Introduction to Game Server Web Hosting
According to the Wikipedia, Game Server is a remotely or locally run server used by game clients to play multiplayer games. Most video games played over the Internet operate through a connection to a game server. These game servers are offered by the Game Server Providers, companies that lease dedicated game servers. Presently, in the web hosting industry, game server web hosting is one of the fastest growing segments.
Game Servers are of two types, Listen Servers and Dedicated Servers. Listen server are usually used in situation in which the server typically runs in the same process as the game client, allowing a player to both host and participate in the game. Listen servers are mostly operated by individuals, often in LAN situations rather than over the internet. Dedicated servers are the servers which can be run by individuals, but are usually run on dedicated hardware located in data centers, providing more bandwidth and dedicated processing power. Mostly, for hosting game servers for most PC-based multiplayer games dedicated servers are used.
Unlike traditional business hosting, Game hosting is far more demanding. It requires significant amounts of specially formatted server space to meet the demands of many players choosing one game at a single time. There are literally millions of consumers around the world who opt to play games online, which all translates to a need for reliably organized and dedicated service.
Heavy traffic is not the only issue that should be addressed when looking for a game server web hosting service however. Easy to use control panels which can help the site owner automate and organize many processes is also something that should be considered an absolute “must”. This is because the online gaming environment requires a lot of customer support and service, and also many applications and software updates and fixes which can only be managed with a good control panel feature.
Additionally, the amount of space required to handle the needs of the gaming software may limit the number of games available and the gamer server web hosting company selected. The games are each assigned a special “node” on the hosting equipment and each node has a limited number of “slots”, which translate to the total number of players who can access the game at any given time.
The best contemporary game server web hosting companies make about ten to fifteen nodes available on each server – which is a good illustration of the kind of space the games and functions require. This also introduces the need for reporting features that quickly let the website owner know which of their games is receiving the most attention or usage. Such information is critical in expanding offerings or eliminating a game that may be taking up to fifteen percent of a company’s server space.
Hosting providers usually supply their clients with game server hosting services that include the most technologically advanced servers and network connections, very often with the preinstalled software to start online gaming business immediately. The most popular games using the technology of distributed servers are: Doom 3, Medal of Honor, Halo, Unreal Tournament, Counter Strike, Quake 3, etc.
Many online gamers also like to discuss the games they are playing and to socialize with fellow gamers, because of this it is important to see if the game server web hosting company provides applications such as chatting or forums which will add to the enjoyment of the customers.
Finally, though the game server web hosting sites are relatively new, they still require as much security and updating as traditional server equipment. Because of this it is important to inspect each company before making a final choice.