As the memories of rAge 2013 still linger, we caught up with Internet Solutions senior manager of strategy, Sameer Parker, who filled us in on the their success in providing Internet connectivity to the 2,148-player NAG LAN portion of the event.
“The overall volume of Internet traffic served during the NAG LAN at rAge 2013 was 26TB, which consisted of 21.3TB downloaded, and 4.6TB uploaded,” said Parker.
“We are still awaiting the final breakdown of traffic, but loosely, the top sites included: Steam, Microsoft Update, YouTube, and local gaming servers.”
“A 1Gbps link was provided, and gaming traffic peaked at 975Mbps. The weekend’s average was 890Mbps.”
“We used a DHCP config to assign an IP address to each gaming device accessing the Internet and observed a total of 1,642 active IP addresses on the NAG LAN over the weekend. Latency to South Africa gaming servers ranged between 4 and 10ms,” said Parker.
Whipping out the MyGaming abacus, I calculate this to mean an average of 15.8GB was used by those NAG LAN gamers who connected to the Internet.
“The Internet connection was load balanced to ensure each active IP address received an equal amount of traffic. This traffic per IP varied from 200Mbps at low demand times to approximately 7Mbps at peak load.”
“For best performance each gamer was allocated a real static Internet address – no Network Address Translation (NAT) was used. [This ensured] maximum speed and that gamers could not impact each other’s traffic,” explained Parker.
Despite the technical feat, Parker said everything ran smoothly. “No fault or complaint was received during the entire event. IS had support personnel on site, and secondary standby remote support.”
“Our on-site support personnel requested feedback from the LAN gamers and received only positive comments on the Internet connectivity. Users specifically commented on the low latency on both local and international servers, as well as highlighted the consistency over several hours of gameplay,” said Parker.
Providing Internet to the NAG LAN has been previously attempted, but in my years of reporting on the event, it has never been this successful. From an entirely unscientific polling of gamers on the LAN floor, there was nothing but praise for the connectivity.
In the increasingly always-online world of gaming, the Internet has become an essential component of any social LAN event. The NAG LAN @ rAge 2013 proved that South Africa can pull off a world-class LAN, and bodes well for the future of the event.