Title: The impact of virtualisation on the performance and operational costs of Massively Multiplayer Online Games

Authors: Alexandru Iosup, Vlad Nae, Radu Prodan

Addresses: Parallel and Distributed Systems Group, Delft University of Technology, Mekelweg 4, 2628CD Delft, The Netherlands. ' Institute for Computer Science, University of Innsbruck, Technikerstrasse 21a, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria. ' Institute for Computer Science, University of Innsbruck, Technikerstrasse 21a, A-6020 Innsbruck, Austria

Abstract: To serve millions of players, Massively Multiplayer Online Game (MMOG) operators pre-provision and then maintain thousands of computer resources. We investigate a hybrid resource provisioning model that uses smaller and cheaper data centers, complemented during peak hours by virtualised cloud computing resources. Through trace-based simulation and empirical experimentation, we assess the impact of provisioning virtualised cloud resources, analyse the virtualisation overhead, and compare provisioning of virtualised resources with resource ownership. Using a simple cost model, we also investigate the costs of hosting MMOGs on the resources leased independently from three commercial cloud providers, including Amazon.

Keywords: virtualisation impact; MMOGs; massively multiplayer online games; performance; operational costs; resource provisioning; on-demand; data centres; cloud computing; Amazon EC2; gaming; computer games.

DOI: 10.1504/IJAMC.2010.036836

International Journal of Advanced Media and Communication, 2010 Vol.4 No.4, pp.364 - 386

Available online: 11 Nov 2010 *

Full-text access for editors Access for subscribers Purchase this article Comment on this article