50+ player servers. Hardware/software to make that possible

Discussion in 'Bukkit Discussion' started by Dorsilfin, Sep 19, 2011.

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    I concede, I see the benifits for both solutions, I simply feel that the persistance storage is a cheap native solution. I prefer the flexibility of a SSD and the fact that it can grow and be moved to any computer on the fly. But if your just looking to run a basic server ram is one solution.

    I think this argument might be one that fits in the, AMD/Intel and NVIDIA/ATI area. Both sides have good points :)
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    We pay 84,95 euro so about 116 usd a month for

    100 / 100 fiber like that.
    unlimited phone calls
    interactive television
    A lot of HD television

    But for just the 100 / 100 internet its 54,95 a month so about 75 usd.

    But it depends a lot on the provider and in what region you are. Some people can get 200/200 mbit fiber for about 110 euro / month (150 usd)

    At the end of this year some ISP's are gonna start offering 500/500 mbit fiber as well.
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    No offense, but you're neglecting an important caveat of flash memory. SSDs were not made, nor were they intended for high IOPS. They offer very fast read/write speeds, but the only long-term feasible use is for quick access to data that doesn't change that often. That is, few disk writes. This is because of how SSDs operate on the chemical/physical level. Their storage architecture also requires rewriting larger blocks of data indicating that you will erase and re-write more sectors than on a typical platter HDD for the same size file (this is based on storage cell size, as well). This, of course, only exacerbates the problem.

    Older drives are supposed to give 10k write cycles, but newer drives give about 100k write cycles. Typical use gives you about 5 years of use. However, high IOPS are likely to lessen the lifetime. Honestly, I'd use a RAMDISK which is much faster and dump it to a typical HDD in Raid 0+1.
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    Hi There! I am running a

    Windows 7 64Bit
    i7 920 at 3Ghz 4 Cores 8 HyperThreading
    6 GB RAM

    40Mb Download
    15 Upload

    I seem to run fine up to 30 people on my server across 3 worlds I have and never had any problems..
    But what can I do to improve on this? The only downside I have with my current setup is that it isnt a server really. Its Just my gaming PC :p It draws tones and tones of power so I was thinking of buying a personal server..

    Somthing with Good RAM and Good CPU power but with a small energy consuption..

    My current PC runs a 2GB Radeon HD 5700 Type of GPU with a 500-700 PSU.. Im assuming its my GPU and PSU causing these huge power drains!


    Where is a good place to buy a server? Not too frikkin expensive? Or am I better buying the parts and making my own.. I can do that :p
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    Based on your other posts I am not going to be able to change your mind :)

    You need to update your argument with the latest information, don’t say they are not made for high IOPS, not all SSDs are the same. Also anyone that uses a SSD for mission critical data will have a backup.

    Most minecraft server owners are not going to be smart enough to implement a RAMDisk correctly and are bound to mess it up. I still feel that regardless of the high level technical arguments, a SSD is still the safest solution for a server owner.
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    not sure what that means... haha :confused:

    Good points...some SSDs are more suited to the task, but not really the "best" option...maybe that's subjective. The clearly safest option is RAID 5 with hot-swap...fidelity, dynamism, and speed. I doubt a single MCserver owner actually runs that. That's more enterprise level. For a typical server, RAID 0+1 is the safest... Running SSDs in that configuration expensive, safe, and fast. :p
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    well minecraft isnt run off the HD anymore.. Its loaded completely into a ram disk, so my regular HD shouldn't make a difference in performance?
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    I found the biggest problem is that Minecraft is saving data in 2sec intervals. Using a plugin like NoLagg that will change it to only save to disk every 5 minutes and making chunks stay in memory for 2 minutes makes it work just fine with a plain old HDD. No need for a RAMdisk.
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    Who cares if SSD's were or were not intended for high IOPS. Fact is, 1 good SSD can give you more IOPS then a raid array of 100 HDD's could. Sure they won't last as long as a HDD. But that doesn't mean they'll instantly die. Manufacturers are giving 3 to 5 year warranties on them.

    You say older drivers have 10k write cycles and new ones 100k, maybe I ask you where you get these numbers?

    As far as i know newer drivers got less write cycles.


    32 nm MLC ssd's about 5,000 cycles
    25 nm MLC ssd's about 3,000 cycles

    Let's say you buy a intel 320 SSD. And absolutely torture it. And it breaks within now and 5 years. Then what do you loose? Nothing, its within the warranty, the performance compared to a HDD is huge when you look at IOPS.

    When it comes to having your data safe you need to rely on back ups to other disks / arrays anyway. So I don't see why you wouldn't go for an SSD.

    Yes, a ram disk is far superior when it comes to performance. But its also a lot more expensive. If you have a large world of about 5 GB or more. Then it becomes rather expensive, rather quickly. Even with the all time low in ddr3 prices.

    An SSD is much cheaper / gigabyte and will offer you all the performance you need for a MC server. The CPU will much sooner become a bottleneck due to mc not being multithreaded then a fast SSD would.

    For a mc server i'd just go for a SSD honestly. Easiest way and it'll give you all the iops you need.
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    Aw man, I'm so jealous of you guys... No matter what I do I'm stuck at 12-15 players because the fastest ISP in my area is 4Mb upload. :'(

    Actually they have one more plan with 10Mb but that's $100, which is a rip-off since I've seen FiOS having stuff like 50/50Mb for $60... Tennessee sucks.
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    I tend to prefer to read rather than reply but there's a bit of misinformation in this thread that could lead someone to make a bad financial decision that I think really needs to be cleared up.

    The first one is sukosevato's post on how CPUs work. Unfortunately most of what you said was wrong, which is of course completely understandable since CPUs are complicated components.

    • "Why an Intel is faster then a AMD?"

      You can't distil this comparison down to a binary 'A is better than B' argument, it's disingenuous. AMD CPUs equal Intel performance in many areas, particularly in day-to-day use. The main strength of Intel CPUs at the moment is their floating point speed (see next point below) which is useful in 3D gaming. This means Intel is faster for your desktop gaming PC at the moment, but that particular metric has almost no bearing on server performance, which is what this thread is about. 'A is better than B' completely ignores their respective strengths and weaknesses.

    • "The Amd 1100T runs at 3300 Mhz. Which means it can do 3300 x 10^6 calculations a second"

      CPUs aren't really measured like this. The typical measurements are either IPS which measures integer operations, or FLOPS which measures floating point operations. FLOPS are a good measure for spatial rendering and tasks often done in supercomputing, IPS are a good measure for most typical operations, including the vast majority of what Minecraft is going to be doing. With that in mind, the 2600K and the 1100T both sit around 15 GIPS, which fairly effectively proves that clock speed and number of cores have far less to do with arithmetic performance than the internal architecture of the chips (which are vastly different to each other) and the way they interact with the northbridge.

      Depending on your money, there are more important things than CPU performance, and with Minecraft you're more likely to run out of bandwidth or RAM than you will CPU power. If you're going to run a dedicated server, and especially if you're going to run from a RAM-drive, consider Intel's Xeon range of server CPUs. They're back-breakingly expensive and they perform worse than the desktop CPUs like the i7 on a chip-for-chip basis (though motherboards will often allow dual-CPU configurations that aren't really available in the desktop area these days and will outperform your desktop CPUs by about 20%), but they do offer excellent advantages in reliability and ECC compatibility. For a server supporting 50+ players at once, running on a RAM-drive, you'd be strongly advised to invest in ECC RAM, which desktop CPUs do not support.

    • "i5 2500k can complete a complex calculation in 10 seconds with 4 cores [...] amd 1100T can do the same calculation in 15 seconds with 6 cores"

      The i5 and the i7 quad-core Intels have hyperthreading, AMD chips don't. Hyperthreading is an example of an architectural difference that I mentioned above that AMD approached differently. Thanks to optimisations, it's actually difficult to compare individual core performance between Intel and AMD architectures, and simply dividing the number of cores is going to land you far from the mark. Intel's specs suggest enabling hyperthreading accounts for a 30-40% increase in performance, so your core comparison would be more accurate (but still not accurate) if you considered a quad-core Intel HT CPU to be the equivalent of 5.5 cores in AMD-speak. In reality it's much more complicated than that, but it does help explain why your figures are off the mark.
    The second one is also sukosevato's post, this time on SSDs.

    • "Who cares if SSD's were or were not intended for high IOPS. Fact is, 1 good SSD can give you more IOPS then a raid array of 100 HDD's could"

      Yes, you can indeed get SSDs that give you more IOPS than a 100-node RAID array. They're mounted through your PCI Express port, and cheap ones cost $15000. You could get about a hundred 300GB 10,000RPM SATA drives for that much. Assuming you were just using hyperbole, the best high performance SSDs these days cost around $300 for the 100GB ballpark, and roughly 60,000 IOPS. Certainly nothing to shrug at, but dealing in facts seems like a better option when someone's looking at investing a lot of money into hardware.

    • "Let's say you buy a intel 320 SSD. And absolutely torture it. And it breaks within now and 5 years. Then what do you loose? Nothing, its within the warranty, the performance compared to a HDD is huge when you look at IOPS."

      You might want to check your warranty card again. Your warranty protects against defects in the manufacturing process, not failures caused by wear and tear under normal use. Many manufacturers explicitly say that "wear and tear through normal use" is not covered by the warranty to be clear but it's a well known fact that hardware warranties don't cover wear and tear. In fact, Intel's SSD OEM warranty even says "the warranty period ends on the SHORTER OF the specified warranty term or the date when the media wear-out Indicator value for the drive reads 1". Have a guess what the media wear-out indicator measures.

    • "Yes, a ram disk is far superior when it comes to performance. But its also a lot more expensive."

      Not as much as you think. You want a cheap high-speed SSD? You're looking at around $2.50 per GB. You want cheap RAM? $5 per GB. Uh oh, double the price! But wait, a properly configured RAM-drive can transfer at 3GB/s. Our example 300GB SSD transfers at 500MB/s. Six times the performance for only twice the price? Sounds pretty reasonable to me.

    • "For a mc server i'd just go for a SSD honestly"

      I strongly recommend against it at this time. You think Minecraft has a lot of disk activity on your local computer? Try having over 50 players wandering around generating and modifying chunks. If your server has that many people simultaneously even at peak, you're going to be doing frequent write operations around the clock at varying rates. In the future when (if?) Notch rewrites his storage and memory algorithms it may be feasible but not now.

      Don't get me wrong, SSDs are an excellent advancement in non-volatile storage, and there are a lot of situations I'd recommend them, such as on a webserver. But not for Minecraft.
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    I know CPU's are complicated components and that the way i explained was a bit too briefly :p But i have read my fair share of reviews on sites like anandtech / tomshardware / hwi / tweakers (last one are 2 big dutch ones). But let's get into the real material then if you like. I don't mind having a good discussion on a bit of a higher level then the average forum discussion. I'm gonna try to prove you wrong :p (Disclaimer, i'm just a 19 year old kid who likes to read reviews, i'm open to being proved absolutely wrong)

    Let's take a look at a pure single threaded benchmark. Superpi. This benchmark uses only 1 core. No more no less.


    Is it just me or are the i5 2500k / i7 2600k 2x as fast as anything AMD has to offer?

    You said GIPS was the thing to measure in. So i started googling seeing as that didn't mean much to me :p I found a benchmark which measures the amount of GIPSOne that is pretty reliable as well. They measured the amount of GIPS for a single core at 3 Ghz.

    Is it just me or does the same still apply, when using 1 core the sandy bridges are close to 2x
    faster then the competition a.k.a. AMD?


    SiSoftware Sandra 2010 Pro
    ALU Performance Dhrystone GIPS
    (Single core operation @ 3 GHz)
    Score in Score

    i5 2500k 18.89
    i7 2600k 18.89
    amd 1100t 10.62

    As far as these benchmarks show I can only conclude the opposite of what you were saying. As far as minecraft hosting goes, i don't know what would be the right benchmark to really see the difference. But any core to core and clock to clock comparison i find favours the intel hugely over the amd.(Please prove me wrong, i'm open to learning of course)

    About the SSD's. You are right about the fact that wear and tear doesn't fall in the warranty. I am aware of this. But we are talking about consumers here. Not datacenters. If you have a datacenter and buy 10.000 SSD's from intel and give them a load of worn out ones back every year, you're not going to get new ones.

    But if you're a consumer, and you have 1 SSD. And you happen to burn through it while still inside the warranty. Then its a completely different story.

    For example, a retailer in the Netherlands. I know someone that works on the RMA department there. They say they don't test the stuff consumers send back to them. Because testing it usually costs them more (salary of the worker that has to test it etc..) then just giving the consumer a new one. So yes, even though it technically doesn't fall under the warranty, i don't think you're gonna have a problem getting it RMA'ed as consumer.

    I my self bought a 60 GB ocz Agility 3 for my MC server. for 100 euro or so.

    So that's about 1,66 euro / Gigabyte.

    When i look at ram prices, if i buy 2 x 4 GB they cost about 35 euro. That's 4,375 euro / gigabyte. So yes its not too bad. But you only have 4 ram slots on your motherboard. So you're gonna have to buy 8 GB modules if you want to get past 16 GB . And i think you would want that for a mc server if you also want a quite large ram disk. The 8 gb modules are still pretty damn expensive. 2 x 8 gb sets you back 180 euro over here. that's 11,25 euro / gigabyte. If i then make the comparison of a SSD vs ram then the choice isn't too hard for me.

    That and the fact that i wouldn't recommend most people trying a ram disk if they don't know how to properly set up one with timely back ups with cronjobs or something.

    I agree performance wise they greatly out perform a SSD and if you can choose between the 2 a ram disk will be superior.

    Hoping to hear from you again.
    Fr0zenfr0g likes this.
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    SuperPI is a program that calculates pi to a certain number of decimal places - in the case of the benchmark chart above, 32 million. Calculating the decimal places of pi is a floating point calculation. Have another look at what I said:

    SuperPI used to be great for benchmarking a CPU on its FLOP capacity, but is mostly useless today because of the way it's locked to a single core. Another very small factor in the difference between the 2600K and the 1100T in that chart is...

    I didn't plan to elaborate on that, but one of the optimisations in both the CPU itself and improved operating system support for multi-core CPUs is that a small percentage of operations in a single-core process can be offloaded to other cores. The specific criteria are a bit out of my expertise, but a swap of register data through the northbridge at say 800MHz (QDR), while a lot slower than working in the first core's register space, is significantly faster than waiting for the first core to complete its current instruction and pull another instruction from RAM (even with high speed RAM you're looking at a speed improvement factor of 5 for that particular operation). The effect is usually very minimal, but without knowing the criteria used to select which instructions to offload, I couldn't tell you how much influence it may have had on the SuperPI benchmark.
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    My friend runs a server on a Pentium 4, so stop arguing about processor speeds and let's meet up at Verizon's HQ to protest FiOS service expansion into the southern states.
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