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cosmicwar.net server

Unread postby icycalm » 29 Jul 2017 17:06

In this thread we will be discussing issues pertaining to the running of our dedicated server for PA, but the financing of the server will be covered in the Online thread, for reasons I have explained there: http://culture.vg/forum/topic?t=5743

Now, that server will take us some time to acquire, so until then we will be using Amazon's most expensive virtual server at $2/hour, for the next few days, and then my desktop computer for free once I set it up in the coming week. recoil has already sent me detailed guides on how to get the Amazon server running, which I did yesterday and will do again in about an hour for Clan Wars #1, and basically the entire weekend, so what remains to be discussed here, for the time being, is how the hell do I turn my desktop into a server. I will need to be running Linux I guess? And which version? I would prefer SteamOS, but if that's going to create trouble, I'll use whichever stupid version will minimize it.

The discussion of the setup process will be continued in the Hardware forum, in the server thread: http://culture.vg/forum/topic?p=29303#p29303

This thread will be devoted to discussing how the server will be used in the context of PA, the Cosmic War events, and the PA community at large. In other words, it's about the administrative and community management aspects, not the financial [ > ] or technical [ > ] ones.
Last edited by icycalm on 27 Sep 2017 20:21, edited 2 times in total.
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Unread postby icycalm » 18 Aug 2017 17:43

Since the last post I made in this thread, Insomnia has rented a dedicated server on a monthly basis that is the fastest server to have ever ran the PA sim, as far as we know. It is now available to Cult members 24/7 in the MP lobby.

Screenshot (56).png


From Discord:

Brother Bear
by the way the server is on 24/7? (edited)

icycalm
Yes
We would have made it available to the PA community
However, we want to be able to play whenever we want, and the only option to do that, if people are already playing, is to dump them out of their games, which would have sucked for them
Plus, the server isn't free
So we are open to giving access to other clans, if they help pay for our costs
Plus, guarantee us that they won't be giving the password to everyone
Any clan leader who is interested in access, post in the server thread in the CW forum
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Unread postby icycalm » 18 Aug 2017 17:51

Our server specs:

Screenshot (55).png


It's a little faster than mikey's (he's using the E3-1270v3 and we are using the v5), and has double the amount of memory of his, but ours is in Chicago and his in Texas if I am not mistaken, which is more centrally located for Australian players, plus I think his supports replay-saving which ours doesn't, and will eventually be receiving a Linux update (?) that will be unique to his server, so for all these reasons mikey recommends we use his server for Clan Wars (and perhaps the Clan League?), which is what we'll be doing for as long as he wants us to.

mikey's post for reference:

https://forums.uberent.com/threads/inso ... st-1142233

mikeyh wrote:I'll continue to make secure optimised dedicated servers available in a central location each weekend for Clan Wars games.

These are clean fully patched servers optimised for PA with crash logging and replay shipping support. No other software or games are installed on these servers.

My recommendation is that you use my servers for the actual games.

I'll be switching to an improved private linux build next month once I'm happy that updating to a modern toolchain does not introduce any new issues.
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Unread postby recoil » 19 Aug 2017 18:22

I'll be trying to get replay saves to work next.

https://wiki.palobby.com/wiki/Planetary ... al_Replays
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Unread postby recoil » 21 Aug 2017 05:57

Replays are now being saved on the server.
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Unread postby icycalm » 21 Aug 2017 11:57

That's also going to help when we get some other clans and individual players to pitch in with server costs. We should be able to keep track if they are keeping their part of the bargain in not giving the password to anyone else to host lobbies. Nice job.
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Unread postby icycalm » 26 Aug 2017 12:30

icycalm
We won't be using mikey's server anymore.
I can't believe how much of a dick he has been to us lately. I wouldn't even know where to start to tell you.
Our server is faster. Faster processor and twice the RAM.
Probably faster RAM too.
Is it seriously a big deal that it's in Chicago instead of Texas for you guys?

Elite Sardaukar
no idea

icycalm
Ok, let's try it today, and you tell me how it feels.
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Unread postby icycalm » 27 Sep 2017 20:20

I have some news on the server front. Currently, we are using the E3-1270 v5, as I mentioned above. These are the next steps up from it:

Xeon E3 v6.png
Xeon E3 v6.png (13.54 KiB) Viewed 15088 times


http://www.cpu-world.com/news_2017/2017 ... nched.html

Our processor is just one step below these three. mikey's 1270 v3 is two steps below ours.

Now, the top two processors still seem unavailable to rent, and maybe even to buy, apparently. The top one was just released in August. However, the third one, the 1275 v6, was just made available at NFO, the company we rent from, for a mere $10 extra a month than we pay now:

https://www.nfoservers.com/

NFO wrote:We now have a limited number of Kaby Lake E3-1275 v6 dedicated machines available in New York. These come with 1 TB SSDs and 64 GB of RAM, and they have Intel 3D graphics included. We've also dropped prices on most other dedicated server machines, at all locations.


https://www.nfoservers.com/order-dedica ... cation=nyc

This server goes to 4.2GHz, compared to 4.0GHz for ours, and has faster RAM (DDR4-2400 compared to DDR4-2133 for ours).

The problem is that it is in New York, which is less centrally located for Australian players than our current Chicago location. I emailed NFO to ask if they were willing to ship a 1275 v6 server to Chicago for us, but no dice:

NFO CEO John wrote:We add new machines in 8-unit blocks. We don't currently have enough demand to justify buying the first of these blocks for the E3-1275v6 in Chicago. I don't know yet when we might have it.


Following from that, I asked him what would be the cost/procedure for us to move from Chicago to New York, and I am awaiting his reply.

From our testing, it hasn't been proved that Australian players can tell the difference in PA from a machine located in the central US to the west coast, so perhaps moving to NY won't affect them. I know they can feel the difference in an FPS, but in an RTS I suspect that it might just be psychological. If we moved without telling them, I highly doubt they'd notice anything.

In any case, I doubt the upgrade will be noticeable much at all either. I think that going from one of these machines to the next step up is a very minor upgrade, but going from ours to the very top -- which is three steps up -- would almost certainly be noticeable (it goes up to 4.5GHz, compared to 4.0 for ours). So I guess the best option would be to sit tight in Chicago and wait for NFO to introduce a higher model. In the meantime, if anyone can find a higher model (preferably the highest) for rent anywhere in the central or western US, post details here and let me know about it. Also, if you are rich and want to buy the top machine and lend it to us, let me know. That would be awesome.
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Unread postby icycalm » 28 Sep 2017 08:03

We have disabled replay-saving on the server. It dawned on me that it must consume at least some processing power, and since we don't really use the replays, I figure we might as well turn them off. Even if we used them, I would prefer a faster sim any day over replays, so I don't expect we'll ever turn them on again.
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Unread postby Robomoo » 29 Sep 2017 12:46

We are giving access to the cosmicwar.net server for $10/month for individuals, and $30/month for small clans (more for larger ones, ask us for a quote). For more details see here: https://forums.uberent.com/threads/cosm ... ver.72611/

We will post a more detailed article on cosmicwar.net eventually, but for the time being the details in the thread above should do.
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Unread postby icycalm » 01 Oct 2017 00:53

http://culture.vg/forum/topic?p=29839#p29839

I wrote:After reading mikey's latest server-related post, I decided to stick with our server in Chicago for the time being, because moving to New York would be too much of a disadvantage to the Australians. More info here: https://forums.uberent.com/threads/cosm ... st-1143969


I wrote:We'll move server when a faster one is made available by NFO in Chicago, or some other central US location.


mikeyh wrote:There is a threshold you cross around 200-250ms where it becomes noticeable in heavy battles and commander snipes.

eg at 250ms you're seeing a round trip of at least 0.5 seconds for orders. That can mean life or death.

West coast to east coast is usually 50+ms and central to east coast can add at least 25+ms depending on where your "central" is actually located.

A lot depends on network transit. The longer the distances the higher the variability especially if you pass through multiple transit providers.

I look for trace routes that ideally use a single tier 1 transit provider for the long haul.

For SoftLayer transit is really good to Dallas from both Oceania and Europe. San Jose was actually my preferred if they had stock as all the network transit is highly optimised to Silicon Valley. Oregon is also a good choice on other providers.

eg on a good network SoftLayer San Jose is around 150ms from Oceania or Eastern Europe.
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Unread postby icycalm » 24 Oct 2017 00:43

The same exact server specs mikeyh is running, that's funded by BRN and Clopse:

https://www.ovh.com/us/dedicated-server ... 171mc4.xml

CPU: Intel i7-7700K OC - 4c/8t - 4.7GHz /5GHz
RAM: 64GB DDR4 2400 MHz

$124.99/month inc. setup fees, i.e. $35 less than what we are paying now.

The problem is that it's in Canada, and according to mikey that's not as centrally located as Chicago. Moreover, it's not a Xeon, so no ECC memory, so potentially more crashes.

For all these reasons, we are sticking with out current setup. However, if someone can find this server in the central or western US, at least half of the problems will be solved, and I would consider moving us.
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Unread postby icycalm » 24 Oct 2017 07:12

FireShot Capture 3 - Planetary Annihilation Games Browser, Global Chat & Sta_ - https___palobby.com_.png


FireShot Capture 4 - Planetary Annihilation Games Browser, Global Chat & Sta_ - https___palobby.com_.png


Two crashes in the space of an hour for the community server.

Hardly a day goes by that I don't hear of that server crashing, so I am worried. Of course it could be that it crashes more simply because it's used more, but the anecdotal evidence is mounting, and only some hard data comparisons between our server and theirs would set my mind at ease at this point. It's getting to the point where people are complaining about casual games, so even though I madly want the performance boost, I would still refrain from taking on the risk for competitive events.

It could also be that some of the crashes are due to the mods and/or custom server build and custom scripts that mikey is running, but only he can sort it out and figure out what's happening.

I will keep watching with great interest, and jump in the moment the setup seems stable -- on his server if he allows us, or on a similar one of our own if he doesn't.
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Downtime notice for November 27

Unread postby icycalm » 24 Nov 2017 14:21

Message from NFO via email:

NFO wrote:Upcoming downtime with power cycle early on 11/27 due to cabinet migration
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Downtime notice for November 30

Unread postby icycalm » 30 Nov 2017 12:13

Message from NFO via email:

NFO wrote:Router maintenance early 11/30 will cause some connectivity loss
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Server upgrade possibly coming in January

Unread postby icycalm » 16 Dec 2017 05:38

We are looking at upgrading our server to a slightly more powerful model sometime in the first week of January. Here are the details I just posted in the thread where we discuss these things internally in The Cult: http://culture.vg/forum/topic?p=30385#p30385

I wrote:The E3-1275v6, which was previously only available in New York, is now available in Chicago too, and what's more they have an offer currently in which they charge you no setup fee. So, as long as this offer still stands before our next rent due date, we can move to the faster machine with just $10 more per month.

https://www.nfoservers.com/order-dedicated-server.php (choose Chicago from the drop-down menu):

Screenshot-2017-12-16 Game Server Rentals and Hosting Dedicated servers order page NFOservers.png


(Ignore the six-core processor at the bottom. It is actually slower for games like PA, Rust, etc. that benefit more from strong single-thread performance.)

We would be jumping from the E3-1270v5 to the E3-1270v6, with the benefits being going from 4.0 to 4.2Ghz and from DDR4-2133 memory to DDR4-2400. This is the fastest server hardware currently available for rent anywhere.

I will post again in the first week of January to see if we can get the money together.


pXs currently contributes around $30 out of the $160 we spend each month, which will become $170 if we upgrade. If other people/clans want to contribute, in exchange for access, get in touch. We can use all the help we can get.
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