Allocations vs Reservations

Feature Matrix

Option 1 - Allocations Option 2 - Reservations
Game Templating All Features All Features
Advanced Scaling All Features Limited Features
Game Process Management All Features All Features
Game Image Management All Features All Features
Monitoring & Stats All Features All Features
Automatic Defragmentation Yes No
Cost Based Session Placement Yes No
Changes to Matchmaker Services Minimal Moderate

Advanced Scaling

Reservations cannot operate different versions of the gameserver concurrently and scale effectively from total capacity.

For example if Xbox, PS4 and PC versions all required different versions of the gameserver files or if you wanted to run multiple games from the same fleet you could only do this via a Multiplay Allocation fleet.

With allocations we can also remove machines from the fleet without dynamically and quickly without communication with the matchmaker for things such as maintenance.

Automatic Defragmentation

Multiplay allocations effectively scales down instances always ensuring the least cost effective instance is marked for shutdown over multiple cloud and bare metal instances. In a reservation fleet, the matchmaker uses any instances that are available from a pool of gameservers. The pool of gameservers expands to fulfil the requirements of the increasing users, however if the matchmaker uses a round robin or scattergun approach (using no logic to place players) it results in Virtual machines staying around longer.

This is because Multiplay waits for a instance(VM) to become idle in the reservation system before we can shutdown and/or delete, we see around 16%-20% loss in downscaling efficiencies as a result. This number is hard to qualify as it depends on session length and if the game has the ability to replay additional matches on the same gameserver.

Because of this we recommend the Multiplay allocation system over the Multiplay reservations to any new customer.

Cost based instant placement

Simply put Allocations will always prefer the most cost effective provider. This is not just Metal Vs Cloud but it can determine the most cost effective instance over multiple cloud and bare metal providers and if needed over multiple locations. With reservations this is not possible as Clanforge is not making the decisions on gameservers.

This can be mitigated with changes to the matchmaker, as we can pass information to the gameserver to let it know what type of infrastructure it is hosted on. However this requires changes to the gameserver and the matchmaker to effectively use this information.