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I am not an expert so I would ask to you please. We are looking for a dedicated server for minecraft for our community, we have two options:

1.

Intel® Core™ i7-2600 Quadcore 3.40GHz
incl. Hyper-Threading Technology
RAM 32 GB DDR3 RAM
Hard disks2 x 3 TB SATA 6 Gb/s HDD 7200 rpm (Software-RAID 1)NIC1 GBit OnBoard
Ubuntu
Ping 61 average

2.

Intel(R) Xeon(R) CPU W3520  @ 2.67GHz
RAM 24 GB DD3
Hard disk 2 TB
Ubuntu
Ping 41 average

So is more important the ping in a server or the hardware, and the 20 ping of difference what will change?

For our server we need high ram (ramdisk) and high cpu (server use single thread) so we prefer the first option but have more ping, and we don't know what means.

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closed as off topic by MDMarra, Massimo, sysadmin1138 Feb 11 '12 at 17:26

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Your question is not clear. What do you mean by ping 41 average? Is this average response time or something else? –  Khaled Feb 11 '12 at 14:56
    
You're setting up a Minecraft server. Is Minecraft a game that requires hair trigger reflexes? –  cjc Feb 11 '12 at 15:28
    
What has this to do with ubuntu at all?!? –  Massimo Feb 11 '12 at 15:30
    
@Khaled my friend told me this, i don't know what means, I think is the first think. –  user109732 Feb 11 '12 at 15:48
    
@cjc I don't know what are you talking about. –  user109732 Feb 11 '12 at 15:48

4 Answers 4

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Hardware performance and network latency (ping) are two completely unrelated things.

You should tailor your server's hardware configuration to your application requirements, based on the number of users that will be accessing it; this will require some benchmarking, of course. I don't know what load Minecraft poses on servers, nor do I know how many users are in your community, so it's impossible to tell you if one given hardware configuration will be enough for your needs, or if you will need more.

Network latency varies based on two main factors: the server's Internet connection, and the user's Internet connection; no hosting provider can tell you "we'll give you 60 ms ping time", because the only thing they can talk about is their Internet connection's bandwidth and latency, but they can't possibly say anything meaningful about how much latency a given user will have when connecting to their server (they could connect from completely different countries... and, of course, even two different ISPs in the same city can have completely different performance).

About what is more important: it depends on the service you're offering. There are games which can't be played with even a minimal latency (i.e. FPSes), and there are ones which just don't care so much about it; and, of course, there are games which need more CPU/RAM/storage than others.

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Thanks this is the answer I was looking for, thanks. Do you know how can I know how much is important for this game the latency? –  user109732 Feb 11 '12 at 16:48
    
By asking someone who actually plays the game and/or manages a game server? –  Massimo Feb 11 '12 at 16:54
    
We have tried to ask to other community, nobody have the answer (or they want to mantaine the secret, because some community use the game to make money), we don't know what to do, there is a software that could help please? –  user109732 Feb 11 '12 at 16:59
1  
If you can't get an "official" answer, the only way to know how much important latency is for Minecraft is to try playing it with various latency levels and see when it's playable and when it's not. A bandwidth/latency simulator like WANem can help: wanem.sourceforge.net. Place it between a test server and a test client, and see what happens. –  Massimo Feb 11 '12 at 17:12
    
Thanks again Massimo, you are been very helpful. Thanks –  user109732 Feb 11 '12 at 17:15

Ping is an ICMP echo request. It is a (poor) way of measuring latency. Basically, it's marketing jargon from your host that doesn't really mean anything meaningful. Latency would change depending on where you are accessing the server from, among other things.

Basically, you should contact them, tell them what you need, and ask them what the hell they actually measure ping latency from and why they even bother since it's a shitty metric. If they're a good host, they'll sell you what you need. If they're shady, they'll try and up-sell you like crazy.

Without you doing your own benchmarking and testing, you're at the whim of salespeople.

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My friend took the ping from their website via shell, not them. We are in Italy and they German (ping 61) and the other France (ping 41). We have done the benchmarking but we don't know what is more important. –  user109732 Feb 11 '12 at 15:50
    
The you haven't benchmarked correctly. –  MDMarra Feb 11 '12 at 15:53
    
Also, just because their sales website has a specific response time, doesn't mean that their servers for rent are hosted in the same data center. It sounds like you have no clue what you're doing, tbh. We're a community of professional systems admins, we're not here to hold your hand. –  MDMarra Feb 11 '12 at 15:55
    
Ok, so please leave this matter and answer the main question please. So is more important the ping in a server or the hardware, and the 20 ping of difference what will change? –  user109732 Feb 11 '12 at 16:03
2  
I agree, helping you pick out a machine for your game server really doesn't fall under the scope of this site. –  devicenull Feb 11 '12 at 16:35

Pings vary by where they originate from, as they travel across the Internet. For example, a server in California may not be the best idea if your community is "The City of Portland, ME". If you have a geographically diverse community, you probably can't make a decision that will please all of your community members.

As MDMarra said, listening to a salesperson talk about ping times is going to get you nowhere. Some may recall the KillerNIC ads by KillerGaming that advertised changing your pings from 40ms to -16ms*. Salespeople are not to be trusted.

* Only possible with time travel.

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-16 ms?!? It's really amazing what marketing can come up with... –  Massimo Feb 11 '12 at 15:28

I see you are choosing beetween OVH and Hetzner.

I would choose Hetzner server with 32 GB RAM. Don't use OVH they have very bad hardware, the disks are horrible and failing in about 1-2 months. I've replaced 16 drives in on year ! Now I'm using Hetnzer and no issues at all !

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Thanks for the answer, but we are scared that the latency can increase the lag in the server, hoping that somebody has the final answer. Thanks again –  user109732 Feb 11 '12 at 17:02
    
weathermap.ovh.net - take a look how their network is overloaded. –  Spacedust Feb 11 '12 at 18:54

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