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Is this a good server for an ark cluster?


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The 9900 has 8 cores, so you'll be good for 8 maps.

If any of the maps are low population (less than about 5 people at the same time) then you'll get away with having two maps sharing a single CPU core.
I'd advise against this with Ragnarok or Genesis 2 though.

Memory should be fine.  Most maps need about 6GB or less.  Except Genesis 2 which is taking about 12 or 13 GB RAM - even with just one or two people online.

RAID doesn't really help Ark - it's not too heavy on the disk I/O.  I'd recommend you make regular backups of the save directories onto a different drive - I've seen too many people lose all their data because they thought a RAID setup would protect them.

This is my process list.  Ragnarok is the second from the top.

Q: does anyone know how to stop Task Manager from hiding the command line on some tasks?  All these maps are launched in the same way, from the same directory, and use the same installation of the Ark server.

image.thumb.png.b8b6a884027fe07ab63901b500170cea.png
 

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13 hours ago, Larkfields said:

RAID doesn't really help Ark - it's not too heavy on the disk I/O.  I'd recommend you make regular backups of the save directories onto a different drive - I've seen too many people lose all their data because they thought a RAID setup would protect them.

A RAID-1 can't help in this case, you only better READ not WRITE.  I think this server is from hetzner, you can't select other RAID Option, you have to choose "Rescue System" and use their Image-Installer if you don't like the RAID 1.

If have done multiple tests done with NVMe (Single vs. RAID 1 vs. RAID 0 vs. RAMDisc) and can agree Larksfields suggestion. The I/O is with NVMe not an problem while saving. 

You have already a 100GB cloud drive, when you rent this server from Hetzner. This is good for exporting the backups.

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On 6/19/2021 at 10:24 PM, pleinx said:

A RAID-1 can't help in this case, you only better READ not WRITE.  I think this server is from hetzner, you can't select other RAID Option, you have to choose "Rescue System" and use their Image-Installer if you don't like the RAID 1.

If have done multiple tests done with NVMe (Single vs. RAID 1 vs. RAID 0 vs. RAMDisc) and can agree Larksfields suggestion. The I/O is with NVMe not an problem while saving. 

You have already a 100GB cloud drive, when you rent this server from Hetzner. This is good for exporting the backups.

 

On 6/19/2021 at 8:33 AM, Larkfields said:

The 9900 has 8 cores, so you'll be good for 8 maps.

If any of the maps are low population (less than about 5 people at the same time) then you'll get away with having two maps sharing a single CPU core.
I'd advise against this with Ragnarok or Genesis 2 though.

Memory should be fine.  Most maps need about 6GB or less.  Except Genesis 2 which is taking about 12 or 13 GB RAM - even with just one or two people online.

RAID doesn't really help Ark - it's not too heavy on the disk I/O.  I'd recommend you make regular backups of the save directories onto a different drive - I've seen too many people lose all their data because they thought a RAID setup would protect them.

This is my process list.  Ragnarok is the second from the top.

Q: does anyone know how to stop Task Manager from hiding the command line on some tasks?  All these maps are launched in the same way, from the same directory, and use the same installation of the Ark server.

image.thumb.png.b8b6a884027fe07ab63901b500170cea.png
 


Hello, im curious and a little confused at the same time as why you both saying RAID setup of Nvme drives do not help with ARK. 
Because a faster drive definitely helps with the writes/world save freeze that is experienced in any ARK server, im currently using a WD BLACK 750 on my cluster and it was a major boost from a regular Sata SSD, and even slower NVME drives in the range of 1-1.5GB/s writes/reads, although still not fast enough for me on larger world save like 700 MB+ 
Or were you specifically referring to the RAID setup, if yes, i apologize and just trying to understand/learning.

Edited by GMSLabs
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You mentioned RAID 1 which is claimed to allow faster reads - but the writes are slower since two disks have to be written to.
https://phoenixnap.com/kb/raid-levels-and-types

So the lag that occurs during a world save will last longer with RAID 1.

Additionally: you mentioned Software RAID 1 - which puts additional load on the CPU because the operating system itself is responsible for operating the RAID setup.



 

Edited by Larkfields
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why you both saying RAID setup of Nvme drives do not help with ARK. 

Quote

and even slower NVME drives in the range of 1-1.5GB/s writes/reads, although still not fast enough for me on larger world save like 700 MB+ 

Just my experience: 

I spend many, many nights into the world save lag and you can trust me, the RAID 1 isnt the issue with the small lags doing a saveworld. I would say the problem comes on every system regardless how good is your server. A interessting thing what i oberved on big savegame files is the memory. Look at him while doing a `admincheat saveworld` there is speak around 1.5GB in my case, so i tried a little bit faster RAM (changed 2667 MHz to 3200 MHz) with a Ryzen CPU which profits better from MEM clock as Intel (ye ye, no worries, im a intel fan-boy :D) and it feels a little bit better. Maybe faster RAM shortened the savegame lag. If i find time, i will test this on my machine, my ram goes up 2 4000 MHz.

 

I tried many systems with the same savegame (around 350MB)

* i9 9900K (Stock & OC 5GHz all-cores) / 32GB / RAID 0 (2* 1TB Samsung 970 Evo)
* i7 9700K (Stock & OC 5.3GHz all-cores) / 16 GB / No Raid, just 512GB Samsung 970 Evo
* AMD Epyc-7443 (Stock) / 32 GB / Raid 5 / NVMe
* (more systems with lower specs)

This first system you can't rent atm in case of the CPU-Freq. The ARK-Server runs ONLY on this machine, no other services, no other gameserver. Doesnt matter if linux or windows. It was still there. Granted, sometimes shorter delay on other systems, but still around ~2-3s with this filesize of savegame.

It begins (depends on system) after ~130-150MB filesize.At first I thought too, its a "issue" on slow harddrives, then i tried on RAMDisk (i dont knew anything faster like this) and the issue was same.

If somebody reads this and has a good tip, please share us :)

 

So short version:

Rent this machine, its very good, also with the RAID 1. I used it too, just to sleep a little bit better. I backup on RAID 1, then sync to two cloud drives every 30min, savegame every 20min. So the worst-case would could happens is loosing data for 20-30mins which is fine i think. Enough cores and high cpu-freq. If you have little bit more money left, take the AX61-NVME with 12-cores to create a cluster with all maps easly. RAM is no issue with 128GB.

Our longes and best visted maps are Ragnarok and Crystal Isles it takes 10GB. Gen2 takes atm. really high MEM with around 15GB in our case (mid visited). Rest is under 8GB.

Edited by pleinx
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I'm not saying RAID is bad.  It has it's place.  Also: Ark doesn't know or care what the underlying file system is running on, it just reads and writes files.

The chances are that the difference in save times between a RAID and non-RAID system (with the same drives) would be difficult to measure in a real-world situation.
If you want to RAID your drives you'll be absolutely fine.

Also remember that the R/W speeds you quote for the drives are probably unobtainable in real-world scenarios.  Ark (like 99.9% of games) will not have all its data in a contiguous chunk of memory.  So the data will be written out in chunks - with pauses inbetween.  And possibly interrupted by the OS writing to VM, and other instances of Ark trying to read character data as people login.  Going for fast drives is good - but you won't actually hit those speeds.

Whatever you do, don't think of RAID as a backup system.  The best it can do is buy you some time to replace a drive that's failed.  
 

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On 6/19/2021 at 8:33 AM, Larkfields said:

The 9900 has 8 cores, so you'll be good for 8 maps.

Just putting my pedant hat on for a moment, whilst if the servers are relatively quiet, it will run 8 or possibly even more Ark servers. Technically you should always leave a core free for the underlying operating system, if those Ark servers are going to be in the slightest bit busy, I wouldn't run more than 7 on them to be safe.

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Its a good system.  Main thing is making sure you max out the RAM you can put in the server.   128 GB should allow you to run all the official DLC maps.

I would not raid the 2 drives.  I would use the 2nd drive to hold versioned backup archives so "when" the 1st drive fails, you can eventually get the server restored.

I would also setup a dropbox account where you keep the most-recent backups on dropbox in case the entire thing gets fried.

You can find the DOS Batch files I use to manage Ark on Windows in my GitHub repository.

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