default header

Cosmic War

cosmicwar.net server

Moderator: JC Denton

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.
Image
User avatar
icycalm
Hyperborean
 
Joined: 28 Mar 2006 00:08
Location: Tenerife, Canary Islands

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
Image
User avatar
icycalm
Hyperborean
 
Joined: 28 Mar 2006 00:08
Location: Tenerife, Canary Islands

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.
Image
User avatar
icycalm
Hyperborean
 
Joined: 28 Mar 2006 00:08
Location: Tenerife, Canary Islands

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
Image
User avatar
recoil
 
Joined: 26 Feb 2010 22:35
Location: California, USA

Unread postby recoil » 21 Aug 2017 05:57

Replays are now being saved on the server.
Image
User avatar
recoil
 
Joined: 26 Feb 2010 22:35
Location: California, USA

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.
Image
User avatar
icycalm
Hyperborean
 
Joined: 28 Mar 2006 00:08
Location: Tenerife, Canary Islands

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.
Image
User avatar
icycalm
Hyperborean
 
Joined: 28 Mar 2006 00:08
Location: Tenerife, Canary Islands

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 61672 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.
Image
User avatar
icycalm
Hyperborean
 
Joined: 28 Mar 2006 00:08
Location: Tenerife, Canary Islands

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.
Image
User avatar
icycalm
Hyperborean
 
Joined: 28 Mar 2006 00:08
Location: Tenerife, Canary Islands

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.
Image
User avatar
Robomoo
 
Joined: 27 Apr 2015 03:08
Location: United Kingdom

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.
Image
User avatar
icycalm
Hyperborean
 
Joined: 28 Mar 2006 00:08
Location: Tenerife, Canary Islands

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.
Image
User avatar
icycalm
Hyperborean
 
Joined: 28 Mar 2006 00:08
Location: Tenerife, Canary Islands

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.
Image
User avatar
icycalm
Hyperborean
 
Joined: 28 Mar 2006 00:08
Location: Tenerife, Canary Islands

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
Image
User avatar
icycalm
Hyperborean
 
Joined: 28 Mar 2006 00:08
Location: Tenerife, Canary Islands

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
Image
User avatar
icycalm
Hyperborean
 
Joined: 28 Mar 2006 00:08
Location: Tenerife, Canary Islands

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.
Image
User avatar
icycalm
Hyperborean
 
Joined: 28 Mar 2006 00:08
Location: Tenerife, Canary Islands

Unread postby icycalm » 02 Dec 2020 19:13

It's been a while since I last updated this thread, and we've been through several servers in that time, so let me fill everyone in on what's been happening on the server front.

First of all, take a look at the site I use to gauge server performance and make rental decisions:

PassMark Software - CPU Benchmark Charts
https://www.cpubenchmark.net/

mikey uses it, so I use it too. And in the few years I've been using it, I've seen that it appears to be the dominant CPU benchmarking site, so I trust it.

They offer a load of charts, but the only one we're interested in is the "Single Thread Performance" chart. That's the most important metric for games, since games are generally not very well multi-threaded. As long as you have a decent number of cores (i.e. not dual-core or some shit) the limiting factor for CPU performance tends to be the single-thread performance. In the case of PA that's without a doubt the most important number, because the sim runs on one thread.

Single Thread Performance
https://www.cpubenchmark.net/singleThread.html

Now the site offers three categories in the single-thread section: Desktop, Laptop, and Server. Obviously we're not interested in the Laptop category. For the time being, assume we're not interested in the Desktop either. So we're only interested in the Server chart, which is here: https://www.cpubenchmark.net/singleThre ... ver-thread

The server we had for the past few months was the Xeon E-2278G which is currently at 4th place (it was 2nd when we rented it iirc), and the one we got just now is the Xeon W-1290P which is currently at 1st place. So we definitely have the fastest gaming server processor in the world right now. For comparison, take a look further down the chart:

Image

The processor at the top is what we have now. The one at the bottom, the E3-1285 v6, is what we had right before mikey shut down the old Clan Wars. At the time, this was at the top of the chart, or maybe number two or three, I can't remember exactly. Either way, you can see the jump we've made in performance since then. It's pretty considerable (the public PA servers are WAY down the list, by the way, and moreover each of them hosts MULTIPLE games simultaneously; it's night and day to the performance we're getting). And even beyond sheer single-thread speed, consider that the old Clan Wars processor had 8 threads, and the one we have now has 20 (the one we had for the past couple of months had 16). So theoretically we should be able to run 18- or 19-planet systems with no problems, assuming mikey's claims that PA is now multi-threaded per planet are true... Definitely need to check that out.

Getting back for a second to our most recent server upgrade, here is the server we had before, in detail:

Image

And here is what we just got:

Image

As you can see, the new one is almost half the price, and it's a faster processor (plus a little faster RAM), so it was a great deal. It's a new hosting company that offers these systems, gaming-specific hosting company unlike several others we've used, so I guess they are trying to make a splash with good deals. It seems that often, once these companies get established and noticed, they are bought out by larger outfits and absorbed, at which point the good deals disappear. This happened to Incero which had given us the last server we used for Clan Wars before it got shut down, and then it was bought by Hivelocity, which we migrated to, but whose deals just weren't that good, and that's why we jumped ship. We even had some recent trouble with their performance, if some of you guys remember that. It took us several days to get them to fix their shit. So I am glad we left them behind, and I hope the new company's performance is on point. We'll see.

Aside from the faster processor (and faster RAM) and cheaper cost, which are the pros, the new server has some cons compared to the last one, at least on paper. It has 64 RAM instead of 128, and one hard drive instead of two. Also the data center is in Chicago instead of LA, which is a little less centrally located than before. So let's take each of these cons one by one:

-The downgrade to 64 RAM will certainly not be noticed at all. mikey still uses 64 for his "community" dedicated servers. The only reason you need a lot of RAM is if you're running giant wars that last for hours, at which point the history/Chrono Cam file keeps growing, but I doubt that even the old Clan Wars would have needed more than 64, let alone the smaller ones we'll be running now, since we have fewer players. To be sure, I am 100% planning to upgrade to 128 when the occasion permits, but currently the only configuration with that much RAM that the new hosting provider offers costs almost twice as much, at which point we could get two servers instead. So I ruled this out for now.

-The only functionality offered by the two hard drives we had was the convenience of not having to partition the hard drive, in order to install both Linux and Windows. It was just simpler for dan to administer that system, and switch between OSes. Now he will just have to partition. We lose no perfomance at all, and in fact the new hard drive is exactly the capacity of the older two combined, so we lose no capacity either.

-The shift from LA to Chicago would be perceptible for Australasians if we were playing a first-person game like Rust, but for PA I doubt anyone will be able to tell the difference. And even for Rust, we're just talking a few ms, and Rust isn't about the shooting. For sure though if we were running an FPS it would be an issue, but we're not, and we won't be running an FPS anytime soon. So it's not an issue.

So in exchange for the above slight cons and non-cons, we get a faster processor with more threads and faster RAM, and nearly half the price, to the point where we could get a second server soonish via these savings, if we actually needed it for something (perhaps once The Best Videogame Player In The World contest begins in January, we'll see). So I think we got a good deal.

But the story doesn't end there. I am always on the lookout for an upgrade, so let me sketch for you what lies ahead.

It is at this point that we must look into the Desktop category of the single-thread charts. After all, as far as the Server category goes, there's nowhere to go from where we are, we're at the top. But if you look in the Desktop category, things change: https://www.cpubenchmark.net/singleThread.html

Ignore the rest of the chart and focus on the top 5 entries.

Image

The top 4 entries are the new AMD processors released just a few days ago. Before that, the top entry was the current 5th: the i9-10900K. This had been the reigning desktop chip for months, and in fact our server processor is the server version of this chip. Take a look at our hosting company's promotion page: https://ready2frag.com/

Image

You can see that they don't differentiate between the two chips. You place your order, and they give you whatever they have/want. However, because the Xeon version is a little faster (3,305 vs. 3,175), and because server chips tend to be tougher and more reliable due to superior binning etc., I emailed them before placing an order to ensure we'd get a Xeon, and we got one.

Image

All this to say that our only options for improving speed further is four new AMD desktop processors that were just released and that I can't even find to buy, let alone rent from data centers. It will be at least a month or two before there is stock to buy, and it could be up to half a year before any data center begins offering these new chips for rental. So we won't be upgrading again anytime soon. However, when we do upgrade again it will be glorious, as the single-thread performance increase is considerable, and what's more the 5905X chip has 32 threads lol, compared to the 20 we have now. That's almost DOUBLE the planets to what we can do now, which is almost TRIPLE the planets we could do in the old Clan Wars. So I am most certainly looking forward to that.

Of course the question still remains of whether we should be moving to a desktop processor at all. There has to be a reason people differentiate between desktop and server processors, though I was chatting about that with dan recently and he said that in recent years the two categories have been converging, and their differences diminishing. And considering that we don't play so much as to super-stress these chips, perhaps we can move to desktop with no issues. mikey is certainly running desktop chips for his "high-end" dedicated servers (the old 3800X chip that's no. 44 down the desktop chart with a mere 2,745 score), and he's using them 24/7, and his regulars have the passwords and are playing several games a day, so reliability doesn't seem to be an issue.

This is what mikey is running, for reference: https://planetaryannihilation.com/dedic ... uidelines/

Image

That's 39 places down from our server (and without counting the extra Xeon performance over the i9). In short, no one has played PA in a server as fast as ours, so I can't wait to test it this Saturday on a new Clan War. I'll have details soon. In the meantime, if any of you know anything about servers that I don't, and you can offer advice and suggestions, by all means do so. I knew nothing back in 2017 when I got into running PA events, and I've learned a decent deal since then, but I could always learn more.
Image
User avatar
icycalm
Hyperborean
 
Joined: 28 Mar 2006 00:08
Location: Tenerife, Canary Islands

Unread postby icycalm » 23 Dec 2020 04:10

https://www.serveroffer.net/en/dedicate ... rs-hosting

AMD Ryzen 9 5900X available for rent in Lithuania for €189. Lithuania won't do for us, but this is the first time I see this processor for rent, so this is significant. The price is only a reasonable $50 or so above what we're paying now, and in exchange we get quite a bit more single-threaded performance (see previous charts), and 4 extra threads. I'll probably hold out for the 5950X, which has identical performance with the 5900X, but 12 extra threads to what we have now—though I think its price might be prohibitive when it first becomes available, but we'll see.

Either way, we'll be playing on one of these beasts sometime in 2021 for sure, perhaps by Easter, or by summer at the latest. I am just letting you know I have my eye on the ball, and not taking it off.

These processors could probably run four Clan Wars at the same time lol, or Clan Wars and Uberust, etc. Not that we'll do this, because I think there must be some overhead for using all the cores that causes a slight performance hit regardless of how many cores you have. I am just sayin'.
Image
User avatar
icycalm
Hyperborean
 
Joined: 28 Mar 2006 00:08
Location: Tenerife, Canary Islands

Unread postby icycalm » 02 Jan 2021 13:20

https://twitter.com/culturevg/status/13 ... 3541946368

Image

That's our next server. Arrives Q1 2021. Fuck the Ryzens. They have more threads, but who cares. We don't need 31 planets. You'd need 100 players to make that work, and we don't have 100 players. That said, we WILL have them one day, and we WILL play in 31-planet systems. Just train up so you can handle it when the day comes, and tell your friends to join us so we can make it happen. PA will be getting better and better every year as new servers come out, and I will be right there to put out the best events for it, bar none. Now that we've started back, we 'aint stopping for anyone and for nothing.

Hopefully they'll make a Xeon version of this chip, and it'll be more robust and probably even a little faster.

Btw it has 16 threads compared to our current 20, but we aren't using the extra ones anyway. Full specs here: https://www.cpu-monkey.com/en/cpu-intel ... 1900k-1854

And remember, it beats AMD's 7 nm chips with a 14 nm process. What's gonna happen when Intel gets to 7 nm? Add an extra 25% at least on top of this beast's performance (compounded with the 19% even), plus more threads.

PA is about to have its best year yet. Which means real-time strategy is about to have its best year yet.

And they told you RTS is dead... Or that RTS is Age of 2 Layers Definitive Edition...
Image
User avatar
icycalm
Hyperborean
 
Joined: 28 Mar 2006 00:08
Location: Tenerife, Canary Islands


Return to Cosmic War