Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 40 of 48

Thread: Gaming Servers

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    233

    Gaming Servers

    I'm in need of opinions from other people that do game hosting or have knowledge of it. First of all, I'd really like to know how game hosts can charge $50 per month for a 20 person public server that could consume 150GB of bandwidth or more - the bandwidth alone costs much more than that doesn't it? I understand there isn't a "set limit" to the number of game servers you can have on one physical machine, but what do you typically stop at, server load wise on the high end and the average end, 1.5? 2.0? Still I don't understand how you can pack say even 3 20-person servers onto one dedicated box - that could be up to 450GB of bandwidth and usually good-quality low-ping gaming bandwidth will cost VERY much - we aren't talking Cogent.
    Any opinions on game hosting in general even are most appreciated.

    Thanks,
    Ben

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    521
    Game hosting = grossly overselling in a highly competitive market.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    MARS
    Posts
    557
    Off curse if it's a public server than the price can be high but if it is a clan site you can over sales life 200 %

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    900
    You should probably search for threads on the subject as there are a lot. There was one recently started by CDXSolutions. Hope that helps.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    273
    mushrew is absolutely right.. it's just like the laughable coin term "unlimited bandwidth"

    Worst of all is the server resources.. just 1 to 3 servers can leave you with 10 - 20% CPU Power and limited RAM, especially if you try to combine that with hosting..

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Manchester, NH
    Posts
    54
    Originally posted by Ophelus
    mushrew is absolutely right.. it's just like the laughable coin term "unlimited bandwidth"

    Worst of all is the server resources.. just 1 to 3 servers can leave you with 10 - 20% CPU Power and limited RAM, especially if you try to combine that with hosting..
    Have you ever hosted a gameserver?
    Because I am trying to figure out where you get that resource usage number.
    I use dual MP2000 CPUs with 2 GB of DDR in each machine, and don't see 50% usage until I have 5 or 6 loaded gameservers.
    We have been doing this for over a year now and I can tell you that the guys that are charging $50 for a 20 player public server are usually:
    a.) Overloading a low end box with 3 times its capacity.
    b.) Hosting their machines with a company like rackshack.com(which is a great company for colo and web, but not gameservers)
    c.) Trying to grab a market share by cutting the main companies to get clients in the door.

    All of the above will ultimately fail.
    You sell yourself cheap, you become known as cheap.
    It severely limits the amount of quality you can put into your service, since you would have to do twice the work to justify half the increase.
    If you are thinking of getting into hosting gameservers, I suggest you research it thoroughly. It has become a saturated market now, with alot more bad ones then good ones.
    Main thing is to make sure you are prepared to deal with the customer base that comes along with it.
    Us gamers tend to have a very strong personality type, and it will show.
    If you have any questions or want tips for getting started, I will gladly answer any questions you have, and tell you how I got started.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    521
    "c.) Trying to grab a market share by cutting the main companies to get clients in the door."

    What's wrong with that?

    "b.) Hosting their machines with a company like rackshack.com(which is a great company for colo and web, but not gameservers) "

    Do you know what you're talking about? Since when did RackShack ever have colocation? Please justify your claim that they are not suitable for game servers; I could list several game server companies that have 30-60 clients and one that has over 100 all on rackshack. I'm sure many more exist than what I know of.

    "a.) Overloading a low end box with 3 times its capacity." Not necessarily true; they could just be doing C, grabbing a nice market share by lowering profits per server. While initially they may not make much, later on they'll be sucessful as people will spring for the lower costs.

    "Because I am trying to figure out where you get that resource usage number.
    I use dual MP2000 CPUs with 2 GB of DDR in each machine, and don't see 50% usage until I have 5 or 6 loaded gameservers."

    Most people do not have such high spec servers for web hosting (why would they?) thus this is how they get their numbers.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Manchester, NH
    Posts
    54
    You just confirmed that you don't know what you are talking about.
    He is asking about gameserver hosting.
    I meant dedicated machines, not colo. (My bad).
    And if they aren't running high end machines, then they are at the rackshack $99 machine level.
    They dont make a little money by cutting, they LOSE alot.
    Anyone with business experience can see where it leads.
    The major hosts, that were here yesterday, here today, and will be here tomorrow, make their pricing structure based on what it takes to at minimum break even.
    There isn't enough demand yet for this service to risk sitting on a loss for several months.
    I have been doing this over a year now, and have seen many startups come and go in this business.
    And they all used that same flawed philosophy. Its the same philosophy that led to so many sites and companies taking a dive in the dot com crash of '99-'00.
    I am simply answering this guys question about how and why they charge so little.
    Nothing I stated was untrue, or off the subject.
    If you saw that as an attack on you or the company that you represent, then that is your issue.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    521
    I'd hardly call RS's P4s low end. May not be as nice as your machines but definitely not low end. They can easily handle three or four 16 player CS servers with a RAM upgrade. Now say $50 per server, times 4 is $200. Subtract $140 for server costs and you'll have $60 in profit. Loss? Doesn't look like it. Yes you could argue that loading their P4s with 3 or 4 game server is too much but you'll find quite a few people on RS's forums that have that same amount on their old DL320s with absolutely *no* problems at all.

    edit: I agree (as posted earlier) that competition is very tough and the market is overcrowded with companies who don't know anything and will do anything for customers, I just find flaw in your presumption that affordable game server hosts cannot exist.

  10. #10
    i did some calculations on this and i remember coming up with a minimum of $4.25/player for reasonable quality gaming, though i admit that i dont know enough about it (the only game ive played was civilisation 2).
    * Rusko Enterprises LLC - Upgrade to 100% uptime today!
    * Premium NYC collocation and custom dedicated servers
    call 1-877-MY-RUSKO or paul [at] rusko.us

    dedicated servers, collocation, load balanced and high availability clusters

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Manchester, NH
    Posts
    54
    Im not saying they cant exist.
    I just haven't seen any of the "budget" hosts last more than 6 months.
    And you cant cal that $60 profit, unless you aren't going to have anyone to work tech support.
    There are more fees involved besides just the hosting cost also.
    You have support people, software licenses, advertising, state taxes and licensing fees(unless they aren't a real business) among lots of other things.
    And IMO using Intel for gameserver hosting is a mistake.
    We run exclusively AMD on our gameserver machines with the exception of the low end dedicated machine we now offer.
    We have found the AMD processors to outperform the Intels for speed and smoothness.
    We started on dual 1.26 Tualatin machines in the beginning. They were good machines, until we built our first dual MP2000. Now we won't even consider an Intel solution.
    But, as with any technology, Intel may change our minds any day now.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    446
    we host 3 to 4 game servers on avg per box.

    core's loads are:
    load averages: 0.24, 0.18, 0.17
    games running: 3

    nemises' loads are:
    load averages: 0.00, 0.00, 0.00
    games running: 3

    i believe nemises' load avgs are low right when i did this was because either the servers were empty or had low players.

    we're planning to get our 3rd game server only box once soon after we see how the boxes handle another server.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Manchester, NH
    Posts
    54
    We typically monitor the servers and place a cap at 65% usage to allow for bursting during map changes.
    With our dual MP2000 machines we can run 8 to 10 servers for HL based games and hit about 65% if all of them are running with at least half their max playercount. (Which I have only seen happen once)
    We found a multitude of ways to "tweak" the machines over the year we have been doing this to make them optimized for game hosting.
    Not an easy task. Alot of trial and error. If only the game devs would come up with sone type of standard for coding it would be simple. Something like the ISO for industries.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    MARS
    Posts
    557
    Don't forget men very ! important !


    You got to have a 3D video board.

    Beacuse makes the server run faster...it's true...


    I don't know boy but my ideia iss... get a 1.5 our + DSL
    ( good quality ) and host 1-2 servers it 2-4 game on each in each 1.5 MB DSL ( UPSTREAM/Downstream 1.500 )

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Manchester, NH
    Posts
    54
    Originally posted by hostingsp
    Don't forget men very ! important !


    You got to have a 3D video board.

    Beacuse makes the server run faster...it's true...


    I don't know boy but my ideia iss... get a 1.5 our + DSL
    ( good quality ) and host 1-2 servers it 2-4 game on each in each 1.5 MB DSL ( UPSTREAM/Downstream 1.500 )
    Your video card in the server means nothing for the performance of the game application. Its not processing any video so it doesn't matter.

    You cant host 2 good servers on a 1.5 Mb SDSL line because you will freeze on mapchanges because of the lack of curstability.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    521
    What does bandwidth have to do with map changes?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Manchester, NH
    Posts
    54
    It has EVERYTHING to do with mapchanges.

    When a map changes, everyplayer has to be sent mass amounts of datapackets creating the new X,Y,Z coordinates and everything.
    I have seen CS mapchanges on a 20 player server burst over a Mb before.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    521
    Mapchanges has to do mostly with CPU usage...you don't find servers bursting when entire teams respawn at the beginning of a match. The same data is sent just as if a map changed.

  19. #19
    But don't forget that 3D video card in your servers!
    I think the map change bursting is nominal. While I've seen it to a small extent, it's still limited by the servers max_rate setting so it is manageble.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Manchester, NH
    Posts
    54
    The
    3D
    Card
    Means
    Nothing!

    The gameserver doesn't process video files when its dedicated.

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Posts
    521
    I belive potsie is being sarcastic with the emoticon

  22. #22
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Manchester, NH
    Posts
    54

    Missed that.

  23. #23
    Sorry... I should have made it more obvious
    It's amazing how many times I hear that. I got flamed in a CS Server forum when someone suggested that an operators server lag was video related and I tried to explain that a dedicated server console is text only

    But while I have some gaming operators attention, any recommendations for a 1U P4 HSF? I'm inheriting a couple 2.4 Ghz Mobo/CPU combo's and would prefer to go 1U rather than 2U if at all possible.

  24. #24
    Look, game server hosting is all about the PINGS, anyhow. A guy hosting a midrange server on a fast, redundant network is in far better shape than a guy host a gigantic, bruising box on a crummy network.
    I thank my Lord for all His wonderful blessings.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Posts
    268
    ^^ hit the nail right on the head.

  26. #26
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    28

    rack shack servers..

    Hey, im not a game server host but i do have a rack shack server. I do run game servers off the rack shack server. Most people find the servers fine. I run 4 24 player servers and 160 people total in spec. proxys. With linux tweaked right the servers run extremely smoothly and are capable of pinging as low as 20ms for people in the houston area. If your buisness plan fits to use rack shack servers i think they are an excelent choice. Xgame what you forget is that even tho your dual athlon mp 2ghz with 2 gigs of ram are excelent machines. They are also extremely expensive to build. Yes, you can fit twice as many if not more servers on the machine then a rackshack box. What you do forget is that processing speed is doubling approx. every 18 months. Wich means that your machines will be outdated extremely fast, and what do you have? an outdated machine that is basicly worth nothing. If you do not fill the machine and it becomes obsolete you have taken a loss. With rack shack servers when the machine becomes obsolete it is easy to get a machine with better specs ordered and setup within minutes. Also you forget who your target audience is. Teenagers, it is more viable for a teenager to spend 25-50$ a month on a server then 100-200 a month even if it means sacrificing there ping they will go with the less expensive route. So, in conclusion I would think that using rack shack servers would be a better long run choice as opposed to buying your own servers. Also, offering low prices to get a share of the market is extremely common in any market. It makes complete sense you may put your nose up at it but time and time again when executed right has proven to be an explosive way to create buisness. For instance look at www.recongamer.com they offered 20 player priv. for 25$ a month. Provided excelent service and gained a large market share now they have raised the prices and offer a larger variety of services. I do think it is unethical to insult someones buisness plan and shows how poor of a buisness man you are by not being open to ideas. Just my 2cents. feel free to flame me..

  27. #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2001
    Location
    Denver, CO
    Posts
    273
    Xgame what you forget is that even tho your dual athlon mp 2ghz with 2 gigs of ram are excelent machines. They are also extremely expensive to build. Yes, you can fit twice as many if not more servers on the machine then a rackshack box. What you do forget is that processing speed is doubling approx. every 18 months. Wich means that your machines will be outdated extremely fast, and what do you have? an outdated machine that is basicly worth nothing.
    This is all well and true.. But the owner of a server does have one thing.. Good Hardware fitting there exact need's.. and the ability to take there Case and refit it.. and in the case of 1U's that's a good savings.. especially if you can re-use the PS

    With hardware really only costing $500-$1,000 (and $2,000 if you want to go extremely nuts and buy top Spec's) Still beats rackshack monthly over a year.. (of course that doesn't include colo )

  28. #28
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    28
    True, except that 500-1000 every 12-14 months does add up not to mention the down time in wich the box is off the rack.

  29. #29
    Originally posted by XGamer

    I use dual MP2000 CPUs with 2 GB of DDR in each machine, and don't see 50% usage until I have 5 or 6 loaded gameservers.
    I hear this all the time... vI can run 2-3 games per server, 10-15 per server... etc...etc.... Tha't all fine.

    What I want to know is how many active USERS/PLAYERS can "fit" on a machine and what kind of 'active uses/available slots' ratios game companies use. I mean to fire up a server and have it sit idle only takes up memory for the most part. So I could see how someone could "host" 10 games per server. Let's get down to real issue... how many active players!!

    Barry

  30. #30
    Hey, im not a game server host but i do have a rack shack server. I do run game servers off the rack shack server. Most people find the servers fine. I run 4 24 player servers and 160 people total in spec. proxys.
    Xgamer is hitting EVERYTHING dead on. I likewise have been in this business for over 1 year now, and have been in contact with the customers of former hosts that have tanked after a few months.. 23 in fact.

    What kind of machine can run 4x24 player servers, adminmod, hlguard, plus HLTV proxies for 160 people and not lag? You are dreaming... share the pixie dust! Especially since you imply that dual AMD rigs are too expensive, this leaves you with dual P3's or a single CPU solution.. which I assure you.. CANNOT run that many FULL servers.

    I am sorry to sound upset, but I pick up the remains of these crappy "I profit $200/mo" hosts. You cannot provide a viable business for $200/mo profit as Xgamer stated.

    Regarding those Rackshack servers. I have a rackshack p4-1.7 with 512 megs ram.. These machines are MOST definitely crap. I run a 14ppl DOD server with all the fixings - Adminmod, hlguard, clanmod, and a million other things, and when full it will eat 50% CPU!

    I am no linux newbie either. I have stripped every unnecessary thing out of the kernel, applied low-latency patches and without, have turned off all unnecessary apps and services, recompiled important system libs, and the thing STILL eats a ton of CPU.

    I dont mean to discourage anyone from starting, there is a place for your endeavor. Remember though.. business is about business systems.. True, I can make a FAR better hamburger than McDonald's fried crap.. but I cannot build a better business system than they can.

    THe big hosts (which I am on the brink of becoming, w00t! ) charge more, have better service and network connectivity, guarantee their services (SLA), and exist FOR A REASON. Most customers know that cheap is not better.

  31. #31
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Georgia, USA
    Posts
    109

    Re: rack shack servers..

    Um... What type of game(s) are you running 4 24 player servers? And on what hardware and how many servers @ RS?

    Originally posted by GsAlliance
    Hey, im not a game server host but i do have a rack shack server. I do run game servers off the rack shack server. Most people find the servers fine. I run 4 24 player servers and 160 people total in spec. proxys. With linux tweaked right the servers run extremely smoothly and are capable of pinging as low as 20ms for people in the houston area......
    --
    Speckz

  32. #32
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    28
    When the servers are full they are crap, but how many times does that happen? and I have the ram upgrade. Also dniznick you may not remember me but i remember you... Are you still running your servers off of cogent? Last time I checked you werent even close to the size of AOWC... oh that and telling people you hosted servers you didnt, but thats besides the point.

  33. #33
    Join Date
    Nov 2001
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    1,963
    nope. he is with trusty ol capitalinternet now. j/k

  34. #34
    Who are you?

    I run deadlyservers.com, we were FORMERLY hosted with Cogent, everyone makes a mistake.

    I now host 30+ servers on XO Tier1 oc192 backbone out of Chicago, with New Jersey and California locations coming within the next six months.

    In addition... we are developing AUTOMATED server setup, time from order to getting your server will be ~5 minutes. With that is a client control panel for starting/stopping your server, ftp upload/download in a GUI interface, realtime config editing, HLTV proxy controls, billing, and much more.

    Hosted servers I didnt? Care to elaborate on that one?

    When the servers are full they are crap
    Thats a great way to retain customers! Hope they all read that! Perhaps you should post it for your players to read on your website.

  35. #35
    Oh and capital internet is quite a nasty place to be. See my warning post in this dedicated hosting forum

    Bad bad times.

  36. #36

  37. #37
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    Silver Spring, Maryland
    Posts
    256
    Originally posted by GsAlliance
    Hey, im not a game server host but i do have a rack shack server. I do run game servers off the rack shack server. Most people find the servers fine. I run 4 24 player servers and 160 people total in spec. proxys. With linux tweaked right the servers run extremely smoothly and are capable of pinging as low as 20ms for people in the houston area. If your buisness plan fits to use rack shack servers i think they are an excelent choice. Xgame what you forget is that even tho your dual athlon mp 2ghz with 2 gigs of ram are excelent machines. They are also extremely expensive to build. Yes, you can fit twice as many if not more servers on the machine then a rackshack box. What you do forget is that processing speed is doubling approx. every 18 months. Wich means that your machines will be outdated extremely fast, and what do you have? an outdated machine that is basicly worth nothing. If you do not fill the machine and it becomes obsolete you have taken a loss. With rack shack servers when the machine becomes obsolete it is easy to get a machine with better specs ordered and setup within minutes. Also you forget who your target audience is. Teenagers, it is more viable for a teenager to spend 25-50$ a month on a server then 100-200 a month even if it means sacrificing there ping they will go with the less expensive route. So, in conclusion I would think that using rack shack servers would be a better long run choice as opposed to buying your own servers. Also, offering low prices to get a share of the market is extremely common in any market. It makes complete sense you may put your nose up at it but time and time again when executed right has proven to be an explosive way to create buisness. For instance look at www.recongamer.com they offered 20 player priv. for 25$ a month. Provided excelent service and gained a large market share now they have raised the prices and offer a larger variety of services. I do think it is unethical to insult someones buisness plan and shows how poor of a buisness man you are by not being open to ideas. Just my 2cents. feel free to flame me..
    Whoa, what are you smoking? No, actually don't tell me, just pass it over here...I'd like to be able to host all that off a RackShack server too!

    Originally posted by dniznick
    http://www.gameserveralliance.com/

    Where is your site?
    Ah you're using HostOnce, great choice!

    • Unlimited Webspace for your Domain
    • Unlimited Data Transfer
    Let me get another hit from that stuff, I'd love to have unlimited space and unlimited bandwidth too!

    Disclaimer: I often "look down upon" the flaming and general bad attitudes around here, but sometimes you have to let loose and these things just have to be done...

  38. #38
    Join Date
    Jun 2002
    Location
    New Jersey
    Posts
    28
    1. i dont host servers for money
    2. game server alliance was a community for technical support on game servers.
    3. 30 servers is by no means a leader in hosting.
    4. You claimed on your own forums that you hosted game servers that you didnt and gave them to perspective customers as test ips.
    5. From what i have read on your forums you have awful uptime.
    6. I knew what company you were and still think your pathetic.
    7. hostonce was a mistake i made before i found this place.

  39. #39

    *

    You claimed on your own forums that you hosted game servers that you didnt and gave them to perspective customers as test ips.
    Still not sure what you mean about claiming I hosted servers that I didnt, but hey oh well. Dont you think people would find it odd that they didnt ping the same? Think about it

    I dont see why you feel the need to attack me. I did not attack you personally, just the collective mentality of the bargain basement hosts (webhosts included).

    You do not know my reasons for having 30 clients, for the longest time it was because I did not WANT any more than that, as much as it pained me to turn people away. Also, I didnt want to subject people to crappy service, which is the end result if you host more people than you can handle. blah blah blah.

    Its not just #customers that makes one a leader or a follower. Service and community involvement are big players too, and you will find our name is well known, and not just in the halflife community.

    I knew what company you were and still think your pathetic
    I am not trying to impress you actually.. I dont know why I am still replying....

  40. #40
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    Georgia, USA
    Posts
    109
    I like how in your original post you meantioned that ...

    Originally posted by GsAlliance
    Most people find the servers fine. I run 4 24 player servers and 160 people total in spec. proxys. With linux tweaked right the servers run extremely smoothly and are capable of pinging as low as 20ms for people in the houston area.
    And then you said ...

    Originally posted by GsAlliance
    When the servers are full they are crap, but how many times does that happen? and I have the ram upgrade.
    So its fine but then its crap? Sure hope that you didn't have paying customers on those RS servers.
    --
    Speckz

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •