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Dedicated server build question

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Is it possible to host a server building a server from old pc parts ? Just wondering what the minimum specs you could get by with for a 3x3 or 2x2 with 20 -30 people total . any help with this thanks

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I'm running a 1x1 with 8-9 islands on a old Phenom 2 3.5 GHz with 8gig ram, eats about 4-6 gig ram, I've heard with the 4 island setup each instance runs about 2-4 gig.

so I would say do able

if I went the 4 grid islands could run two instances by assigning each server 2 cores would be at 99% ram usage

 

Edited by ZeroGDarius

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Ya I have around 64 gigs of ram and amd fx 8300 processor , gtx 960 ti and board laying around . so I figured turn into a server . wonder if that would run a 2x2 .

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video card wont help server could prob get away with a TNT2.  you could run a 2x2 no prob, just make sure each grid is assigned two cores each. don't know if OS maters but I'm also on win serv2008 datacenter

Edited by ZeroGDarius

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hey sooooo, could i possibly get some help setting up my server. been trying all day to figure it out but something always goes wrong 

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do a search if not found start a thread I'm bored and watching people stream atlas so I around, got mine humming along so far.

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General Guide when determining server specs.

Each grid will need 1 Real core and 1 Hyperthreaded core.  (2.5ghz base clock speed)  This has more to due to with Unreal Engine than Atlas thou Grapeshot/Atlas can help with optimizations.

Anything older than 2nd Gen Intel i5-2500 series as example or E5-2600 v1 all bets are off on requirements, mainly due to how Unreal engine 4 is optimized.  It will work on older generations but performance could vary significantly.

FYI:  AMD pre-ryzen processors are generally half their core count.  This is due to each core sharing some resources.  Most UE instances will only recognize Real cores not-hyper threaded.  The FX-8300 process series as example says 8 core but its not really 8 whole cores and such when determining how the server will function you generally count it as 4 cores.  Windows actually shows it as 4 core/8 thread.  

Each grid will need 6gb of ram. 

Ram usage will vary widely but when you are doing a whole grid startup you need maximum amount of ram available.  FYI: using larger page files won't help if the system runs out of ram and tries to swap to page file the Unreal engine will crash.   You can get around the ram issue by doing stepped startup of 1-2 shards at a time and watching ram usage and when it drops start another.  

My current server build is a E5-2670v1 8c/16t with 64gb ram.  At pure idle state each shard will use about 2gb of ram (no more than 5-6 normal islands per shard, generally any _PVE island should count as 3 islands due to intensive nature of these islands with creature spawns and size.  Spread out each island as much as possible so they are generally not in view/render distance of each other in game.  It has been my experience to date, (I've had  a server up since the day unofficial files were released) that is the most optimal setup. 

We idle at about ~7% ish cpu usage with it going upwards of 20-25% when numbers increase in a particular shard.  With my current setup each person seems to add about 1% to that shard's load.  Again these numbers don't mean anything unless you have identical hardware to my setup so you will have to just test it with your own hardware.

Our first Map setup as a 3x2 then expanded to 3x3 had a lot of performance problems, rubberbanding lag, people would frequently crash crossing borders and ships would be lost in perma travel limbo.  Our first grid had 7-8 islands per grid and 5 grids had _PVE islands as well.  Mainly of the islands were close together.  We ended up wiping our server and starting over with brand new map 3x3.  The new map has worked extremely well no noticeable lag or rubberbanding.  We also generally divided each shard into its own biome for island types in addition to the biome settings.

nvXs1j8.jpg

The colored squares show the actual borders of each island.  You don't want those to touch especially if they are very different biomes as it causes wonky things.  Think temperature going 30c to -30c every second.  This caused us noticeable lag.

Our server has about 50-70 active people with anywhere from 10-40 online at once.  Shard to shard transfers have been very smooth and we haven't lost a single ship due to transfer limbo.  This is likely due to a lot of factors not the least of which are significant improvements and bug fixes made by grapeshot.  Many bugs have been fixed on the server side that they didn't really document in the patch notes as it would likely be meaningless to 99% of the people reading the notes. 

As a long time server admin for many Unreal Engine games they have done a really good job at fixing the backend stuff in the last 3 weeks.  Granted launch was a Hot mess on the server side.  They pretty much handed us the keys to a 747 when we'd never flown anything more than a cessna, in terms of complexity of the server stuff.  

I am personally rather disappointed they haven't tasked someone to simply give us some technical information.  It's not like its secret as we eventually figure this stuff out but I have a hard time swallowing that someone with server experience at Grapeshot can't spend a hour writing up something.  This may be technically a "MMO" and a large number of people play on official servers, there is still a VAST majority playing unofficial.  I don't know if it outnumbers total population on officials but just the sheer number of known unofficial servers speaks volumes to where a good chunk of the population is playing.

 

Everything here is just my own personal experiences and opinions.  There is a unofficial discord for server admins but it was largely unhelpful for me simply because no one really knows anything and it's just other admins floundering about figuring things out.  The basics of server setup are on there but I personally found it easier to start from scratch.  Things have changed since a lot of those guides were posted and some information is outdated.  It is a good starting point if you have no other background or experience with UE4 servers or ARK servers.  There isn't another option if you are starting from scratch, just be aware that not everything is perfect.  

 

 

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Marageek may I ask would u suggest an afordable server or a better description of your system please ? Thank you

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Would this run a 3x3 ? 

System Configuration
System: Dell PowerEdge R710  2U Rackmount Server
Processor: 2x Intel Xeon X5670 - 6 Core / 12 thread Processors
Memory: 144GB (18x8GB) DDR3 ECC Registered Memory
Controller: Dell SAS SATA RAID Controller
Hard Drive Bays: 6 x 3.5"

HDDs: 2x 1TB Enterprise HDDs
Network: 4Port 1GbE
Power Supplies: Dual - Redundant Power Supplies

 

I understand the ram issue but processor is where I'm more worried

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6 cores are going to struggle with 9 servers. It probably will, but under a constant high load. Not sure if you set tickrate to 15 tho, need to test that tonight myself.

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That spec is similar to my test server which sits around 65-70% CPU with a highly unoptimized 3x3 map (island mall so I can look at most of the islands and see which ones I want to place in my production server) with 3-5 players on a grid at a time.

Depending on your expected player loads, and if your map is optimized as above, you should be OK, just will need to keep an eye on utilization, etc.

 

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26 minutes ago, Dinenon said:

That spec is similar to my test server which sits around 65-70% CPU with a highly unoptimized 3x3 map (island mall so I can look at most of the islands and see which ones I want to place in my production server) with 3-5 players on a grid at a time.

Depending on your expected player loads, and if your map is optimized as above, you should be OK, just will need to keep an eye on utilization, etc.

 

Thanks for all the help guys . 

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Does anyone know if reducing the size of each grid would reduce the resource requirement?

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Size doesn't. I tested that. Put the size right down and had no variation in cpu usage.

Amount of islands does affect ram though. In my 3x3 I have max 4 islands in every grid cell. At idle, it uses 3 to 3.3Gb ram per cell.

Edited by BaradineAllawa
chg

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Setting the tickrate from 20 to 15 on my 2x3 reduced CPU from 60-70% to 30-45% , big improvement. There's about 10-15 people on, max.

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7 minutes ago, Dofolo said:

Setting the tickrate from 20 to 15 on my 2x3 reduced CPU from 60-70% to 30-45% , big improvement. There's about 10-15 people on, max.

Tick rate ?

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Yes from the below forum thread here, you have to add this to defaultengine.ini (this populates engine.ini when starting, do not bother putting it there in saved games)

 

/Script/OnlineSubsystemUtils.IpNetDriver]
NetServerMaxTickRate=20

 

Change 20 to 15, you can go lower even, but I am not sure of the effects on (many) players connected.

 

https://www.playatlas.com/index.php?/forums/topic/11703-cpu-usage/

 

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On 1/16/2019 at 10:05 AM, cpspok said:

Would this run a 3x3 ? 

System Configuration
System: Dell PowerEdge R710  2U Rackmount Server
Processor: 2x Intel Xeon X5670 - 6 Core / 12 thread Processors
Memory: 144GB (18x8GB) DDR3 ECC Registered Memory
Controller: Dell SAS SATA RAID Controller
Hard Drive Bays: 6 x 3.5"

HDDs: 2x 1TB Enterprise HDDs
Network: 4Port 1GbE
Power Supplies: Dual - Redundant Power Supplies

 

I understand the ram issue but processor is where I'm more worried

This should run a 3x3 fine, the question really is how many players do you plan to have on it? If it's just a small group of friends then won't be an issue. I'd probably say you could manage 20 players per grid  but ensure you have NetServerMaxTickRate=20  to reduce extra CPU overhead. Might even manage more, but it's hard to call with older generation processors. 

I run a 4x3 on a 9900k @ 5Ghz with tick rate of 20, with room to move to 15 if needed. I expect to be able to be able to manage 50 people per grid judging by CPU usage so far and taking into account optimisations that they have confirmed in their "further out".

 

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1 hour ago, Shadowsong said:

This should run a 3x3 fine, the question really is how many players do you plan to have on it? If it's just a small group of friends then won't be an issue. I'd probably say you could manage 20 players per grid  but ensure you have NetServerMaxTickRate=20  to reduce extra CPU overhead. Might even manage more, but it's hard to call with older generation processors. 

I run a 4x3 on a 9900k @ 5Ghz with tick rate of 20, with room to move to 15 if needed. I expect to be able to be able to manage 50 people per grid judging by CPU usage so far and taking into account optimisations that they have confirmed in their "further out".

 

Thanks for the info cause I can get this server for less than 300 bucks. So servers work like a pc in terms of looking at screen to set this up ?

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1 hour ago, cpspok said:

Thanks for the info cause I can get this server for less than 300 bucks. So servers work like a pc in terms of looking at screen to set this up ?

If this is your first server then you probably want to read up a bit on it. But yes you can connect a VGA lead to most servers initially to do the setup, once done you can then setup the iDRAC which will allow you remote management of the server over a network. (you go to a web interface via your browser and manage it there)

First things to do when you get it will be to upgrade the BIOS and any controller firmware to the latest versions. Then assign IP's for your NIC and probably worth fully erasing the disks before you get started. 

Once that's done just get an OS installed, i'd suggest Server 2019, 2016 or 2012 R2 in that order.

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18 minutes ago, Shadowsong said:

If this is your first server then you probably want to read up a bit on it. But yes you can connect a VGA lead to most servers initially to do the setup, once done you can then setup the iDRAC which will allow you remote management of the server over a network. (you go to a web interface via your browser and manage it there)

First things to do when you get it will be to upgrade the BIOS and any controller firmware to the latest versions. Then assign IP's for your NIC and probably worth fully erasing the disks before you get started. 

Once that's done just get an OS installed, i'd suggest Server 2019, 2016 or 2012 R2 in that order.

It comes with fresh wipe and install of 2016 

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15 minutes ago, cpspok said:

It comes with fresh wipe and install of 2016 

Ok nice, should be pretty much good to go then 🙂 Would suggest getting the iDRAC setup though and ensure firmware/bios is updated fully. 

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