Is Server Consolidation Beneficial to MMORPG?A Case Study of World of WarcraftYan-Ting Li, Kuan-Ta ChenIIS, Academia Sinic...
MMORPG• General property• A genre of computer role-playing games in which players assume the role ofa character and a very...
World of Warcraft• WOW is the most popularMMORPG in the world, designedby BLIZZARD Entertainment.• The figures are in Wint...
RealmIIS, Academia Sinica, Taiwan• Each separated game worldEach separated game worldin WOW is called “realm”.in WOW is ca...
OutlineMassively multiplayer online role-playing gameCost down and energy-savingVariability, Regularity and Predictability...
Motivations• Cost down• Number of servers• HR (human resource) costs• Energy-saving• Reduce number of idle or light-loadin...
Contributions7• We elaborate why server consolidation is appropriate forMMORPG.• A zone-based server consolidation strateg...
OutlineMassively multiplayer online role-playing gameCost down and energy-savingVariability, Regularity and Predictability...
• Variability• The number of playersconstantly fluctuatesbetween 0 – 600 ineach day.• Regularity• Examined by auto-correla...
Observations cont.• Spatial locality property• Players tend to interact with others (by chatting, trading, fighting, ortea...
Observations cont.• An online game operator usually host dozens of games at thesame time.• For example, SNDA, one of the m...
Implication from ObservationsConcentrating and dispersing zone-basedworkload depend on server loadingautomatically!!IIS, A...
MethodsFirst Fit Decreasing (FFD)• We put the VMs intodecreasing workloadorder first.• Putting each VMsequentially intofir...
Methods cont.• Assume that each server can accommodate7500 avatars and the real-life trace of TW-Light’sHope realm is mani...
OutlineMassively multiplayer online role-playing gameCost down and energy-savingVariability, Regularity and Predictability...
Fixed: state-of-the-art strategyDynamic (day): predict future oneday workload and reallocate VMson the servers per day (6 ...
Single game simulation (100 realms)Fixed: The fixed policy constantly uses 100%(100) servers.Dynamic (day): it requires ar...
Single game simulationDynamic (day): it requires around 91% energyconsumption of fixed policy.Dynamic (hour): it requires ...
ResultsSummary• Benefits in the simulations, Dh is dynamic (hour) and Dd isdynamic (day).• We can notice that in dynamic p...
Thanks for your attention.IIS, Academia Sinica, Taiwan20
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Is Server Consolidation Beneficial to MMORPG? A Case Study of World of Warcraft

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MMORPG is shown to be a killer application of Internet, with a global subscriber number increased to 17 millions in 2010. However, MMORPG servers tend to be overly provisioned because 1) such games do not have standard architectures thus dedicated hardware is assumed; 2) MMORPGs normally adopt a “sharded design” to resolve the scalability challenges of content production and workload distribution; and 3) a game is commonly deployed in geographically distributed data centers to protect gamers from excessive network latencies. Therefore, an operator needs to deploy dedicated hardware for each game in each data center, even though hardware utilization is low.

In this paper, we propose a zone-based server consolidation strategy for MMORPGs, which exploits the unique spatial locality property of players’ interactions, to cut down the games’ considerable hardware requirement and energy use. We evaluate the effectiveness of our strategy based on a nine-month trace from a popular MMORPG World of Warcraft. The evaluation results show that, with a per-hour dynamic zone reallocation policy, the server number required can be reduced by 52% and the total energy consumption can be reduced by 62%, while the user-experienced latency remains undegraded.

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  • Nonstandard : it means that the architecture of different games can not be shared easily.
  • When we login to the game, first we can see the menu of realms, each represents an identical but independent game world.
  • This is the outline, and I just talk about what is MMORPG, in the following I will talk about our motivations, cost down and energy-saving.
  • How to cost down in game industry? The best computation throughput per energy consumption Relation between cooling cost and number of servers/server utilization is nearly a linear equation. It means the more servers we use, the more cooling cost.
  • Thus, our contributions are ……………
  • In the following, I will show you how to consolidate game servers and save energy. We will talk about our observations from the WOW trace we collected.
  • And when examined by ……………, we can see there is a strong regularity between days. And we also verify predictability. you can find the correlation is high. So the future workload may be predictable.
  • You can see there are many zones in a game world
  • Because Nonstandard architecture makes game’s operator can not reallocate their games to different servers easily.
  • We want to ………………..
  • We allocate VMs in servers by using FFD
  • Fixed strategy always use 100 servers, And the simulation result in multiple game test is similar.
  • In single game strategy, we should buy 100 servers for fixed strategy
  • Transcript of "Is Server Consolidation Beneficial to MMORPG? A Case Study of World of Warcraft"

    1. 1. Is Server Consolidation Beneficial to MMORPG?A Case Study of World of WarcraftYan-Ting Li, Kuan-Ta ChenIIS, Academia Sinica, Taiwan
    2. 2. MMORPG• General property• A genre of computer role-playing games in which players assume the role ofa character and a very large number of players interact with one another withina virtual game world.• Nonstandard architecture• There is no standard architecture or even de facto architecture for online gamesystems.• This fact encourages or even forces a game operator to invest dedicatedarchitecture for each game.• Sharded design• Depending on the number of players, an MMORPG may be separated intomany identical game worlds, and players in one world can not interact withthose in another.• The design worsens the server over-provisioning phenomenon.Massively Multiplayer Online Role-Playing GameIIS, Academia Sinica, Taiwan2
    3. 3. World of Warcraft• WOW is the most popularMMORPG in the world, designedby BLIZZARD Entertainment.• The figures are in Winter GraspLake battle field.• There are many players/avatarsinteracting, combating, chattingand dying within the battle field.IIS, Academia Sinica, Taiwan3
    4. 4. RealmIIS, Academia Sinica, Taiwan• Each separated game worldEach separated game worldin WOW is called “realm”.in WOW is called “realm”.4
    5. 5. OutlineMassively multiplayer online role-playing gameCost down and energy-savingVariability, Regularity and PredictabilityA zone-based server consolidation strategyThe server number required can be reducedby 52% and the total energy consumptioncan be reduced by 62%.MMORPGMMORPGWhy server consolidation is appropriate for MMORPG and propose azone-based strategy to facilitate serer consolidation.MotivationsMotivationsContributionsContributionsObservationsObservationsMethodsMethodsResults &ConclusionsResults &ConclusionsIIS, Academia Sinica, Taiwan5
    6. 6. Motivations• Cost down• Number of servers• HR (human resource) costs• Energy-saving• Reduce number of idle or light-loading servers• Controlling server utilization for the best cost performance which is arelation between energy consumption and computation performance.for example, computation throughput per energy consumption.• CoolingIIS, Academia Sinica, Taiwan6
    7. 7. Contributions7• We elaborate why server consolidation is appropriate forMMORPG.• A zone-based server consolidation strategy• Applying real-life trace simulation to verify benefits of theproposed strategy• The results show that, with a per-hour dynamic zone-basedserver consolidation strategy,• The server number requirement can be reduced by 52%• The total energy consumption can be reduced by 62%IIS, Academia Sinica, Taiwan
    8. 8. OutlineMassively multiplayer online role-playing gameCost down and energy-savingVariability, Regularity and PredictabilityA zone-based server consolidation strategyThe server number required can be reducedby 52% and the total energy consumptioncan be reduced by 62%.MMORPGMMORPGWhy server consolidation is appropriate for MMORPG and propose azone-based strategy to facilitate serer consolidation.MotivationsMotivationsContributionsContributionsObservationsObservationsMethodsMethodsResults &ConclusionsResults &ConclusionsIIS, Academia Sinica, Taiwan8
    9. 9. • Variability• The number of playersconstantly fluctuatesbetween 0 – 600 ineach day.• Regularity• Examined by auto-correlation function(ACF) at correspond-ing time scales.• Predictability• Prediction based onthe same hour in thelast day.ObservationsWhy can we consolidate game servers?IIS, Academia Sinica, Taiwan9
    10. 10. Observations cont.• Spatial locality property• Players tend to interact with others (by chatting, trading, fighting, orteaming up to fight others, etc) in their vicinity in the game’s virtualworld.• Thus, we consider such a zone a perfect unit for workload dispatchingbased on virtualizationIIS, Academia Sinica, Taiwan10
    11. 11. Observations cont.• An online game operator usually host dozens of games at thesame time.• For example, SNDA, one of the most biggest companies in China, hostsmore than 20 MMORPGs.• Since the subscribers of a game may fluctuate greatly over its course ofoperation, it is important to reuse the same infrastructureautomatically.IIS, Academia Sinica, Taiwan11
    12. 12. Implication from ObservationsConcentrating and dispersing zone-basedworkload depend on server loadingautomatically!!IIS, Academia Sinica, Taiwan12
    13. 13. MethodsFirst Fit Decreasing (FFD)• We put the VMs intodecreasing workloadorder first.• Putting each VMsequentially intofirst PM withenough free space.IIS, Academia Sinica, Taiwan13
    14. 14. Methods cont.• Assume that each server can accommodate7500 avatars and the real-life trace of TW-Light’sHope realm is manipulated to r traces of r realmswith normal distribution.• Assume that we have r realms and z zones (VMs)per realm, thus we have totally n = r x z zones.• Assume we have s = 100 servers, then designatezone p (1≤p≤n) on server q (1≤q≤s) by using FFD.Zone-based server consolidationIIS, Academia Sinica, Taiwan14
    15. 15. OutlineMassively multiplayer online role-playing gameCost down and energy-savingVariability, Regularity and PredictabilityA zone-based server consolidation strategyThe server number required can be reducedby 52% and the total energy consumptioncan be reduced by 62%.MMORPGMMORPGWhy server consolidation is appropriate for MMORPG and propose azone-based strategy to facilitate serer consolidation.MotivationsMotivationsContributionsContributionsObservationsObservationsMethodsMethodsResults &ConclusionsResults &ConclusionsIIS, Academia Sinica, Taiwan15
    16. 16. Fixed: state-of-the-art strategyDynamic (day): predict future oneday workload and reallocate VMson the servers per day (6 am).Dynamic (hour): predict future onehour workload and reallocate VMson the servers per hour.Simulation ResultsSingle game and multiple games testIIS, Academia Sinica, Taiwan16
    17. 17. Single game simulation (100 realms)Fixed: The fixed policy constantly uses 100%(100) servers.Dynamic (day): it requires around 84% (84)servers.Dynamic (hour): it requires around 53% (53)servers.Multiple game simulation (500 realms)Fixed: The fixed policy constantly uses 100%(500) servers.Dynamic (day): it requires around 89% (455)servers.Dynamic (hour): it requires around 43% (241)servers.ResultsServer InvestmentIIS, Academia Sinica, Taiwan17
    18. 18. Single game simulationDynamic (day): it requires around 91% energyconsumption of fixed policy.Dynamic (hour): it requires around 48% energyconsumption of fixed policy.Multiple game simulationDynamic (day): it requires around 84% energyconsumption of fixed policy.Dynamic (hour): it requires around 38% energyconsumption of fixed policy.ResultsEnergy ConsumptionIIS, Academia Sinica, Taiwan18
    19. 19. ResultsSummary• Benefits in the simulations, Dh is dynamic (hour) and Dd isdynamic (day).• We can notice that in dynamic per hour strategy, theexperiment results are more beneficial than in dynamic perday strategy.• Note that the effect could be more prominent if an operatorhosts more games at the same time.IIS, Academia Sinica, Taiwan19
    20. 20. Thanks for your attention.IIS, Academia Sinica, Taiwan20

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