Cloud / Virtual Servers

Discussion on running your own board and editing MajorMUD.
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MiOw
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Cloud / Virtual Servers

Post by MiOw » Sat Dec 24, 2016 8:13 pm

Can anybody provide any best practices on using a cloud-based/virtual server to host a board? Suggested hosts, setup tips, etc...

I am starting to play with the idea of hosting one but would prefer to have it based outside of the home for both security and stability reasons.

Thanks!


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syntax
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Re: Cloud / Virtual Servers

Post by syntax » Sat Dec 24, 2016 8:56 pm

I looked into it last time a ran a board. I thought it was way too expensive. You just need a windows based host, probably 2008 r2. Also need a static IP with the ability to open ports on it. I think it was going to be like $60-$80 / month when I looked into it.


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BearFather
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Re: Cloud / Virtual Servers

Post by BearFather » Sun Dec 25, 2016 10:32 am

I know there is a server out there that is ran on AWS, and I can't see how that is worth it. In truth this game you make no money on so paying for a server to host it is a losing battle.


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MiOw
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Re: Cloud / Virtual Servers

Post by MiOw » Sun Dec 25, 2016 11:05 am

Thanks, guys... it seemed more a matter of convenenience, but I suppose tossing up a little box in the corner with today's high-speed pipes is more than sufficient. Really appreciate the responses and the setup thread especially!


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tsohg
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Re: Cloud / Virtual Servers

Post by tsohg » Sun Dec 25, 2016 1:30 pm

I recently set up a board using an AWS. The oldest OS that AWS ECS2 supports is Windows Server 2003-- they will provide the OS image. From there, you can install WG and MMUD as normal on Windows 2003. I have had zero problems with the OS-- figuring out decades old software again was the hard part!

Regarding pricing, I purchased a Reserved Instance (RI) and opted for a "Partial Upfront" option in the us-east-1b AZ, which at the time (November 2016) cost $54.00. With that RI purchase, the recurring hourly charge of the EC2 instance is $0.006 per hour or about $4/month. You get all the benefits of a modern cloud platform, which is really cool. I put this board up for friends, the cost is completely reasonable for the enjoyment we've gotten out of it.

Here's the current price of a 12 month reserved instance for a Windows t2.micro server. It works out to $8.75 per month. t2.micro gets you an intel Xeon with 1GB of memory, which is plenty. In fact, I opened up an RDP port and I run MegaMUD on the very same EC2 instance that runs the BBS.

Image

Once you have the instance up and running it's pretty simple to modify the instance's Security Group and add a custom TCP Rule to open a port.

Hope that helps!


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syntax
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Re: Cloud / Virtual Servers

Post by syntax » Sun Dec 25, 2016 2:23 pm

How is 1gb of ram enough? Even server 2003 should have a minimum of 2gb for the operating system itself.


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Re: Cloud / Virtual Servers

Post by tsohg » Sun Dec 25, 2016 5:25 pm

I've never heard of a 2gb minimum for Windows 2003. Recommended system specs for Windows 2003 are 550mhz CPU and 256mb of RAM. And that seems about right- anyway, my server is running just fine. The EC2 instance is currently running 5x Megamud clients and WG on two different logged in Windows users.

Here's the current taskmgr statistics (sorry about the image sizes, I tried to scale but failed). ~500mb in use, glad I opted for the big iron t2.micro (1gb) instead of t2.nano instance (512mb)! :D Spot pricing info here: https://aws.amazon.com/ec2/pricing/on-demand/ , reserved instances cost a bit less but I recommend trying a setup before spending money up front.

Image

AWS doesn't track memory usage over time, but here's the CPU utilization over the past 6 hours (you can see where I fired up 5x Megamuds around 19:00)

Image

It's been going since November with no hiccups on the hosting/hardware side. YMMV, but it's worth a try and costs very little to set up. The spot prices on an ec2.micro instance are something like $0.017/hr currently.


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MiOw
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Re: Cloud / Virtual Servers

Post by MiOw » Mon Dec 26, 2016 3:17 pm

Looks like you can get the first year of t2.micro for free which is a sweet way to test this out! From there, easy enough to "upgrade" if needed I would assume.


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syntax
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Re: Cloud / Virtual Servers

Post by syntax » Mon Dec 26, 2016 3:21 pm

When I was looking into it I had assumed a t2.micro wasn't enough, which is where I was coming up with the ~$60 range.


tsohg
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Re: Cloud / Virtual Servers

Post by tsohg » Mon Dec 26, 2016 6:45 pm

I haven't tried to run a commercial BBS or anything-- so for me, the T2 ("burstable" -- meaning you don't reserve max performance full time-- see https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/aws/low-co ... instances/ for an explanation) instances were enough.

Syntax, I think you are probably right about pricing of non-burstable EC2 instances. Aggressive price competition is always driving the overall cost down, but I believe they are significantly more expensive than the t2 options.


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