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What are good prices for Servers for mmo's? (In US dollars) Amount for a server that can hold 300-500 people? What about 500-1000? What about 1000+? I was always interested in finding these amounts even though I do not know need one right now. Thanks.

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Well there is no such thing as a standard price. As Tuna's post makes clear every game is different and has different server requirements which means different costs.

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If you are planning on deploying the world on a single server (and thus the 1000 connections and the 1000 requests-to-do-something are on one machine), you're looking at around 10K USD for a state of the art multi-processor machine capable of doing that.

If on the other hand you plan on deploying a world on a two computer server farm (and thus one computer handles the 1000 connections and another handles the 1000 requests for example), you could get away with buying two 4K USD computers.

This is why your architecture is CRITICAL when you want to price your system. As your server farm grows and your division of labor increases (so that you have one computer doing database, one doing logic, one doing accounting, one doing connections, etc) then the price per machine goes down and it is possible that you have such an efficient and well though out architecture that you could get away with a three 2k USD computers server farm.

However, I think that 10K USD for every 1000 users is a safe number to base your estimates on.

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Quote:
Original post by Greatness
What are good prices for Servers for mmo's? (In US dollars)
Amount for a server that can hold 300-500 people?
What about 500-1000?
What about 1000+?


I was always interested in finding these amounts even though I do not know need one right now. Thanks.


It really depends on the quality of the team writing the server side code and how well they designed it...BUT

The few RunUO server's I know both the stats for and the average users on...
100-200 People - 2.4 Ghz 1GB RAM, Windows 2003 Stnd
~1000 People - (3.2ghz) Dual Xenon, 2GB RAM, Windows 2003 Stnd

I doubt any major company will ever release that information.

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Before you can make any decent esitmate you need to know how your server(s) are going to operate. Then you can get a test setup going and you can make a more accurate estimate from there.

And keep in mind that it is usually better to process data on machines with more than one processor, or multiple machines. Although with < 1000 users I don't think you'll need to use more than two machines.

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how would you work the gameflow with multiple machines? Is it optimal to have each machine do everything essential for the game (like zoning... so 4 servers, each with a certain area of the single huge world), or have multiple machines that each do something?

The question being, when and if I someday decide to even attempt at making a MMORPG, would it be more beneficial to buy a 2k server, or like 4 $250 ones?

I mean "Christ", I wouldn't need that much speed if I was just processing data transfer, would I?

Massive-war

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Is it optimal to have each machine do everything essential for the game (like zoning... so 4 servers, each with a certain area of the single huge world), or have multiple machines that each do something?


Purely depends on your game and game rules.

For a MMOFPS, it might prove beneficial to have everything on one machine to decrease game-wide latency and then replicate (ie "shard") the game world so that every set of players has a latency-free arena.

For a MMORPG on the other hand, which doesn't have the "twitch" requirements of a MMOFPS, you can get away with distributing the game logic amongst different servers and you worry less about the latency induced by communications server-side. Here you can get away with a delay of 100 to 300ms and thus your back end has the option of taking a little more time.

Ideally, you should always aim for a distributed system over a single server architecture. However, a single server architecture is infinitely easier to implement and thus is a much better platform to learn on if you are just starting out.

Quote:
The question being, when and if I someday decide to even attempt at making a MMORPG, would it be more beneficial to buy a 2k server, or like 4 $250 ones?


Again, if you decide to do this, the decision of number and type of servers will be number 10 on your list, not number 1. Before that you have to decide Operating System, Game Type, Game Rules, Expected Population, Bandwidth Requirements, etc. Only once you have a COMPLETE picture of what you are trying to accomplish should you even consider thinking of the hardware.

If you are just learning, buy one decent 2K USD computer to develop and test on...you can always use it and other computers in your house to do LAN tests and you can always use friend's computers to conduct WAN tests. Unless you are already proficient at network programming, coordinateing dataflow amongst 4 computers will be outside your ken until you get a little xp under your belt.

Quote:
I mean "Christ", I wouldn't need that much speed if I was just processing data transfer, would I?


This is why it's advantages to distribute your server farm. It's true that the server handling the client connections doesn't have to be a beast (even if each connection used 1ms to transfer data, that's still only a second of processor time to handle 1000 such requests). However, processing 1000 request to move will takes ALOT of processing power and thus the same machine that handles connections just fine would be grossly inadequate to process movement rules.

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We are looking to buy a new server for Eternal Lands, and I am looking at the 1.5K-2K range (but I want next on site support which is kind of expensive.)
Such a machine (in that price range) should hold about 4K players or even more.

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The current server is a dual p3 1.1 GHZ (I think), 1GB RAM and a small HDD (20 GB I think).
That server is not ours, we are just using it.
The one I am planning to get will be most likely from Dell and will be some AMD 64, 1GB RAM and a 2 drives RAID (plus the onsite tech support).
Didn't decide on the exact model yet though.

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