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Wurmhole

CDN Load Balancing - lower latency and Max uptime

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I imagine a solution like this is not in the budget, but some day in the future, if Rolf/CC find a way to make Wurm a multi-platform (mobile) game and it has a growth explosion, something like this could make the exponential growth less painful. I would love to see it now, to improve our performance, but not holding my breath.  Just hoping folks take a look at these kinds of options.


 


http://www.cedexis.com/blog/cedexis-helps-gaming-companies-survive-international-outages/


 


I have no affiliation with this company, nor do I sell their solutions.


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yeah no


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Wurm already uses a CDN system to deliver the pack updates; but it's not realistically possible to use a CDN for the Wurm servers themselves; not only would the entire game need rewriting but it's questionable if it would provide any increase in reliability. I don't think anyone really minds if the forums crash every now and then.


 


Personally there is only really 2 issues with reliability and performance; and they are easily resolved.


 


The game plays like crap for some people due to the path taken to get to the server


There is that one thread in technical problems or whatever where a heap of players are talking about having lag; it also effects me too sometimes - however I just turn on a VPN and the data takes a different path to the server so it's all gravy again; but not everyone has a VPN. The main reason this is a issue is because ALL of Wurm's servers are in one data-center. In most games like WoW etc you have 'regional' servers; ie Oceanic; North America; Europe... Whilst I'm not about to suggest that Wurm spreads it's servers all across the world (I don't think we have the player-base for that yet) would it not make sense if we could at least move a few of the servers to a different data-center in the same city? That way it would still be easy for Rolf and team to access them however the upstream path taken to reach the server is drastically different and players who have poor connectivity to one of the servers can simply move to another one that they can connect to better.


 


Sidenote: I have always maintained moving the servers to Europe wasn't a good decision; all you need to do is go here: http://cablemap.info/ and you will instantly see that the USA is the center of the internet; every ISP on the planet will purchase bandwidth with the aim of having acceptable latency to the USA; most places have latency to Europe as a low priority, this is why there are so many more people suffering from poor latency since the server move.


 


The login servers frequently crash


One major problem is now we have god know hows many servers with one single point of failure; the login server. If the login server goes down; noone can login at all. This can easily be resolved by having a secondary login server that is a read-only copy of the original login server in a different data-center (preferably different continent); if the original crashes or you loose connectivity to it you can connect to the secondary and still get online; however things like shop purchases, bank withdraws etc would only work when the primary login server is up.


Edited by Gavin

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Gavin,


 


I agree with the single point of failure completely. Needs Fix.


 


Would a multi CDN solution help performance and reliability? Yes. Not only does it get content closer to the user, but should the path to one CDN slow down of drop (think DDoS), then the other CDNs continue uninterrupted.  You yourself said "The game plays like crap for some people due to the path taken to get to the server" so why on earth wouldn't having the content closer be beneficial? This is exactly why CDNs exist.


 


I'm not sure you followed the link to read how other gaming companies are taking advantage of this.


 


You may be right about needing to make code changes to support something like this and I'm fine with it. I clearly don't think it is something they can afford to roll out today, but like I said, in the future, should Wurm ever make engine changes, go mobile and get really big, really fast, this is something they should be considering, to stay ahead of the performance issues that could cripple the company.


 


I'm such a firm believer in the potential for Wurm to evlove into something bigger than the current infrastructure could dream of handling. Heck, it is already pushed to it's limits in many ways, as evidenced by breeding restrictions, wood color removal, logins, etc.


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Would a multi CDN solution help performance and reliability? Yes. Not only does it get content closer to the user, but should the path to one CDN slow down of drop (think DDoS), then the other CDNs continue uninterrupted.  You yourself said "The game plays like crap for some people due to the path taken to get to the server" so why on earth wouldn't having the content closer be beneficial? This is exactly why CDNs exist.

 

I'm not sure you followed the link to read how other gaming companies are taking advantage of this.

 

You may be right about needing to make code changes to support something like this and I'm fine with it. I clearly don't think it is something they can afford to roll out today, but like I said, in the future, should Wurm ever make engine changes, go mobile and get really big, really fast, this is something they should be considering, to stay ahead of the performance issues that could cripple the company.

 

I'm such a firm believer in the potential for Wurm to evlove into something bigger than the current infrastructure could dream of handling. Heck, it is already pushed to it's limits in many ways, as evidenced by breeding restrictions, wood color removal, logins, etc.

 

The problem is what CDN's can and cannot realistically do. When you want to release a movie for example you can chuck it on a CDN; the network mirrors the single file across it's network and you are all good to go; anyone can download it without problems. It would also work fine for single player games where you download the game and that's the end of it which I think is what this service is promoting.

 

But this all changes when you are talking about multiplayer games; when you play Wurm you don't really download anything from the game servers; the only downloads are the graphics which are all handled by a CDN already - all you are doing in Wurm is interacting with a massive database. As there can be 1,5-2k players online at once that is easily upwards of 10,000,000 database modifications per minute. Just think every time you do so much as walk over a single tile there is a myriad of database queries and modifications.

 

How are you going to have this database mirrored across the globe and kept constantly up to date? If something is changed in one database; all of the other databases need to seamlessly change themselves to be 100% in sync with the others. If it's calculating player movement for example there will be little change to latency because the players will be connected to different database nodes spread across the world which all have exactly the same latency to each other as the players did in the first place; if anything it would probably just make it worse.

 

 

Talk about CDN's being knocked offline via ddos is strange because the entire point of ddos is to get a heap of requests aimed at a single server that is either going to saturate the server (or datacenters) connectivity or overload it's processing power; but a CDN in theory should be distributed all over the world and have several hundred gigabit if not over a terabit of connectivity; so it should be totally immune to a ddos attack. Cloudflare for example regularly get hit with >500,000Mbps DDOS attacks and it doesn't so much as scratch them.

 

The only reason Wurm was a victim of DDOS before was because the hosting company blackholed Wurm's servers because it was congesting their network; if Wurm's service provider had a big enough network it wouldn't have been a problem to just block it before it got to the server.

 

A good example of ddos protection on a >3,000,000Mbps network: https://www.ovh.co.uk/anti-ddos/hoovering-up.xml

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