How to choose a cloud server as the cloud becomes the standard configuration for games

Under the influence of the epidemic, the peak value of various major game platforms has been continuously rising. According to the data in the "China Game Industry Research Report", the number of Chinese game players has exceeded 660 million in the first quarter of this year, and the revenue in the first quarter reached 77 billion, a year-on-year increase of 9%.

The game industry has reached its peak in the past two years, of which the most successful game is Genshin Impact produced by Mihayou. Genshin Impact is a MMORPG game, which ranked at the top of the list of more than 40 countries on the first day of its launch; In July, the 2.0 version was updated and has reached the top 2 of the iOS list.

In the author's opinion, the reason why Genshin Impact has become a blockbuster is that in addition to its richer and more dreamy plot, the most important thing is that the underlying technology is strong enough to provide users with a smooth cross platform experience of logging into mobile phones, PCs and hosts at the same time.

In the game, the trend of the cloud is great

As a hot industry in the internet field, games are also evolving with many changes of the times. The earliest is page game, end game, and now the mainstream trend is mobile game. The emerging cloud games can also be expected in the future. At the same time, the game is also an important direction to go to sea.

Among many industry trends, going to the cloud has become one of the important trends in the gaming industry!

Whether it is "Genshin Impact" or other games; Regardless of whether they are released domestically or going overseas, most games will choose to deploy their own applications in the public cloud.

Why would you choose a public cloud? There are three main factors:

First, the game has a short release time and fast online speed, while the cloud server can dynamically adjust resources. Most games have their own release lifecycle, and generally enter a peak period early in the game's launch, with a large influx of players. The server needs to carry high concurrent requests, and a large number of servers need to be prepared to carry the peak. The biggest feature of cloud computing is its strong ability to quickly supply and flexibly expand, and users can dynamically adjust IT resources based on peaks and valleys. When the business is at its peak, a large number of virtual machines can be prepared to cope; After a few months of waiting, the game is stable and needs to be co serviced to release the remaining hosts.

Second, cloud servers can dynamically adjust their specifications based on demand. Generally, when a game is first launched, it will choose a high configuration host; After the number of active users in the later stage has decreased, cooperative service can be conducted. At this time, it is possible to appropriately reduce the configuration of the cloud server. For example, when the game was first launched for service, a machine using a 32 core vCPU can be replaced with a 16 core or 8 core after the service is completed.

Thirdly, cloud server manufacturers can provide a complete set of solutions, including computing, networking, storage, and databases, middleware, containers, security, etc.

From the perspective of mainstream trends, there are currently two types of cloud adoption by game manufacturers. One is emerging game companies. All businesses basically grow on the cloud; Some established game manufacturers, with heavy historical burdens, will deploy new businesses on the public cloud and gradually migrate to the public cloud. Especially after the epidemic, game customers are growing significantly, resulting in traditional IDC having to migrate to the cloud.

Three key points for model selection

With the rapid development of the gaming industry, players have also put forward higher requirements for the gaming experience, posing significant challenges to the requirements of cloud servers. S-level super large-scale games and large-scale internet enterprise businesses have many similarities. In order to meet the ever-changing demand from opening to closing and shrinking services, cloud server support is needed to achieve stronger elastic expansion capabilities. Therefore, when selecting cloud servers, large game companies will attach importance to several key points.

The first point is performance. The game industry is flourishing, but the final competition is nothing more than the quality of games and who can bring unparalleled gaming experience to users. In other words, background technical support should meet the needs of high interaction and frequent interaction. For example, the current trend of de labeling character modeling, motion capture at the film and television level, as well as a highly free exploration and play style, as well as a wasteland light sci-fi art style, all place high requirements on the underlying CPU, network IO, storage IO, and low latency, so performance is a top priority.

Performance, including computing power, network throughput, network bandwidth, and low latency. In scenarios such as multi-person online and PVP battlefield, a large number of mobile and combat packets need to be broadcast. Real-time onscreen combat and data interaction pose high requirements for network latency. At the same time, a large number of communication packets also require sufficient network bandwidth, high network packet throughput, and strong computing capabilities.

At the same time, the multi regional distribution of cloud servers is also very important, which is beneficial for users to access nearby. For game manufacturers, if the servers are widely distributed, they can be closer to users everywhere, and the latency will also be shortened accordingly, ensuring the user experience and avoiding abnormal phenomena such as screen jams, players dropping lines, and login failures.

Another point is stability. When choosing an ECS, stability is the first factor. The higher the quality of the game, the greater the challenge to server stability. Once there is downtime, stagnation, or a slow frame count, it will directly affect the player's experience, causing customer churn.

The last point is elastic scalability. Large-scale games place special emphasis on high elasticity, not only to rapidly expand server capacity when game players are soaring, but also to be able to scale down or reduce the overall computing power during late service cooperation, thereby achieving ultimate overall elasticity and reducing overall costs.

Which cloud server is most suitable for the gaming industry?

Looking at the market, there are many cloud vendors, and cloud servers are becoming more and more diversified and have more specifications, which is a bit confusing. I don't seem to know how to choose. Based on the above points, let's analyze in detail:

In terms of performance, although some games do not require high computational power, current mainstream games such as MMORPG (Large Multiplayer Online Role Playing Game), MOBA (Multiplayer Online Tactical Competitive Game), and FPS (First Person Shooting) all require relatively high computational power for the host computer.

In this case, most game manufacturers will choose the latest generation and most powerful CPU.

3rd Generation Intel ® xeon ® The scalable processor (codenamed Ice Lake) is by far the most powerful CPU, with an average performance improvement of 46% over the previous generation, especially when the data center is under load. It provides industry-leading performance, workload optimized, and built-in artificial intelligence acceleration capabilities, providing a seamless performance foundation that helps accelerate the transformative impact of data from the edge to the cloud.

Looking at the CPU, memory, and other configurations, it seems that every cloud manufacturer is similar. However, according to measured data from gaming companies, the performance of Alibaba Cloud's seventh generation ECS cloud servers equipped with Intel Ice Lake CPUs is at least 10% higher than that of the industry's peers.

Architects in the Alibaba Cloud elastic computing game industry believe that the performance improvement mainly comes from Alibaba Cloud's self-developed Dragon architecture. The Dragon Architecture was launched by Alibaba Cloud in 2017, creating an industry precedent.

The reason why the DPCA architecture is unique is that it uses the latest generation of virtualization technology that integrates hardware and software to reduce virtualization losses to zero, significantly improving network and storage IO performance, and reducing latency. Alibaba Cloud's seventh generation ECS has significantly advanced CPU performance, PPS, IOPS, network, and storage latency capabilities.

In terms of stability, Alibaba Cloud provides a single instance dimension of 99.975% and a single region multiple availability zone dimension of 99.995%, which is basically the ceiling of the current industry. In terms of flexibility, I believe that no gaming company has a stronger demand for flexibility than Weibo, which is the hot spot, and Taobao, which was launched on Double 11. Both of these best practices are hosted by Alibaba Cloud and are more persuasive than any data.

In summary, with comprehensive performance, stability, and resource elasticity, AliCloud's seventh generation ECS is the best choice for gaming companies, truly ensuring the performance, stability, and security of large-scale games, and bringing a smooth and smooth experience to users.

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