Hardware

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What 32GB RAM looks like

The MinecraftOnline.com server has gone through multiple iterations, and is constantly evolving. From the outset it has been hosted on real hardware in data centres, which have had to scale up as the playerbase, size of the world, and overall demand increased.

Contents

Primary servers

Hemingway

The old man and the seaweed.

Hemingway's host
  • Debian Linux 5, Stable
  • 512MB RAM later upgraded to 1.5GB
  • Dual Pentium 4
  • 100MBit/s full-duplex connection, zero contention

MinecraftOnline.com was started on hemingway within the first hour of Notch releasing the minecraft multiplayer executable. This was an existing production machine, serving several commercial .coms, so the server was able to be run for free on spare capacity.

However, the demands of the memory-hungry java virtual machine rapidly outstripped the meagre amount of RAM available, and a donation system was started in order to allow the renting of a superior system (See Revenant below). Services were migrated to Revenant in May 2011.

Despite being considerably outdated, Hemingway was not decommissioned until January 2013 having continued to run web services uninterrupted throughout that time.

Revenant

Revenant

  • Debian Linux 6, Stable
  • 8GB RAM
  • Quad i5 2.8Ghz
  • 2x 80GB SSD drives in RAID-1
  • 2x 1000GB SATA drives in RAID-1
  • 100MBit/s full-duplex connection, zero contention

Initially the entire minecraft homedir and world were hosted on a ramdrive (a portion of the RAM sectioned off, emulating a hard drive) which allowed blistering read speeds - however, as simultaneous player numbers rose to an average of 60, memory proved to once more be the limiting factor and the ramdrive was deactivated in order to allocate 7GB of memory to Java, with the remainder being used on the map generator. Revenant was in service and testing from February 2011. Following the creation of Roppongi, Revenant was decommissioned as surplus to requirements in May 2011.

Roppongi

Roppongi

MinecraftOnline's Party District.

  • Debian Linux 6, Stable
  • 32GB RAM
  • 8x Xeon X3440 2.53GHz
  • Minecraft and web dirs on SSD drive
  • 2x 2000GB SAS drives in RAID-1
  • 1000MBit/s full-duplex connection, zero contention

With the further success of the donation system, a class-leading machine was requisitioned, and entered public testing on 22 April 2011. Named for an area in Tokyo famous for its nightlife, Roppongi is most notable for its large allocation of RAM and generous internet connection, which permits MinecraftOnline to have an entirely lag-free capacity of up to 260 players online simultaneously. Roppongi was decommissioned in January 2013, replaced by Renegade.

Renegade

Renegade

MinecraftOnline's Rebellious Side.

  • Debian Linux 7, Experimental
  • 32GB DDR3 RAM running at 1333MHz
  • 8x Xeon E3-1245 V2 3.4GHz
  • 2x 2000GB SAS drives in RAID-1
  • 1GB/s (1000MBit/s) full-duplex connection, zero contention

A more efficient and powerful replacement for Roppongi, building on the previous long-term success of that machine's setup and complementing it with 34% faster processors and 2x faster hard drives, 66% faster RAM with the option to increase capacity in future if necessary, and memory bandwidth approximately twice that of Roppongi. This machine was brought online in January 2013 and retired in October 2014.

Ruthless

Ruthless

MinecraftOnline's Uncompromising Aspect.

  • Debian Linux 7, Experimental
  • 32GB DDR3 RAM running at 1333MHz
  • 8x Xeon E3-1240 V2 3.4GHz
  • 2x 2000GB SAS drives in RAID-1
  • 1GB/s (1000MBit/s) guaranteed full-duplex connection, zero contention

Basically the same specifications as Renegade, the upgrade is primarily in considerably increased guaranteed network bandwidth. Since the specifications of Renegade had proved adequate for purpose previously, there has been no need to increase processor or memory specification and minimising cost is a priority. Another motivation for migration was to get away from OVH's consistently poor customer service. This machine was brought online in October 2014 and is presently in operation.

Test servers

In addition to the primary production server, Minecraftonline also uses a variety of dedicated private test servers, for trying out variations on existing software, updates, and other experimental changes that would otherwise prove risky to the main server.

Pururin

Pururin

Purupuru Pururin Rin!

  • Debian Linux 6, Stable
  • 8GB RAM
  • 4x Athlon II 605e 2.3GHz
  • 2x 1000GB SAS drives in RAID-1
  • 100MBit/s full-duplex connection, zero contention

Named after the magical princess character in "Welcome to the NHK", Pururin is a dedicated test server. It is colocated in the same data centre as Roppongi, to permit file transfers at a full 100Mbit/s between the two machines for optimal updating efficiency. This machine hosts several versions of the MinecraftOnline server and is used to try out new plugins, Canary releases, and testing all sorts of additional software and code before unleashing it on the production server. Pururin was brought online on the 22nd of August, 2011 and remained in service at 100% duty without a reboot (totaling over 500 days uninterrupted uptime) until January 2013, when it was replaced by Obrussa.

Obrussa

Obrussa

The Touchstone of Ideas.

  • Debian Linux 7, Experimental
  • 8GB RAM
  • 4x Intel i3-2130 3.4GHz
  • 2x 1000GB SAS drives in RAID-1
  • 1000MBit/s full-duplex connection, zero contention

Named for the latin word "test" or "touchstone", this server is the latest generation testbed for Minecraftonline and Voxelstorm projects, as well as side-projects and private user accounts for irc and web hosting. Upgraded for its considerably faster CPUs, 2x greater memory bandwidth and 50% faster disks than Pururin, this testbed allows superior compile times. In service from January 2013 until October 2014, having accrued over 500 days uninterrupted uptime like Pururin before it.

Borealis

Borealis

The Northern Wind.

  • Debian Linux 7, Experimental
  • 16GB RAM
  • 8x Intel i7-3770 3.4GHz
  • 2x 3TB SAS drives in RAID-1
  • 1000MBit/s full-duplex connection, zero contention

A multirole server acting as off-site backup for other machines, a high-availability IRC host for multiple users running irssi in screen, as well as the former testing roles VoxelStorm and MinecraftOnline, plus other private user accounts and web hosting. Upgraded for higher RAM and larger disks to increase its flexibility. Launched in October 2014 and in service presently.


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