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My small team is approaching initial closed alpha for testing, however that has brought up the question of whether it is a good idea to host our official game instances from my home office or not. I've run a few dedicated servers before on my home PC (have 3 active as a service at the moment actually) so I'm not unfamiliar with the process. However I'm looking into building a server PC specifically to fulfill that singular purpose. I have google fiber 1000mbps so I don't think I'll have bandwidth issues. But I wonder if any of you have advice and insight into what I should expect, dangers to avoid, etc.

Here's what I anticipate, am I missing anything?:

  1. Masking home IP via dynamic DNS service - (pointing to a website to login rather than an IP)
  2. Running multiple VMs on a single server to easily manage server resources
  3. Initially testing with a few selected users
  4. Eventually open up to more users once proven stable
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  • \$\begingroup\$ What about using virtual machines from DigitalOcean? \$\endgroup\$ Apr 12, 2018 at 18:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ As a first step you could do this, but also have some plans on future capacity. Keep an eye on cloud hosting or at least external. What ever you do at home, just plan to allow for future changes. \$\endgroup\$
    – ErnieDingo
    Apr 12, 2018 at 22:12

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I once calculated the cost of buying a server and hosting it at home vs. renting an equivalent one from a cloud hoster for a couple years. I came to the conclusion that the hoster was in fact cheaper. Some things you might forget to account for:

There are also a few things you get by renting a server from a professional hoster which are hard to express in money:

  • Better physical security. Ever heard of a game going offline because a burglar broke into a datacenter?
  • Better availability (power outages, internet outages, etc.). Do you have an UPS and standby generator at home?
  • Better protection from denial-of-service attacks. Yes, some people do get that angry when you ban them from your game. I've seen that more than once.
  • It is very easy to upgrade and downgrade your hardware as needed (often with just a few clicks). This is especially useful when you can't yet estimate how much server capacity you will actually need.
  • You can pick the geographic location (to a certain degree) to place the server closest to where your main player base is located.
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  • \$\begingroup\$ Yeah, I've considered such. Think I should just rely on rented servers in general? Is it possible to have it as my own actual instance with remote desktop so i can install my game and configure it how I like? I want to replicate user experience as much as I can and am unfamiliar with the limitations of rented servers. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ahddib
    Apr 12, 2018 at 19:08
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Ahddib We can not make your business decisions for you. When you rent a Windows server, you usually administrate it via Remote Desktop. When you rent a Linux server, you usually use an SSH shell, but you can install a desktop environment and use VNC if you want to. \$\endgroup\$
    – Philipp
    Apr 12, 2018 at 19:14
  • \$\begingroup\$ Good point about opinion. Thanks, I'm pretty new here. \$\endgroup\$
    – Ahddib
    Apr 12, 2018 at 19:23

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