November 30, 2021

Where online gaming lives • The Register

Sponsored In modern multiplayer games, servers track and process every action in real time. This generates a high load on the equipment, and even the seemingly tiniest delays can ruin gameplay. Whether the users are fighting each other in PvP battles, competing against time in PvE, or downloading the latest update, they always need high speed. Not every server can provide the processing power and low latency required in such conditions. Therefore, game developers often use bare metal services instead of virtual machines — and they have several reasons for that.

Games require high-capacity servers

Games are constantly progressing. To introduce new technologies, developers need a lot of capacity. High-capacity equipment used to only be available to large companies, but the IaaS distribution models made physical servers available to anyone. Thanks to the subscription model, everybody can now rent the required capacities and tools, be it well-known studios, startups, or indie developers. For instance, G-Core Labs servers are used both by large publishers, such as Wargaming and Sandbox Interactive, and by independent studios. Depending on the project size, one can choose the configuration needed: the most popular configurations include a server with the Intel Xeon E-2288G processor, 64 GB RAM and two SSDs of 480 Gb each, as well as more powerful ones based on the cutting-edge processors 3rd Gen Intel Xeon Scalable (Ice Lake) or Intel Xeon Silver 4214, with 128 GB RAM and two SSDs of 960 GB each.

Low latency is vital for online gaming

Recoding, image rendering and data visualization tasks all require a lot of computing capacity. Bare metal servers can provide all the capacity you need, but processing power alone is not enough. In multiplayer projects, low latency is crucial, because milliseconds can decide the result of the game. This is what differentiates an exciting experience from a game that people soon quit.

This problem can be solved by use of high-bandwidth infrastructure, — and you shouldn’t rely on the first provider you come across. Choose a tried and tested solution. G-Core Labs will offer you the resources of a content delivery network which is one of Europe’s top 10 CDNs, with over 6000 peering partners and an average response time of under 30 ms worldwide. In the provider’s cloud, bare meter servers are available, located in Tier III and IV data processing centers with channels of up to 50 Gbit/s. This cloud service ecosystem allows developers to use the cloud for dynamic data, while sending the static data — updates, fixes or cut scenes — to users from the nearest cache servers, which significantly lowers the content delivery time.

Multiplayer users are located in different regions

Gaming projects need to be able to easily scale to new markets. Therefore, the provider’s geography of presence should be as broad as possible since it helps ensure minimum latency for end users when starting the project in a new region. G-Core Labs allows you to rent bare metal servers in data centers worldwide. Currently, they are available in Luxembourg, Amsterdam, Frankfurt, Paris, Moscow, St. Petersburg, Khabarovsk, Santa Clara, Manassas, Singapore, Tokyo, Istanbul, and other cities. By the end of the year they will also appear in Hong Kong, Ekaterinburg, Novosibirsk, Sao Paolo, Mumbai and Johannesburg. This infrastructure allows gaming development companies to be closer to their end users in different parts of the world.

Add to this the opportunity to integrate bare metal servers with other cloud services, including virtual machines and load balancers, as well as a CDN with 100+ points of presence, and you’ll be able to easily launch your project from any point of the world.

Gaming servers must be ready for peak loads

In online gaming, the developers must be ready for increased load on their servers. There may be a lot of reasons for the load to come up: from force majeures, such as a global pandemic, to in-game events that attract the attention of too many players. If you don’t prepare for such situations in advance, they might result in breakdowns of gaming servers and a negative reaction from the gaming community. G-Core Labs provides a simple way to avoid these issues: users of the public cloud can use not only dedicated but also virtual servers. Therefore, the developers can keep the baseline load on the bare metal servers, while quickly and cheaply deploying extra resources when necessary.

This approach allows the resources to be increased in accordance with the rise in demand: you can simply connect a virtual machine, which can then be just as easily turned off. And to keep servers viable even during critical load peaks, public cloud users are defended by efficient protection against DDoS attack on the network and transport level.

Game development companies need economical and stable infrastructure

Bare metal servers allow clients not to worry about possible overheads and extra spending. To ensure that, the G-Core Labs cloud provides fixed hourly rates for physical servers. In other words, you will always pay as much as you expected for a bare metal server, even under maximum load. This approach always allows the developers to precisely predict infrastructure expenses and to be confident about its capacity.

Sponsored by G-Core

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