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Game hosting cloud solutions

Discussion in 'Multiplayer' started by Meltdown, Feb 23, 2012.

  1. OmniverseProduct

    OmniverseProduct

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    What's uLink's website anyway? I searched for it but I'm not sure if I found the right one.
     
  2. hjupter

    hjupter

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    Sorry I forgot we were talking about only servers for uLink. Player.IO for $25 you can handle up to 5000 CCU players, but there is a limitation per room of 40 players.

    Player.IO is not based on Amazon Cloud, they have their own servers. Have you had issues with their support?
     
  3. hjupter

    hjupter

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  4. OmniverseProduct

    OmniverseProduct

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    Thank you, I guess did have the wrong website.
     
  5. npsf3000

    npsf3000

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    @ $600/TB

    CCU != hosting cost.

    You sure? Even asking to get a dedicated off them and all they offered was EC2 [even though I wanted to host it myself on NFO etc.]

    They've had significant downtime, slow to respond to questions in their forums [if they do at all], and are very inflexible with their pricing structure.

    IMO they have a great product that's somewhat let down by the team behind it.
     
  6. hjupter

    hjupter

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    Sorry Im not sure what you mean with this, you have a few space to upload your game (that depend with your plan), you have to code server side code (C#) and compile it in a dll then you upload it using their online backend... you dont have to pay anything else beside the plan you choosed unless you go above the limits
     
  7. npsf3000

    npsf3000

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    And the plans come with limited resources - which may be enough or may not be, you have to be very careful.
     
  8. hjupter

    hjupter

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    I know some successful games that are making decent money with it (5k per day), by the time you need more resources then you should be making enough money to pay for a better plan

    5000 ccu players it's quite enough to start, if you manage to have all those players playing your game then your going in the right way :)
     
  9. npsf3000

    npsf3000

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    Bah!

    You ignore both development costs and hosting costs.

    Development costs - say 4 figures to rebuild his physics into something player.io would like. [I'm assuming this is for the MTR game in his sig]. More if he has to try and port his map data over.

    Hosting costs - @ 1000ACCU it's $2000/month assuming 4 players rigidbodies a game. Not including any volume deals from P.IO. Not including upload, DB, other RB's in game, chat, RPC etc.

    P.IO is good for very simple games with little data usage.
     
  10. hjupter

    hjupter

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    That price would be the case of uLink where you need to run game servers checking physics and everything to make it full authoritative, i understand that, you can make big games with p.io will be harder to develop but cheaper ofc you wont be able to check physics but you can check user speed and stats is not the best solution but works... I was about to use uLink with my project but got a little scared about the price with hosts :(
     
  11. npsf3000

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    If you're not going to make it fully auth - i.e. 'guess at physics' you're risking huge technical challenges.

    And then, once you solve them, you could go with Photon, get a decent licensing deal off of them, and host it on a $200-$400/month server :p

    P.IO isn't useless... but it's got some very large downsides that are not immediately apparent. Given the OP is already using uLink the Cost/benefit likely doesn't add up.
     
  12. Meltdown

    Meltdown

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    What scares you about the price of hosts with uLink? You can get solutions from $25 a month to host uLink. Of course that will be a simple 1 Core CPU 1 GB ram server but you can still host uLink with that basic cost. Go up to $50 a month and you can get something decent.
     
  13. hjupter

    hjupter

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    Yes Photon its a cheaper solution than uLink, how much CPU do you think uLink requires for 500 CCU?

    The other thing that scares me about ulink its handling multi-session game servers as they dont have a proper room system integrated, if one session crash all sessions does... i need sessions/rooms to have multiple battles.

    And finally what do you think about photon cloud? i know everything its handled from the master client, i was using it on my game but what about cheaters hehe ... just gathering some info as you seems to have a good knowledge about this topic hahaha

    BTW if someone its interested http://forum.unity3d.com/threads/121746-Ninja-PVP-Needs-you-)
     
  14. hjupter

    hjupter

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    Yes but how much users can handle that server?.. and what about multisessions.... imagine i have 10 sessions in one game server with 10 player in each session, do you think that server can handle it?
     
  15. Meltdown

    Meltdown

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    No it isn't. Based on whether your server is authoritative or not, and what processing the server does, or what is done on the client, determines what your CPU usage is. You can't say Photon is cheaper on the CPU. If you only want to pass player Transforms from the client to the server and back, how is uLink more CPU intensive?? It all depends on your client/server implementation.

    Balls. Each room can be a dedicated process on the server. You can have as many running rooms, as you want. With each being a uLink Unity server .exe, each running on their own port. And they have a very powerful and well documented lobby system, that hand connected players off to one of these server.exe processes.

    And the joy of running multiple .exe processes is you can assign say the first 8 on your server to core 1, and the second 8 on your server to core 2, if you have a 2 core server.

    Read this link for more info
    http://developer.unitypark3d.com/ulink/manual/game-session-management.html
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2012
  16. hjupter

    hjupter

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    I asked about the room stuff to the CTO and he told me the solution for me its making multi-session game server, i need to be able to create instances/rooms at runtime, not having a few game servers running forever on the server, there is no room system in uLink right now.

    I was talking about Photon Cloud my bad...
     
  17. Meltdown

    Meltdown

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    From the dude at uLink...

    There are several ways to fix this.

    1. Recommended solution. Use uZone and integrate it in your ulobby server. It can be used to start new game servers (race sessions) on any number of Winodws servers in the datacenter.
    2. Use uLobby to start more game servers, but only locally on the same Windows host. This feature is not implemented in the curren tversion of uLobby. But it is high of the planned feature list.
    3. Do some coding on your own in the lobby server. Start new game servers on the fly when you need them. But only locally on the same Windows server running the lobby server. Se pseudo code example below.

    myProcess = new System.Diagnostics.Process();
    myProcess.StartInfo.FileName = "raceServerA.exe";

    myProcess.StartInfo.Arguments = "" + serverPortNumber;
    myProcess.Start();
     
  18. Tomo-Games

    Tomo-Games

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    I live in NY so that would be an ideal hosting solution for me. How long have you been with them? Were you able to load test it in any way? I wanted to put up a list of providers that I searched around for but I hesitated as there are so many scam sites out there. Many are ones that claim they do honest reviews. Many providers are resellers or affiliates to just say anything to get you to click or sign up.

    This guy busts people who do phony hosting reviews. I was actually looking at WooServers on a bogus review site that eventually brought me back to burstnet after reading Benjamin's blog with his not too happy experiences.

    This blog made me a little extra cautious. I appreciate your feedback as well as all communities experiences.
     
  19. npsf3000

    npsf3000

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    Entirely depends on your situ. I believe that the 1000Player FPS from much different was run on a single server with two rather old quad cores. So I'd expect to see say 250+ players a core on a E3 using that game as a benchmark.

    Run many game servers. Go a step further and run on many servers - just like Player.IO does it.

    My understanding is that photon cloud is merely a proxy set-up, and as such fairly useless IMO. I'm sure there are some use cases for it - but haven't heard of anyone actually using it with such.

    Interesting - normally I turn down collabs but the art and gameplay is above par.

    If you can convince me that it's going to work and you've got the assets game design that will enable this to work I might be interested. In particular seeing your indiegogo campaign make 4 figures would be a strong endorsement.
     
  20. Meltdown

    Meltdown

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    Also Photon's 'cloud' as it stands at the moment is not much of a cloud. They have a server or two in the Netherlands. That's it.
     
  21. sohaibt

    sohaibt

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    www.dediserve.com is a pretty good cloud hosting provider that has locations in the UK and US, for dedicated servers i would recommend Leaseweb, there are also good cloud hosts with locations in Europe and the US such as Voxel.net and Rackspace.
     
  22. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo

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    Howdy guys,

    I found this topic through google when I was looking for hosting of my Unity games, I host a large group of "official" servers for my game.
    I currently run a large bunch of dedicated servers up in Germany, but my players were starting to come more and more from North America, that is why I was looking.

    I currently host my EU servers at Hetzner, They run from the EX4 boxes, which gives extremely high performance;
    - Intel corei7 2600
    - 16 gb ram
    - 100mbit port 10 TB bandwith
    - 65 euro/month with windows licence.
    - 150 euro - one time setup fee.
    http://www.hetzner.de/en/hosting/produkte_rootserver/ex4

    I looked at that dutch hosting company (leaseweb) aswell, but they are more expensive and are not nearly as fast.

    With this kind of performance in mind I started looking for American servers, sadly they did not supply with anything nearly that performance, except when I would have to pay 500 dollar a month.

    It was then a friend recommended me NFO servers.
    They offer a special VPS package, where they are basically unlike other VPS hosts dedicating your virtual box a certain CPU's, which will be completely yours, so you won't be affected by other clients on the box.

    They offer for instance a 2 core package, (that means 1 dedicated cpu core)
    - 2 GB ram.
    - 2 TB datalimit
    - 50 dollar/month
    - No setup fee
    https://www.nfoservers.com/order-virtual-dedicated-server.php

    They generally run these VPS servers on powerfull servers, My server has a 3.47 ghz intel Xeon of the sandy bridge series.
    I have my VPS located in Dallas Texas, which is quite central for Americans.


    I have been with Hetzner for 2 years now, and their support is excellent ( 4 am phone calls are fine. )
    Their network is a beast and I have never had any downtime ( except once a DDOS from some kid we banned )

    So far NFO has been very stable and their support is great, always replies within 10 minutes. My Server was up within 10 minutes.


    A general note, Never ever get your game servers hosted through Cloud servers, the cloud could randomly think; Lets move this server to some other box, and bang you get a 2 second lag spike.
    Besides that, it's all a lot more virtual and dynamic, meaning you have a lot of IO overhead and general slowness not wanted in multiplayer games based upon ping and FPS.

    Cheers,

    Maxim
    CEO
    Flying Squirrel Entertainment
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2012
  23. Meltdown

    Meltdown

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    Yeah earlier in this thread I made a post of my conclusions. Leaseweb in the UK and NFO in the US. I could use Leaseweb for both but the only disadvantage they have is servers in the US can take up to 5 days to get setup.
     
  24. sohaibt

    sohaibt

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    Check out softlayer.com for dedicated servers in the US, we used them for 3 years and it was very good! their cloud solution isnt that good though.
     
  25. npsf3000

    npsf3000

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    LOLWhat? There are plenty of providers out there who will provide those said specs for ~$200.
     
  26. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo

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    200 dollar is however not 65 euro and please link me a i7 2600 machine in the states, for I have not located one.
     
  27. npsf3000

    npsf3000

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    https://www.nfoservers.com/order-dedicated-server.php
    http://www.ioflood.com/
    http://www.swiftway.net/
    http://www.incero.com/
    http://www.webhostingtalk.com/showthread.php?t=1086569

    That took me less than 60 seconds.

    Oh, and complaining that $200 is not 65 Euro when you said you could only find servers at $500 is kinda missing the point. If you look at the above links there are some down to $100
     
    Last edited: Feb 29, 2012
  28. Tomo-Games

    Tomo-Games

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    NFO has many restrictions in the TOS...

    If you don't go with a common managed game server (Minecraft, Left4Dead, Battlefield) option it's just a typical VDS no?
     
  29. Vincenzo

    Vincenzo

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    Good find NPSF3000, however still costing a lot more then EU servers sadly, when i'm going to need more US power I will probably switch to such servers, 150 dollar seems to be the average price I could get something similar as I have it in the EU.

    Tomoprime, I see their TOS has some hmmmmmm things, however I don't think that will affect us game developers hosting some game servers.. yes, a VDS is just a VDS, unmanaged.
     
  30. npsf3000

    npsf3000

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    Did you read it?

    All it says is:

    * No Spam.
    * Talk to external parties without permission of said parties.
    * Violate InterNAP AUP
    * Excessively use disk on the VDS.
    * We block port 25 [SMTP] for the first 2 weeks.
    * We don't keep back-ups.

    It's a typical VDS - but VDS's aren't typical :p
     
  31. npsf3000

    npsf3000

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    Earlier I referred to Hetzner in the following manner:

    Europe is interesting in that it has providers like OVH Hetzner that are extreme low cost - at the cost of minimal flexibility/support.

    http://forum.unity3d.com/threads/124748-Game-hosting-cloud-solutions?p=843112&viewfull=1#post843112
     
  32. hjupter

    hjupter

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    Yes i know about uZone, i told him about it and he said skip uZone use multi session... :S .... so if #2 is not already implemented then i cant do that atm, he told me about it so I'll have to wait for new releases then... btw they recently released an new version of uLobby I think yesterday gotta chek out that.
     
  33. hjupter

    hjupter

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    Ok, I'm gonna send you a PM
     
  34. Deleted User

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    Guest

    I have a noob question about this. If you use two separate servers like this can your players in Europe still play against your players in US?
     
  35. npsf3000

    npsf3000

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    There is no reason they couldn't. Bother servers could talk to a master-server [hosted on either server or neither] that holds a list of gameservers - clients ask the masterserver to see what games are available.

    uLink come with a simple masterserver for this already - but writing your own is usually trivial.

    Whether your game will be playable with the additional latency is different.
     
  36. tobiass

    tobiass

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    See below. 10 rooms with 10 players each is "piece of cake". So are 1000 connections, if you could split them into different rooms.

    You seem to know a lot about our servers ;)
    Photon Cloud just left beta state and is now having peaks at around 10k CCUs. Quickly rising.
    We use regular quad core machines and get 1k+ CCUs per machine, depending on the games running on it.
    Our european servers are at Leaseweb and we now add servers in the US, too. When we finished this, your customers can use either servers, depending on their location.
     
  37. hjupter

    hjupter

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    Thanks Tobias I already know how capable photon cloud is :) , I was talking about uLink.... good to know photon cloud its out of beta.
     
  38. Meltdown

    Meltdown

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    This was posted right after I confirmed on your forums by one of your staff you only offered servers in the Netherlands.
    Anyway it's good to hear you guys are expanding your cloud :D
     
  39. vegenarie

    vegenarie

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    Prices are much higher now in Leaseweb, i tried with a basic dedicated server for a year and i get 109€/month

    Also shouldnt bet better just get a server first and then considering the success get another?, and get cloud server first and if you get success get a dedicated.

    http://www.techxav.com/2010/05/01/cloud-hosting-vs-dedicated-hosting/
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2012
  40. tobiass

    tobiass

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    Hm. Cloud services are also a business. It's right, they seem convenient and cheap and you can quit using one, whenever you want to.
    On the other hand, this also means you have to closely monitor what resources you use and scale according to your demand (per hour? day?).
    Most run virtual machines and are geared towards web-hosting. They give sub-optimal performance and ping for gaming.
    And: It's still a business model for the cloud providers. This means, they don't give it away because they are nice. In our initial phase, we found out that traffic might become a factor in costs for networking games easily.
    If you got the technical ability to scale the number of machines, cloud hosting might be the perfect fit for you. If the machines run all day and idle or use their bandwidth quota, this might be sub-optimal.
     
  41. tobiass

    tobiass

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    Hm. Cloud services are also a business. It's right, they seem convenient and cheap and you can quit using one, whenever you want to.
    On the other hand, this also means you have to closely monitor what resources you use and scale according to your demand (per hour? day?).
    Most run virtual machines and are geared towards web-hosting. They give sub-optimal performance and ping for gaming.
    And: It's still a business model for the cloud providers. This means, they don't give it away because they are nice. In our initial phase, we found out that traffic might become a factor in costs for networking games easily.
    If you got the technical ability to scale the number of machines, cloud hosting might be the perfect fit for you. If the machines run all day and idle or use their bandwidth quota, this might be sub-optimal.
     
  42. vegenarie

    vegenarie

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    So you could get around 800 players for an authoritative setup in a quad core for a simple game? Server with the database and game servers must be in different servers?
     
  43. Foxxis

    Foxxis

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    Interesting thread! I am a bit confused though as it quickly goes from discussing cloud solutions to dedicated or virtual machines. My worry with such soluions would be slow scalability (manual work and delivery times) as opposed to solutions able to quickly scale performance on demand. But maybe I am missing things in the discussion?

    Anyway, my basic question would be if anyone has found a good cloud hosting solution for UnityPark including database hosting that is quickly scalable and not prohibitively expensive?

    Thanks in advance,
    Dan
     
  44. Foxxis

    Foxxis

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    True, but they caution against that approach as it requires a separate OS instance for each server instance, quickly building overhead. Or is that info outdated?
     
  45. npsf3000

    npsf3000

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    1) Cloud hosting is generally slow [paticularily EC2].
    2) Cloud hosting is generally expensive.

    In general - unless you genuinely cannot predict the scale you will need [e.g. new product launch] - you'll save money by simply going with a decent VPS/Dedi company and buying excess capacity.
     
  46. Meltdown

    Meltdown

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    My original thinking was that cloud based hosting was the way to go due to scalability. But after much discussion in this thread and from the help of the people at uLink, it was determined that dedicated servers, among other reasons, are the best bang for your buck performance wise. And with companies having a new dedicated server up within 1-2 days it makes sense to go dedicated.

    It was also concluded the best cost effective solutions offered were from Leaseweb.
    NFO also has an excellent offering in the US, although they are virtual dedicated not pure dedicated.
     
  47. Meltdown

    Meltdown

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    That information you have is outdated. Each server 'instance' can simply be an .exe running on the server. And using one of the batch scripts in this thread, you can create them on the fly, well that's one of the approaches.
     
  48. npsf3000

    npsf3000

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    They offer both.
     
  49. Meltdown

    Meltdown

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    I think since this thread is so awesome it should be bumped.
     
  50. sirenpro

    sirenpro

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    Wow, I think this thread is great, tons of useful info and options..

    Hosting games on cloud, do some people do a monthly sub fee?
    Do any sevices allow ads to lower costs?
    Overall what options are in place to lower costs that you guys have found? We're looking into photon.