Server Lag and Restarts

Socrates271

Turtle Lover
Server Lag and Restarts
One of the reasons I play less and less on these servers is due to the excessive lag. The restarts I am okay with now, as I'm off doing other stuff with my vacation, but I think we need to condense our server into one or reduce/refine the plugins. In time, as the game coding improves, things will get better as far as lag is concerned, but my immediate concern is for the now near unplayable conditions, especially on the pvp server. PVP demands a high level of skill, timing, and reflexes. To be owned by another player due to an unfortunate lag spike can be infuriating especially at spawn where lag and combat are at peak condition.


tl;dr

Something needs to be done with the lag and crashes.

Moderators
We need more. Or we need rewards for the effort a moderator puts into the server. Otherwise, why should a moderator continue to answer endless questions, continue to check up on everyone, and continue to investigate grieving and offenders of rules. Not to mention the countless hours several moderators put into setting up plugins (Vargess) to make sure the server would be running well. I know you, SgtSpike, get a great reward for this server, but we are left empty-handed.

Ty for your time.

Soc271
 

FrothingLuck

Most Disliked Since 2015!
Socrates271 said:
Server Lag and Restarts
One of the reasons I play less and less on these servers is due to the excessive lag. The restarts I am okay with now, as I'm off doing other stuff with my vacation, but I think we need to condense our server into one or reduce/refine the plugins. In time, as the game coding improves, things will get better as far as lag is concerned, but my immediate concern is for the now near unplayable conditions, especially on the pvp server. PVP demands a high level of skill, timing, and reflexes. To be owned by another player due to an unfortunate lag spike can be infuriating especially at spawn where lag and combat are at peak condition.


tl;dr

Something needs to be done with the lag and crashes.

Moderators
We need more. Or we need rewards for the effort a moderator puts into the server. Otherwise, why should a moderator continue to answer endless questions, continue to check up on everyone, and continue to investigate grieving and offenders of rules. Not to mention the countless hours several moderators put into setting up plugins (Vargess) to make sure the server would be running well. I know you, SgtSpike, get a great reward for this server, but we are left empty-handed.

Ty for your time.

Soc271
I completely agree. Or perhaps make it a community wide effort. Start a topic in the vip forum asking other vip member to nominate those who they feel would do a good job at moderating. Using those suggestions, then perhaps you could then investigate who would make a good moderator. The reason why I think the mods are getting so much flak now is because, of the overall secretive rulings of picking moderators. Involve the community let us know. We want to have answers.
 

SgtSpike

Site Admin & Server Owner
Staff member
I'm starting to wonder how many hundreds of times I am going to have to answer the same question with the same answer.

I am working on getting more mods. I've already recruited three more, have another potential two under review. If you don't know anything about it, it's because I don't think you'd make a good fit for the mod team and I haven't invited you. Feel free to suggest people for mod positions if you like, tis not a bad idea.

Regarding lag and restarts - there's only so much I can do. I have already reduced the playerlimit on both servers to 16 each, which seems to have eliminated the REALLY bad lag spikes that pretty much took down the server every day, but beyond that, I have been unable to determine what the issue is. Server resources are bountiful, I'm not even using half of the bandwidth available, and I'm just not sure what else could be causing it, besides it just being a beta game. It's possible cuboid is the culprit, but there's nothing I can do about that - we need it to protect from spawn-killing and the land right outside of spawn being demolished.

My next purchase is going to be a server-class PCIe network card for the server. I am unsure if this will help, but it's worth a shot. I do not have enough donations right now to cover the new card though, so I am waiting for more people to donate. In the meantime, try to keep fights away from the spawn area, and it might help. Or just don't fight at all. It sucks, but that's the way it is for now. Remember, it's a beta game, and it will have beta problems. Lag is an extremely difficult problem for developers to solve, especially in fast-paced first-person games.
 

SgtSpike

Site Admin & Server Owner
Staff member
Also, I just got the autorestart and remoterestart plugin working again, so that should help lag and uptime. Restarts are every 10 hours, but let me know if any of you feel it should be more often.
 

Socrates271

Turtle Lover
SgtSpike said:
I'm starting to wonder how many hundreds of times I am going to have to answer the same question with the same answer.
Welcome to the average day for a mod ;)

I know it's tough, but it's a bit unrealistic our current setup especially with beta. The pci card could help, yes, but condensing the server's resources would help drastically. One server to rule them all.
 

oliverw92

Retired Administrator
Condensing the server won't help at all. Server resources are not the issue. The only thing it can possibly be if it is a hardware issue is, as Sgt said, the onboard network card on the x58 motherboard. It isn't designed to host a game server. If you condense the two servers into one, you would have to either only have the number of player slots of one of the servers, or double the amount of slots on that server. However doubling the slots doesn't solve anything at all - you are just pushing all the individual client sockets onto one server which is actually worse.

It is most definitely a coding issue on Notch's side, and there is nothing we can do about that except try the network card idea. If that doesn't fix it, then what do you want Sgt to do? Beyond rewrite minecraft, there is nothing that can be done.


On the moderator issue - please, go ahead and name people who you think should be moderators. It can't do any harm.
 

SgtSpike

Site Admin & Server Owner
Staff member
As oli said, condensing the servers would make it worse. The minecraft servers are single-threaded, so running two separate servers will ALWAYS be better/quicker/faster than running a single server, unless the single server has fewer total slots. Even with fewer total slots, it might be slower. Splitting the load into two environments helps balance the load between two of the four cores, instead of just one. And I'm not interested in cutting the number of slots in half by "condensing" the server. We will look for and find other solutions.
 

the_actual_God

New Member
SgtSpike, have you checked on the harddisk usage? Maybe that's the eye of the needle. I could kick Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer in the nuts with spiked iron boots for not putting a harddisk usage display into the monitor section of the Windows Task Manager. It's such a relevant resource, and they plain ignored it. They don't even have a HD usage LED in the Windows interface. Are we supposed to look under the table all the time? Stupid design. No real changes in 15 years. /rant

It might be Notch's programming. But I haven't had the lag problem on another (Vanilla.) server in the last days, so I suspect it might be our plugin situation. Maybe the hey0 guys omitted something in their changes-list for the last update and we should have taken it? After all, they did say that there were bugs with the previous (Christmas.) version but they wanted to push it out for the people. Or it is a yet unknown problem with plugins. Could the block log itself be the reason?

I know that we need the plugins. And since you probably didn't pick some niche modifications, quite a few people are behind them becoming proper.

I guess we'll just have to wait and endure this.

Btw, when I said that it's probably not the network card because I was alone with another guy on PvP and still had the lag problems, I forgot that there is also something called the "build server" which was running at the same time.
 

Socrates271

Turtle Lover
I know for a fact that running one server is less resource intensive than two with the same slot #.

You're loading up two separate instances, two servers with unique worlds and plugins. Two instances which require data sent to and from a specific server and client simultaneously.

@tag yes that is a big concern as well. Every little detail is to be considered when building a high-end computer. The motherboard, hard-drive, gpu, cpu, ram, psu, nic.
Some people hardly know better and just upgrade their ram, cpu, gpu, psu while not taking into considering the hd, mb, and nic not to mention also the compatibility and specific abilities of certain hard-ware. There's so much to research that for most folks they stick with pre-made builds or simply upgrade things that match their socket and call themselves elite modders.
 

oliverw92

Retired Administrator
Pretty sure it isn't a hard drive issue - there is no way minecraft would max out the read/write of Sgt's solid state disk.
 

SgtSpike

Site Admin & Server Owner
Staff member
I agree about the task manager - glad they implemented the performance monitor though. I can't see it being the SSD - it's capable of over 200MB/s, but the perfmon is only showing 2-3 MB/s with spikes up to 10MB/s, with both servers running. Granted, that's probably hundreds, if not thousands of files every second, not a single continous file, but that's where an SSD shines anyway.

We should probably check out plugins, I'm just not sure what the best way to do that would be. There's very few of them that I'd be comfortable running the server without, at least on the current maps. We could go back to a temp map for more testing, but I'm sure most people wouldn't want that. Since the big suspect of lag is cuboid, I could temporarily disable that plugin and see if it is less laggy around the spawn area.

There are actually two different lag "problems" here, so let me clarify somewhat.

The really BAD lag spikes (more than 5 seconds long, anywhere up to 60 seconds or so) are due to some server-side issue I haven't yet figured out. The perfmon shows almost all resource usage coming to a standstill in these cases (0%-1% CPU usage, 1-2/sec memory hard faults, 0mbps Network usage). These server resources come to a standstill in an instant, for 10 seconds or so on average, then resume operations as normal afterward. Then stop again, start again, etc, causing the really bad lag spikes. I haven't been able to pinpoint what is causing this, only that running less than 35 total slots at a time solves the issue. I'd like to run 40+ slots though, so I want to solve this issue. THIS is the lag I am thinking will be helped by a new network card.

The constant, less severe lag on the PvP server near spawn is what I believe is due to either bad Notch programming or plugins. We'll have to do some further investigation regarding this. And it's good to know that the lag isn't present on another vanilla server, that'll help diagnose it. I didn't find much lag when we were running vanilla either, but I kind of did the i7 upgrade and the reinstatement of hey0 at the same time, so it confused the matter a bit.

@ Soc, I meant loading up the same number of slots onto a single server instead of splitting it out between two. In other words, instead of running two 16-slot servers, running a single 32-slot server. The 32-slot server would be severely limited by the CPU, and only being able to run on a single core. Even with the i7. ;)
 

Socrates271

Turtle Lover
SgtSpike said:
I agree about the task manager - glad they implemented the performance monitor though. I can't see it being the SSD - it's capable of over 200MB/s, but the perfmon is only showing 2-3 MB/s with spikes up to 10MB/s, with both servers running. Granted, that's probably hundreds, if not thousands of files every second, not a single continous file, but that's where an SSD shines anyway.

We should probably check out plugins, I'm just not sure what the best way to do that would be. There's very few of them that I'd be comfortable running the server without, at least on the current maps. We could go back to a temp map for more testing, but I'm sure most people wouldn't want that. Since the big suspect of lag is cuboid, I could temporarily disable that plugin and see if it is less laggy around the spawn area.

There are actually two different lag "problems" here, so let me clarify somewhat.

The really BAD lag spikes (more than 5 seconds long, anywhere up to 60 seconds or so) are due to some server-side issue I haven't yet figured out. The perfmon shows almost all resource usage coming to a standstill in these cases (0%-1% CPU usage, 1-2/sec memory hard faults, 0mbps Network usage). These server resources come to a standstill in an instant, for 10 seconds or so on average, then resume operations as normal afterward. Then stop again, start again, etc, causing the really bad lag spikes. I haven't been able to pinpoint what is causing this, only that running less than 35 total slots at a time solves the issue. I'd like to run 40+ slots though, so I want to solve this issue. THIS is the lag I am thinking will be helped by a new network card.

The constant, less severe lag on the PvP server near spawn is what I believe is due to either bad Notch programming or plugins. We'll have to do some further investigation regarding this. And it's good to know that the lag isn't present on another vanilla server, that'll help diagnose it. I didn't find much lag when we were running vanilla either, but I kind of did the i7 upgrade and the reinstatement of hey0 at the same time, so it confused the matter a bit.

@ Soc, I meant loading up the same number of slots onto a single server instead of splitting it out between two. In other words, instead of running two 16-slot servers, running a single 32-slot server. The 32-slot server would be severely limited by the CPU, and only being able to run on a single core. Even with the i7. ;)
I knew what you meant, when was the last time you've cleaned and defragged your computer?
 

SgtSpike

Site Admin & Server Owner
Staff member
SSD's don't need a defrag (actually, it hurts them, since r/w's are limited on them). It's possible that I've already reached the r/w limit on the drive, but the performance tests I've run on it still show it performing like a champ.

I've not done a cleanup on the system since installing Server 2008 on the drive a month and a half ago (ish).
 

Valkorian

Member
Spike, do you need particular special awesome super servers for running your minecraft server?

If not, I may have a few friends who might have an old TF2 server lying around the place, I could talk to them about stealing that for a little while, soley for the purpouse of testing.

Copy-paste all the plugins and files etc onto that server, and then you can break it as much as you like, get a few mods/VIPs (or regs if they're interested, i'd sure love to help). Screw with the plugins, see which ones they are, etc.

I'm not saying this would be a super-duper awesome server with magical powers, but it's UK based and I used to get good pings on it when it was a TF2 server, so you'd probably have to have limited player slots, but that's okay just for testing, isn't it?

Let me know if you need anything, and I'll spread the word amongst my folk.

I have friends who have friends who have friends in very high places! :p

Good luck all the same

Valk



*edit*
I just remembered.

My dad does a lot of work for our broadband company, and the owner of said company gave my dads clan (Grumpy Old Gits) a server, as most other server providers were screwing them around. Although it has been down for the last while, this may be just down to the fact that my dad and his clan aren't using it, and so there's been no urgency to start it back up again. I can try get the specks off my dad tommorow if need be.
 

SgtSpike

Site Admin & Server Owner
Staff member
I'm always interested in having more server hardware at hand. :) What sort of specs are we talking, and how is it accessed? Minecraft does consume a fair bit of resources, and needs a powerful processor, but for a test server, even something small would be handy.
 

Valkorian

Member
Defo got the GoG server. The only problem with it is that it is a VM, not a computer all by itself, hope that's okay?
 

oliverw92

Retired Administrator
Virtual machines are a bit fail for minecraft, no matter how good the underlying server is. The main issue is usually the amount of physical RAM available.
 

Valkorian

Member
Also true, however this will just be a small server (I think?) for testing.

I'm trying to get a hold of the specs.
 

SgtSpike

Site Admin & Server Owner
Staff member
You can run an ok test server on a sad little machine... like a 1GB ram, 1.5ghz single-core processor. It won't be completely lag-free, but it would work for testing for up to 4 players without too much trouble.
 

Rain

Member
oliverw92 said:
The main issue is usually the amount of physical RAM available.
My friend was looking into getting up a single minecraft server, and found it to take up more RAM than two css servers and a mumble server collectively!
He did purchase some extra RAM for it but still, he says "And people still wonder why I hate java" :lol:
 
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