On Friday Forbes reported that shares of Amazon.com and Microsoft showed profits from their respective cloud services. With the increase in profits from cloud services the server configuration is proving to investors that the service is the future of web hosting. The market change of server configuration will may force the gaming community to move toward the new kid on the block server configuration. Currently multiplayer gaming environments are picking between a Client-server architecture and Peer-to-peer architecture.
Both architectures provide strong pros and cons for but with the increase of the cloud architecture game developers are going to have to start looking deeper into the cloud services. Cloud architecture will work similar to the architecture of dedicated servers but will have the ability to scale the resources based on direct usage instead of having allocated resources in the beginning. In an interview with James Holt, a Senior Technician for the Cloud department of the hosting company Ecommerce LLC, he stated, “If you start with the server you’re putting more money up front (costs) when you may not yet know your requirements.” Having the ability to scale your server based on the business needs allows you to make changes to the server when the business demands it.
Another key feature to the gaming community moving to cloud servers is the reliability that, hosting in cloud architecture brings greater server reliability to the multiplayer gaming communities. When a multiplayer game is hosted on a server running Peer-to-peer architecture, it becomes almost impossible for the company to prevent cheating since the system doesn’t typically rely on an authoritative peer and each players Internet connection affects the game play of the other players. When you are hosting on a dedicated server if the server has issues every aspect of the game is affected. All resources on the dedicated server are specific to the server and cannot be changed between other servers without either moving the content to a new server or replacing hardware in the server.
This inability to replace the resources of the server has been resolved by the cloud architecture. Rackspace describes cloud servers as rack of servers in a datacenter that create a massive pool of resources that can be divided into multiple virtual servers to create a “cloud”. Being a virtual server instead of a dedicated server allows the game developer to adjust quickly while having a server more redundant than either the peer-to-peer server or the dedicated. Holt would add “The redundancy available in a cloud solution far outweighs the traditional dedicated server solution, especially if you’re talking about high traffic or high resource requirements.” This redundancy will lead game developers to push more multiplayer games onto cloud servers located around the world.