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    What makes a dedicated server host smooth game servers?
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    What makes a dedicated server host smooth game servers?

    mawrmawr Member

    Hey guys,

    I was just wondering what technology or specification usually makes game servers stutter and lag sometimes? I always thought it was the processor and the connection speed, but I have 2 servers from 2 different providers with the same processor & specs, and one of them hosts smoothly 24/7, while the other stutters for 2-4 seconds once or twice a game (a 30 minute span).

    Could it be the network provider? And how can I find the smoothest providers?

    Comments

    • JonchunJonchun Member, Provider

      What's stuttering? The game loop or your connection? What's your location in relation to the two servers? if you have one at ovh ca and one at hetzner, you're gonna see a difference.

    • The connectivity to your server is what's causing the issue here, it's not the processor since you're using both of the same.

    • mawrmawr Member

      One is Kansas City, one is Atlanta. And it's the game loop, everybody would mention that their game stuttered

    • wychwych Member

      What game?

      Taking a hiatus.

    • @mawr said:
      One is Kansas City, one is Atlanta. And it's the game loop, everybody would mention that their game stuttered

      Are the specs the "exact" same on each server? Does each server have the same port speed?

    • nexusrainnexusrain Member
      edited August 2015

      Choose the one you've got the best ping to and a network which isn't known for packet loss more or less frequently. Further CPU shouldn't be running @ 100% during a game and RAM not full. Also check if the disks I/O is maxed out da hole time.

      Thanked by 1Jeffrey

      ¦ x64Dash ¦

    • BG32BG32 Member

      I'm hedging my bets on it being shitty HDD

      Thanked by (44)

    • JonchunJonchun Member, Provider
      edited August 2015

      @Jeffrey said:
      The connectivity to your server is what's causing the issue here, it's not the processor since you're using both of the same.

      Please don't offer advice if you don't know what you're saying.

      there's more to just "cpu" you need to worry about. even if the specs are the same, the quality of the disks for example can make a huge difference.

      Thanked by 2Quinten Jeffrey
    • IshaqIshaq Member, Provider

      Initially I would have said that the location / routing difference was causing the lag, but since you mentioned others experiencing the same problem for that specific location, it is either a network wide problem (major latency increases / packetloss sometimes) or one of the hardware components experiencing a bottleneck.

      In the case of disks, SSD is highly recommended for gameservers that require a lot of reads/writes.

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    • mawrmawr Member

      Thanks for all the responses guys.

      The servers are both running:
      Dual Intel Xeon L5420
      16 GB RAM
      500GB Hard Drive
      100Mbit connections

      How can I find out which providers use networks with common packet loss?

    • Hard drives might be different. Run ioping on both and post the results. If there are more players playing on one server then the other, then it's not a fair comparison.

    • mawrmawr Member

      @black said:
      Hard drives might be different. Run ioping on both and post the results. If there are more players playing on one server then the other, then it's not a fair comparison.

      The game was Team Fortress 2 btw, and they hold a different amount of people but the Kansas City has no stutters ever (from few people to a lot), and Atlanta stutters even when there are only a few.

      And I will run that, thanks

    • mawrmawr Member

      [email protected]:~# ioping .
      4.0 KiB from . (ext4 /dev/disk/by-uuid/06fd4460-878b-475a-9476-5b560246bdbd): request=1 time=131 us
      4.0 KiB from . (ext4 /dev/disk/by-uuid/06fd4460-878b-475a-9476-5b560246bdbd): request=2 time=131 us
      4.0 KiB from . (ext4 /dev/disk/by-uuid/06fd4460-878b-475a-9476-5b560246bdbd): request=3 time=125 us
      4.0 KiB from . (ext4 /dev/disk/by-uuid/06fd4460-878b-475a-9476-5b560246bdbd): request=4 time=121 us
      4.0 KiB from . (ext4 /dev/disk/by-uuid/06fd4460-878b-475a-9476-5b560246bdbd): request=5 time=126 us
      ^C
      --- . (ext4 /dev/disk/by-uuid/06fd4460-878b-475a-9476-5b560246bdbd) ioping statistics ---
      5 requests completed in 4.4 s, 7.9 k iops, 30.8 MiB/s
      min/avg/max/mdev = 121 us / 126 us / 131 us / 3 us

      This is the IOPing for the stuttering server. I can't access the other server right now (sorry), but are these numbers slow in general?

    • Can you show me smartctl -a /dev/sda as well?

    • mawrmawr Member
      edited August 2015

      @black said:
      Can you show me smartctl -a /dev/sda as well?

      Let me know if you need the rest of the log, it was pretty long

    • Where's all the counters stuff like power on hours and errors?

    • mawrmawr Member

      @black said:
      Where's all the counters stuff like power on hours and errors?

    • Jonchun said: there's more to just "cpu" you need to worry about. even if the specs are the same, the quality of the disks for example can make a huge difference.

      I know what I am talking about. Disk I/O Speed also came to mind while commenting on this, but all the person mentioned above was that they both had the same processors, so I debunked the processors in my comment automatically, since he did say they were both the same.

    • @Jonchun also note how I put "exact" in quotation marks. ;)

    • JonchunJonchun Member, Provider

      @Jeffrey said:
      but all the person mentioned above was that they both had the same processors

      .

      same processor & specs

      Then I'll ask you read the OP again.

      @Jeffrey said:
      Jonchun also note how I put "exact" in quotation marks. ;)

      Let me requote your response. You neither used the word "exact", nor did you use quotation marks.

      The connectivity to your server is what's causing the issue here, it's not the processor since you're using both of the same.

    • Jeffrey said: Are the specs the "exact" same on each server? Does each server have the same port speed?

      @Jonchun

      Whatever though, I'm not going to argue with you over something so silly. You win.

    • Best way to test is have everyone who wants to join your server download a test file from nginx on your server at peak times and see how fast it goes, or how slow it goes. Hardware may be fine.

    • pbgbenpbgben Member, Provider

      5400rpm disks are bad for gaming, and in my opinion, bad for everything else too (Except backups maybe)

      Thanked by 1Jeffrey
    • From that smart data, it looks like hard drive failure, no? The multi zone error rate is really high.

      Thanked by 1mawr
    • There is no reason for a decent game server to require hard-real-time HDD access. It should be hoarding everything into RAM. Besides, even if a less-than-perfectly-healthy HDD misses a seek, 2-4 seconds is a heck of a long time for it to recover.

      My money is on the network quality as the most likely distinguishing factor between the two servers. Sometimes these kinds of things can be traced to a piece of intermittently-failing networking hardware that glitches by randomly failing, realizing that it failed through a watchdog mechanism, and resetting itself.

      Thanked by 2Jeffrey mawr
    • Usually setting up the kernel right helps a lot

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