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81. Re: More on Offline SimCity Mar 13, 2013, 17:54 JohnnyRotten
ViRGE wrote on Mar 13, 2013, 16:52:
You're being too literal. A "server" in this case would be a server cluster composed of an unknown number of nodes. There's at least one beefy machine doing all of the database work, they may have a proxy layer, nodes doing the regional simulation, etc. We have no way of knowing precisely how many individual drive a server cluster, but I'd expect there to be a lot of them handling the regional sim.

Good point - they are using Amazon's EC2 service here. There may well be a cluster of EC2 nodes with a single exposure point (EU West #4 for example). However, outside of some speculation, I can't find any evidence either way.

It's certainly possible that the PR types are saying "server" because they don't know any better.

The cluster proposition just makes it more expensive to implement with the additional items that control and centralize data for the servers (Amazon load balancing services, centralized database nodes, etc). Which leaves you with even less money for the server nodes themselves.

So at the end of the day, it doesn't change the basic problem - there isn't a lot of CPU/RAM to go around per player at any given point. The server nodes in a cluster model here would have to be cost effective at some fraction (after the re-seller cut, EA cut, the Maxis cut, etc) of a single $60 per player purchase.

I still don't see a scenario that validates the servers are doing "uber things" that can't be done locally. (A fraction of) $60 isn't a price point that makes players monopolizing consider CPU and/or RAM assets that doable - leveraging Amazon's EC2 service is not cheap at this scale.

I don't think there is a ton of assets running for this game, not unless EA wants to take a loss on it.
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