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Join Date: May 2009
Posts: 149

Most Popular Gameserver Bandwidth

Maybe we can turn this into a series of great threads?

Anyways, I am looking at a couple colocation providers at the moment, and basically pricing is fair at all of them. I am just looking at the bandwidth now. One offers Mzima primarily which I know has decent pings just from renting from them before, but thats about all I know. Another offers both a BGP mix and pure Internap.

The problem with the second place is that I had roughly 20+ people ping both IPs (BGP and Internap) and I would say over 80% pinged considerably higher to the Internap IP (10ms+). So while Internap sounds great, obviously gamers prefer the lower pings, and I would just assume go with the BGP bandwidth over Internap in that case. Anyone know why that is? I mean I know its routing but I would assume with the prestige behind Internap it would provide lower pings.

I think the BGP package includes XEEX, Comcast, Nlayer, and some others.

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Join Date: May 2008
Location: Canada
Posts: 1,333
I don't really think there is a "most" popoular banwidth for game servers, but Internap is pretty highly talked about.

Join Date: Nov 2007
Location: chicago
Posts: 12
I have noticed internap has higher latency than other providers as well. Remember your home isp is a company and that company peers with others...usually only a few. Internap is almost for sure not a peer with you. You need to move up the foodchain a few levels before peering with internap.

The bgp mix of multiple providers usually has a direct peer to your home connection. that will provide lower latency and better connection for you.

I do believe internap would have a more consistant connection. it won't waver like the bgp mix providers do upon heavy load. some providers oversell and often have higher pings and issues. Internap should not have that.

All that said and with the industry dissing cogent I have seem some of the BEST game servers running on cogent with very high monthly popularity ratings of their server. It depends on a lot of factors and you each person will have a different experience and performance.

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Junior Guru Wannabe
Join Date: Apr 2009
Posts: 57
Also, you might want to look for a provider that is either on a major pipe line or is on the edge of it. That way it should be a lower response time for any visitor to get to your server.

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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Florida
Posts: 1,052
Basically put it this way, if you ping under 50 in any video game, you have a good connection with minimal latency.

If you are getting a 10ms+ difference, I would still go with Internap, as they do have a large network and are more widely known.

*Professional Gamer for 3 years, so I am not making this up. Background: Cal-M (expired league), and a multitude of other smaller leagues and Lans

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Join Date: Jul 2006
Location: Florida
Posts: 155
Mzima for the west coast.
Level3 and/or Internap anywhere else.

Also note that internap has an amazing reputation in the gaming industry so even if it had a bit higher latency it would still be worth getting.

In addition, Internap is not a tier1 isp so while you may not peer with them directly their entire network is just a blend of AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, Level3, Global Crossng, etc.. thrown into a special FCP router as opposed to a BGP router.

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Marketing Guru
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: Manchester
Posts: 2,605
I was once told that Level 3, Mzima + nlayer was a gamers' dream

Join Date: Dec 2004
Location: Chicago
Posts: 984
Network performance is definitely extremely important for game servers, however this is probably an over-simplified way to look at it.

For example, if you asked the average gamer, you'd hear Internap, Mzima, and nLayer a lot as good NSP's as Jason stated. I've generally heard Cogent, Savvis, PCCW, Global Crossing as the most frequently named "bad" providers (although I'm not aware of any major NSP that I haven't seen a gamer try to flame at one time or another ). Where that gets interesting - Internap, Mzima, and nLayer are all much smaller Tier 2's that actually buy their bandwidth from the much bigger Tier 1's which INCLUDE Cogent, Savvis, and Global Crossing.

To look at why that's even possible - there's only one Internet. Sometimes (actually, frequently) Cogent's fiber really is the fastest route from one location to another, which is why Internap buys from them and the others (after all, their network is huge, and hundreds if not thousands of home ISP's buy their own bandwidth from Cogent alone.. you can't avoid them, not connecting direct to them just makes those pings even higher). But, Cogent gets a bad reputation as a direct provider for a data center, above all else, due to congestion / routing problems (even though their network is the thing directly connecting most of the users to your game server). That's where how a network gets run really starts to really matter... those Tier 2's I mentioned all use a variety of tools to aid their network in doing intelligent routing beyond the simple BGP routing alone that most do (ie. Internap FCP and various applications of sFlow) that find and attempt to avoid things like congestion. This is how network A gets a good reputation for gaming and network B gets a bad one, even though network A is buying it's bandwidth directly from network B.

There's of course more to it than that when you start to look at direct peering (Mzima for example I know pushes the majority of their bandwidth over direct peers rather than buying transit, while Internap traditionally started with no peers at all), but this should give you some things to think about.

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