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What will I need to run this kind of server?

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
I'm new here and joined because I wanted to ask you guys this tricky question. Please bear with me and read this post, because I know some of you guys will have the answer.

For the past month I've been hosting a minecraft server from Multiplay.co.uk/clanforge. (It costs around 5 USD a month for 600mb ram and 8 players slots). However, I have become increasingly frustrated with the problems I've run into that involve hosting from a company. One example is that there is no config file backup feature. Yesterday I lost a lot of information because of a glitch that erased one of my files. If I had been running the server on my own computer I would have definitely backed up the entire set of files.

My question is this: I know there are people (lots of people) who host Minecraft servers on their own computers. I want to run my own server on my own machine, and preferably have no lag for my users and around 20- possibly 50 player slots. What materials will I need to do this? I have 2 macbook pros (2.4 ghz w/ 4gb ram) but I use them both regularly. If I could, I would definitely buy a server machine for a couple hundred dollars to use to host the server (pardon my complete noobiness, but I do assume that that's what they're for?) What machine would you recommend? How fast would my internet need to be? Is there anything else I would need other than a "server" machine?

btw, I'm not planning on renting out servers, I just want a setup that can run my own server very well.

Thank you!
post #2 of 15
Why not have some scripts that can run that will back up the files?
post #3 of 15
For that many players you'd need at LEAST a 10mbps upload package from your ISP. Depending on where you are that may not be possible even with a business class link. Residential lines normally tap out at 5mbps on the high-end. There are a few exceptions, however.

Beyond that, Minecraft isn't all that intensive. You can get a decent server setup from desktop parts for around $400-$500 with a quad-core CPU, 8GB of RAM and a decent mobo, which would be more than enough for a Minecraft server. If you're really concerned about data loss invest in a pair of enterprise grade RAID drives (Samsung Spinpoint F3Rs can be had for $80 a pop) and do a RAID 1.


But yeah, biggest hurdle is going to be the network bandwidth. 20+ players is going to take a decent amount of bandwidth, 50 I'd question the ability to run even with a 10mbps upload speed - but I'm not the foremost Minecraft expert around.
    
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2x 500gb Seagates RAID 0, 1x 500gb non-RAID Windows 7 Professional x64 ASUS 24'' VH242H / Spectre 24'' WS Corsair 750TX 
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post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TurboTurtle View Post
For that many players you'd need at LEAST a 10mbps upload package from your ISP. Depending on where you are that may not be possible even with a business class link. Residential lines normally tap out at 5mbps on the high-end. There are a few exceptions, however.

Beyond that, Minecraft isn't all that intensive. You can get a decent server setup from desktop parts for around $400-$500 with a quad-core CPU, 8GB of RAM and a decent mobo, which would be more than enough for a Minecraft server. If you're really concerned about data loss invest in a pair of enterprise grade RAID drives (Samsung Spinpoint F3Rs can be had for $80 a pop) and do a RAID 1.


But yeah, biggest hurdle is going to be the network bandwidth. 20+ players is going to take a decent amount of bandwidth, 50 I'd question the ability to run even with a 10mbps upload speed - but I'm not the foremost Minecraft expert around.
I went to speedtest.net to check my internet speed and I got Ping-10ms, Download speed-28mbps, Upload speed-9.18mbps for one computer, and Ping-27ms, Download speed-12.6mbps and Upload speed 9.16mbps on the other computer (which was running a lot more). Do you think I should upgrade my internet if I want to host more slots? (this is my internet provider page - http://www.netvigator.com/eng/)

Your idea for a setup sounds very interesting. However, while I am very unfamiliar with server setups. Would I have to make this setup myself from parts or could I buy it as a set? Once I've bought it, would I be set to run the server?

Also, if I kept the server running 24/7 would it slow down my home internet connection?

Thanks so much for the replies, they're exactly what I need!
post #5 of 15
I doubt it would make any impact if it were at your house.
While Minecraft does require a good upload speed, it's not that demanding.
post #6 of 15
For the upload speed, you won't even notice the difference between the upload speed, it would be different if you were uploading files 24/7 you will notice a difference however minecraft I doubt will do that to your connection.
post #7 of 15
Network bandwidth is usually the biggest issue, any PC from around four years ago or newer should be okay as a Minecraft server as long as you bump it up to at least 2 GB RAM.

I have a Minecraft server running on my sig rig and it never affects performance. Uses a few percentage points of CPU under load and occasionally up to 700 MB of RAM. My problem is our bandwidth. I live in a small town and we have the best Internet package available which only has 768k upload (10 Mb download). Some lag can occur when we have 4 - 5 players online, and it can't realistically support more than 7 - 8 players. I have a desktop gadget to show me network usage, each player uses between 50 - 200 Kbps upload depending on where they are and how busy the world is.

You should be fine if you have ~9Mbps upload.
post #8 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the help guys.

Renting a 2gb server with 20+ slots would cost around 30USD+ a month, meaning 360USD+ a year. If as TurboTurtle said, I could buy a small server setup for 500USD I would definitely do so. I went to my internet provider page and I think I found the plan I am on:


PC requirements for 30M
CPU:
Pentium D
Pentium Dual Core
Pentium Extreme
Pentium 4
Pentium4 Extreme
Xeon
ItaniumCore Duo
Core Duo ULV
Core i3
Core i7Core 2
Core 2 Duo
Core 2 Solo
Core 2 Extreme
Core 2 QuadAtom
All modelAll modelAll modelAll model
1GHz & above1GHz & above1GHz & above800MHz & above
System Memory:
1GB RAM Minimum

Operating system:
Windows XP
Windows Vista
Window 7

Required connection ports:
an Ethernet port (100/1000BaseT) or Wireless 802.11g/n if using a Wireless Modem

I'm not quite sure what 30M means, but is this reasonable to run a 20 slot server on? Or would I need to upgrade to another plan from the list? (http://cs.netvigator.com/support/bro...ment_pc_e.html) Also, back to what Turbo Turtle was saying, where would I buy a "small server setup" from?

Thanks for helping me out and sorry if my server-tech newbiness is unbearable!
post #9 of 15
Like I said, for home servers, desktop parts are enough (more than so in most cases). Actual server hardware (IE Xeon processors and server boards) cost a ton more.

Here's a quick parts list I threw together that would be sufficient for Minecraft for a while, and has enough power to it to do some other functions as well if you wanted it to.

Motherboard: ASUS M4A88TD-M - Can drop in a six core AMD processor later if required (unlikely) and supports ECC RAM if you want to use it. I use this board in a home file/streaming server and it rocks. $94.99

Processor: AMD Athlon II x4 - Quad core is far more than enough for Minecraft. Plenty of power to use the server for other purposes to. $79.99

Memory: 2x4GB Crucial DDR3 RAM - 8GB is going to be overkill for most Minecraft servers, but if you want 20-50 players, you start to use up resources. 8GB I would imagine to be fine, but if it's not you still have two slots left on the board since these are 4GB DIMMs. $38.99 each. Or, if you want to use ECC these are the ECC version of the above. $58.99 each.

Hard drive: Western Digital 500GB RE4 - Enterprise grade RAID drives. Get two and toss them in a RAID 1. If you know Linux, I'd recommend using the Linux MDADM RAID controller. $79.99 each.

Power Supply: Corsair CX500 - 500W is a bit more than you'd need with the above, but it gives you some extra headroom to account for capacitor aging, and expanding the server if you so choose. Plus, Corsair makes some of the best PSUs in the business. $59.99


All you'd need besides that is a case. Just make sure to get one with decent ventilation. The Antec 300 comes to mind, but it may be a big for your taste for a home server. Just don't skimp on the fans.


So, all in total that comes to $533 including the Antec 300. For the OS I'd recommend Debian Linux. Extremely stable, and even if you don't know Linux it's easy to learn.
    
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7 970 @ 4.0 GHz 1.22 Vcore Asus Rampage II Gene GTX 260 216SP G.SKILL PI 3x2gb DDR3 1600 @ 7-8-7-24 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
2x 500gb Seagates RAID 0, 1x 500gb non-RAID Windows 7 Professional x64 ASUS 24'' VH242H / Spectre 24'' WS Corsair 750TX 
Case
Corsair 300R 
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CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
Core i7 970 @ 4.0 GHz 1.22 Vcore Asus Rampage II Gene GTX 260 216SP G.SKILL PI 3x2gb DDR3 1600 @ 7-8-7-24 
Hard DriveOSMonitorPower
2x 500gb Seagates RAID 0, 1x 500gb non-RAID Windows 7 Professional x64 ASUS 24'' VH242H / Spectre 24'' WS Corsair 750TX 
Case
Corsair 300R 
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post #10 of 15
Repeat after me: RAID is not the same as BACKUP!

If something glitches and your files are deleted, that change will instantly be committed across your RAID array, and you will lose your files, regardless of how much redundancy you have.

You use RAID to maintain your uptime when a disk fails, but not for backups. In ideal situation would be to have your server in RAID, with a tool (Rsync?) that backs up every day, but keeps the files for, say, a week. Minecraft worlds aren't that big, so the storage shouldn't be a problem.

You can store your backups on the same server if you lack the budget of building another file server for backups, just makes sure those backup files are also mirrored in your raid array
    
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Hitachi 500 GB Sata iHas 120 Windows 7 Pro x64 u2711 (27", 2560x1440, H-IPS) 
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Generic Dell Combat Power 750W Aerotech PGS Bx-500 Logitech Rx300 
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