Many independent and medium-sized gaming studios are often faced with a dilemma—how can they provide top-notch gaming experiences to thousands or even millions of players while keeping costs manageable? This tradeoff between performance and cost gets amplified because often the vast majority of their players are on a free tier. Several small gaming studios also rely heavily on their popular titles for revenue but are actively developing and supporting a larger portfolio, which makes controlling development and deployment costs even more critical.
One way to keep your operational expenses low is to choose the right virtual machines (VMs) to deploy your games. DigitalOcean’s Premium CPU-Optimized Droplets combine high-performance CPUs, fast network speeds, NVMe storage and plenty of bandwidth, and are a powerful yet cost-effective way to host your games. Learn more about how gaming companies have found success with Premium CPU-Optimized Droplets below.
As online gaming has gained widespread popularity and both games and the devices they are played on have become more advanced, players have become increasingly focused on latency, sometimes known as ping. Latency is a measure of the time taken by the game server to respond to an action from a player, process the request and actions from other players in case of multi-player games, and send processed information back to the player. High latency, also known as lag, is often a major source of frustration for players. High latency in cloud-served games can cause players and actions to fall out of sync, leading to a poor gaming experience.
DigitalOcean’s Premium CPU-Optimized Droplets are designed for network and CPU-intensive workloads, making them ideal for gaming applications. These virtual machines, our fastest yet, feature up to 10Gbps outbound network speeds, some of the latest generations of Intel® Xeon® CPUs and NVMe SSDs. They deliver up to 5 times faster outbound network speeds, 58% more performance and 290% faster disk writes when compared to Regular CPU-Optimized Droplets. That means you can stream games faster to your players with low latency, minimal data packet loss, and high quality media, resulting in stutter-free gaming experiences.
Another advantage of using Premium CPU-Optimized Droplets for your game deployments is that you’ll see consistent performance when you’re optimizing your virtual machine fleet continuously to meet dynamic demand, even if you’re creating or destroying multiple virtual machines every day.
Chill Gaming, a gaming company who’s built hugely popular games such as Combat Quest and One State, is leveraging Premium CPU-Optimized Droplets to deliver high-quality gaming experiences to its players:
We’ve been trying out the new Premium CPU-Optimized Droplets for the last several weeks and we’re impressed with the performance gains. One of our main goals is having the lowest latency possible, these Droplets have been a breath of fresh air for our .NET applications. So far this is the best DigitalOcean solution we can recommend for high CPU load scenarios and for high network throughput - Igor Boyko, Chief Technology Officer, Chill Gaming
Gaming workloads are inherently bandwidth-intensive, and this has become even more true in recent years as games have increasingly complex game elements. Unlike virtual machines from other cloud providers which charge extra for bandwidth and storage, DigitalOcean Droplets come with generous bandwidth and storage included, out of the box. Starting at $109 monthly, Premium CPU-Optimized Droplets come in a variety of configurations ranging from 4vCPUs to 48vCPUs, with free bandwidth allowance of 5TB to 11TB, and included NVMe storage of 50GiB to 1200GiB.
Our transparent and straightforward bandwidth pricing model is designed to help you scale without paying exorbitant bandwidth charges. Additionally, DigitalOcean Droplet plans give you the flexibility to pool the generous bandwidth allowances across Droplets within the same account. Pooling increases the amount of bandwidth available for your account and helps keep bandwidth overage costs in check. For example, one of our gaming customers has a large monthly bandwidth usage of 479TB, but because the bandwidth for all of their Droplets is pooled, they are provided with 1563TB total bandwidth per month. If they were to host their games with a major hyperscale cloud provider, their bandwidth charges would amount to $24,000 every month, as bandwidth would not be included in their compute costs.
Check out how Playkids built games with millions of users with a team of 3 engineers managing the infrastructure.
Unlike other applications, gaming workloads can be volatile due to sudden variations in player traffic, so it’s important for games to build strategies to handle dynamic traffic. When you have a small team with a large user base, infrastructure management has the potential to become a roadblock.
Simplicity is a core tenet at DigitalOcean and it extends to everything we do, including the creation and scaling of virtual machines. DigitalOcean helps you take the complexity out of your gaming infrastructure, helping you scale without a large Devops or ITops team. Businesses can save up to 50% time on infrastructure management due to easy-to-use workflows, excellent documentation, faster onboarding, and simplified billing.
Our Premium CPU-Optimized Droplets also make excellent worker nodes for DigitalOcean Kubernetes. This Managed Kubernetes solution can automate your infrastructure to provision and deploy faster and as frequently as multiple times a day, enabling you to scale up or down automatically at a moment’s notice. Utilizing Kubernetes, you can optimize your infrastructure and only pay for what you utilize.
You can also get peace of mind that any issues with your cloud resources will be resolved quickly with DigitalOcean’s Premium Support, which makes resolving issues faster via a dedicated Slack channel and Google Meet calls with technical experts. Our team provides you access to troubleshooting tips, unlimited customized support, and quick response times (as low as 30 minutes), so you can accelerate your time to market.
Our full-featured Premium CPU-Optimized Droplets are the perfect virtual machines to host your gaming applications. Spin up one today and see the difference it makes to your gaming workloads. Our S3-compatible high-performance object storage and managed databases also make it easy to handle large scale data with ease.
Find more resources on computing solutions for game development here. If you’d like to have a conversation about using DigitalOcean in your business, please feel free to contact our sales team.
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