The Impact of Virtualization on the Performance and Operational Costs of Massively Multiplayer Online Games
Today's highly successful Massively Multiplayer Online Games (MMOGs) have millions of registered users and hundreds of thousands of active concurrent players. Motivated by performance and portability, MMOG operators currently pre-provision and then maintain throughout the lifetime of the game tens of thousands of compute resources in data centers located across the world. In contrast, virtualization is a new technology that promises minimal overhead and a uniform, easy to port to, computing platform. To investigate the potential of this new technology, in this paper the authors propose a new hybrid resource provisioning model that uses a smaller and less expensive set of self-owned data centers, complemented by virtualized cloud computing resources during peak hours.