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What it takes to make a good gaming network

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  #1  
Old 03-25-2009, 03:27 AM
wansecurity wansecurity is offline
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What it takes to make a good gaming network


I need to get to bed so I'm just going to touch on these:

* Low Latency
Low latency for games like FPS is extremely important.

* CPU
Depending on the game the CPU speed can be important. Some games are much more CPU intensive on the server than others. Typically 3D games with large maps and lots of moving elements and environmental variables require more CPU time than other.

* Memory
You can never have enough memory, more memory means less disk access, which means more interrupt and CPU time for network transfer, which means lower latency

* Disk
Most game servers require very little disk. It is however nice to have fast disks so the game servers can load maps, and other elements into memory quickly. Faster disks mean less disk access time, which means more interrupt and CPU time for network transfer, which means lower latency and a better game experience.

* Kernel configuration
Many kernel configuration options are available for tweaking. These provide things like better network throughput, better packet reassembly (rarely needed) and overall performance.

* Multi-homed
Multi-homed hosts use BGP routing, and have a much better chance of getting a route back to you that has less hops and less latency. Some providers will even work with you do route over specific links or peers which will help the latency of your network.

* QoS
Quality of service also plays an important part of keeping the latency low, and UDP packet delivery rate high. Providers with peering agreements honoring QoS will provide lower latency, less packet loss and an overall better experience for gamers.


I hope you found this interesting. Let's see if we can't get some discussion back in this forum.

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  #2  
Old 03-26-2009, 10:55 PM
Stevie21 Stevie21 is offline
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Great post, however, game servers actually use a lot of disk space! For example, if you have the game server files for about 15 games on your boxes, that can equal up to 60GB (if they were all 4GB large).

And then, you need to take into account when users have their game servers created it copies files into a specified folder for that user, resulting in two seperate game server files folders which doubles the amount of space required. (Sorry if i didn't make a lot of sense)

  #3  
Old 04-02-2009, 08:50 AM
sydelhost sydelhost is offline
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I ran some game servers and the main issues are usually disk space and bandwidth.

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  #4  
Old 04-02-2009, 10:21 AM
Stevie21 Stevie21 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sydelhost View Post
I ran some game servers and the main issues are usually disk space and bandwidth.
Really, bandwidth eh? What types of game servers were you running? I've never went over, or even close to 2000GB of bandwidth and i host over 50 game servers I guess your servers were populated much of the day and night.

  #5  
Old 04-02-2009, 04:09 PM
Xenos Xenos is offline
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Back in the day you would see some game servers with a max player count of 48 - 64 slots that usually ran approximately at 90% capacity 24/7. That was when I played BF1942 Desert Combat and once again when CoD4 was just released. Now every kid with a summer job has a game server leading to a lot more of them being empty.


Last edited by Xenos; 04-02-2009 at 04:12 PM.
  #6  
Old 04-03-2009, 08:33 AM
bo-d3ey bo-d3ey is offline
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yes goood very nice

  #7  
Old 04-03-2009, 09:39 PM
racked_solutions racked_solutions is offline
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i think alot of people over look how important hard drives are for improving your I/O with raid will give you alot more performance

  #8  
Old 04-04-2009, 11:27 PM
wansecurity wansecurity is offline
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Disk IO

Quote:
Originally Posted by powergsp View Post
Great post, however, game servers actually use a lot of disk space! For example, if you have the game server files for about 15 games on your boxes, that can equal up to 60GB (if they were all 4GB large).

And then, you need to take into account when users have their game servers created it copies files into a specified folder for that user, resulting in two seperate game server files folders which doubles the amount of space required. (Sorry if i didn't make a lot of sense)
Sorry I've been away, actually I meant to say disk IO.

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  #9  
Old 04-04-2009, 11:30 PM
wansecurity wansecurity is offline
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Game Servers -> Quake 3

Quote:
Originally Posted by powergsp View Post
Really, bandwidth eh? What types of game servers were you running? I've never went over, or even close to 2000GB of bandwidth and i host over 50 game servers I guess your servers were populated much of the day and night.
I primarily hosted Q3, CS, and UT servers. Several of them, but not 50. Yes, it was not uncommon to have 8 ~ 16 players per server.

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  #10  
Old 04-04-2009, 11:36 PM
wansecurity wansecurity is offline
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Talking Disk IO

Quote:
Originally Posted by racked_solutions View Post
i think alot of people over look how important hard drives are for improving your I/O with raid will give you alot more performance
Agreed, actually what we used to do is load up a server with 4gigs of memory, which was a lot at the time ~circa 2001, and create a memory file-system storing all of the quake 3 maps on the file-system. That way the server would always be ready before the players were.

It was really quite neat.

Today, for all of our IO intensive applications such as the CDN servers and network we developed for a major content distributor we are using Areca RAID cards. I am extremely impressed with their quality and throughput. For their price they are functionally amazing.

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  #11  
Old 04-04-2009, 11:48 PM
wansecurity wansecurity is offline
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Bandwidth

Quote:
Originally Posted by powergsp View Post
Really, bandwidth eh? What types of game servers were you running? I've never went over, or even close to 2000GB of bandwidth and i host over 50 game servers I guess your servers were populated much of the day and night.
I forgot to mention, typically, the wider the bandwidth, the lower the latency.

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  #12  
Old 04-05-2009, 12:07 AM
dotRoot dotRoot is offline
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One thing that doesn't seemed to be mentioned here is that location is very important. Both physically and electrically. Chicago in the US is pretty much the defacto standard all around best.

Dallas, LA, and NY all have their markets. NY for the Eastern Board and Canada, Chicago for a good all arounder, and LA for the West Coast.

There are of course datacenters all over, I was just talking about the big hubs. There is a diamond in the rough in Kansas as well, which could be a pretty good market for the midwest to east.

Really, a savvy gaming clan/community will buy a server that is closest to most of their members or whoever is actually paying for the server.

Also, on a sidenote, I had much better performance disabling HT on my Intel boxes and running most games, but that was also before multi-core was around.

  #13  
Old 04-16-2009, 12:59 AM
1nsane 1nsane is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by powergsp View Post
Really, bandwidth eh? What types of game servers were you running? I've never went over, or even close to 2000GB of bandwidth and i host over 50 game servers I guess your servers were populated much of the day and night.
50? 2 of mine use up 2000gb! These are 32 player servers.

Though they are full 18-20 hours a day.

  #14  
Old 04-16-2009, 01:13 AM
wansecurity wansecurity is offline
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Talking

Quote:
Originally Posted by 1nsane View Post
50? 2 of mine use up 2000gb! These are 32 player servers.

Though they are full 18-20 hours a day.
What game is that? Quake III was pretty lean, but still used a fair amount of bandwidth.

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Last edited by wansecurity; 04-16-2009 at 01:14 AM. Reason: entered too soon
  #15  
Old 04-16-2009, 12:46 PM
Creed3020 Creed3020 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1nsane View Post
50? 2 of mine use up 2000gb! These are 32 player servers.

Though they are full 18-20 hours a day.
I am guessing BF2...

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