Recent Server Recommended Specifications

WhosatWhosat SingaporeMembers, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2006-11-03 Member: 58301Posts: 470 Fully active user
edited January 2015 in Server Discussion
Hey guys, I'm planning to set up a dedicated server running on my spare box running an i5-2500k. I used to overclock it to 4.2GHz while I was gaming on it and it has an SSD and 8GBs of RAM.

Do you guys think setting up a virtual environment allocating 2 cores and 4GBs of ram is enough for one server running Shine/NS2+? I need some processing power dedicated for other purposes therefore the need for separating the NS2 Server.

(Its been more than a year since I last ran an NS2 dedicated server so I'm quite a bit out of the loop. My region has no dedicated servers and we are currently surviving with 200+ ping on aussie/american servers)
"Games are what gives people the spark of fun, coders are what turn the spark into a fire." - SilentSkulk/Cheeserm
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  • GhoulofGSG9GhoulofGSG9 Members, Super Administrators, Forum Admins, Forum Moderators, NS2 Developer, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Squad Five Silver, Reinforced - Supporter, WC 2013 - Supporter, Pistachionauts Join Date: 2013-03-31 Member: 184566Posts: 2,838 admin
    Which OS do you plan to use ?
    Developer, Modder and Server Admin of Survival of the Fattest - Ingame Nick: Ghoul
  • WhosatWhosat SingaporeMembers, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2006-11-03 Member: 58301Posts: 470 Fully active user
    Windows
    "Games are what gives people the spark of fun, coders are what turn the spark into a fire." - SilentSkulk/Cheeserm
    NS2 Server Setup Wiki | @NS2SG | AlliedModders
  • GhoulofGSG9GhoulofGSG9 Members, Super Administrators, Forum Admins, Forum Moderators, NS2 Developer, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Squad Five Silver, Reinforced - Supporter, WC 2013 - Supporter, Pistachionauts Join Date: 2013-03-31 Member: 184566Posts: 2,838 admin
    Ok for performance really important is how many player slots should the server have and how much bandwidth is available.

    Overall your setup sounds totally fine (beside maybe you have to allocate 3 cores for ns2 in case of using windows (ns2 uses about 2-2.5 cores there).

    Ram usage is about 1.2 - 2.6+ GB and to avoid hitting the 3 GB you should restart your server daily.

    Developer, Modder and Server Admin of Survival of the Fattest - Ingame Nick: Ghoul
  • WhosatWhosat SingaporeMembers, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2006-11-03 Member: 58301Posts: 470 Fully active user
    edited January 2015
    That sounds promising. Would the stock speed of 3.3ghz handle a 16 player server fine?

    Thanks for all your input Ghoul!
    "Games are what gives people the spark of fun, coders are what turn the spark into a fire." - SilentSkulk/Cheeserm
    NS2 Server Setup Wiki | @NS2SG | AlliedModders
  • GhoulofGSG9GhoulofGSG9 Members, Super Administrators, Forum Admins, Forum Moderators, NS2 Developer, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Squad Five Silver, Reinforced - Supporter, WC 2013 - Supporter, Pistachionauts Join Date: 2013-03-31 Member: 184566Posts: 2,838 admin
    edited January 2015
    Whosat wrote: »
    That sounds promising. Would the stock speed of 3.3ghz handle a 16 player server fine?

    Thanks for all your input Ghoul!

    Totally, I'm using a i7-2600k with the default speed of 3.40 Ghz for 20 slots and i still have a idle buffer even in late game.
    Developer, Modder and Server Admin of Survival of the Fattest - Ingame Nick: Ghoul
    Whosat
  • WhosatWhosat SingaporeMembers, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2006-11-03 Member: 58301Posts: 470 Fully active user
    That's great news! Alright I'll look into creating the server over this weekend! Thanks for all your help!
    "Games are what gives people the spark of fun, coders are what turn the spark into a fire." - SilentSkulk/Cheeserm
    NS2 Server Setup Wiki | @NS2SG | AlliedModders
  • ZeroEarThZeroEarTh SingaporeMembers Join Date: 2014-07-01 Member: 197126Posts: 139 Fully active user
    dont make 18 players , you must test when server are full and "all" players shooting+biting at same time

    just make 10 ( to test) then if player connect all , play 1-2 rounds to test and see if any person say "server have fps hitching / froze"

    i have played many new server >> They make 20 slot and install a bunch of "un-need mod" >> Cause server loading slower and sometime your screen "freeze" for 1 sec
  • WhosatWhosat SingaporeMembers, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2006-11-03 Member: 58301Posts: 470 Fully active user
    Got it! We don't have much players locally, maybe 8 active ones? So I'm probably gonna need to gather them for a couple of hours to test it. Sweet thanks for your input guys, good to know the server code has been optimised since the last 80+ builds :)
    "Games are what gives people the spark of fun, coders are what turn the spark into a fire." - SilentSkulk/Cheeserm
    NS2 Server Setup Wiki | @NS2SG | AlliedModders
    ZeroEarTh
  • ZeroEarThZeroEarTh SingaporeMembers Join Date: 2014-07-01 Member: 197126Posts: 139 Fully active user
    and make it like IBIS Gaming server for example , they welcome "lag" players to join and have fun

    Not like other server use a mod " High ping kick" >> that only make your server empty

    Just install vanilla server , 12 slot >> tag "welcome all play 4 fun - lag free" for example
  • SupaFredSupaFred Members, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, NS2 Map Tester, Reinforced - Supporter, Reinforced - Silver, Reinforced - Shadow, WC 2013 - Silver Join Date: 2013-03-03 Member: 183652Posts: 440 Advanced user
    @Whosat‌ Add me on Steam if you need more help.
    Owner of The Thirsty Onos servers
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  • GhoulofGSG9GhoulofGSG9 Members, Super Administrators, Forum Admins, Forum Moderators, NS2 Developer, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Squad Five Silver, Reinforced - Supporter, WC 2013 - Supporter, Pistachionauts Join Date: 2013-03-31 Member: 184566Posts: 2,838 admin
    edited January 2015
    BTW a good way to test the server stability wise is actually to use bots (add 10 bots + 1 com bot to each team and let it run a few hours). Disable the vanilla afk kick (as it kicks bots) for this test. Meanwhile activate "perfmon" to watch the servers performance.

    You can find all needed console commands here : http://wiki.unknownworlds.com/ns2/Console_Commands
    Developer, Modder and Server Admin of Survival of the Fattest - Ingame Nick: Ghoul
  • WhosatWhosat SingaporeMembers, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2006-11-03 Member: 58301Posts: 470 Fully active user
    edited January 2015
    Sweet, might reserve this for next weekend instead. Just spent my Sunday cleaning up the computers and shuffling hardware between computers. My server now has 5 fans in case it gets hot (tropical climate here), 16 GB of ram and 2 SSDs. Its 2am here, will leave the software side of things for tomorrow after work!

    Oh its also over clocked to 4.8ghz, stable!
    "Games are what gives people the spark of fun, coders are what turn the spark into a fire." - SilentSkulk/Cheeserm
    NS2 Server Setup Wiki | @NS2SG | AlliedModders
  • WhosatWhosat SingaporeMembers, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2006-11-03 Member: 58301Posts: 470 Fully active user
    I get Main: Error: PhysX: Invalid Cuda context! upon starting the server without any parameters. ( I did so to get the base json files in my config dir).

    Is there an issue with this? I've installed the latest PhysX and DirectX and VC++ runtime.
    "Games are what gives people the spark of fun, coders are what turn the spark into a fire." - SilentSkulk/Cheeserm
    NS2 Server Setup Wiki | @NS2SG | AlliedModders
  • ZeroEarThZeroEarTh SingaporeMembers Join Date: 2014-07-01 Member: 197126Posts: 139 Fully active user
    btw whats your server name ? i dont see it on server list
  • WhosatWhosat SingaporeMembers, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2006-11-03 Member: 58301Posts: 470 Fully active user
    Haven't had the time to troubleshoot the issue yet. Will try again this evening when I'm home from work.

    Server is running but not shown on server list. The only issue was the error as mentioned in my previous post.

    All ports forwarded correctly. No mods installed.
    "Games are what gives people the spark of fun, coders are what turn the spark into a fire." - SilentSkulk/Cheeserm
    NS2 Server Setup Wiki | @NS2SG | AlliedModders
  • WhosatWhosat SingaporeMembers, Reinforced - Shadow Join Date: 2006-11-03 Member: 58301Posts: 470 Fully active user
    edited January 2015
    In addition to the server startup error, these errors show up upon closing the server:
    [31139.722] Main : Error: PhysX: Foundation destruction failed due to pending module references. Close/release all depending modules first.
    [31139.723] Main : Error: 10 memory leaks in 'PhysX' (2296 bytes)
    [31139.723] Main : Error: 10 memory leaks in 'Physics' (2296 bytes)
    [31139.724] Main : Error: 10 memory leaks in 'Engine' (2296 bytes)

    EDIT: And I now see the problem. I had wrongly forwarded TCP ports instead of UDP. Silly me.
    Post edited by Whosat on
    "Games are what gives people the spark of fun, coders are what turn the spark into a fire." - SilentSkulk/Cheeserm
    NS2 Server Setup Wiki | @NS2SG | AlliedModders
  • SeeVeeSeeVee Members Join Date: 2012-10-31 Member: 165206Posts: 425 Advanced user

    Overall your setup sounds totally fine (beside maybe you have to allocate 3 cores for ns2 in case of using windows (ns2 uses about 2-2.5 cores there).

    I thought the dedicated server only uses one core? Did it change recently?

  • woozawooza SwitzerlandMembers, Squad Five Blue Join Date: 2013-11-21 Member: 189496Posts: 171 Fully active user
    edited January 2015
    SeeVee wrote: »
    I thought the dedicated server only uses one core? Did it change recently?

    With the latest build (b273) you should at least assign your ns2 server 2 cores

  • SplatMan_DKSplatMan_DK Members, Constellation Join Date: 2006-12-04 Member: 58892Posts: 16 Fully active user
    Does anybody have experience running dedicated NS2 servers on older server-grade hardware, like a dual-socket Xeon 5620?

    I have such a box, decommissioned from its more serious duties. It has 8 physical cores with Hyperthreading and 8 SAS disks in RAID50 on a decent controller with 512 MB battery-backed-up cache. It has 24 GB ECC RAM which can be upgraded if needed.

    I am considering putting a bunch of game servers on it, if my employer agrees to let it run in the server room (which is likely). The internet connection is a 100/100 low-latency business-grade fiber.

    My concern is that by the sound of things NS2 server code is not very optimized and the 5620 runs at a mere 2,4 GHz. It's not really a single-thread monster. It does however benefit from the massive cache associated with the Xeon 5600 series, and it scales out pretty damn well for professional use.

    Is the advice still to "use consumer grade overclocked desktop chips" or has the code improved over time?

    If the code is still not optimized, what would you expect is the minimum required LGA1366 Xeon chip (in the 5500 or 5600 series) needed to run a decent NS2 servers with at least 16 player slots?
  • GhoulofGSG9GhoulofGSG9 Members, Super Administrators, Forum Admins, Forum Moderators, NS2 Developer, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Squad Five Silver, Reinforced - Supporter, WC 2013 - Supporter, Pistachionauts Join Date: 2013-03-31 Member: 184566Posts: 2,838 admin
    edited May 2015
    Does anybody have experience running dedicated NS2 servers on older server-grade hardware, like a dual-socket Xeon 5620?

    I have such a box, decommissioned from its more serious duties. It has 8 physical cores with Hyperthreading and 8 SAS disks in RAID50 on a decent controller with 512 MB battery-backed-up cache. It has 24 GB ECC RAM which can be upgraded if needed.

    I am considering putting a bunch of game servers on it, if my employer agrees to let it run in the server room (which is likely). The internet connection is a 100/100 low-latency business-grade fiber.

    My concern is that by the sound of things NS2 server code is not very optimized and the 5620 runs at a mere 2,4 GHz. It's not really a single-thread monster. It does however benefit from the massive cache associated with the Xeon 5600 series, and it scales out pretty damn well for professional use.

    Is the advice still to "use consumer grade overclocked desktop chips" or has the code improved over time?

    If the code is still not optimized, what would you expect is the minimum required LGA1366 Xeon chip (in the 5500 or 5600 series) needed to run a decent NS2 servers with at least 16 player slots?

    That server should be able to handle a few ns2 instances (16-24 slots each) just fine. Since ns2 uses LuaJIT you don't need a single core performance "CPU monster" anymore unless you want to host really high player slot counts (30+ per server instance).

    In this matter the ns2 code runtime complexity is still easily O(n^2) ;)
    Developer, Modder and Server Admin of Survival of the Fattest - Ingame Nick: Ghoul
  • DC_DarklingDC_Darkling Members, Constellation, Squad Five Blue, Squad Five Silver Join Date: 2003-07-10 Member: 18068Posts: 4,381 Advanced user
    I would worry more about bandwidth.
    Usage has improved over the last few patches, but the bigger the server, the faster you will run out.
    NS2
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    Viewmodels are the ones you hold in your hand, not the one shown in the world!

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    Old NS1 stuff:
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  • SplatMan_DKSplatMan_DK Members, Constellation Join Date: 2006-12-04 Member: 58892Posts: 16 Fully active user
    That server should be able to handle a few ns2 instances (16-24 slots each) just fine. Since ns2 uses LuaJIT you don't need a single core performance "CPU monster" anymore unless you want to host really high player slot counts (30+ per server instance).

    In this matter the ns2 code runtime complexity is still easily O(n^2) ;)
    Sounds great; thanks a lot! I was just concerned after having read a few threads on NS2 servers that all seemed to focus very much on single-thread performance. The Server wiki for NS2 also still says the same. I might update that myself after getting some experience with it. :-)
  • SplatMan_DKSplatMan_DK Members, Constellation Join Date: 2006-12-04 Member: 58892Posts: 16 Fully active user
    I would worry more about bandwidth.
    Usage has improved over the last few patches, but the bigger the server, the faster you will run out.
    Bandwidth? Whoa; that sounds very unusual. Normally network games won't take a lot of bandwidth. They're more sensitive to latency issues and dropped packets.

    What bandwidth do you believe I should expect for each player?

    Except for downloads of assets from the server I can't see why a symmetric 100/100 business fiber line shouldn't be enough?
  • GhoulofGSG9GhoulofGSG9 Members, Super Administrators, Forum Admins, Forum Moderators, NS2 Developer, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Squad Five Silver, Reinforced - Supporter, WC 2013 - Supporter, Pistachionauts Join Date: 2013-03-31 Member: 184566Posts: 2,838 admin
    edited May 2015
    I would worry more about bandwidth.
    Usage has improved over the last few patches, but the bigger the server, the faster you will run out.
    Bandwidth? Whoa; that sounds very unusual. Normally network games won't take a lot of bandwidth. They're more sensitive to latency issues and dropped packets.

    What bandwidth do you believe I should expect for each player?

    Except for downloads of assets from the server I can't see why a symmetric 100/100 business fiber line shouldn't be enough?

    The issue with bandwidth usage came up in the past a some ppl host their ns2 server literally at home.

    Due to that they did run into the bandwidth issues.

    Internally ns2 even has a bandwidth per player limit (bwlimit), which is by default 30 kByte/s (ofc you can and might want to increase it).

    Having that bwlimit in mind i would say the bandwidth usage can be described by the following rule (upload wise):

    player count * bwlimit * 1.2 + ~150 kB. The 1.2 is a factor to take care of any non directly player entity related traffic, same goes for the small extra of ~150 kB for stuff like e.g. HTTP requests ;)

    Ofc this is just a rule of thumb so no guarantee that it works out. So far i never have seen my server using more than 50 kB/s per player.

    BTW no assets are downloaded from the server at all unless you set up the "workshop backup server" script on it.
    Developer, Modder and Server Admin of Survival of the Fattest - Ingame Nick: Ghoul
    SplatMan_DK
  • DC_DarklingDC_Darkling Members, Constellation, Squad Five Blue, Squad Five Silver Join Date: 2003-07-10 Member: 18068Posts: 4,381 Advanced user
    Yeh, the workshop script pulls it as fast as it can, last I checked. :D
    NS2
    Old/resigned Dutch Translation Lead. Give feedback about the translation, or help improve by clicking: Current NS2 Dutch translation project. Dutch players apply!
    NS2 Server Maintenance Manual
    WorkshopBackup Manual (WSB Server)
    Ingame: DCDarkling
    'DCDs Steam Workshop', for your NS2 X-Hairs and Viewmodel Weapon mods
    Viewmodels are the ones you hold in your hand, not the one shown in the world!

    Old NS2 Stuff:
    Marine Commander Guide NS2
    Alien Commander Guide NS2
    NS2 Mentor Program
    Old NS1 stuff:
    'Infested Pack v0.6' for models & props
    Darklings Guide to Commanding Version 1.001
  • SplatMan_DKSplatMan_DK Members, Constellation Join Date: 2006-12-04 Member: 58892Posts: 16 Fully active user
    I would worry more about bandwidth.
    Usage has improved over the last few patches, but the bigger the server, the faster you will run out.
    Bandwidth? Whoa; that sounds very unusual. Normally network games won't take a lot of bandwidth. They're more sensitive to latency issues and dropped packets.

    What bandwidth do you believe I should expect for each player?

    Except for downloads of assets from the server I can't see why a symmetric 100/100 business fiber line shouldn't be enough?

    The issue with bandwidth usage came up in the past a some ppl host their ns2 server literally at home.

    Due to that they did run into the bandwidth issues.

    Internally ns2 even has a bandwidth per player limit (bwlimit), which is by default 30 kByte/s (ofc you can and might want to increase it).

    Having that bwlimit in mind i would say the bandwidth usage can be described by the following rule (upload wise):

    player count * bwlimit * 1.2 + ~150 kB. The 1.2 is a factor to take care of any non directly player entity related traffic, same goes for the small extra of ~150 kB for stuff like e.g. HTTP requests ;)

    Ofc this is just a rule of thumb so no guarantee that it works out. So far i never have seen my server using more than 50 kB/s per player.

    BTW no assets are downloaded from the server at all unless you set up the "workshop backup server" script on it.
    Lots of great information; thanks.

    Hmmm, I could actually host it from home by the sound of things ... I use a 20/10 Mb/s (actual speed 18,8 / 9,6) business line on a GSHDSL circuit.

    But if the company accepts hosting the server I'll save on power. :-) Dual 5620s and 8 SAS disks has more power draw than i'd like to keep on 24/7 at home. Plus my fiance is not happy about the noise of these servers either (better than the old sandbox HP Bladecenter I was playing with... but still noisy).

    I think i'll go with a GUI-less Windows HyperV server installation and some virtual server instances. That should make it easier to back them up, and to have more different servers I can enable or disable. The visualization overhead should be less than 4% CPU power on the Xeon 5600 series.

    Do players expect some kind of web front-end for stats these days? I remember running such a thing back in the good old DoD and CS days, when version numbers where still below 1.0 ...
  • GhoulofGSG9GhoulofGSG9 Members, Super Administrators, Forum Admins, Forum Moderators, NS2 Developer, NS2 Playtester, Squad Five Blue, Squad Five Silver, Reinforced - Supporter, WC 2013 - Supporter, Pistachionauts Join Date: 2013-03-31 Member: 184566Posts: 2,838 admin

    Do players expect some kind of web front-end for stats these days? I remember running such a thing back in the good old DoD and CS days, when version numbers where still below 1.0 ...

    I would love to say yes. BUT after my experience of now ~ 2 years of hosting a ns2 server ppl these days actually only care about 2-3 factors:
    1. Is the server popular? Player normally won't join a server with less than 10 players. So be prepare to get some friends together to actively seed your server at the beginning.
    2. Is the server performance somewhat okay? If the server start lagging noticeably (e.g. players start wrapping around/ players get red-plugs) players normally start leaving.
    3. Some vets join via the steam friend list. So having a bunch of popular regulars will certainly help.

    Most player don't actually care how well a server is maintained etc. as long as it keeps running and is popular. If you want to make some vets happy you should enable the mod ns2plus (which shows the players a stats overview at the end of each round).

    Talking about mods you certainly should have a look at Shine (makes your admin life easier) and NS2plus (let you set up the ns2 client after your heart's desire) anyway ;)

    If you want to get some stats about the server itself, i suggest to just use Gametracker.com and devicenull's ns2 servers overview
    Developer, Modder and Server Admin of Survival of the Fattest - Ingame Nick: Ghoul
    SplatMan_DK
  • NoMNoM Members, NS2 Playtester Join Date: 2015-04-13 Member: 203407Posts: 39 Fully active user
    Why not just run it baremetal?

    Setting up a VM locally in Windows will have a high amount of overhead.
  • SplatMan_DKSplatMan_DK Members, Constellation Join Date: 2006-12-04 Member: 58892Posts: 16 Fully active user
    edited May 2015
    NoM wrote: »
    Why not just run it baremetal?

    Setting up a VM locally in Windows will have a high amount of overhead.
    Well, I suppose I was expecting to be able to run more than one server on the thing. The overhead using a GUI-less ("core") HyperV Server should be no more than around 4%.

    With a box that handles 16 physical threads and a pretty good SAS RAID50 disk systems it seems a bit ... excessive ... to have only a single server running on it?
  • ArchieArchie AntarcticaMembers, Constellation, Reinforced - Supporter, WC 2013 - Supporter Join Date: 2006-09-19 Member: 58028Posts: 441 Advanced user
    have an old ibm xserries 445 back home in New Zealand Tried about 3years ago to host an NS2 server and was getting massive rubber banding with 10 people or less in the server, gave up the idea of using such slow ram and cpu for NS2 server hosting, never touched it since.

    32cores(16 actual cores hyperthreadded)
    2.4 or 2.8ghz xeon cpu
    64gb memory 266mhz memory
    8mb onboard video
    Though i do have a  pci-e to pci-x bridge which works okay, it's not supposed to be used for gaming, i did however load up NS2 and was getting 40fps with a  6600gs(nvidia)


    I would love to ship this over to Australia, but the thing is 88-90KG just by itself, fucking 4U ancient tech. I've done some fan mods to it, but it's gonna cost more then $100 just to ship it here and i could almost purchase a secondhand hardly ever used version for that much, so i might aswell forget about it.



    IPB Image Constellation - a great source of income :> http://www.netplanet.co.nz/ns/
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