Gaming servers have created a new way for gamers to connect with each other across the world. Where Massively Multiplayer Online (MMO) games have allowed major companies to bring people together in their games, private game servers have allowed technically-savvy gamers to create servers with their own rules for existing games to play with their friends or newcomers. If you're interested in managing and playing a private gaming server, consider the difference between building a machine to manage it on your own versus renting or leasing server space from a data center.
Computer Design For Game Servers
To build your own game server system, you'll need to do more than the standard computer design. There are some specialized parts that need to be faster, while some parts of the standard computer aren't as necessary.
A server needs to have a faster processor or more random access memory (RAM) than the standard computer. This is because in addition to running the program that represents the game server, the server needs to handle constant requests from different players connecting from the Internet. The process involves bringing multiple files from the hard drive, which needs lots of memory for faster storage and delivery.
The hard drive doesn't need to be large at all. It needs to be large enough to hold the actual server, assets related to the server (such as customized files or logs) and the server's operating system. This can allow you to save some funds for other parts, but you should consider a second hard drive of the same size for backups in case of failure.
You'll also need a faster Internet connection. The speed depends on how many players are connecting and the size of the files being transferred on your particular game, but a residential Internet usually may not have a fast enough connection to begin with. The upload is possibly the most critical issue, as some Internet connections are asynchronous—that is, the upload speed is lower than the download. Getting a fast enough upload speed may mean getting a new service or a costly upgrade.
The Leased/Rented Server Option
If you rent or lease server space from a data center, a lot of the burdens in the previous section are gone. You don't need to build your own computer for server performance because the data center can set the limits of your account to a virtual server that fits your game server's requirements. There's no need to upgrade your Internet connection either, although an upgrade can make things easier if you're sending files from your computer to the data center.
Maintenance is handled by the data center as well, so you don't need to worry about changing out parts or cleaning dust to keep the system cool. Your only responsibility is managing the actual game files, which can be a leased service as well.
Contact a data center to begin discussing the specifications needed for your server, as well as any added services that could make your server perform better with gamers across the world.