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What is a cold storage and what is it used for? I'm not sure if I should use cold storage in my game. I heard it can be used for chat logs, however I'd rather someone here answer all my questions.

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The "temperature" of different data storage layers usually refers to how fast that data can be accessed. Different levels of "temperature" from hottest to coldest are:

  • In the gameserver's memory
  • In an in-memory database or in-memory caching layer
  • In a ssd-backed database
  • In a hdd-backed database
  • In a flatfile
  • In a compressed flatfile
  • Offsite Backup

Note that these are just examples. Not every game will use exactly these tiers of data storage. There might also be sub-layers like indexed vs. non-indexed and denormalized vs. normalized data structures.

When you have data which you need to access very frequently, like the data of characters which are currently on-line, you would want to move them to a "hotter" storage layer. When you have data which you need to access very rarely, you will want to move them to a "colder" layer.

Old chatlogs are data which you usually archive just in case you need to investigate some reported TOS violation at a later date. Most of your chatlogs won't be accessed ever, and in those cases where you do need to access them, performance isn't very important. So they are a usually a candidate for colder storage layers (if you want to archive them at all).

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Also, what happens when they're no longer held in the server? Does that mean they're deleted? \$\endgroup\$ – Letsgetit May 16 '18 at 9:52
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Letsgetit Maybe deleted, maybe archived to a file... It really depends on your specific requirements and legal circumstances. \$\endgroup\$ – Philipp May 16 '18 at 9:56

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