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Minecraft Servers - Bandwidth and Speeds

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  #1  
Old 04-23-2012, 09:09 AM
jeffreylees jeffreylees is offline
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Minecraft Servers - Bandwidth and Speeds


A business partner and I have been looking at setting up some servers for a couple of other reasons, and someone got us looking at Minecraft hosting - and perhaps some other games as well. Both of us have run game servers before, and both have run small MC servers for friends, etc. The hardware needed is understood (bah on Java) and we understand the software packages we'd want to use for panels, etc, and are doing market research on pricing, and we know that the market's saturated.

Hopefully the above paragraph can kill some of the 'there are too many GSPs, hardware specs are high, go look at these threads' responses.

What I'm wondering is this: What kind of internet connection are we discussing here? What I'm understanding is that as far as upload speeds, minecraft necessitates around .25Mbps for every concurrent player.
So, if you hosted a box that had the capacity (using a bunch of different server instances) of hosting say, 300 slots (maybe over 10-20 game servers) then in order to allow for max load, you'd need somewhere in the ballpark of an upload speed of 75Mbps.

Is that accurate? In my area, the highest speeds that the (only) cable ISP for businesses will discuss is 50 down / 8 up. In my business associate's area I believe the limit was somewhere around 100/20 although I could be wrong.

So... what kind of connection are these facilities running?

We also looked at VPS and dedicated rentals, but the rental costs seem to outweigh any profits at all and we'd much rather invest in the equipment itself, as it can be reused for all sorts of ventures.

Thanks in advance for your time and thoughts!



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  #2  
Old 04-23-2012, 10:03 AM
kmonchamp kmonchamp is offline
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Cable lines are not good for doing uploading, which as a host you need. There is another type of service called colocation, where you buy you own hardware to host in a datacenter, which sounds a bit more what you are looking for.

Many cable and phone companies offer specialty connections to business directly (fiber, metro ethernet), although they are generally very expensive, and depending on your location not available.

Even smaller datacenters have multiple 1gbs connections, although depending on what service you buy (vps, dedicated, colocation) you will get a chuck of that, usually either unmetered (ex, 10mb, 100mb), or you pay for the actual data transferred, (ex, 10tb, 20tb). If you find that you have a lot of constant traffic, unmettered makes more sense, but if you have a lot more peak traffic paying for the traffic makes more sense.

  #3  
Old 04-23-2012, 10:14 AM
jeffreylees jeffreylees is offline
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Colocation may be exactly what we were looking for. The benefits of investing in your own equipment without investing in the internet/facility as deeply. Thanks. Any other responses are welcome... I'm browsing colocation options for ideas now

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  #4  
Old 04-23-2012, 10:22 AM
Steven F Steven F is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jeffreylees View Post
Colocation may be exactly what we were looking for. The benefits of investing in your own equipment without investing in the internet/facility as deeply. Thanks. Any other responses are welcome... I'm browsing colocation options for ideas now
The only issue with colocating is that if there is any hardware failure, you'll need spare parts and, if you're not close by, remote hands.

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  #5  
Old 04-23-2012, 12:00 PM
jeffreylees jeffreylees is offline
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Spare parts won't be an issue. Location could be... we're investigating datacenters that are within 2 hours of either of our locations. Same area would be better, as 2 hours away is a long travel if the server is down. That said, RAID will hopefully alleviate too much hard drive failure induced downtime, and any other hardware failure is just... unfortunate?. Eventually we might could rig up better fallbacks...

In any case. If we can find a data center close enough that does collocation and meets our needs and budget, then we'll be good.

On that note, I wonder how much hardware work we should predict on these things... I live in Ohio, business partner lives in MN... there are significantly more datacenters available in under an hour from him than there are for me... but I'm more experienced in both hardware IT and server work than he is. Gah... decisions.

Anyway, thanks for the inputs so far. This board has been very helpful, I've used it to glean a good amount of information and suggestions from other people's threads on this topic and others, and now this one too.

  #6  
Old 04-25-2012, 01:01 PM
jeffreylees jeffreylees is offline
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If anyone is interested in commenting, here are the specs I am looking at so far on the first machine:

- Supermicro barebones rack server (AS-1012G-MTF)
- 1 AMD Opteron 6220 Interlagos 3.0GHz 16MB L3 Cache Socket G34 115W 8-Core
- 2 or 4 SanDisk Sata III 120GB SSD drives, in RAID. Business partner and I are debating about the best hard drive setup at the moment.
- 32gb 1600 DDR3 RAM, with upgradability
- 100Mbps conn

My questions: To host MC servers, how far can we go on 1 8 core CPU? What if we add more RAM later and go to 64? At some point will we cap the CPU and need a second one? If so, this board isn't the one for us (1 slot).

Thanks for your input.

  #7  
Old 04-25-2012, 01:12 PM
Ghan_04 Ghan_04 is offline
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My experience on running Minecraft servers (usually just one or two at a time) is that they do not need SSDs at all. Pretty much overkill for Minecraft. The reason it uses so much RAM is because it tries to cache everything, meaning in general your hard drive doesn't get hit too hard. If you're running a lot of servers then perhaps go for some 10K rpm SAS drives in RAID 10 or so, but I just think SSD is a waste of money. (And you might need more space than SSDs provide as well)

As for CPU, it's hard to say. I've only run Minecraft on Intel chips and you do need to have a decent amount of CPU to run busy servers. I would say that your CPU there should be able to handle what can fill up a 32 GB RAM box without much problem, but you might start running into CPU bottleneck problems at 64 GB of RAM. It would need to be something that you get a feel for. Some of it will depend on how you are reselling and how much each person is using.

A 100Mbps unmetered port would allow you to run a ton of concurrent connections. I don't really have a solid figure on what each connection uses - I'd say your estimate of 0.25Mbps/connection is fair enough to go on until you see actual figures.

Last thoughts: Minecraft is more RAM dependent than anything from what I've seen. If your CPU is substandard then it will become a large problem, but CPUs that are good enough seem to have no trouble at all. Hope this helps.

  #8  
Old 04-25-2012, 01:18 PM
jeffreylees jeffreylees is offline
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Most SAS 10k drives that I've seen are more costly than 120gb ssds, though... Not sure if I'm looking in the wrong places or what.

Yeah, I think you're right about RAM dependency more than anything. The numbers we've seen are .20-.25Mbps per concurrent user... but you're right, we'll be able to tell much more accurately after things are live.

I imagine 'after things are live' is the answer to a lot of our issues, unfortunately.

The big question CPU wise is whether we should spring for the board with an extra slot 'just in case' we want a second CPU; set up the thing with two to start with (even more expensive) or just go with 1 slot, 1 brain, and see how that goes.

  #9  
Old 04-25-2012, 01:24 PM
Ghan_04 Ghan_04 is offline
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Well to answer the CPU question I guess you would want to know how resistant you'd be to the idea of just building a second box if your first one is getting full. Starting with one CPU might be the way to go if by the time that one is full you're ok with building a second machine that does have two slots.

  #10  
Old 04-25-2012, 01:27 PM
jeffreylees jeffreylees is offline
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That's a good point. We're absolutely planning on building more machines as needed. Maybe we should just build the first to go up to a set amount, and ignore any upgradability beyond that.

  #11  
Old 04-25-2012, 01:33 PM
Ghan_04 Ghan_04 is offline
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I think that would be the way to go, as it would still allow you to fully use the hardware you're starting with here and would act as an experiment to get a good feel for what kind of hardware to sort of make your standard build for the future.

  #12  
Old 05-24-2012, 02:21 PM
necs necs is offline
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Building a server for colocation might be a good idea in the long run but a good VPS will be a lot cheaper to get you started...

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