Managing A Game Server With Or Without Your Own Equipment

Gaming has changed a lot over the past two or three decades, moving from public arcades to home consoles and now computers connecting to powerful gaming industry servers. The power has come to the hands of the players, allowing technically-astute gamers to create servers that other players can connect to across the Internet. If you're planning on running a game server, you're served with two major choices: building your own server or leasing colocation services. An overview of the two options can help you figure out what's best for your budget and skill level.

Self-Built And Managed Gaming Server Requirements

Gaming servers--like any servers--have a few unique differences from personal computers and workstations. That data that runs through the server is a combination of requests from the network (and deeper networks such as the Internet). This data is processed by the server software suite, which contains specific information on how to handle that data.

For game servers, the server itself is a game world. Monsters, items, environmental changes and other activities that simulate a living world are constantly being processed, although some servers may pause the activities if no players are connected. The incoming data is in the form of player information, such as connecting to the game, attacking enemies, opening item chests, spending money and chatting with other players.

To handle these demands, a processor with a lot more power and heat than standard workstation computers is necessary. Although it's possible to buy server machines from dedicated server design companies, you'll need to upgrade with more parts as user demand increases.

Wear and tear is a normal part of computer management, and with data constantly coming through the system, your hard drive (or even solid state drives) may fail sooner than the standard consumer computer. This means not only replacing the drives, but keeping up a robust information backup plan and successfully restoring the backup to new hard drives.

Sound Like A Lot Of Effort? Colocation Can Help

With colocation, you don't need to worry about hardware maintenance, performing physical installations or getting an Internet connection that can handle increasing numbers of new players. All you have to worry about is paying the bill for your virtual server and--for your own protection--copying over a backup of your server information.

Data centers offering colocation servers are not a series of single racks dedicated to individual servers. Instead, massive farms of information space are divided into virtual computers that represent whatever you need for your game server. If you need a certain amount of hard drive space, a specific processor speed or memory to handle changing game demands, you can change your account as needed to support those changes.

It's not likely that a starting gaming server can exceed the capacity of the colocation data center. If you think your game and player base may be too big, contact a colocation data center for additional information.