[Beowulf] Re: Cheap SDR IB

Robert G. Brown rgb at phy.duke.edu
Tue Feb 5 06:53:10 PST 2008

On Tue, 5 Feb 2008, Eric W. Biederman wrote:

> Spin it the other way.  Scale your online gaming server cluster using IB,
> and you probably have something.

And they may well do this.  There are a lot of problems in provisioning
online MMRPGs with "Universes" that are shared with HPC clusters and
with HA clusters.  Most of the sane ones spin off the actual rendering
onto the clients, but they are still responsible for managing a huge
inventory of objects as well as all the NPCs, in realtime interaction
with PCs, in a large distributed "space".  In some cases e.g. WoW the
space has some fairly obvious boundaries -- different continents are
plausibly on different servers in a realm cluster, ditto instances,
where there are clear "cuts" when your character is "moved" from one
server to another.  They may even partition continents, but to do that
(and manage a smooth passage across "country" boundaries) they need
bottlenecks to limit traffic and a region of real-time overlap where
characters are maintained (as it were) on both servers.  Here IB or gigE
would be very useful.  It also might let them increase the fineness or
granularity of boundaries, increase the server capacity for handling
large numbers of simultaneous gamers by adding more physical servers
to handle the large numbers of players that can occur in any given
continent or country, and so on.

Actually, MMRPGs are fun both to play and to think about as a cluster
problem.  But the big companies tend to be a bit chary of revealing
their technology, although I have read a few articles on the subject.
It is likely that many of the details of their implementations remain


> Eric
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Robert G. Brown                            Phone(cell): 1-919-280-8443
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