Now it is all well and good writing a blog post that gives you a bunch of information on the difference between cloud, bare metal, and using a hybrid approach, but what you really want to know is how does this actually work out when it comes to the cost? Don’t worry, we have got you covered!
In the following example, let’s imagine you are building a 5v5 shooter game (Think competitive CS:GO or something along those lines) You have developed a pretty optimized game server that uses 1vCPU and 2GB of RAM maximum. Your game is doing well and you are getting 1000 concurrent players each week, and you peak at 1500 players on most weekends. With those assumptions, let's put together a price estimate.
If you were to use only cloud, then you would need to pick an instance type that covers the resource usage of your game server. In this case, the instance type chosen would give you 2vCPU and 4GB of RAM which would be enough to cover 2 game servers, or 20 players. With it being Cloud, you are going to be billed by the hour. In this case you are looking at $0.077 per hour. Now in order to keep the maths a bit easier here, we are going to assume that you want your cloud instances online for an entire month, the same as if you were using dedicated bare metal. (In a real world situation, this is unlikely to be the case). In order to cover your 1500 player peak, you will need a total of 75 cloud instances. You will also need to keep them online for 730 hours (1 month). Doing the math, this works out to a cost of $4,215.75 for the entire month. (75 x 0.077) x 730 = 4215,75. Even if you managed to optimize your setup so your cloud instance usage was half of this, you are still looking at a more expensive hosting setup when compared to bare metal.
Bare metal only
If you were to use only bare metal you would need to choose a specific hardware type. In this case, this is going to be an Intel Silver E-2288G with 32GB of RAM. This bit of hardware is exceptionally powerful and can often be found for around $200 a month. With this server, you can easily fit 16 dedicated game servers on it without reducing performance. Converting that into players, that means you can have 160 players worth of capacity per bare metal. So in order to cover your max player count of 1500, you will need 10 bare metal servers (1500 / 160 = 9.37, round that up as you can’t have a fractional bare metal machine) The good news here is that you have a small buffer so you may not run out of capacity straight away if your peak player count goes up a bit. Finally, the cost to cover this amount of capacity comes out at a pretty solid $2,000 per month.
If you choose to use the Armada product, you will be happy to see that this will reduce your hosting costs by a pretty reasonable margin. In this example, we are going to assume that you are using the same hardware and instance types as in the previous examples. We are also going to assume that your bare metal will cover the average player count of 1000, and that the cloud will cover the extra 500 that comes from your 1500 player peak. In order to cover the 1000 player average, you’re going to need 7 E-2288Gs worth of capacity (160 players x 7 bare metal = 1120 player capacity) This means that you will then be using cloud to cover the last little bit of capacity as you need it. In this example, we are going to assume that this is for a total of 5 hours. To cover the capacity, you are looking at a total of 25 virtual cloud instances. When it comes to the cost, bare metal comes in at $1,400. Cloud comes in at a cost of $9.63. This means your total cost for the month with Armada and the hybrid approach comes in at $1,409.63.
As you can hopefully see, the best approach is combining the power, cheaper cost and guaranteed capacity of bare metal with the flexibility and unlimited scale of Cloud. Using the best of both worlds results in higher capacity, lower cost, and a better time overall for everyone involved.
If you are interested in utilizing Armada to help with your hosting costs, please feel free to reach out to the AccelByte team, who will be more than happy to run through a cost comparison using the estimates, providers, and information that is more suited to your needs.