Many dedicated hosting providers will not allow game servers to be hosted on their network. This report gives some insight as to why this is true. Gaming servers are extremely bandwidth intensive. Compared to hosting a web application, game servers create a continuous stream of traffic over long periods of time for each user. To make sure that the game play is great, the servers also work best with low latency or fast networks, in other words, decent quality and local bandwidth. Due to the great deal of bandwidth consumed, hosting prices become high along with cost sensitivity.
Typically most game server operators are people rather than established businesses. Most dedicated hosting companies however are very much focused on providing services to companies. Firms by nature tend to get a degree of dependence on services, and a degree of tolerance for disruption to services which are extremely different to that of people. One of the most significant costs of providing services for gaming servers is bandwidth. Running a system that meets the needs of companies and the budget of people is complicated challenge.
Cheap vs Quality Internet connections
To get a hosting provider to provide a good service that they need to operate a network that is fast and free of congestion. Users have a tendency to tolerate their own online connection slowing during peak usage periods and congestion and contention ratios on an ISP system are not uncommon. From a web hosting standpoint however it is seldom tolerated. A slow connection means a poor experience for every possible client that finds the hosted software. Offering a quality service from a community standpoint means:
- Low latency Internet connectivity
- Internet connectivity that is always free of congestion in normal operation
- Very good Online connectivity to national tech – i.e. not routing bandwidth through global carriers
- Minimal outages
- Redundant network links.
- Continuous monitoring for faults
- Quick response to any service degradation
It is very difficult to do all of the above and do it in a low cost. At Anchor we used to estimate on server hosting for Minecraft and we never managed to land one customer. The prices we found we had been competing against were often well below our cost. We can only assume that the bandwidth did not arrive with all the features above.
For each Mbps or GB of data transfer on a network, gambling Traffic by character generates a greater quantity of load on routers and switches. Router load is usually proportional to packet count as opposed to octet count. Gaming traffic typically consists of a very high number of very little packets .This increased load raises the infrastructure cost element which then demands higher prices on a service that is already very cost sensitive.