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streamer

MMO server

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streamer    415
Hello. I don't want to use my home machine for servering the game. I am curious, where can I find windows based machines that I can use for my MMO servering, off course for some reasonable money. Or is there any free services for something like that? Thanx in advance.

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markr    1692
No, you can't have free hosting.

Once you've made your MMOG, you will realise that hosting is such a tiny proportion of your costs that you won't care.

Mark

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streamer    415
Yes I realize that.
But I'm making free MMOG, thats the problem.
Anyway I tought that there are no free services for something like that, but is there any cheap server hosting planes?
And how much do I need to pay for such service? I need 24h online windows servers, to run my server program...

Thanx markr for your reply...

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Xipe    140
You'll either have to pay for dedicated hosting or bribe one of your college friends with 10mbit lines to put a 24/7 box in their apartment. I don't think free boxes where you can run dedicated programs on are very common, and those that exist are most likely of the Linux variety.

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acraig    471
A couple of options:

Shop your game around and see if anybody wants to sponsor you or donate a machine/bandwidth to you.

Google for "Colocation" and find a service that suits your needs and price range.

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PaulCesar    524
You can get a small dedicated server (which is what you would want for a starter at least) for around $100/month. For a nice enterprise node (3000+ people) you are probably looking at roughly $300/month. I have seen a dedicated server somewhere that runs at $45/month, but i wouldent recommend it. Big thing being a MMO you want to look at is RAM. You are definitly going to want everything in the cell preloaded, and everyone in it in ram or your going to have lag beyond belief. I would recommend with most engines , 256MB per 100-200 active players on the node, but this can very tremendously based on the engine requirements.

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streamer    415
Quote:
Original post by Xipe
Not unless words have meaning. I said that free boxes that allows the user to execute programs on and that run Windows most probably are rare and hard to find.

EDIT: Many replies at the same time here, maybe you weren't directing yourself to me.


Are you saying that windows running servers are rare?

EDIT: Yes I'm directing to you [smile]

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Xipe    140
Not unless words have meaning. I said that free boxes that allows the user to execute programs on and that run Windows most probably are rare and hard to find.

EDIT: Many replies at the same time here, maybe you weren't directing yourself to me.

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dbzprogrammer    100
Until it's large around 100 people, get an old crappy box, say a 450 mhz machiene with 128 MB of RAM. Put Linux on, and host your game server then. After you've made some cash of Ad's or something, get a real host. If you're connection is DSL, you should be able to do it fine. Cable or above would definately be good.

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streamer    415
Quote:
Original post by PaulCesar
You can get a small dedicated server (which is what you would want for a starter at least) for around $100/month. For a nice enterprise node (3000+ people) you are probably looking at roughly $300/month. I have seen a dedicated server somewhere that runs at $45/month, but i wouldent recommend it. Big thing being a MMO you want to look at is RAM. You are definitly going to want everything in the cell preloaded, and everyone in it in ram or your going to have lag beyond belief. I would recommend with most engines , 256MB per 100-200 active players on the node, but this can very tremendously based on the engine requirements.


I think that 256MB is fair enough for 1000 people in my game...
And what connection speed do I need for 1000 people server?

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streamer    415
Quote:
Original post by dbzprogrammer
Until it's large around 100 people, get an old crappy box, say a 450 mhz machiene with 128 MB of RAM. Put Linux on, and host your game server then. After you've made some cash of Ad's or something, get a real host. If you're connection is DSL, you should be able to do it fine. Cable or above would definately be good.


I have an old P2 witn 256MB RAM somewhere in my house [smile] but problem is that I need direct conection to net. ADSL works fine, but I have 1MBit wireless and it is behind the provider's firewall :(...

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Xipe    140
Quote:
Original post by streamer
I think that 256MB is fair enough for 1000 people in my game...
And what connection speed do I need for 1000 people server?

1 mbit = 1,000,000 bits = 125 kilobytes per second.

The rest of the equation depends on how much data you transfer.

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_winterdyne_    530
Most domestic broadband solutions provide a scant 256kbps upstream bandwidth.

This is generally not sufficient for 'massive' multiplayer games.

You are therefore stuck with looking for a colocation solution. There are services that can provide low-cost hosting for MUDs etc, but your bandwidth allocation will be low, and you're likely to be sharing the pipe with other applications.

If your MMO is just a MUD, then that should be fine. If you require more regular interaction or streaming data of any type then you will require a dedicated server. There is a thread here:
http://www.gamedev.net/community/forums/topic.asp?topic_id=359328
That discusses the higher end of this.

Windows-based hosts tend to charge simply because of the MS licensing costs.

I strongly advise ensuring that your code can be adapted to run on Linux and look at hosts providing root access under that OS.

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_winterdyne_    530
You don't know Linux at all and you're trying to write an MMO?

It would be a really *really* good idea to get familiar with Linux. Many of the free hosts available run a version of it (or some other *nix system). Unless you want to pay for an administrator to look after your game for you, you'll need to learn how to handle the OS.

A good place to start is with one of the Linux Bibles, or 'Unleashed' books.
My current install of Linux is Fedora Core 3* from the 'Red Hat Linux Fedora 3 Unleashed' book (ISBN 0-672-32708-2). These books are good because they provide not only the OS, but a valuable reference manual too. Great for learning the ins and outs of the OS.

Depending on the requirements of the game, running a free MMO can be just as expensive as running one you charge subscriptions for. PaulCesar's figures are a little on the low side IMO. I'd rather pay more and have a decent uptime and onsite response time, than less and run into support issues.

*: Actually I had to replace the kernel to get pthreads to work, but that's another story.


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PaulCesar    524
I use linux on a regular basis

The fact that linux is better then newer windows servers is hogwash. Im not going to say there is a substantial performance differance in most cases (though in some facets linux has windows beet). Sure, you can cut packages and compile a special kernal for linux to give you a lower ram usage and moderatly faster processing times, but you can also strip running services in windows (not the same as recompiling, but will give you a boost aswell). Of course , if you add cost into the caluclation, linux is always a wise choice as an application hosting platform. But add development costs to the calculaton and it may say otherwise. Its often easier to develop an application in windows then it is in linux, even for us who know it. And then there is the management costs, which can be either time (to learn and manage yourself) or money.

Alot of people take the time spent out of the equasion, in which case linux will undoubtedly win in most scenarios. On the other hand, unless you are a prior linux expert, or have another reason to learn it, its not always the best route to spend the extra 100 hours. How much are you worth an hour people? $40/hr? those extra 100 hours then should be $4000 total. Buying a windows server would be negligable when you take that into consideration. And trust me, 100 hours is on the light end.

_winterdyne_

Yes, you are correct my figures are on the low side. Budget servers, 2.4ghz Celerons with 512kb ram as a quick estimation (hosted on good backbones though). Generaly I would recommend good backbone good support for around $200 PIVs

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hplus0603    11347
You can run an indie, "free" MMOG on $99 per month for hardware and bandwidth, especially if you design it for low hardware overhead per player. i would call this "very cheap" but everyone's impression of cost is of course different. (Windows typically adds $10 to $20/month to the cost of a hosted server)

There are some links on this topic in the Forum FAQ, by the way.

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Marvin    127
On a side note here, i have a colocated 10mbit Dual Xeon 2.2Ghz, 2GB RAM server, running Linux of course that i would *consider* letting a group who has a promising MMO game use for testing or just to get them off the ground, of course this is entirely at my discretion and i have to like and play them game hehe.

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