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How to Setup an Ark Cluster on server machines that are on Different Networks

This is a small guide I decided to write up to hopefully help other server admins that are in my situation.
After searching all over, I came to the conclusion that there is no official method for having an Ark Cluster between machines on different networks. So an active member in my community and I came up with an unofficial way of accomplishing the same thing. For the purpose of this How To, I am assuming you use Ark Server Manager like I do.

Step 1: Set up your servers on each machine

Step 2:  Set the game servers to have the SAME cluster ID and enable the Override Cluster Directory option
Step 3: Download and install GoodSync on both server machines - https://www.goodsync.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI0fnX1M_22AIVAQdpCh3wQQq2EAAYASAAEgIODPD_BwE
Step 4: Log into the SAME GoodSync account on both server machines

Step 5: When setting up GoodSync, do the option that says "GoodSync Connect"
Step 6: Once you have paired your two server machines via GoodSync Connect, tell both machines to sync your "clusters" folder

  • The default location for my clusters folder is \SteamCMD\clusters

Step 7: Once you have established the link between the cluster folder on both machines:

  •  Go into GoodSync
  • Press Options
  • Press Auto
  • enable On File Change at 0 seconds



You have now successfully created a working Ark cluster between machines on different networks.

Some background on our setup:

We have been using this GoodSync method for about 4 days without fail

Server Machine 1 is in Michigan on a 175Mbps/25Mbps internet connection
Server Machine 2 is in Wisconsin on a 125Mbps/20Mbps Internet Connection
We run two Ark servers on each machine. We have literally spent hours just transferring characters and dinos back and forth and have not had 1 fail
GoodSync was the 4th program we tried and the first one to work 100% reliably 

Edited by LockeCPM4
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On 1/26/2018 at 8:15 PM, LockeCPM4 said:

Step 3: Download and install GoodSync on both server machines - https://www.goodsync.com/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI0fnX1M_22AIVAQdpCh3wQQq2EAAYASAAEgIODPD_BwE

That is good to know. I think it is common knowledge that the whole transfer happens "through" the clusters folder, so in principle anything that keeps the cluster folders in sync should work, but the delay in syncing could get you into trouble. So GoodSync can do it fast enough.

As a curiosity: when transferring characters do you guys use the "transfer to another ark" option or do you upload your character and then download it on the other server. I ask because the first option seems to demand a faster cluster synchronization than the second one.

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That is good to know. I think it is common knowledge that the whole transfer happens "through" the clusters folder, so in principle anything that keeps the cluster folders in sync should work, but the delay in syncing could get you into trouble. So GoodSync can do it fast enough.
As a curiosity: when transferring characters do you guys use the "transfer to another ark" option or do you upload your character and then download it on the other server. I ask because the first option seems to demand a faster cluster synchronization than the second one.
We do not have an upload character button on our servers. The only options at Obelisks and Transmitters is "Travel to Another Server"

That being said, Goodsync has not failed us once. We are 100% satisfied.
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On 2/22/2018 at 9:27 AM, LockeCPM4 said:

We do not have an upload character button on our servers. The only options at Obelisks and Transmitters is "Travel to Another Server"

That being said, Goodsync has not failed us once. We are 100% satisfied.

Did you install the non server version first on the server? Trial for server version is 30 days right? and the cost for a server license is $1200....

I am running Server 2016 and the normal installer stops and says I need the server version without installing.

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Thank you for posting this.  I have an issue and wanted to see if you know how to fix it.

A friend and I both host servers from our homes, we both have separate P.C.s running the servers different from the ones we play on.  When I attempt to leave his server and join mine, I can't see it from the obelisk, I can see it from the initial server select screen and can join with a new character.  My friend left his server for mine, was able to join and transfer dinos no problem, when he attempted to return to his server he couldn't find it in the list.  A third friend that is just playing on both servers can go back and forth freely, dinos and gear transfer just fine.

 

Thoughts?

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Sounds like the old problem where you can't transfer to maps that are hosted on your LAN.

There are lots of posts about this on the web, but no real answers.

 

This thread https://steamcommunity.com/app/346110/discussions/0/615086038676188026/  has a couple of suggestions that seem to work for some people - but not others.

This post describes how to setup a loopback address on your PC https://forum.sector3studios.com/index.php?threads/workaround-if-you-cannot-join-your-own-dedi-server.4672/

This post describes why some routers don't automatically allow loopbacks http://arksurvivalevolved.gamewalkthrough-universe.com/dedicatedservers/windows/Default.aspx

 

Good luck, and please post your solution if you get it to work.

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Hi Recon here from awolgamers.com,

we are currently trying to cluster two servers that are on different computers. We have done everything in your original post and we haven't had any results. i suppose my biggest issue is where is the cluster folder? I cant seem to find it and i have tried making one and linking the two and nothing works. i have checked my steamCMD folder and nothing shows 'cluster' there either. If you could please give your best response to this that would be great.

Thanks Again

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On 11/14/2018 at 1:04 PM, AwolRecon said:

Hi Recon here from awolgamers.com,

we are currently trying to cluster two servers that are on different computers. We have done everything in your original post and we haven't had any results. i suppose my biggest issue is where is the cluster folder? I cant seem to find it and i have tried making one and linking the two and nothing works. i have checked my steamCMD folder and nothing shows 'cluster' there either. If you could please give your best response to this that would be great.

Thanks Again

Not sure if you ever got a response but my cluster folder was in the root folder just before steamCMD

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Why not just offload the heft of those CPU cycles from the PC to your networking equipment by doing the tunneling with a VPN? Simply map the drive over that connection and you'll have direct access to the original file. No extra software needed. 

You're introducing more work for a server PC that should be streamlined towards the main task. 

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On 1/26/2019 at 7:04 PM, Wagonbomb said:

Why not just offload the heft of those CPU cycles from the PC to your networking equipment by doing the tunneling with a VPN? Simply map the drive over that connection and you'll have direct access to the original file. No extra software needed. 

You're introducing more work for a server PC that should be streamlined towards the main task. 

+1 for this solution

If you are running windows server "GoodSync" forces you into buying the business edition. The personal use license is blocked on server OS.  Not even close to economical for our purpose. 

 

Edit: Update

My official quote from GoodSync was close to $1200 for a single 3yr license at a 25% discount.  And this would be required if you were running a server OS.  

Edited by [Rev]Sipowicz
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Hello Survivors!

This is from my humble opinion! DO NOT PURCHASE GOODSYNC, I regret it now!

I have 6x licenses of Goodsync and from my experience I STRONGLY suggest NOT to purchase GOODSYNC, there are always problems with the program and their support takes minimum 12h to answer your ticket, not counting Saturday and Sunday they won't respond you at all, 400$ each license for each dedicate... ridiculous!

I hope I have helped.

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