Game server hosting in a professional data centre
According to US analytics company EEDAR, 67% of Americans (211.2 million people) play video games, most of them (60%) on mobile devices. Gaming addiction is sweeping the globe. Over the past few years, the gaming industry has become one of the fastest growing. In a world where everyone is obsessed with games, age and gender do not matter. With the advancement of technology, online multiplayer games have become an alternative to expensive gaming consoles. The popularity of Massive Multiplayer Online (MMO) games has grown dramatically thanks to advances in broadband technology, improvements in hardware and the algorithms of the games themselves.
It seems that all you need is a computer and an internet connection. But really, it all depends on hosting your game server in a professional data centre. And choosing the right platform with the right resources, a reliable hosting provider is crucial for those who have decided to set up their own gaming site for leisure or for making money.
A professional data centre hosting provider offers a state-of-the-art infrastructure and stocked dedicated servers. It is a reliable and easily scalable network, the latest security features, ongoing support, and the flexibility to expand the hardware.
VPS – the best solution for a game server?
You can use a VPS or dedicated server to deploy a game site. VPS virtual servers are relatively inexpensive and offer the latest tools in technology, which means you will have adequate resources at an affordable price.
Some of the advantages of using a VPS to host your game server include the following:
- 🔹 Most VPS servers have a static IP address, which is an important requirement for a multi-player game server.
- 🔹 Full administrative access to install and manage the game server via remote desktop. Setting up a game server using RDP is similar to setting up a game server on your local computer.
- 🔹 VPS servers are easily accessible and you can easily update server files as they change on your local machine.
- 🔹 A proxy server can be installed for the game server.
Generally, VPS are offered with full administrative access via remote desktop (in Windows VPS) and SSH (in Linux VPS). You can install and run your game software on the virtual server. But in some cases you may need a dedicated rather than a virtual server.
There are a lot of discussions on the Internet about whether a VPS is suitable for gaming. Some believe that it is not suitable for everyone, especially when it comes to resource-intensive games with good graphics. And even in the basic package hosting company must provide for this purpose at least 1 GB of RAM, 1 processor, 5 TB of traffic, 25 GB of SSD-storage and 1 gigabit port.
The hosting provider must also guarantee minimum network latency, proactive monitoring and comprehensive daily backups. Some users strongly recommend a dedicated server for gaming, saying that in their experience, VPS is not suitable for a gaming platform.
Others, on the contrary, think that VPS is a good solution, especially considering the budget. If you only need one game server, a VPS will do. Technically, a VPS allows you to host gaming sites, but it all depends on how many resources are required. Since it is a gaming site, the number of visitors over time can increase significantly, and will need more resources. Therefore, a dedicated server will be the best option.
How to choose the "right" hosting for the game server? Many games have fairly high demands on the server, and with remote hosting, players' latency (latency) can vary markedly, creating unequal conditions for gamers and upsetting the competitive balance of the game.
A dedicated game server can help avoid these problems and provide maximum control over the gaming environment by giving players 24/7/365 access, so players in different time zones can compete against each other – whenever it's convenient for them.
The criteria to consider when choosing a dedicated game server are similar to those for other types of hosting, but there are a few key features to take into account.
Speed and performance are probably the most important things in a game server, and they should be sufficient for the gaming process. The server should be of high quality, ideally equipped with SSDs, located on a network with a reliable infrastructure, and accessed by Internet Service Providers with sufficient bandwidth and latency.
Of course, different games will have different performance requirements, so it's worth checking the available documentation to make sure you choose a sufficiently powerful server.
For instance, Gamepedia's Minecraft Wiki specifies a minimum RAM capacity of 512MB to 2GB (depending on which server is used). The recommendation for Linux servers is 5GB RAM for games with three to five players using the GUI, and 3GB for five to eight players using consoles. And this RAM is for the game server only, apart from the RAM used by the OS.
Smooth gaming also depends on sufficient CPU processing power, so choose a server with at least an Intel Core processor or equivalent. In some cases GPUs are used.
Considering the price as a key factor in choosing a dedicated game server hosting, do not forget about reliability, uptime, as hosting with regular outages are known to be less valuable than one that constantly keeps the game online. Hosting with uptime of 99% can be considered unreliable (which, however, depends on the requirements), and with the uptime of 99.996% – is quite stable.
Security is also a factor in reliability, especially since game servers are particularly attractive to hackers. According to Qrator Labs, the gaming industry is the world's third-largest target of DDoS attacks. A good dedicated server includes protection against DDoS attacks and a powerful firewall.
Easy Management and Automation
Since the players are there to play, not to manage the server, game server hosting should offer features such as automatic updates, a choice of control panels for administration, one-click software installation and automated operating system kernel updates without rebooting the server.
Online games require constant availability; the game server needs to run without downtime. Therefore, you need a good hosting provider offering high quality services and support.
Leading hosting providers have professional support staff, this makes it much easier to use their services. If the games will be running at night or on weekends, you need to look for a provider that offers support 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Some hosting providers provide game server hosting, specialized secure and optimized dedicated servers built on industrial quality hardware, including SSDs. Their network provides high bandwidth with high-speed connections to Internet service providers, and customers are assured of security, uninterrupted operation and support.
The chosen hardware needs to have a base platform installed (this can be Linux or Windows), a set of server software, and the game client itself (it will be responsible for working with the network players).
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