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Dedicated chat/matchmaking service

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I think I have this down but I want to make sure I understand properly. I am writing an RTS-style game and want to lease a dedicated server to run an IRC-like chat and game matchmaking service. My model in this regard is Blizzard Entertainment's Battle.net service. I realize that dedicated hosting providers typically do not allow IRC hosting, allegedly because of "rogue IRC users triggering DDoS attacks against the provider". I take this to mean that someone logged into the chat system can bombard the system with thousands of chat messages per second from one or multiple computers, flooding the network bandwidth. Alternatively, I imagine it also being possible for someone to somehow sniff out the IP address of my server and write a program to bombard it with packets. But how does this pose any greater risk than any network game communication? It seems that the threat of someone obtaining the IP address of the server and writing 3rd-party code to flood it with packets is always present. And if I only "allow" interaction with my chat system from within my game client, password protected of course, is it then the case that I am not actually implementing the kind of IRC the hosting provider is so nervous about? I have read about other games with in-game chat systems being hosted on leased servers, though I am not certain. My best guess at this point is that my in-game chat system would be allowed, because it only explicitly allows communication with the leased server from within my game client, and I can detect message flooding from within the client & suspend transmission for a while if the user is typing too much too fast. I'm not very experienced with IRC but I assume that the general protocol has no such safeguards, & is somehow easier to use in a DOS attack. This seems to me the only interpretation that makes sense, as I would assume any hacker could sniff out the server's IP address and bombard that address with packets by writing their own software. I would love to have my guess confirmed by someone more knowledgeable about this, or else have the flaws in my thinking corrected. Thanks.

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Quote:
I realize that dedicated hosting providers typically do not allow IRC hosting


Those are dumb dedicated hosting providers -- or perhaps "dedicated" hosting that is actually just virtual machines sharing a physical host.

If you get a self-managed server from a reputable place like serverbeach or 1and1 (or perhaps dreamhost private servers) then you can run whatever you want. You pay for the bandwidth, so it's up to you to make sure you don't exceed your allotment :-)

If you can spend $79/month and up for the self-managed dedicated server, then you can run whatever you want.

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IRC != IRC-like.

The DDOS mentioned applies to exploitable IRC daemons, through IRC protocol. if you're not using that, there can't be a DDOS, since there will only be 1 machine in the whole world.

Quote:
It seems that the threat of someone obtaining the IP address of the server


But everyone will need your address if they are to connect. Or how did you imagine this working out?

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Quote:
Original post by Antheus
The DDOS mentioned applies to exploitable IRC daemons, through IRC protocol.


Great, thats exactly the sort of answer I was hoping would be the true one.

Quote:
But everyone will need your address if they are to connect. Or how did you imagine this working out?


No no thats exactly what I was wondering, how this sort of system would be problematic when everyone would obviously have easy access to my server's IP address anyhow. I think we're on the same page, & this reassures me that my design is workable with servers like those provided by Serverbeach.

Thanks very much for what seems to be very good news!


EDIT: I've also been looking at a technology called "Elastic Compute Cloud" (EC2) by Amazon (the company that sells books), it seems to be similar to dedicated hosting only 'virtual' in the sense that you aren't literally leasing a single server, but an indeterminate quantity of bandwidth from any server that might be able to provide it from within some enormous server farm. Allegedly, you seem to pay for however many servers your job needs by the hour, and the number is dynamically increased as you use more bandwidth, or something. I'm still trying to figure it out but it seems rather interesting.

<SIGH> Just when I though I had everything all figured out, here comes a new technology I have to try and learn...

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The problem with EC2 is that it uses virtualization, which means that you can't guarantee latencies. It'll work fine for a render farm, but it'll suck for a real-time game server.

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Quote:
Original post by hplus0603
Quote:
I realize that dedicated hosting providers typically do not allow IRC hosting


Those are dumb dedicated hosting providers -- or perhaps "dedicated" hosting that is actually just virtual machines sharing a physical host.

If you get a self-managed server from a reputable place like serverbeach or 1and1 (or perhaps dreamhost private servers) then you can run whatever you want. You pay for the bandwidth, so it's up to you to make sure you don't exceed your allotment :-)

If you can spend $79/month and up for the self-managed dedicated server, then you can run whatever you want.


This isn't correct. See Serverbeach AUP, section 3(d): http://serverbeach.com/aboutus/aup.php
Quote:
d) SERVERBEACH does not allow the use of IRC on the SERVERBEACH network. This includes, but is not limited to, the use of IRC clients, server software, bots or anything related to IRC. Violators. servers will be suspended


My understanding is that poorly-administered IRC servers become great places for zombies to use to distribute commands to each other.

Also, re: Amazon EC2, even if the latency concerns didn't exist (and they do), if you are going to leave an EC2 instance on 24/7 you will get much less bang-per-dollar than with a cheap dedicated host.

Kevin
Solid Stage, LLC

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But again, that's IRC, not IRC-like. If you are using the IRC protocol/libraries/etc, then yeah, that would pretty much be IRC. But if you create your own system that functions like IRC does, something that is "IRC-like" which is what I (and looks like Antheus, too) gathered from the original post, then that's a different story.

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