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MMO server layout

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I''m currently working on an MMORTS, but no don''t worry, I''m not going to ask a question like "how do I do it?" I''m (slightly) smarter than that . My scenario: I''m thinking big here...a system that will support hundreds of thousands of users. So obviouly, my servers will be mirrored, or handle only part of the game state. My question is: how to maintain authentication as the user connects to multiple servers containing game state info? They can''t/shouldn''t maintain their own database, as that would waste resources, both in storage and in extra processing (each new user must be added to 100''s of servers? yeah right...) I''m thinking something like the following might be in order: * User Database Servers (mirrored): handles user/pass database. * Active User Database Servers: Original connection point of the client. Each maintains part of the list of currently active users and indirectly assists authentication (client notifies their A.U.DB. server of desire to authenticate to server X, which they have allready connected to, and waits for the servers to verify his worthiness). Thus, my beautifull ASCII art would look something like:
    login/auth confirm      login confirm
+--------+    +---------------+     +----------------------+
| Client |--->| A.U.DB Server |---->| User Database Mirror |
+--------+    +---------------+     +----------------------+
   | request       confirm |             |      ^
   |    +-------------+    |             |      |
   |--->| Game Server |<---|             \------/
   |    +-------------+    |       mirror syncronization
   |--->| Chat Server |<---|
   .    +-------------+    .
   .           .           .
   .           .           .
               .
 
Thoughts? -Mike

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