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Tobias Solem

How to optimize server-FPS and server performance

Question

It's a fact that ARMA has a dated architecture that only recently received some optimizations for multiple cores and utilizing them for different purposes (multi-tasking and multi-threading). There are several ways for you to optimize your server-side performance to get the maximum speed out of your Epoch server (because Epoch loads so many building items, it requires even more processing power).

 

Before I continue there is a fundamental thing you have to know and consider when you configure your Epoch server: 

 

* Every client will load and have to calculate everything that occurs on your server, meaning:

- Every client has to load ALL base building items

- Every client has to load ALL the vehicles

- Every client has to load and calculate ALL AI movement

- Every client has to load and calculate ALL clan logos/custom graphics

 

Another thing to consider is the fact that there is something called ragdoll and physics in ARMA 3, basically it is a set of calculations applied to each player body, each AI-body, and each car, and for a moment, also every placed building block. All vehicles run physics-calculations in real-time 24/7 (100% all the time) this means that for every car you have on your server, the server and each client will have to run the calculations for physics on that vehicle all the time. Naturally more calculations are required when something happens to that vehicle (driving, getting shot at, colliding, etc.) but essentially the computing power for all these physics & ragdoll items will take a toll.

 

Furthermore, all inventories and contents of traders, tents, vehicles, etc. are fed from the database in real-time, essentially the more items a container holds, the heavier the load on the server for each time that inventory is loaded. So if you have, say 300 items in a container, all those 300 will load in a big packet, which sucks some server performance. The less a container can hold, the less strain on the server.

 

Now, multiply physics, and inventory calculations per client, the more clients connected, the more vehicles driving, swimming, running, flying, inventories getting opened, the more the strain on each client, and on the server. A lot of this information is also sent from the server, and Arma 3 Epoch is one of the most bandwidth-intensive games out there. When the bandwidth is maximized on either the server-side or the client-side, you will see a yellow chain link in your bottom right corner, or a red chain link, depending on how overloaded the server or the client is with data. This is also when you will see lag happening. Whereas "desynch" (client and server not having the same information, and thus weird things happen) and rubberbanding (which looks like teleporting/warping) is usually a combination of over-stressed CPU (server and or client-side).

 

It is also important to know that in player interaction, the weakest link is usually the cause of the issues, for example: It doesn't matter if you are connected with a 1Gbit connection, with an awesome CPU and GPU, if the server is overloaded, that's the problem, you can't fix it clientside. But the same thing is if you and your friends are connected and your friend has a shitty Internet connection and/or computer and happens to be driving the car. He will lag/desynch based on his low-performance equipment, and that will affect you, and anyone trying to blow that car up (because the car will behave erratically). 

 

Virtual Machines

 

It should also be known that the arma3 server-file has issues with running on virtual machines (VMWare, or XenServer, etc.) essentially the performance output gets negated by as much as 30% if you run it on the same hardware as a dedibox, ARMA 3 is currently (2014-12-30) not well-optimized for running on Virtual Machines. Dedicated, native servers will see better performance than a VM.

 

 

How do I combat/fix this?

 

With these basic fundamentals in knowing how the server works, you as a player need to know that connecting to a server with hundreds of vehicles, or tens of thousands of buildables, or tons of AI-missions will not necessarily be a good thing for your game experience. While there may be plenty of content to have fun with, the experience with all that content will soon turn sour when your client FPS sinks (because the server has low performance, or is under too much strain (yes this affects clients too, if the server is the weakest link, all clients suffer)) your gameplay and experience will suffer too. 

 

Currently, the thoroughly tested, recommended max settings for cars on an Epoch server is 150, and the max amount of buildables is 1500 and the max amount of container content is 1500. This is the default settings in Epoch and it is what makes it possible for a server like Mellys to run 100 clients connected, with little to no issues. Yes, there will be a struggle to find a car, but the experience for each player will be as optimal as ARMA 3 Epoch can be with 100 players connected simultaneously.

 

The only possible compromise if you want to have more vehicles, more buildables, more missions, etc. is to allow for fewer clients (less than 100 players). It doesn't matter if the server has SSD-drives, or 1Gbit up and down, or 32GB DDR5 RAM on a super-high cache Xeon-processor. The arma3server-binary can't handle more than a certain amount of load anyways. 

 

 

No logs, memory handlers, and toggles

 

If you run a server with hyperthreading you should use the following toggle (do NOT combine it with cpuCounts=X or threads=X, etc.):

-enableHT

 

If you want to squeeze some more performance out of your server with an optimized memory allocator, use the following (download fred's dll here https://github.com/fred41/tbbmalloc_arma/raw/master/dwarden/uptodate_bins.zip ) and place its contents in your dlls-directory where you have arma3server:

-malloc=tbbmalloc 

 

IF you want to squeeze some extra FPS out of the server you can also turn off RPT-logging (not recommended if you are having issues or are actively tracking other problems/reports) by using:

-nologs

 

Setting the processor priority higher is also recommended:

-high

 
Server shutdowns
 
The recommended shutdown hours currently for optimal performance is 3 hours, the reason why we have to shut down the server with certain intervals is because of essentially two reasons: 1) Memory leaking (binaries leak RAM, and start performing poorly and thus need to be terminated and restarted) and 2) Clutter (basically a bunch of loops that get stuck due to poor code, vehicle explosions that take up unnecessary bandwidth, corpse clutter, and other things that are a detriment that increases over time on server performance).
 
Hardware
 
- CPU
ARMA 3 is processor clock dependent first (both client- and server-side). Having a CPU clock of 3.9GHz or higher is recommended. Intel Xeon-processors have been proven to perform better than regular non-server CPU:s. 
 
- RAM
More than 8GB per server has not been reported to make any difference whatsoever unless you run a lot of other things or multiple servers on the same machine
 
- Hard Drive Speed
SSD-hard drives improve loading performance severely, which means quicker reboots and startup-times for the server, but after the server is loaded everything is handled from the computers RAM, which is much faster than SSD-drives currently. 
 
- Bandwidth
 
Expect an ARMA 3 Server have been reported to use around 1Mbit per connected client (server-to-client upstream bandwidth). This means that with 50 players, you will need about 50Mbit upload. The server downloads much less data than this.
 
--------------------------------------------------
 
Bottom line
 
As a server owner you really need to consider the factors involved:
 
Amount of vehicles (more than 150 will mean you will have to lower your max allowed connected clients from 100)
Amount of buildables (more than 1500 will mean you will have to lower your max allowed connected clients from 100)
Amount of storage space (more than 1500 will mean you will have to lower your max allowed connected clients from 100)
 
 
Your server performance is measured in FPS and CPS - the standard FPS without load will be about 49-50FPS server-side, server-FPS and client-FPS are not the same thing, it is not as vital for server-FPS to be so high, everything 15FPS or higher will leave little to no issues. The same thing goes for CPS, which is the processing power used for Artificial Intelligence and non-gamebased calculations (like the AntiHack). The same principle for AI applies to this, the two values should be about the same normally. These values are heavily affected by (in order of performance-drain): 1) Connected clients, 2) Amount of vehicles 3) Amount of buildables 4) Contents of inventory
 
--------------------------------------------------
 

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I use defaults and I have no lag or Desync so I see no need to touch it. I would recommend some of the tips up top for VPS and maybe only have max 150 vehicles and low AI missions

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@rc_robio i have this one but i want the one said by Tobias Solem in his post but it has password

 

It's the same one.

 

Whats an avg. Server FPS when a server is freshly booted up and mission is running. 0 players online. 

My box usually runs at 47Fps

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My box starts at 50 fps, as time goes by and the players join it drops, I wish i could get it to use all the server resources :(

 

Currently the server has been running 2hrs 30 mins, I have 50 players online, server fps is 19, CPU usuage is 67% and Ram 30%

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My box starts at 50 fps, as time goes by and the players join it drops, I wish i could get it to use all the server resources :(

 

Currently the server has been running 2hrs 30 mins, I have 50 players online, server fps is 19, CPU usuage is 67% and Ram 30%

 

Just wait until they start building :D

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Editing the basic.cfg should NOT be done without some basic understanding of TCP/IP and bandwidth limitations, etc.

MinBandwidth

This is your bits per second value of your absolute minimum bandwidth available, note, base this on your UPLOAD limit. I recommend doing a bandwidth check during a Sunday peak to determine your minimum upload speed. Never set this too high or you will have red chains, CPU-issues, and A LOT of rubberbanding, etc. - your upload is your megabit value followed by six zeroes (10Mbit = 10000000).

MaxBandwidth

This is your bits per second value of your absolute maximum bandwidth available, note, base this on your UPLOAD limit. This should be your maximum capability of upload speed.

MaxMsgSend

This is the maximum number of messages that can be sent in one simulation cycle. Default is 128, with a 50+Mbit upload you can multiply this base value by 3 or so (384).

MaxSizeGuaranteed

The maximum guaranteed packet sent in bytes (without headers). This will highly affect your bullet impact and reactions from bullets. Default value is 512, we run 696.

MaxSizeNonguaranteed

The maximum guaranteed packet sent in bytes (without headers). These packets aren't prioritized, essentially it affects how vehicles behave when you're a passenger and witness the vehicle's behavior. I recommend making it slightly smaller than default (232)

MinErrorToSend

The error needs to be how small between client and server to send updates? The smaller the value the more accurate movements become. Setting it to zero will have adverse effects however. I recommend 0.0015

MinErrorToSendNear

Same as above except now it affects closer units (close range combat). Personally I keep this the same as the above.

MaxCustomFileSize

If you want players to have custom faces this might be a cool gimmick, however - these come with some laggy side-effects. Recommend 0. to connect.

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Really nice tutorial!

 

I have just one question, how is it with the CPU Cores. I have an I7 2600K Clocked at 3.4ghz and I don't really know how I should use the cores. When I use all cores for 1 Epoch Server, 50 Slots, Full, the CPU Load is about 65% when the Server is full, which is too much to set up a 2nd Server. If I set it down to 2-3 Cores the Load is at arround 25-35%. I couldn't notice any big lags or sth. but the Database is almost empty.

 

So how many CPU cores should I use so that I can still have good Performance with arround 8K Database Objects and 2 Servers on the same Box. Talking about 2 50 Slots Servers on Chernarus.

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Hey Guys,

 

I´m looking for basic.cfg parameters based on my infrastructure... I have a VPS with 5 cores of 2.4Ghz from a E5-645 processor, 6gb of RAM, network of 20mbs (up/down).  [i know it´s a VPS  :-(  thats what we can pay from here]

 

 

Parameters from basic.cfg are like follow:

 

MinBandwidth = 5242880;

MaxBandwidth = 20971520;

 

MaxMsgSend = 256;

MaxSizeGuaranteed = 512;

MaxSizeNonguaranteed = 256;

 

MinErrorToSend = 0.002;

MinErrorToSendNEar = 0.02;

 

MaxCustomFileSize = 0;

 

With that configuration, server running with 40 players is showing average of 7 FPS at @ASM, CPU around 65% of utilziation and memory with 2.7Gb used. Although there is no major lag, vehicles are moving without desync, etc... can someone point a better value for the parameters mentioned ahead ?

 

Thanks in Advance!

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I've been using these settings the last few days:

// These options are created by default
language="English";
adapter=-1;
3D_Performance=1.000000;
Resolution_W=800;
Resolution_H=600;
Resolution_Bpp=32;
 
// These options are important for performance tuning
 
 
// Bandwidth the server is guaranteed to have (in bps). This value helps server to estimate bandwidth available. 
// Increasing it to too optimistic values can increase lag and CPU load, as too many messages will be sent but discarded. 
// Default: 131072 old 131072
MinBandwidth = 15728640; // 15 MBps
 
 
// Bandwidth the server is guaranteed to never have. 
// This value helps the server to estimate bandwidth available.
MaxBandwidth = 50000000; // 50 MBps
 
 
// Maximum number of messages that can be sent in one simulation cycle. 
// Increasing this value can decrease lag on high upload bandwidth servers. 
// Default: 128 old 256 (384)
MaxMsgSend = 1024;
 
 
 
// Maximum size of guaranteed packet in bytes (without headers). Small messages are packed to larger frames. 
// Guaranteed messages are used for non-repetitive events like shooting. 
// Default: 512 (696)
MaxSizeGuaranteed = 384;
 
 
// Maximum size of non-guaranteed packet in bytes (without headers). Non-guaranteed messages are used for repetitive 
// updates like soldier or vehicle position. Increasing this value may improve bandwidth requirement, but it may increase lag. 
// Default: 256 (232)
MaxSizeNonguaranteed = 192;
 
 
 
// Minimal error to send updates across network. Using a smaller value can make units observed 
// by binoculars or sniper rifle to move smoother. 
// Default: 0.002 (0.002)
MinErrorToSend = 0.001;
 
 
 
// Minimal error to send updates across network for near units. Using larger value can reduce traffic sent for near units. 
// Used to control client to server traffic as well. 
// Default: 0.01
MinErrorToSendNear = 0.01; 
 
 
 
// (bytes) Users with custom face or custom sound larger than this size are kicked when trying to connect.
MaxCustomFileSize = 0; 

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      - Gas Station Explosions: Gas stations will blow up and loot from vehicles is thrown out
      - Bomb Crates: Random crates filled with loot
      - Deploy Items: Tables, scanning equipment, walls, vehicles, base decorations etc
      - Deploy Houses: 8 houses can be deployed, 4x wood and 4x brick
      - Grow trees: Find the hidden tree trader to grow trees at base
      - Overdose on Cola and Weed: Just get baked out your head
      - Humanity Dealers: Buy back your humanity, be warned, you can’t buy much
      - Locate Vehicle: Find lost vehicles on the map as long as you have the key
      - Flip Vehicle: Right click tool box and flip it back
      - Custom Map Markers: All locations marked on the map
      - Base Raiding: Get scrap electronics from Sector-B to raid bases (you cannot take over a base)
      - AI Checkpoints: Various locations with AI protection squads
      - Air Patrols: There are three islands on Taviana, regular air patrols fly around
      - Base Regulations: Sick of seeing those stupid cock towers all over the map… not here
      - Safe Zones: These are only at the trader island and aircraft dealers
      - Balanced Vehicles: All armoured vehicles have the gunner exposed
      - Aircraft No-Shoot Zones: The orange strip at each airport is a no shoot down location
      - Mission System: These with Sector-B and heli patrols, there is plenty to shoot at
      - High FPS: Upgraded server running a high speed CPU, some player have over 100FPS
      - Leader Boards: Get on this board and get access to secret missions such as safe hunt
      - Plot Hoarders: Check game time every 4 weeks to stop players holding locations
      - Service Points: Arm and repair from gas stations
      - Tow & Lift: Advanced tow and lift
      - Origins vehicles: Inc the submarine which can submerge, flying fortress and other vehicles
      - Large Base Build Limit: 300 items per plot pole, 1 plot per player
      - Snap Build: Full control over how a base object is placed, tilted, spun or manipulated
      - CCTV: Fully working CCTV systems for base defence and monitoring
      - Game Time Perks: If you have high in game play time you get some unique perks
      - Door Bell: Ring the door bell of your friends bases or scare people hiding in their base
      - The Devils Tree: Worship the tree and get a Satanic gift that may be shit, might be good
      - Race Track Cars: Fancy a race, take one for a spin
      - Methylamin trader: $350,000 per barrel if you sell them,  and also required to grow trees
      - Sector-B 7km Scan: Scan up to 7km by using the massive Sector-B radar array
      - Deploy Houses: 4 wooden and 4 brick (these are being tested to make sure they don't de-spawn)
      - Deploy Origins Nests: (these are being tested to make sure they don't de-spawn)
      - USS Fleshlight: Aircraft carrier with an MV22 loaded with Oil on the flight deck for you to grab
      - Sector-Z Mission: Cave system with loaded Urals for you to grab
      - Air Launch Zones: Take off from the mountain on a deep dive
      - Pyro's Onion Ballistics: Player run shop where you buy and sell with real players who have looted, won, fought or stole everything they sell
      - Take a Poo: Take a big shit and heal all your pain, just right click on toilet paper
      - Kill Yourself: Kill yourself with your side arm, just right click it
      - Take Clothes: Remove clothes from your body and other players
      - Bury or butcher bodies: Lose or gain humanity for doing it
      - Three new Spawns: Bet you are dying to see
      - Mrs Bee's Flight School: Free planes
      - Hidden Safe Missions: Find the hidden safes
      - High Level Traders: You need 450,000 humanity either + or - shop here
      - Loot Maze: At Taviana Zoo
      - Abandoned Safes: if you let your safe go unused it will reset the code and tell everyone
      - Pirate Treasure: who knows... what’s in there!
      - Roaming AI: AI will now spawn on you randomly... heat just got turned up
      - Roaming Vehicles: 5 vehicles driving round the map... if they see you they will jump out!
      - Rivet City Mission: Fight for loot under USS Fleshlight which is in dry dock for repairs
      - Tank: Only 1 on the server, grab it from Sector-B, de-spawns on restart but you have till then to be a nuisance
      - The Irradiated One:
      - Custom HUD:
      - Base Jumping: From 30m up, should make more options for picking a sniper spot and not worrying about getting down
      Have Fun
       
    • By Notorious_BJG
      Hello all, 
      Last week I attempted to start my own Arma 3 Epoch server to use with friends. Unfortunately I have never been able to get one to work on my computer since I ran Arma 2 Epoch a few years back. 
      I continue to run into one particular unknown module error after seeing Mission Read in the server main log.
      (Fault address:  A699B810 00:A699B810 Unknown module
      file:     epoch (__cur_mp))
      Since this is very time consuming to troubleshoot, I've decided that I am willing to pay someone to help me create a server for my friends and I. My intentions for the server are listed below:
      Server: Arma 3 Epoch 1.3+ Map: Chernarus Redux AI Missions/Patrols Zombies (the integrated Ryan zombies are fine) I will host this on my own machine I am willing to pay upwards of $40 for this. If you are capable and confident in doing this, please reply to this and we can strike out a deal. 
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