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 Post subject: Front end user
PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 8:26 pm 
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I am NOT a computer person so dont understand a lot of computereeze. What is a front end server and how does it work? Thanks for any help given

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 8:29 pm 
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From what I understand, this information is basically intended for people who want to host the game. For everybody just interested in playing, it will seem exactly the same as in the days of MOUL. You pay, log in, and play :)


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 8:40 pm 
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Effectivly it's having someone use there personal computer keep track of everything that's happening on that server as opposed to a Cyan computer doing it.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 9:11 pm 
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Dogpenny, if you're referring to the quote from this article that includes the line
(Additional fees may apply for future Cyan content, front-end shard ownership, etc.)
....then, if I'm not mistaken, it sounds like Cyan is ALSO considering an operating model in which not only would Cyan host shard servers of their own, but would allow - or license for some fee - individually-owned, UU-style shards.
Under such a model, Cyan might host their own content, while individual shard operators might host fan-created content of their choice. Explorers preferring to only experience Cyan content would log onto Cyan's server; those wishing to explore particular UCC ages would log onto the fan-owned shard hosting that content.

(Just a hypothesis based on my own reading of that language.)


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 9:15 pm 
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Teryn wrote:
Effectivly it's having someone use there personal computer keep track of everything that's happening on that server as opposed to a Cyan computer doing it.


No.

Emor D'ni Lap wrote:
Under such a model, Cyan might host their own content, while individual shard operators might host fan-created content of their choice. Explorers preferring to only experience Cyan content would log onto Cyan's server; those wishing to explore particular UCC ages would log onto the fan-owned shard hosting that content.


Yes.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 10:00 pm 
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Nice to see cyan listening :)

I for one am hopefully planning on hosting a front end server for people to play.


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 10:22 pm 
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Chacal wrote:
Emor D'ni Lap wrote:
Under such a model, Cyan might host their own content, while individual shard operators might host fan-created content of their choice. Explorers preferring to only experience Cyan content would log onto Cyan's server; those wishing to explore particular UCC ages would log onto the fan-owned shard hosting that content.


Yes.

Actually, I don't think so. Consider: (emphasis mine)
Chogon wrote:
+ Release binaries for a few front end servers to be run on fan run servers (front end shards). These fan run servers will have to be registered with the Cyan server and will help alleviate bandwidth issues. These front end processes will be limited to game servers and file servers. All authentication and avatar databases would still be handled by Cyan servers. This way a user needs only one account with all their avatars, no matter what front end shard they connect to. As a matter of fact, accessing the front end shards will be seamless for the user, and they may never know (or care) which one they are running on.

I read this news thusly:

Rather than taking on the load of hosting the entire game exclusively to themselves, Cyan will allow third-parties to add their own servers to the existing game server pool. MOUL ran on a whole cluster of individual machines backed by a single avatar vault and authentication system. I believe Cyan's plan is to keep us all together (smart) while enabling other financially-endowed players to contribute additional hardware to distribute the load for the game (also smart). If front-end shard access is going to be seamless to the user, there's no conceivable way (in my mind) that a login-time UU-style shard listing would fit in with this plan. All of the sharding is invisible to the players and exists strictly as a series of hand-offs between various game servers as the player links from one area to the next. According to the next bullet point in the roadmap, third-party hosts would also retain the ability to set vault flags for the instances of each area that they specifically choose to host, which is nice for those groups with the money to front for a dedicated 'hood instance server and want to directly control what's enabled and what isn't, I guess. I suspect it'll come in handy more as we get user-created Ages being added into the system; an Age could be hosted exclusively by one server, and all explorers would be shunted to that box when visiting it, while still remaining connected to the same uber-shard as everyone else.

P2PMMOAG FTW ;)

(Again, this is how I'm reading the roadmap. My aptitude at direction-finding may or may not be severely impaired ;))

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 10:35 pm 
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Alahmnat, based on my limited understanding of networking and shared servers, that's what I took from the roadmap as well.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 10:41 pm 
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Hm. Did anyone ever test how much of server lag is from the inherent design limitations of the game (such as drawing that many avatars and running physics on them all) versus the server load in general?
This front-end computing model will show us.. if one person is hosting a 'fragment' (not a full shard) that hosts say just one neighborhood.. all their server resources are thrown at this one area. So that means that 100% of the server in that hood goes to that hood. Excepting overhead from linking and KI, which probably is nowhere near as much in comparison.

So, we'll see what the ACTUAL limit of a hood or city instance is now, I guess, when a whole server is thrown at it instead of a distracted part of a cluster. :D

(I also wonder if Cyan will allow custom modifications of areas too. So say someone makes "Ae'Gura 3.0" that includes a dozen new areas to explore fully textured and modelled.. will they be able to host it without having to replace the main instance?)

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 11:21 pm 
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Ok, sorry. Some of the roadmap is more detailed than the average user would want and probably not detailed enough for the techie types.
The UruLive server is made up of many pieces. The idea behind this is a few of those pieces that run an age could run on an outside computer that is run by a fan. But all the pieces that deal with users, avatars, KI, etc. would only run on Cyan server machines. This would allow, for instance, a group of people more control over a particular neighborhood but not interfere with the rest of the ages.
There is still a lot of detail about this to work out yet, which is why it is a little vague at the moment.


Alahmnat wrote:
If front-end shard access is going to be seamless to the user, there's no conceivable way (in my mind) that a login-time UU-style shard listing would fit in with this plan. All of the sharding is invisible to the players and exists strictly as a series of hand-offs between various game servers as the player links from one area to the next.

And when I said seamless, I meant that the user would not have to do anything special outside of the game to get there. But I imagine that there will have to be something in-game (IC?) that would indicate that you are about to link to an age that is run and maintained by someone outside of Cyan... and then you can chose to put your hand on the book... or put you hand back in you pocket and walk away. Like I said... there is still a lot of these kind of details that need to be worked out yet.


Thanks,
Chogon


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PostPosted: Wed Jul 02, 2008 11:34 pm 
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Gondar wrote:
So, we'll see what the ACTUAL limit of a hood or city instance is now, I guess, when a whole server is thrown at it instead of a distracted part of a cluster.

Maybe. Maybe not. The reality of shared hosting and virtual machines to reduce costs will probably get in the way of that kind of full-server test. Also, MOUL hosted 20-some, probably dedicated, servers at AOL. It might be a while before we get back to being able to compare against what we knew.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 12:09 am 
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JWPlatt wrote:
Gondar wrote:
So, we'll see what the ACTUAL limit of a hood or city instance is now, I guess, when a whole server is thrown at it instead of a distracted part of a cluster.

Maybe. Maybe not. The reality of shared hosting and virtual machines to reduce costs will probably get in the way of that kind of full-server test. Also, MOUL hosted 20-some, probably dedicated, servers at AOL. It might be a while before we get back to being able to compare against what we knew.


Not really we are talking about a cluster here, where machines work together to produce the same result, in thery a hood could hold as many clients as each node can.

so you have 10 nodes holding 40 clients = 400 people in a hood ;)

The hard part is the hand off, you need to make the outgoing traffic to other nodes less than the traffic all the clients are producing inwards, so you need to either compress the client data on the way in to leave more bandwidth for the node to do comms with other nodes, or you need to simplify the node protocols.

Virtualising in the way i believe you are refrencing is the use of a single hardware setup to produce the illusion of server instanstances, and in this type of environment you would rarely use it as you want the cluster process to grow/compute more without restrictions, running a node in a virtualised environment would restrict it if for example another process decided to do some heavy processing.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 12:36 am 
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I suppose the IC indicator could be something like a stamp in the book, something like the DRC stamp there now.

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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 12:43 am 
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Very simplyfied, it could be understood as shown in this drawing:

Image
Not exactly, of course; it took me 10 minutes to draw, and this is only one possibility.
Does this help, dogpenny?

(In information theory, a "front-end" is simply the part you see, or the part you are connected to. The other, hidden part, or the part behind - you could call it blackbox - is the "back-end". Your desktop, for example, is a front-end - the software behind (the operating system) is the back-end. But actually, the user does not need to care about what a "front-end server" is - you will just login and play) :wink:


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 03, 2008 1:22 am 
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ohhh my head hurts reading that, of which I am no computer whiz, but wonder already about LAG time as was in the MOUL.

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