The Right Gaming Server Can Make or Break a Platform

gaming serversWhen it comes to creating a successful gaming platform, it is extremely important to have the proper infrastructure in place. Planning for long-term success is key, making it crucial to focus on utilizing gaming servers that ensure games have the scalability and low-latency they need to stand out in the crowded marketplace.

Choosing the right server for your gaming needs comes down to preference. Some developers prefer running a cloud-based infrastructure, while others choose the computing power equipped with high CPUs and SSDs that dedicated servers have to offer. There are different options available for game developers to choose from, depending on what you are trying to accomplish.

Cloud Servers

Cloud servers are an excellent option for developers who want to optimize IT performance without breaking the bank. The relatively low costs associated with cloud servers enable developers to purchase and manage a fully dedicated infrastructure at an affordable price. These are commonly chosen by small- to mid-sized businesses and those with changing workloads and demands.

Cloud servers enable developers to meet their needs effectively, and they have the flexibility to use as much server space as needed along with configuring the server to provide levels of security, performance, and control similar to what dedicated servers provide. Sharing a virtualized environment that is managed by cloud hosting providers ensures you benefit economically by sharing hardware with other customers instead of being hosted on dedicated physical hardware.

Physical Servers

This type of server is purchased or rented to operate entirely for your business. Dedicated servers are often excellent choices for large businesses and organizations that require extremely high levels of data security.

Companies and organizations that have predictable demand for a 24/7/365 performance and those using I/O-heavy applications, like Big Data platforms and databases, also find dedicated servers to be of significant value. This type of server requires businesses to maintain IT capacity and expertise in order to manage ongoing maintenance, which is to be expected with dedicated hardware.

Hybrid Cloud Infrastructure

A hybrid cloud infrastructure is one that takes advantage of both the physical and cloud environment. Many people believe this infrastructure is the eventual state in which most businesses will operate in the near future, and it’s composed of using resources kept on-premises as well as others located within public clouds.

This infrastructure is composed of two or more cloud infrastructures, whether they are private, public, or communities, that remain unique entities bound together by proprietary technology, and it enables data and application portability.

More recently, major IaaS vendors have embraced their ability to integrate public cloud infrastructure with customers’ on-premises resources. More vendors are creating and offering tools that work across various environments while partnering with companies that have strong relationships with enterprise data centers.

Things to Consider When Choosing a Server Infrastructure

It’s imperative to operate with centralized servers that allow frequent updates and decentralized servers that allow continual low-latency play worldwide. With revenue over $24 billion in 2014, a number that is projected to quadruple by 2020, the online gaming industry is one in need of creative solutions.

The huge growth in online gaming presents the unique challenges of scalability and backend infrastructure. Having a server that offers scalability can be crucial, depending on the type of services you plan to launch.

Launch day can cause an immediate increase in load ranging from a few hundred to millions of users, each of whom may be performing several transactions each minute while online. Whether the processes are low-latency and compute-intensive or high-latency, they must be shared among hundreds of global servers, more often writes than reads, ensuring proper matchmaking without experiencing a single point of failure.

Latency is another necessary part of successful online gaming, and network performance will count — a lot. Higher latency in online gaming results in video glitches, slow response to players’ commands, and gamers getting booted by time-outs. It’s important for your network to deliver information as quickly as possible, given that every millisecond counts in the gaming world. Points of presence across the globe make it possible to maximize the speed and decrease the latency for gamers to create a smoother gaming experience.

Security is another extremely important aspect of a successful gaming server. Having adequate protection against DDoS and other harmful attacks can save you time, money, and irreversible reputational damage. Knowing what you’re up against in the first place and preparing accordingly can help prevent attacks. Gaming companies will always be targeted by attackers, so it’s important to have around-the-clock protection to minimize negative effects on your end users.

Finally, establishing a server that is reliable and always available is extremely important. Outages during game sessions are annoying — just look at Call of Duty WW2 and its recent connectivity issues. Developer Sledgehammer Games struggled following its most recent update, wreaking havoc on its fan base with over 380 reports from users unable to connect.

According to Gartner, Newzoo, a gaming market intelligence firm, shows the mobile gaming sector is set to be worth over $46 billion by the end of 2017, a major increase from the $3.9 billion value just ten years ago. As competition becomes fiercer, it’s more crucial now than ever before to have strong and reliable servers to provide gamers exceptional platforms free from glitches and connectivity problems.

Gamers share a common goal — enjoy their playtime without having to deal with platform and reliability issues. If a platform is unable to match the gamers’ demands, it will result in losing those gamers to other developers. A strong and reliable infrastructure that can easily scale up to meet gamers’ needs will provide a truly exceptional experience for gaming and help developers achieve long-term success.

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