This is my first post, and I hope I can find some useful advice from you guys.
We're a bunch of kiwis interested in launching a NZ based gaming site later this year, to support our Internet/LAN cafe. Unfortunately, Internet connections in NZ are way over priced, and that's why we're looking for Webhosts overseas to host our little project.
Our Site will be providing popular card, board and arcade games. Sadly, all of us are only experienced with graphics, programming and other areas NOT related to WebHosting. As a result, we don't know what sort of badnwidth we'll be needing.
Our early estimates show that we'll have anything between 200-400 players on the site at anytime.
I realise card and board games don't require lots of speed and don't generate a huge traffic bill, but what about FPS games, for example? Any idea?
Any help will be much appreciated. And if you've got any question you'd like to ask to make the picture complete, please ask.
For first person shooter games to calculate the amount of bandwidth your server need, you can use this small algorithm: take the maximal rate clients can use (10000-25000) divide it by 1000 and multiply it with the amount of players you want to host on your server and you get the needed bandwidth in kilobyte per second. You will see, a teamplay server with 24 players need at least 600 kb/s. Hope this might help ya
Regarding the Server configuration, assuming you mean hardware, we're well prepared with the latest. However, we're split into two groups at the moment. Intel-supporters and AMD-supporters. I am with the AMD team myself, and once our team is victorious, we'll have an Opteron 248 along with 3 Gigs of RAM.
Like I mentioned before, the nightmare I'm facing now is Internet speed and traffic required. There is nothing worse than having a "kick-***" gaming site that offers an out-of-this-world gaming experience, then ... oops! I find out that I need to spend a couple of Grands more to purchase more traffic!
Now to the formula suggested in the first reply. According to the estimates, I'll have 100 players in an FPS teamplay. SO, 25000 /1000 * 100 = 2500Kpbs Which sounds sweet.
With a 10Mbps I can host 400 players? That's brilliant and I surely can find such bandwidth locally. Thanks for the tip!
Regarding card/board games, such as chess, spades, hearts, etc... any idea what would be the required bandwidth?
That bandwidth 25.000 (25 kb/s) is out of this wourld...
Now let's talk serius.
If you wanna host that many players (Don't know if it is possible, you got to have a lot of juice) but... you could calculate 7 - 10 Kb/s per user.
400 user x 7 Kb/s = 2800 kb/s
T1 (1.544 Mbps) = 150 KB/s
So you will need 18 x T1 = 27,792 Mbps
If I was you I would get 3 servers, Xeon it 2GB's our something like that where you can host lost's of games.
The right thing would be to putting the right games it the right games..
If you put too many havy games on server 1 and put lower end on servers 2 and 3 that will make a lag and will be a waste of CPU for servers 2 and 3.
Find the balance point and you will be fine.
PS: Still 400 users (on game, not on website) is a heavy heavy load for 3 good (Xeon 2.5 our + 2GBram "SCSI") servers (You will have to put more than 100 users per server and I don't think some games will let you put that much.)
If I was you I would get 3 Xeon 3.0 our P4 (3.0 our +) it at least 2.0GB it SCSI.
Thanks for the last two replies. From now what I'm understanding, you're thinking my 400 users will be hardcore gamers spending all their time on demanding games like FPS and 3D Strategy ones. This is NOT the case.
If I find that having a server for FPS and RTS games will ruin the balance and require more hardware than I am planning to purchase, I'll simply keep the server available to local gamers in my cafe and stick to basic board/card/arcade games for now.
It would help if the last two people to reply could mention if their previous advice considered the basic games ONLY on my server(s) or was it the whole package they're talking about? (whole package = card/board/arcade/FPS/RTS)
p.s. I've heard of many small popular gaming (No FPS or RTS) sites still run on slow P4 and can handle 200-300 players for at least 6 games.