MOBA Gaming Solution

A sub-genre of real-time strategy, Multi-Player Online Battle Arena (MOBA) is rapidly emerging as one of the most popular category of online games. The nature of gameplay makes MOBA extremely demanding on hardware requirements and poses challenges to network stability. The Alibaba Cloud gaming solution gives developers access to resources which are scalable, elastic, flexible and secure.

Recommended Solution Architecture

Solution description

  1. Built on a distributed deployment architecture, the system maximizes scalability and optimizes user experience while balancing resource input and cost. Furthermore, the architecture can be adjusted based on actual conditions.
  2. 1. For the delivery of install packages, upgrade packages and various types of static content, Alibaba Cloud's superior CDN is used to ensure the gaming experience. This reduces the user churn rate during the game download and content update processes. When combined with Alibaba Cloud Object Storage Services (OSS) to form a back-to-source node, this solution also increases origin site network throughput capacity while decreasing origin site outgoing traffic costs.
  3. 2. In scenarios where request loads are concentrated on the login server cluster, global server cluster, or other clusters, developers can use the ESS for automatic elastic resource resizing. This ensures a balance between high-load capacities and resource input costs for core public service modules.
  4. 3. Alibaba Cloud's Server Load Balancer's own disaster recovery architecture across different data centers in the same city brings together ECS's fault migration mechanism, RDS's primary/secondary dual-instances, multi-zone support and other features to ensure the high availability of core public service modules.
  5. 4. The global server is deployed in the Hangzhou data center and the WAR servers are deployed depending on distribution of players.
  6. 5. Depending on circumstances, developers can choose to deploy servers in data centers in different regions across the globe to provide users with closest access and highest latency. The WAR server in each data center exchanges data with the global server though Alibaba Cloud's high-speed transmission network, ensuring that data is exchanged quickly and securely.
  7. 6. For applications that require high CPU performance and network throughput capacity (e.g. WAR servers), developers can activate a high-performance ECS instance to enhance the load capacities of individual servers.

Solution Driven

As computer hardware is constantly being updated, replaced, and upgraded, mobile game battlefields are gradually becoming more intensive. Multiplayer real-time competition games are a typical example of these resource demanding games. These games place a great deal of pressure on back-end servers and pose unprecedented challenges to network stability.
Alibaba Cloud has a cloud computing platform to address the needs and challenges faced by Multi-Player Online Battle Arena (MOBA) games. This solution provides the following advantages:
High Network Throughput Capacity Requirements
High Network Throughput Capacity
Games with many players online simultaneously, PVP battlefield games and other such graphic intensive scenarios are primary examples of games with high network throughput requirements. Packet broadcasting results in high PPS loads. In addition, the restrictions on the network throughput capacities of individual servers, especially their PPS capacities, causes significant latency, packet loss, and other problems.
The Alibaba Cloud platform uses high-performance hardware infrastructure and an optimized and upgraded network layer. Alibaba Cloud ECS, at its highest performance, can support a PPS of several hundreds of thousands and provide Gbps-level network throughput capacity.
Low Latency Requirements
Guaranteed Low Latency
Due to the real-time competition feature of MOBA games, real-time battles on the same screen and data exchange require a low level of network latency. As developers wish to provide a fair combat environment and outstanding user experience to players in different regions and network environments, they naturally have higher requirements for network operators' coverage and transmission speeds.
In dedicated game clusters, multiple services are deployed in the same region to achieve a data transmission latency between applications of milliseconds or less. All data centers in different zones of the same city run on bare fiber direct connections. This ensures that, during deployment or disaster recovery, inter-ECS access between different areas in the same city will have a low latency. Cross-region data centers are all interconnected through the Alibaba Cloud high-speed transmission network. This can ensure data transmission stability while reducing the access latency between cross-region ECS, forming a distributed architecture for multiplayer real-time game deployment.
Elastic Resource Scalability Requirements
Elastic Resource Scalability
The uncertain number of online gamers makes it difficult to predict resource allocation, especially during the online events and peak periods after game releases. Momentary access pressure may easily exceed the system's maximum load capacity, while constantly maintaining a high resource configuration will certainly lead to a massive waste of resources. Therefore, flexible and automatic elastic scalability is extremely important.
Alibaba Cloud's multiple services, including ECS and ApsaraDB for RDS, all support vertical configuration upgrade and horizontal extension. Combined with the ESS to enable automatic horizontal scaling based on service load conditions, this solution meets the needs of dynamic resource adjustment at different business stages.
Server Single Point of Failure Problems
Downtime Migration and Hot Migration
Single point of failure is a typical problem for vertical deployment architecture. In the case that a single sever goes down, service may become unavailable in at least one region. The time required to restore the server has a direct effect on user experience, financial flow, and even user retention. Restricted by development conditions, code inheritance, costs and other factors, the vast majority of games still follow this outdated deployment model.
The ECS provides a mechanism of automatic downtime migration protection against sudden exceptions, allowing for the rapid restoration of applications and data. In addition, the server also supports proactive hot migration protection based on the underlying monitoring and alarm mechanism.
Cross-Region Deployment Requirements
Superior Resources and Multiple Data Center Coverage
In order to enhance the user experience and implement nearby access for users, deploying WAR packages in data centers throughout the country is obviously the best approach. However, when developers wish to adopt cross-region deployment for individual zones or servers, they face the problem of ensuring data exchange stability and transmission speeds between WAR servers and central servers in multiple data centers.
Alibaba Cloud's multiline BGP network enables developers to deliver multi-operator line coverage, ensuring the quality of access experience for gamers. Alibaba Cloud's high-speed transmission network can support a multi-regional distributed deployment architecture, giving gamers nearby access and further enhancing the gaming experience.
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