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magerX

Large geographical area network

27 posts in this topic

[quote]I don't think all the co-location/dedicated servers networks are created equal.[/quote]

Agreed! You have to first figure out what you actually need, and then talk to the centers that exist where you need a presence, to figure out what the right choice is. You may end up with a large firm with multiple centers in the world, or with a number of smaller centers in different locations.

At my current company, we use Digital Realty Trust, and they're OK. I've heard good things about Peer1, too. I know Rackspace mostly for their cloud solutions, so I don't know much about their managed offerings.

Here's another question: Is your main service only going to work if you get a particular latency, or is it only going to work if you get a particular improvement over typical customer latency? Will it work if some customers get a lot of improvement, and other customers get nothing at all? What is the driver behind the focus on latency?
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The drive behind the focus on latency is in order to provide a good gaming experience.
Most of the relevant scientific data I read, talk about 100ms as the threshold for FPS games, so this is "the number to beat"(it's lower other game types).
This is the same reason for why the service will work only if I can get the vast majority of players within the network to have <100ms RTT.

I have no competition with this service, so I can't improve typical customer latency. It comes down to this:
If I can create a network like I described over this thread, I can create the service that I want, and I believe it will be profitable(it's a different discussion). If I can't create such a network - I can't create the service that I want, and I can forget about the project.

As I said, smaller centers in different locations will not be good enough for me. The service won't succeed unless I could provide a network with good enough gaming experience(<100 ms RTT) for large area's, under a "single player pool". (I defined the area's as: 1. USA 2. Europe).

The simplest way to think about it is this(in order to illustrate things):
Creating a Counter-Strike gaming servers center in central location within the USA.
If I can be creative and create a network which will allow the vast majority of player within USA to have <100ms RTT between them and this game servers center, then I can create the service(s) that I want. If I can't, then it does not matter what else I will do, I can't provide the service(s) that I want, and the project is dead.
Beyond that: what the services are, whether it will be profitable or not, business model, etc is beyond the scope of this thread/forum, and obviously I won't talk about such stuff over a public forum.


Thanks [img]http://public.gamedev.net//public/style_emoticons/default/smile.png[/img] Edited by magerX
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At my current employer we use various POPs around the country (including [url="http://www.datacenterknowledge.com/special-report-the-worlds-largest-data-centers/worlds-largest-data-center-350-e-cermak/"]this one[/url]) along with high bandwidth, low latency private interconnects between them and T1s, DS3s, fiber etc. to the customer in order to enforce QoS policy from end to end for our hosted VoIP product. As hplus mentioned the biggest hit the average home internet connection faces is the pinball game the residential ISPs play with their packets. Packets will even occaisionally change routes on the ISPs network as the ISPs internal routing protocols dynamically try to balance traffic across their interconnects to save money. So unless you are requiring a T1 or some other private circuit between the end user and the closest POP, you won't be gaining anything significant by building a stand alone gaming network on an island in the cloud. The work around to this is to get interconnects with the local ISPs like Comcast, Time Warner, Verizon, Charter etc. so they prioritize traffic to your network but this is extremely cost inneficient unless you have enough paying customers using that ISP to make it worthwhile. Space, power and interconnects can also rapidly reach 7 figures a year in recurring costs when dealing with multiple data centers.

That being said, what you will need to build this should you choose to continue despite the above is to find a tier1 service provider like Level3 Communications that has multiple data centers all over the region in question. You will be hard pressed to find another service provider in the US that doesn't at some point utilize the Level3 backbone so I will mention them as a starting point although there are many smaller service providers that may be more cost effective.

Once you have a tier1 carrier, you purchase DIA circuits from them which are much cheaper than private circuits and have the added benefit of being "on-net" for the carrier. This means traffic between your POPs can potentially (with some calls to the right people) take optimized routes on their backbone instead of hopping over the public internet without paying for the much more expensive private circuits.

That is just a small part of getting started. There is still lots of network design which i won't even get into without more details on what the individual POPs will be responsible for. The networking equipment for multiple data centers alone is something else that can reach 7 figures very quickly depending on the requirements.
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