant

Operating in 31 regulated or regulating territories worldwide

Generating 71,000+ trading events every single minute

Running one of the world’s most complex, distributed systems in real-time with different requirements by market

Benefits delivered by Syntropy

Controls and optimizes traffic beyond the private network
Saves time trouble shooting various service providers
Reduces packet loss and round-trip-times automatically
Routes around congestion-causing outages without human intervention for seamless uptime

Syntropy’s segment-routing approach goes beyond the scope of traditional SD-WAN solutions and perfectly fits to our strategy to connect all Entain’s worldwide distributed sites only over the internet. Instead of relying on Internet Service Providers where Entain must give up control once a packet leaves the private network, Syntropy’s Relay Network continues to optimize Entain’s traffic while in transit all the way to the destination. This not only significantly reduces packet-loss and round-trip-times, but also saves a lot of time previously spent on troubleshooting issues between various service providers.

Markus Röglsperger
Head of Network, Datacenter and Infrastructure Automation, Entain

Entain owns some of the most recognizable brands in gaming: Ladbrokes, bwin, PartyPoker, Sportingbet, and BetMGM through a joint partnership with MGM Resorts International. With operations in 31 regulated or regulating territories, Entain has a workforce of more than 25,000 in more than 20 offices worldwide.

Entain is running one of the world’s most complex distributed systems in real time with 40+ geographically dispersed private data centers, each having different requirements in both the applications being hosted, as well as the regulatory requirements for an individual market. These data centers are connected by varying Tier 1 internet service providers. A typical data center hosts hundreds of applications and can process hundreds of thousands of transactions daily.  Entain generates 71,000+ trading events every single minute which is comparable to any leading stock exchange.

Uptime is critical. Entain’s customers expect access to the platform 24/7 and the platform is fully distributed across multiple data centers.

The Need for Optimal Network Performance

To maintain leadership in the online gaming and sports betting industry while also exploring and leading the path for entertainment in metaverse and NFTs, Entain depends heavily on their global network. Entain's networking team is composed of  top network engineers who are driven to maintain the highest level of network performance and reliability.

Transit through the core of the global internet is often a weak link because what happens in the core depends on BGP and is typically beyond the control of the enterprise. Any outage or congestion can affect performance, which reduces the end customer experience. If an application becomes unavailable, the result is failed transactions and lost revenue. This can have enormous implications on the bottom line - an hour of downtime can cost millions for enterprises (Statista, 2020). Entain operates in a competitive market so their customers’ online experience is key to growth and profitability, and even short outages or degraded performance are unacceptable.

The Syntropy Relay Network runs on top of the public internet and is fully programmable

This global digital fabric creates a network of networks comprised of the best connected ISPs, clouds, data centers, and devices and ensures the best possible performance and security.

Syntropy reduces risk by putting the control back into the hands of the network operator

Networking teams are limited by current internet protocols such as BGP so they lose control of data traffic once it leaves their private network. In a typical enterprise environment, with multiple data centers and several cloud vendors, this loss of control means exposure to more risk.

Syntropy provides secure and user-centric connectivity through a unifying layer

Encryption and optimized performance are built-in and automatically enabled for anything  connected. Technology is compatible with the current internet infrastructure and its protocols but introduces a crucial layer of programmability. It removes bottlenecks and limitations of the existing system, ensures security and optimization by default, and unlocks greater scalability potential for future technologies and applications.

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Syntropy Routes Around Critical Failures

Entain deployed Syntropy Agents and measured changes in latency and packet loss as a result of routing traffic through the Syntropy Relay Network. Entain network engineers used Syntropy to connect data centers in Entain's global network by installing a Syntropy Agent which acted as a gateway and directed traffic to the Syntropy Relay Network. All traffic through the Syntropy Agent is secured  through a WireGuard Tunnel.

All connections deployed over the Syntropy Relay Network form diverse paths. One route is deployed over the default internet route. The alternative paths are routed across Syntropy Relay Nodes and represent the best performing paths Syntropy’s Decentralized Autonomous Routing Protocol (DARP) can find. Syntropy’s DARP chooses routes based on latency and packet loss.

Syntropy’s DARP automatically monitors all routes for the best possible performance and ensures that the traffic is always routed via the path with the lowest latency and packet loss. If the active path's performance deteriorates, Syntropy’s DARP automatically and instantly switches to one of the alternative options. The process is automatic and does not require any human intervention, effectively acting as a safeguard against performance loss or a total outage.

Syntropy Reduces Latency

During a measurement period of several weeks, the Syntropy Relay Network consistently reduced the latency by twofold.

The Syntropy Relay Network also consistently reduced the latency of the connection between a different data center pair.

Syntropy Reduces Packet Loss and Averts Potential Outage

Syntropy was able to detect and route around an instance of network performance degradation so severe that it would have caused an extended outage had it not been mitigated by Syntropy.

We use multiple Tier 1 ISPs per site and use SD-WAN already so we had multiple options via multiple ISP combinations. On one occasion, we saw a substantial latency increase with spikes over 1500ms that was sustained for 35 minutes across all of our ISPs. Syntropy was able to take the whole path into consideration and route around the downstream latency to avoid the outage entirely.  Without any human intervention, Syntropy’s DARP immediately detected the performance problem and switched to the alternative, best-performing path immediately.

Markus Röglsperger

Head of Network, Datacenter and Infrastructure Automation, Entain

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