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Topic: OC Network Overhaul 2014-15

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lordnikon
rank 86
Posted:
Sat Jul 12, 2014 5:03 pm
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Hi All,

The license fees for Windows Server 2008 are increasing... and are becoming quite pricey. The prices are being dished out according to multi-processor architecture. So that means a shift from $25/mo to $50/mo just to run Windows under a dual or quad core env.

We have been running a Windows Based server due to the amount of game server applications run for OC. However, its time to step away from paying license fees, migrate as many apps as we can to Linux, and start working with Virtualization for spinning up multiple OS's within the same server ecosystem.

This is going to require quite a bit of effort over the next few weeks. So I wanted to give everyone a quick heads up that this work will be ongoing.

My goal is to get Quake 3 and TAA's master lists running on the new machine first and foremost, and spin up other services as soon as possible going forward. This means there will be some disruption to services for GC PSO. Our current server environment will be up through August 4th.

I plan to buy the new server and have it running by 7/27 so we can have a seemless switch over.

I will also respond to this thread with some status updates as things progress.

-nikon

Last edited by lordnikon on Sat Jun 20, 2015 3:53 am; edited 1 time in total
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lordnikon
rank 86
Posted:
Mon Jul 21, 2014 8:38 pm
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Progress has been made prepping a machine for local testing. As I have to simulate the entire environment locally before deploying these changes to the new server.
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lordnikon
rank 86
Posted:
Mon Jul 28, 2014 9:23 am
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The latest update: Well I can't buy the new server yet because the company cannot meet demand... so I am still waiting for them to get hardware in.

The TAA community on PS2 relies heavily on our master list to be up and running, and I am trying not to cause too long of a service disruption. Even if I can't get the new hardware I still plan on doing a software migration on the existing machine to Linux. Making a proper break away from Windows License fees is important. Its something that just has to happen regardless.

I will keep you guys updated.
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lordnikon
rank 86
Posted:
Mon Oct 27, 2014 9:54 am
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I have 2 big goals with how OC supports online gaming for the Dreamcast and beyond:

1.) Improve and overhaul our existing online infrastructure (A server migration is needed, software servers need to be enhanced/improve, and more...)
2.) Giving all users, here and abroad, the ability to spin up this very same infrastructure if they see fit to do so.

I really want the power to run and keep Dreamcast Online alive to be in the hands of the users, wherever they may be.

Last edited by lordnikon on Sat Nov 08, 2014 3:22 pm; edited 1 time in total
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fattony
rank 11
Posted:
Tue Oct 28, 2014 10:12 pm
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Sounds great I can't wait to see what you come out with
 
lordnikon
rank 86
Posted:
Mon Nov 03, 2014 11:45 pm
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Hi all!

I purchased OC's new server about a week ago. It is up and running. I have most of the VM technology worked out as a proof of concept with regards to running windows environments on the server.

I will need some volunteers to test all of OC's services once migrated over. I can test on my end, but there is only so much I can do by just connecting myself. I will need other users to connect as well to verify things are working properly.
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JacobusMaximus
rank 1
Posted:
Fri Nov 07, 2014 6:56 pm
quote : #7
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I would absolutely love to see more DC games go back online.

Almost 15 years ago I pre-ordered Shenmue at Software, etc. in the Valley River Mall in Eugene (probably a birthday present to myself.) I didn't own a Dreamcast, but I heard the game was one of the best ever (of any console) and so I hoped that by buying Shenmue, it would motivate me to get a DC. It didn't. So I've schlepped that game and strategy guide around with me through college, innumerable apartments and twelve years of marriage. Recently (a few months ago) I finally got a Dreamcast for the first time and discovered it had/has a library of some great online games (Unreal Tournament, Quake III, 4x4 Evolution, PSO, etc.) Fortunately I live almost directly between two pretty good used video game stores (and of course there's always Amazon.) I've got quite a collection of DC games (and because of the interest in online games in the DC community I'm starting to lean more that direction.) Now I'm looking into getting it online (I'm sure I have some RJ11 somewhere) hopefully upgrading to TLS/Netopia set-up...
 
lordnikon
rank 86
Posted:
Sat Nov 08, 2014 3:39 pm
quote : #8
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fattony wrote:
Sounds great I can't wait to see what you come out with

Yea I have some great plans for Quake 3 Arena. Things really took a dive when the whole RDDOS problem started causing issues for us. I had to pull OC's servers down at the time due to the constant barrage of data eating up our bandwidth. Funny part is this never would have happened if our servers were not listed in Game Tracker, but people cannot help put shove them in there to see if someone is playing on the server. Maybe I need to come up with a query tool to bridge this gap.

Other users have been hosting servers and keeping them pointed at both OC's master list and others, which has been great. However there is so much more that can be done with Quake 3 with regards to server variety, mods, and more.

JacobusMaximus wrote:
I would absolutely love to see more DC games go back online.

This thread is about OC's existing online infrastructure.
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Einhander
rank 20
Posted:
Sat Nov 08, 2014 10:43 pm
quote : #9
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JacobusMaximus wrote:
Software, etc. in the Valley River Mall in Eugene


That's awesome, I live in Eugene currently. Years back I used to work at the Game Crazy in the Gateway Mall (we were right around the corner from EB).

Nikon man, the thing I like most about this crusade is the ever-existing notion that DC server software should be freely available to anyone who wants to use it. Games are never truly "Online Forever" unless anyone with a spare PC can fire up their own servers if they should desire. If it's locked up with a person who can stop supplying it at will than it might as well not even exist.
 
lordnikon
rank 86
Posted:
Sun Nov 30, 2014 1:03 am
quote : #10
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Einhander wrote:
Nikon man, the thing I like most about this crusade is the ever-existing notion that DC server software should be freely available to anyone who wants to use it. Games are never truly "Online Forever" unless anyone with a spare PC can fire up their own servers if they should desire. If it's locked up with a person who can stop supplying it at will than it might as well not even exist.

The ideal situation is to have OC be one of the core infrastructure points for Dreamcast Online, while providing a repository for all server software, and guides on how to set everything up. That is what I am striving towards.
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lordnikon
rank 86
Posted:
Fri Dec 12, 2014 2:26 am
quote : #11
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An update:

I have been working on an abstraction layer to spinup VM's quickly and manage them easily. I worked on it during much of October, and recently in the past week. Running a virtualized OS is not complicated in and of itself. However running 3-4 of them, and networking them all on a remote server, having them secure, and making it easy to save their states and power them down during system reboots or modifications is quite the task.

Once completed OC will have a sort of micro-cloud to house our server infrastructure. Allowing us to run all types of legacy sofware regardless of OS. If a server requires a legacy version of XP with older service packs, we can support it.
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lordnikon
rank 86
Posted:
Sat Dec 20, 2014 2:19 pm
quote : #12
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Posts: 5893
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Update for 12/20:

I had to recompile the system kernel on our new server, which was a bit of an adventure. I also have the virtualization technology working, and the network topography almost fully mapped out. This is heading towards having a more proper DC PSO Online server, with wider public access. Services that rely on IRC like 4x4 Evo or Starlancer may not get implemented until early 2015, as I have to fully learn how to secure an IRC server and scope its functionaility down to just support the tech we need it for.

Another piece of good news: We will be able to run OC Q3 servers again, in a VM, and experiment with ip table configurations that can thwart RRDOS attacks on the q3/ioquake protocol.

More to come! I am working on this all day today actually Smile
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willis
rank 5
Posted:
Sun Dec 21, 2014 1:33 am
quote : #13
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Posts: 35
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That is great news to hear! Keep the updates coming and I hope 2015 will be a good year for online Dreamcast games
 
lordnikon
rank 86
Posted:
Wed Dec 24, 2014 7:29 pm
quote : #14
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Update 12/24:

Redirection Server has been built, and the core Windows environment has been started. Full migration of existing services on our current server to the new server is just around the corner. More details as they develop.
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lordnikon
rank 86
Posted:
Wed Dec 31, 2014 3:02 pm
quote : #15
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Posts: 5893
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Update: 12/31

The network switchover will be taking place today. Your network configs will need to be updated with a new IP Address for OC's DNS server.

I will be posting these details shortly.
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