What would happen if a game developer had issues with an ISP or lost a server during maintenance? Failover is always necessary for an online gaming developer, but it’s not as easy to ensure that no downtime happens even with the right disaster recovery plan. Gaming developers rely on persistent uptime without any performance issues or server crashes. Although it’s possible to have an internal policy that reduces effects from an unforeseen incident, having a CDN adds to performance, reliability, scalability and even security.
Gaming Content Size Continues to Increase, Affecting Download Performance
In the 1990s, a game could fit on a few floppy disks. Today, a game download can be 30GB or more. This is a huge increase from even just a decade ago. With slow Internet speeds, it can take too long for a user to download large files.
In addition to an initial 30GB or larger downloads, additional content is common for gaming developers to keep gamers interested. Gaming developers add downloadable content (DLC) to extend a games storyline. This content is usually an additional cost where users purchase the content and then download it to their computer. Even console gaming developers use this method to extend a console game, and users must download the content to their consoles.
Gaming developers can’t control a gaming customer’s ISP or internal network performance. They can’t control the speed of the computer where the content is downloaded to, but they can control their end of the downloadable content performance. A CDN resolves performance issues using internal infrastructure and location of data centers.
CDNs and Reliability and Cyber Security
Most gaming developers investigate a content delivery network due to performance issues, but a CDN provides several other benefits aside from faster speeds. Reliability is one of the best benefits of a CDN, and it can mean the difference between losing customers due to downtime and keeping gaming customers happy while IT administrators work to solve server and network issues.
Reliability in a CDN is based on data centers that cache content downloaded from the game developer’s origin server. Should the origin server crash, the game developer network is still reliable and delivers content to players from cached edge server content. This process is completely invisible to the user who won’t know where content is delivered from.
Another aspect of a CDN is protecting from distributed denial-of-service attacks (DDoS). These attacks can crush performance and stop legitimate users from connecting to a server that provides gaming content. These attacks come from hundreds (sometimes thousands) of different IoT devices or desktop computers hacked with an attacker’s malware. This malware gives an attacker the ability to tell a device to flood traffic to a target. Because most origin servers are unable to handle the massive amount of traffic, a DDoS can interrupt service and crash the server.
Reliability and security are benefits to gaming developers who are also concerned about performance. These three benefits are some of the best for gaming developers who need a performance boost, a service that never fails, and protection from common security pitfalls.