Assets: Hardware/Facilities

Open: Focusing On "Big Picture" Technical Practicalities To Get Open Uru Online

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Dot
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Assets: Hardware/Facilities

Post by Dot » Mon Dec 22, 2008 9:27 am

The first stage of Phase 1 is to inventory assets:
1) Inventory assets:
People (skills, time/opportunity)
Hardware/Facilities
Prerequisite Software (DB, Developer tools (compilers, SDKs, etc))
Hardware/facilities have started to be mentioned in other threads. For convenience I've copied them over here. Do add to the list. Thanks.
rarified wrote:As I've offered to others, I have a stable server setup (at home) thats more than adequate (I think) for the initial attack by a limited number of developers.

It runs a base OS of Solaris, and I've just populated a virtual machine with Win2k8, VStudio 2k8 (90 day demo), and
MSDN .NET SDK. 1.5Tb available storage (raid5), and terabytes now are cheap. I can make RDP consoles available
so others can simultaneously work on a codebase. Additional VMs can be created for each of the server types needed.

Only limit is the 890k outbound ADSL bottleneck. I have commercial Qwest DSL and the last time I checked they
still didn't provide small business with higher outbound DSL. And I can't afford without support from work or others
to reinstall a T1 (last time I had it up it was $550/mo). My experience is that remote consoles are perfectly workable
if you don't go crazy with graphics (I regularly VNC from work to my desktop at home comfortably).

As for stability, the server:
velociraptor:~$ uptime
10:06pm up 165 days 3:39, 2 users, load average: 0.05, 0.05, 0.05
velociraptor:~$

and the firewall:
bash-2.02# uptime
10:06PM up 406 days, 10:57, 2 users, load averages: 0.06, 0.07, 0.08
bash-2.02#
teedyo wrote:Heh, I have non-commercial, non-residential DSL from Qwest. I often wonder if I'm a one-of. Same as commercial except that I don't get guaranteed uptime or mailboxes. My outbound is 960k. Very occasionally they mess up and I'll get 1.0-1.2m outbound. Once, I even had 7m up/down for a day.
My apologies if I have missed other offers of hardware facilities. Let me know below and I'll put things right. Thanks!

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Re: Assets: Hardware/Facilities

Post by Chacal » Mon Dec 22, 2008 7:03 pm

Apologies again, I'm going to have to copy this post here. Hopefully this is the last place for discussing hardware and hosting.
It depends on what you want to do. There is much misconception about the "distributed" nature of Uru servers. This is not SETI. From the limited time and resources Cyan had to transform UU into MOUL, we can assume it is not drastically different.

Testing your own Age on your home network, with perhaps two client connections: maybe your home PC would do it. Don't expect to run the client and the servers all on the same PC though.

Running a public server means (presuming the MOUL architecture isn't too different from UU or Alcugs) running one or more auth servers which will allow players to login, one or more lobby servers that manage connections, messages, linking, etc, and one or more data servers that actually serve you the Ages you're linking into.

As you can guess: forget doing that on your home setup. At most you could run a data server on a shard that's not too popular IF you have a very good and stable connection, but good luck if more than 2 or 3 players want to join an Age on your server.

For that you need more bandwidth at a more stable QoS than your average high-speed connection can provide, and more importantly no cap on total bandwidth usage. Most providers have started capping monthly usage for home connections. So a public Uru server will have to sit in a provider's datacenter.

For stability and performance, it will have to run on a server operating system, either Windows 2003 or, when porting is done, Linux or Unix. It will also have to run on some serious hardware, multiple-core CPUs with lots of RAM. It is too early to talk about 64-bits and multiple-core-aware code and OS.

Such servers need configuration and maintenance skills that require experienced server admins. All Uru servers will have to be started as services and configured for optimal use of CPU, memory and storage resources. They also needed to be monitored round the clock (well maybe not for a test server), backed up regularly, updated, patched, etc. Security is a serious concern. I have been working with an Alcugs shard owner and obviously there will be a need of an application-level firewall for detecting and filtering out packets before they can do damage, without having a performance impact. I'm thinking of the fly-mode problem here. Also, MOUL downloads all Python and SDL files from the server, in addition to the data downloads that UU and Alcugs already do. Managing the library on the servers is going to be a lot of work because each new Age will bring new files.

With all those requirements, you can expect to pay several thousands of dollars a year for each physical server in the shard. Start shopping on provider web sites and look into dedicated servers. Don't get misled by great offers on virtual servers or "virtual private servers", those won't do.
A few of us are lucky enough to have more-or-less free access to such resources, by being professionally connected to providers. The rest will have to shell out the big bucks and try to get money from players, which will bring other nightmares ("hello? This is the IRS. We'd like a talk with you").
There is always the possibility that a GSP (game server provider) would want to include Uru in its services and charge a monthly fee directly to the players. But when they'll see the market they'll run away screaming.

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Re: Assets: Hardware/Facilities

Post by Chacal » Mon Dec 22, 2008 7:33 pm

Although Cyan has yet to publish anything about hardware requirements, we know that, in a distributed environement, we can start with a stable base and add resources when needed.

Here's a stable base I can provide for a core for a public shard. I'm thinking auth and lobby servers along with a data server.
I can probably also provide a test server. This is available now.

Server 1
Dual Opteron 242
Running Windows Server 2003 Enterprise edition
3 GB RAM
200GB HD 15K RPM U320
2 LAN 100 Mbps
Wan: Ashburn Equinix L3 backbone


Server 2
Dual Opteron 248
Running Windows Server 2003 Enterprise edition
2 GB RAM
200GB HD SATA
2 LAN 100 Mbps
Wan: Ashburn Equinix BTN backbone

Server 1 used to host 120 Battlefield 2 users for paying customers continuously. Server 2 used to host 200 users.
These are in a commercial datacenter with 24/7 monitoring.

The WAN links have been upgraded, we now have redundant links to at least two different providers, but I can't find the details right now.

Due to special circumstances, I'm sure I can get Oracle and MS-SQL for free.

Cyan may have hardware requirements superior to this, but I'm sure anything inferior wouldn't cut it.

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Re: Assets: Hardware/Facilities

Post by Mac_Fife » Mon Dec 22, 2008 9:23 pm

Running a public server means (presuming the MOUL architecture isn't too different from UU or Alcugs) running one or more auth servers which will allow players to login, one or more lobby servers that manage connections, messages, linking, etc, and one or more data servers that actually serve you the Ages you're linking into.
Chogon has already laid that to rest, I guess, by stating elsewhere that the MOUL architecture is very different to UU. What that really means at the end of the day is still open to speculation, but the general principle stated above seems to be right.

What we do know is that MOUL, at launch, had 21 game servers, plus the auth and data servers (by name anyway; some of the IP addresses were shared, and there's no particular evidence I have to say that those IPs were each on a physically distinct host). I can't find my notes on this right now, but in the latter months, the number of (active) game servers was roughly halved. I think that happened round about the time the cones were removed.

However, I hope that it'll still be possible to create a small, "domestic" configuration that would allow the creative types to do initial testing of their own Fan Content.

We don't yet know how Cyan will put together their Open Source Licence - it doesn't have to exactly follow one of the existing models. I've got a little thought in the back of my mind that Cyan might elect to retain the Auth server (as in UU), so they could track the level of usage. Sorry, I'm drifting into speculation again. :oops:
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Chacal
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Re: Assets: Hardware/Facilities

Post by Chacal » Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:26 pm

Mac_Fife wrote: in the latter months, the number of (active) game servers was roughly halved. I think that happened round about the time the cones were removed.
Note to self: add a cone server to the shard infrastructure. :D
Mac_Fife wrote: However, I hope that it'll still be possible to create a small, "domestic" configuration that would allow the creative types to do initial testing of their own Fan Content.
This is highly desireable because of the overhead of uploading an Age to a test server and managing the permissions for that. I can see how a home kit for Age creators would be useful. Of course, for those who can't spare the cpu, I'm sure the GoW will be offering unit testing facilities.
Mac_Fife wrote:I've got a little thought in the back of my mind that Cyan might elect to retain the Auth server (as in UU), so they could track the level of usage.
Let's hope not. Given their track record, that would be the surest way of turning everyone away from the whole idea. If I provide the resources, I keep control of them.

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Re: Assets: Hardware/Facilities

Post by Dot » Mon Dec 22, 2008 10:40 pm

Chacal wrote: Mac_Fife wrote: However, I hope that it'll still be possible to create a small, "domestic" configuration that would allow the creative types to do initial testing of their own Fan Content.

This is highly desirable because of the overhead of uploading an Age to a test server and managing the permissions for that. I can see how a home kit for Age creators would be useful. Of course, for those who can't spare the cpu, I'm sure the GoW will be offering unit testing facilities.
GoMa would be looking for something similar too, for the next stage of testing.

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Re: Assets: Hardware/Facilities

Post by zib_redlektab » Mon Dec 22, 2008 11:33 pm

I'd like to offer my server as well, though it isn't much, compared to the other stuff being offered up.

Celeron D 2.93ghz
512mb of RAM
40gb HD (IDE, 5200rpm)
Currently running Fedora Core 2 (it's serving Until Uru currently, hence the old operating system)

I actually have a spare copy of Windows server 2003, which I will install over FC2 if necessary (hate to lose my UU again, but it will be worth it for OSMO). I'd much rather use Ubuntu or some variant of Linux, as I'm much more used to non-dos systems...
Not sure what the top speed of my internet is, but the computer has a 100mpbs ethernet port, so I guess that's the maximum speed it could reach.

If OSMO is performs like Until Uru does/did, then my machine is good enough for a small server, I know this from experience.

I'm going to set this up as an OSMO server as soon as I possibly can, just because I really want to run one of the early servers. In other words, developers can use my server if they want, but I'm setting one up no matter what. If I can manage to get a new PC for myself then I'll definitely use my current PC as an additional server, though it's only slightly more powerful than the above specs.

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Re: Funding and accounting for servers

Post by Braggi » Fri Dec 26, 2008 9:57 pm

Based on the models given here, which one would the setup described here fall into?

http://www.gameservers.com/

I'm currently researching this subject by quizzing other fan-supported game communities, looking to find options. This was one option suggestion by the folks over at FS2. Is it of any use?

Edit:

As an addition for consideration, the package that catches my eye, based on the conversations so far regarding server hardware is listed here:

http://www.gameservers.com/dedicated/
Last edited by Mac_Fife on Fri Dec 26, 2008 11:01 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Moved post and added link to original reference

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Re: Funding and accounting for servers

Post by Chacal » Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:43 pm

Good server, but the offer is misleading. Their advertised "Pro gamer package" at $399.95 a month is based on Windows Web Edition.
According to this, the license for that edition of Windows says it can only be used for running a web server. Running any other service means using Windows 2003 standard, which is an added $25/month at this provider.

If this is true, what happens when you rent it? Either they tell you about it and ask for the extra $25, or they don't and let you run your server illegally. Maybe they have hundreds of current customers in that situation?

This kind of misleading would prompt me to choose a different provider. Again, if this is true.

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Re: Assets: Hardware/Facilities

Post by Mac_Fife » Fri Dec 26, 2008 10:43 pm

MOD Note: Try to keep this thread for discussing provision or donation of server assets and the "Funding and accounting" thread for payment methods, acounting/reporting obligations, etc., (if that makes sense).
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