As I'm planning to colocate a server soon in my local area for gaming purposes. (Only Counter Strike)
I need some specific information for running 4-5 HLDS servers(Counter Strike 1.6) under one server, which will be having 2 public servers with 20 players allowed each and 2-3 Clan servers with max 12 allowed on each...
Looking to above specifications and perspective please answer some of my queries below...
With these specifications which processor, motherboard and RAM do you recommend ?
If I also run Counter Strike : Source server will it be loady than Counter Strike 1.6 Server ?
What tweaks can be done to provide good latency and furthermore making the server more powerfull & efficient ?
Will linux or windows be more powerful ?
If my month transfer is limited to 15 GB ONLY, running these many hlds server will cross my bandwidth ?(Server speed : 10 mbit) (How is this calculation to be done?)
I will really appreciate if I get answer to these questions, as these questions really putting up dilemma for me.
I wont be hosting anything else, except this all.
Waiting for both..proffesional and newbiez recommendations
I dont't want to discourage you or anything... but if you're planning on hosting your server at home, forget about it right away.
First, outtages (and trust me, they WILL happen even in the best conditions) will make your "clients" unhappy, and there will be nothing you will be able to do to correct the situation in the event of a power brownout that lasts for 12 hours, or your ISP's pipes crawling to their knees.
If I made a mistake, and the 15GB monthly is really an offer from your hosting company and not your ISP quota, then forget it anyway, or just make business elsewhere. There's no way 15GB will suffice with ONE server, let alone 5.
That makes a lot of "IF", maybe I'm just wrong, please light up my lantern.
First, for 5 servers of CS 1.6, here's what I would recommend you:
If you're going for a low budget :
A) an Intel Pentium D 2.8 is dual core, and is approximately the same price as an Athlon 64 3500+, which is single core. 1 GB DDR2 (generic brand will do), and as for the motherboard, you could always try a good ASROCK 775 board.
If you're going for a midly higher budget:
B) an Intel Core 2 duo 6400, 2GB DDR2 (Kingston, Crucial, etc), and a good board like Asus or MSI.
And if you want the absolute best in gaming servers, I think you can't go wrong with a pair of dual-core (that means 2 x 2 core = 4!) Opterons.
Now, as for BOTH solutions, pick a GOOD power supply unit. Its often overlooked, but in the end can make the difference between good business with your clients, and no business at all.
For the hard disks, a single, 80Gb 7200RPM 8M SATA2 drive is sufficient. (I'd say you won't ever need more than 20 Gb)
For data redundancy, pick two identical hard drives, and set them in RAID 1. Your read speed will boost a tad (as in, a lilttle bit).
10K RPM drives in SATA2 are the best, but they're expensive. Again, setting those in RAID1 would be good.
I think that's it.
Trout21 already summed it up about bandwidth. A popular server with 12-16 slots will eat up about 200 to 300 GB a month of bandwidth. While a private server, used only for scrims, will only consume about 100GB, depending of the clan...
So If you have 5 clients * 200 Gb = 1000GB. Don't forget its an average, it might go up to 1500.
Hope I helped a bit
PS: AW! I just forgot: I don't know of any *tweak* that would boost HLDS, but there's the tickrate option that will make the game smoother (example, the default is 33, and setting it to 66 or 100 will make the game smoother, but will eat up more bandwidth)
Always installing the latest (stable) drivers for your network card and components (board, etc) would certainly help tho.
--> Intel Core 2 Duo or AMD X2 are good choice, great performance for the buck.
Having a double-core will REALLY help your performance.
--> About the HDD size issue: no big deal, heh. Maps for CS are small, as is the server itself. You can even pick 2 x 36 Gb Raptors and I bet you'll be okay.
Linux VS Windows : Pick what you have the most experience in, or what fits best your needs. Both have decent-to-good network stacks, and both have good CPU schedulers (This will help share the load between the two Cores).
My personnal preference goes to Linux (mostly debian) because it's free as in beer, free as in speech, and I feel like I have more control over it.
At the end of the day, it all depends weither you can or not debug the problems...