Thanks to all of you that took part in Saturday’s server performance test! Although we’d have enjoyed nothing more than seeing our CTO doused in ice water, on the plus side, we’re pretty satisfied with how the test went.
About the test
One of the key challenges for the development team is to ensure the game servers can scale efficiently and at a predictable rate.
We don’t use maximum spec server instances for the current Alpha galaxy to help us achieve this, as bottlenecks and other issues are identified earlier than they would be if we were using the most powerful hardware.
Analysing server performance at higher than usual levels enables us to check that achieved performance is inline with our theoretical projections and avoid any nasty surprises!
The following graphs cover a four day period with the start of the test (20:00 UTC, Aug 11) marked with a yellow line:
Currently connected users
It was awesome to see that enough Alpha players were able to make the start of the test. As you can see in the above graph, a few minutes after the start, the number of players online was almost double other peak times!
To the left of the yellow line, CCU briefly dropped to zero due to server maintenance that was performed in preparation for this test.
Memory usage: distribution server
The distribution server should perform relative to the number of players online. Comparing this graph to the above for CCU, they are fairly similar as expected apart from the period after the start of the test where DS memory usage doesn’t tail off as CCUs do. This is very likely because a good proportion of players online at that time were some of the largest in the galaxy!
Memory usage: core game server
Unlike the distribution server, the core game server should use resources relative to the size of the galaxy itself, rather than the number of players online. Which is why the above graph is rising steadily, but not impacted by the start of the test.
CPU usage: distribution & core game servers
This graph shows CPU usage of three of our services: distribution server (red), core game server (green), and game storage (orange). The chart partially shows two of the services due to a reconfiguration made on the morning of the test.
Again, distribution server resource usage rises and falls roughly inline with CCUs. Core game and game storage remain fairly consistent and are not as resource intensive.
This was probably the first time any of our players were hoping to see the game crash – but performance was fine and inline with what we were expecting to see, so the devs are happy 🙂
That said, there is still room for improvement in terms of how much CPU and memory each server uses…
Current galaxy size
If you’ve made it through all of the above graphs – or just decided to skip to the end of this post – here are some other stats about the current Alpha galaxy that you might find interesting:
Players in galaxy: 1,800+
Number of colonies: 21,000+
Number of fleets: 129,000+
That’s a lot of fleets – and means we could be approaching 1,000,000 ships in the galaxy?
Thanks again everyone, see you soon 🙂