Lag Woes... Help??

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I_Died_Once
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Lag Woes... Help??

Post by I_Died_Once » Fri Mar 11, 2005 3:56 am

Well, I know my problem/solution off the bat is gonna be "get a better connection"

My little homebrew server has been attracting more and more people as of late, and I reckon I'm experiencing growing pains.

Server is an old Pentium 4, 1.4 ghz processor machine with 256 megs of RAM... BZFS from 2.0 is running on a computer being ran by SuSE Linux 9.2 (hollar!) Dedicated computer running nothing but bzfs via a terminal (unless it's running random screen savers, or if KDE counts for anything)

All behind my home, personal, Comcast High Speed internet modem.

I'm loving it that I'm seeing so many returning faces all the time. I like having an admin staff willing to watch for cheaters. I even like getting occasional emails from people wanting to be admin that can't follow directions posted in the server message. It's all really neat and gratifying.

But the biggest and most problematic issue I am facing is lag! Nooo! I know, "get a better connection" - but is there ANYTHING I can do to make things better?

Remember all the heat I got for having "This Space For Rent" in my server message? Well, I'm starting to wish someone would take me up on it, 'cause I'd really like to accommodate everyone. Imagine seeing "Planet MoFo has been bought to you by Rice-A-Roni, the San Francisco Treat!!!" If it'd pay for a connection...

Anyone wanna donate a T1 line?

Seriously, if anyone has any secrets locked away that might free up ANY bandwidth, or help make any optimizations... It'd rule.
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Post by JeffM » Fri Mar 11, 2005 5:10 am

what is your upstream bandwith? some numbrs would help.
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Post by I_Died_Once » Fri Mar 11, 2005 4:39 pm

JeffM2501 wrote:what is your upstream bandwith? some numbrs would help.
How exactly would one go about doing this, short of calling the cable company and getting lost in the automated answering system and being given the runaround?
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Post by toaster » Fri Mar 11, 2005 4:51 pm

There are a lot of sites where you can run bandwidth tests.
This is one of them.

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Post by JeffM » Fri Mar 11, 2005 5:01 pm

http://www.dslreports.com/stest
is also a good site that has a bunch of tests.

Usualy on your bill it will say what your connection is rated at as well. Alot of cable modems are caped at 128k upload. That limits the number of players you can host before your upstream pipe is flooded.
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Post by RPG » Fri Mar 11, 2005 8:47 pm

Also, with Comcast part of their AUP (acceptable use policy) is that you are not allowed to run servers. They never caught me, but my server was never high-traffic like yours.

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Post by 1veedo » Fri Mar 11, 2005 9:46 pm

Yeah, Cable isnt the best to run servers w/ because it uses shared resources. To make sure their network stays fast and efficient they geenrally do not allow servers. However...I run both my website and my bzfalg over cable though.

You can probably go to your ISP's website to get offical info. Tests can sometiems give wierd numbers and can be a pain to run voer and over again.

Not all companies do though. I know Charter advertises 3m as 2X faster the Verison DSL Verison does not say anyware on their website that they run 1.5m/128, unless you find their AUP and other "fine print".
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Post by I_Died_Once » Fri Mar 11, 2005 10:35 pm

RPG wrote:Also, with Comcast part of their AUP (acceptable use policy) is that you are not allowed to run servers. They never caught me, but my server was never high-traffic like yours.
Would ya really consider mine to be high-traffic? I honestly wouldn't know, because six months ago; I never heard of BZ Flag, so I hardly know what the norm is, truth be told. I know when I've had my server up for more than thirty minutes, I'm usually right below secretplace, viper's, and the Hepcat server on the master server list. First page, usually.

And leave it up to me to be violating my ISP's terms of service. (Ain't it lovely how I just break all the rules and P.O. most everyone I come in contact with, even on the internet?)

I'm not home at the moment, but I'll post the figure when I get there.

Too bad my job's got firewalls and IT people out the yin yang. Otherwise, I'd make good of this T1 I'm on right now.

Again... T1 line? Anyone?
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use the force!

Post by stinkingpig » Sat Mar 12, 2005 6:09 pm

You've got a Linux box to work with... while there's not a lot you can do about the cable company mucking with you, you can do something about any other stuff that's going on.

Note, this can be a lot of work, but them's the breaks when you're trying to avoid spending lots of money :-)

a) hook up the server directly to your cable modem, demoting any $50 piece of s*** from linksys/netgear/whatever.

b) enable routing and install shorewall. Configure as necessary.

c) install wondershaper. Configure as necessary.

Doing this will help you prioritize bzflag over any other traffic you have.

Fun server, by the way :)
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Post by wiz » Sun Mar 13, 2005 4:52 pm

You have a lot of shots with a short reload time. Bullets consume server bandwidth - and you have lots of them flying around. I can't quantify how much bandwidth each bullet consumes, but I can't imagine it's insignificant.

You also are configured for quite a few players - many more than a typical cable/dsl connection can support. Most servers with 256kbps upload start to lag badly by the time they get 9 or 10 players. Observers also take bandwidth - not as much as players, but they do use some.

And forgive me if I'm stating the obvious (there will be newbies that read this at some point in time too) but if you have more than one computer on your home network, they suck bandwidth too when they are using your internet connection. Especially if they are doing any filesharing, but even incidental use can affect you. While your BZFlag server uses mainly upstream bandwdith, large downloads require a fair amount of upstream bandwidth as well - certainly enough to affect your server bandwidth. And file sharing - forget about it. That'll kill your server faster than an Overeaters Anonymous convention at an all-you-can-eat buffet.

Besides the recommendation to use some kind of QoS (quality of service) or bandwidth shaping, I'd suggest lowering the maximum number of players (remembering that observers aren't "free"). I'd also consider limiting the bullet count.

One of the responsibilities of a server operator is to judge why their players like their server, and then to balance those factors against the resources available to them. If your players come to your server because they like lots of shots, then you might have to make more drastic cuts on the number of players. If they like the "non-restrictive" rules/code-of-conduct, or if they just like your map, then you can hack away at both players and bullets and not upset too many people.

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Post by M1A2AbramsTank » Tue Mar 15, 2005 7:33 pm

hey what's your now, i have a 458 kbps up and 4006 kbps down, could that help at all?
I'm baaaaaaaaack!

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Post by RPG » Tue Mar 15, 2005 9:57 pm

Well that's your speed, not his. So that wouldn't help much, seeing that you and him most likely aren't in the same house using the same internet line.

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Post by I_Died_Once » Mon Mar 28, 2005 4:37 pm

M1A2AbramsTank just wishes he was in the same house, sharing my connection! Ha!

Sorry for taking so long to get back on this. I am a world class slacker.

I ran the tests, and to make it short, I got a damn good cable connection, rating right below a T1 line. OK, a little below. But definately more than an average cable ordeal. This is why I am able to host so many player (more than the reccomended) before the lag blues set in.

Before, I had the maximum number of shots set to max, 20. I have cut it down to 10, and that has helped a good bit. I do miss my 20 shots though. 10 should do though. I also have further limited the number of players allowed. That I hated doing more than anything.

Currently, I allow 2 rogues, 3 of everything else.

As far as disabling my LAN and devoting the modem to just my server computer - no can do. I have 4 home computers and they all serve specific functions, and they must all be online. Only one of these machines is booted into windows primarily, but I keep it shut down most of the time. I do more than host bz flag, yo. I have stopped running file sharing clients most of the time. And I have enable encryption on my wireless router, cause I found where a nieghbor has been surfing on my dime.

I did alter my map and took out the NE, NW, SW, and SE pyramids. More open space. Yay.

Still a work in progress
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