Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1

    Is "High CPU Priority" worth it?

    I've been running a 32 player BF4 server with nfoservers.com for a while. They offer a "High CPU Priority" option for $9.99 a month, which for a 32p server is around 25% of the standard month to month cost for a server without it. They also undersell it with a note that it is "usually not needed" because they underload servers anyway, so it rarely would come into play.

    As far as I can tell my server runs fine, and according to their usage graphs it never goes above 40% CPU usage. The usage graph is a mirror of the active players graph, and when the server empties out it goes to around 3%.

    However, I don't know if the reported "usage" is for the individual VM that the server is running in, or the physical machine as a whole. I assume that they actually isolate each game server in it's own VM with something like VM Ware to make managing them easier, but I don't know how NFO actually apportions services per physical box. If the "usage" graph is accurate for the box as a whole, then it looks to me like my game server may be the only one running on it.

    The only evidence I have that "lag" might ever be an issue is from people occasionally commenting in game chat, and I assume that some of those cases could just as well be client side lag or individual connection issues.

    Anyway, I am wondering if anyone has bought higher CPU priority on their game servers, particularly if you are an NFO customer, and whether you notice any difference or think it is worth the price.
    Last edited by DownArrowMagnet; 03-09-2014 at 13:35.

  2. #2
    We weren't in the subset you defined, but I'm answering anyway.

    We were using NFO servers but did not use CPU priority. We never had any issues that could be attributed to CPU multitenancy resource contention. I don't think our CPU ever got above 50%, even when our 66 slot server was full. FWIW, CPU is usually the least important resource on game servers. Network bandwidth and reliability has the biggest impact on game experience, followed by memory utilization.

    But the biggest reason I wouldn't spend extra money on CPU priority is that it just doesn't make sense until the game server software is more stable. Since every server is spending some time down or empty these days, the more expensive the rental, the more costly the down time.
    Don't send me private messages (PMs) unless you really need privacy, like your game server password. If you just have a question or need help, post in one of the threads. It's extra work for me to answer questions and give help in private messages and no one else gets the benefit of the answer.

  3. #3
    While I like NFO, this feature has always bugged me. They claim to have "the guaranteed highest performance", but then have to offer a high performance option? So their normal offering is the guaranteed highest performance while the $10/mo extra feature is guaranteeder higherest performance? It also seems unreasonable to charge $10/mo for a 16-slot server and $10/mo for a 70-slot server. But I'm not really gonna complain about an extra-cost option I don't use--just always seemed incompletely thought out.

    I wouldn't spring for this option unless you know CPU contention is an issue. And actually, if you do know that, just tell NFO and ask that they fix it and, so far as I can tell, they will (which brings us full circle back to "I like NFO").

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Frogtooth View Post
    While I like NFO, this feature has always bugged me. They claim to have "the guaranteed highest performance", but then have to offer a high performance option? So their normal offering is the guaranteed highest performance while the $10/mo extra feature is guaranteeder higherest performance? It also seems unreasonable to charge $10/mo for a 16-slot server and $10/mo for a 70-slot server. But I'm not really gonna complain about an extra-cost option I don't use--just always seemed incompletely thought out.

    I wouldn't spring for this option unless you know CPU contention is an issue. And actually, if you do know that, just tell NFO and ask that they fix it and, so far as I can tell, they will (which brings us full circle back to "I like NFO").
    This is what I had assumed was the case. They never said anything to me about it, but I think that a while back they actually moved my BF4 server instance off of a machine that had other game servers on it to one that has none but my own. I got a message in the event log when the move happened (which was otherwise flawless and completely transparent). But they never said why. I only assume that they noticed the CPU usage profile and shuttled it off to somewhere that there would not be any competition during the hours that it seems to be heavily loaded.

  5. #5
    Phogues Rubber Duck
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    1,031
    In their own words, paying special attention to the part I circled.


  6. #6
    It's also a competitive check-off item. I know at lease one competitor to NFO that used to offer priority CPU as their only configuration. It would look bad if NFO didn't have a way to offer the same option, even if it costs extra.
    Don't send me private messages (PMs) unless you really need privacy, like your game server password. If you just have a question or need help, post in one of the threads. It's extra work for me to answer questions and give help in private messages and no one else gets the benefit of the answer.

  7. #7
    Phogues Rubber Duck
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    1,031
    But if you offer high priority to everyone...... No one has high priority....

  8. #8
    Community Contributor
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    3,053
    Quote Originally Posted by Ike View Post
    But if you offer high priority to everyone...... No one has high priority....
    Exactly. Higher priority for a cost makes sense because then you have different tiers. If everyone has high priority, everyone is in the same tier fighting for the same resources and therefore no one has high priority.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by ty_ger07 View Post
    Exactly. Higher priority for a cost makes sense because then you have different tiers. If everyone has high priority, everyone is in the same tier fighting for the same resources and therefore no one has high priority.
    True, if we're talking about homogeneous applications, but most service providers run multiple different games, some of which may only offer priority as an option or not at all. So, for example, one BF4 instance gets priority CPU, while on the same physical machine, there might be a bunch of TF2 servers with no priority (not an option).

    That's why NFO's claims about underloading the physical machine are relevant. CPU priority only helps if physical CPU is under contention. If peak demand for all of the instances combined (which never happens in the first place) sum up to only 90% of the total physical capacity, CPU priority has marginal value.

    The downside is that underloading means that some part of the physical hardware (at least 10% in the example above) sits idle all the time, which costs money that NFO has to cover some how. That might be part of the reason why NFO prices are usually higher than average.
    Last edited by PapaCharlie9; 06-09-2014 at 18:14.
    Don't send me private messages (PMs) unless you really need privacy, like your game server password. If you just have a question or need help, post in one of the threads. It's extra work for me to answer questions and give help in private messages and no one else gets the benefit of the answer.

 

 

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •