SRCDS Steam group


Bizarre Ping Lag Spikes! Help Please!
#1
Ok all you SRCDS Gods. I'm having a bizarre problem and I've exhausted all my ideas. I could really use the help if you don't mind, I don't know where to look.

I'm running two 16-slot 66-tick ping-boosted SRCDS CS:Source servers and have lots of players coming an going. The server uses a download URL for all maps, skins and sounds.

The machine these servers run on is a dedicated monster - A Dell PowerEdge 1800 Dual 3.0 GHz Xeon server with Windows 2003. It has 1GB of RAM, which is admittedly low and I plan to triple the memory this week. The network connection to the server is an 8 MB/s download and 768 KB/s upload Comcast Cable modem. 768MB upload is as high as I can go with them here.

Here's my problem. The servers will be running along just fine. Then, all of us sudden and without any warning, pings for every player will go from a normal 20-30 and shoot straight up to 500+ and last for about 10 - 20 seconds. Then, they'll return to normal and all will be fine.

I was concerned that something running on one of PCs here that was taking all of my bandwidth and so I shut off every computer at the house except for the server and it still happens. The server is only running Windows 2003 Server's basic services and the 2 instances of SRCDS. I had the same problem on the previous server machine I had, which had 2 GB or RAM and was a slower 2.8 GHz Xeon Machine, also running Windows 2003.

I've run tests on my LAN traffic using the Wireshark Network Analyzer and see no notable IP/UDP traffic flooding occuring at the time the lag spikes occur. I've even filled them to capacity with bots running friendly-fire and the CPU usage never goes over 50%. Filling them with BOTS did not recreate the problem either.

I seem to notice the ping spikes when about 15 - 17 people are on the servers, and for all I know, the problem goes away when someone leaves and the player count falls, but I haven't been able to confirm that. It seems odd that everything would run great until the player-count went up by one player and then pings would spike in such an enormous amount. Literally perfect to unbearable in the blink of an eye.

Like I said, the CPU usage never goes above 50%, so I doubt that is a problem, but then again, I'm obviously no expert.

If someone can offer some things to look at, I'd be extremely grateful. I've been dealing with this intermittent problem so long I'm almost ready to give up on the servers all together.

Thanks to all of you who read and help people out here in these forums. Without you, we'd all be screwed.

Lt. Maverick
BOOM! Gaming Inc.
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I not perfect and try to learn from every failure, yours and mine.
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#2
what are your rate settings (in the server.cfg)? with so many people complaining about the same thing on cable modems, i wouldn't put it past comcast to be running something on the network just to prevent people from running servers. something like, well this guy is uploading 600k consistenly for the past 20min, let's just put a delay in there every now and then, not cut him off but delay it so the service is not interrupted just slowed for 5 secs.
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#3
Below are the rates listed in my server config. I'm also running ping-booster and it's giving me rate of about 250 fps in the console of both servers.

Both servers are 66-tick at this time. I'm thinking a drop to 33-tick maybe in order, but I just can't believe my server won't handle what I'm attempting while running at 66-tick. This is a really powerful top-of-the-line system costing $3500. Your thoughts? If I do drop to 33-tick, what rates should I use for 20 slots on both servers? With this drop have a significant impact on my bandwidth? Also based upon what I listed for my server, how many 66-tick slots do you think this machine should be able to handle? I'm going to bump it up to 3 gigs of RAM this week.

Very interesting thought about Comcast as well. They do make it clear they are not in the business of providing servers bandwidth from home connections, but I can't believe my PC would take up enough bandwidth to ring an alarm bell with them. I hear what you're saying though, for sure.

Thanks for the input.

sv_lan 0
sv_unlag 1
sv_maxunlag .5
sv_voiceenable 1
sv_minrate 0
sv_maxrate 20000
sv_mincmdrate 30
sv_maxcmdrate 66
sv_minupdaterate 30
sv_maxupdaterate 66
sv_client_predict 1
sv_client_interpolate 1
sv_client_min_interp_ratio 1
sv_client_max_interp_ratio 1
sv_client_cmdrate_difference 30
About Me:
I help people who at least try to help themselves. Please use the "Search" button before posting a new topic.
If you post, give us the info we need from the "READ ME FIRST" sticky at the top of each thread!

I'm here to share my experiences to help others. If I'm wrong about something, don't hold it against me, educate me.
I not perfect and try to learn from every failure, yours and mine.
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#4
scso1502 Wrote:Ok all you SRCDS Gods. I'm having a bizarre problem and I've exhausted all my ideas. I could really use the help if you don't mind, I don't know where to look.
<snip>

You simply do not have enough up stream bandwidth to support anywhere near 32 slots. Better get a bigger pipe! :/(
[Image: urisig2.jpg]
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#5
Indeed, 768kbps cable won't hold more than 12/14 players at 33 tick I'm afraid.

Also the 1gig is more than sufficient, just because everyone else at dedicated server hosts use 2gb+ doesn't mean you need it too. You run perfectly fine with 512mb ram with 1 restart every night Smile
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#6
Just so I'm clear... So what I'm hearing is that if I have too many slots in use, the player's pings will be fine to a certain point, then all of a sudden when too many players join for the upload link to handle, the pings will instantly go through the roof with no warning at all?

I don't quite understand why the pings don't just gradually climb instead of going completely haywire like that when the player count hits a certain point. I'm trying to understand this for my own resolve. It's very strange because last night I had 24 players on between both servers and had no problems at all.

Thanks so much guys! I really appreciate all the help.
Mav
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I help people who at least try to help themselves. Please use the "Search" button before posting a new topic.
If you post, give us the info we need from the "READ ME FIRST" sticky at the top of each thread!

I'm here to share my experiences to help others. If I'm wrong about something, don't hold it against me, educate me.
I not perfect and try to learn from every failure, yours and mine.
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#7
That's correct, the reason for this to happen is that everything will be fine until bandwidth gets too much for the connection, then packets start waiting in line, this line will grow very fast unless bandwidth goes down within the maximum capacity of your connection. This is the main reason why the pings will go from perfectly fine to total disaster in a very short time. They will just skyrocket.

The possibility of running 24 players without lag is most probably the cable connection you have, if no-one in your region is downloading/uploading stuff you will get that speed, this means it can and will mostly also be the other way around, that it's so busy you will get much less bandwidth than 768. Cable are all shared lines.
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#8
Thanks very, very much Drocona! I don't know how you find the time to respond to so many people, but I'm most grateful! At least I can finally make some sense of this strange problem. I've been working on every solution imaginable on this and couldn't for the life of me figure it out! I was so frustrated. I guess I'll lower the number of slots and adjust the rates appropriately for two 33-tick servers running on my connection.

Interestingly, I've run multiple speed tests on my connection and consistently get 20 MB/s downloads and 1800 KB/s uploads to nearly all locations in the US. I realize that this speed may vary from time to time during the day, but it's never fallen below 1400 KB/s on the upload side. I'm thinking that, based upon my experiences with the server and my connection, I can safely run 20 slots.

My last favor of you is this. Would you please be so kind as to recommend the server.cfg rates you feel would be most appropriate for what I'm doing? I'd like to run two 10 slot servers at 33 tick and will hope for the best. Like I said, it seems to run fine with 20 players on it.

Thanks again for the help from a "bummed-out, wish-I-could-have-more-slots"
Mav
About Me:
I help people who at least try to help themselves. Please use the "Search" button before posting a new topic.
If you post, give us the info we need from the "READ ME FIRST" sticky at the top of each thread!

I'm here to share my experiences to help others. If I'm wrong about something, don't hold it against me, educate me.
I not perfect and try to learn from every failure, yours and mine.
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#9
I really don't have that much time, but being here since my, literally, childhood I almost know every scenario from memory and it doesn't really take me long to come up with the solution. (Maybe if you read my source dedicated server guide on Planet Half-Life, that's all written from memory and only covers the simple stuff of installing Wink )

What keeps me here is that I like to help people, especially with the dark area's most people will never even get to. It's fun for me to do and I like this community a lot.

Here are some rates:

sv_minupdaterate 20 (works for all servers, you can set it to 20 for every scenario, doesnt matter what tick or how much bandwidth you have)
sv_maxupdaterate 100 (same as minupdaterate, this will auto-adjust to the tickrate and will therefor always run max performance, you can also set it to 101.)

sv_minrate 10000 (doesnt really matter what you fill in here, main thing is that above 5000 56k modem users wont be able to play, if you want them to be able to set it below 5000, make sure it is non-zero)

sv_maxrate:
Here's the setting it's all about, bandwidth limiting. There's a formula which will calculate what the maximum rate available is on your connection no matter what tickrate or settings you are running.

Bandwidth(kbps) * 128 / totalplayerslots

So for you, 2x 10 players makes total of 20 players, 1500kbps upload speed.

1500 * 128 = 192000 / 20 = 9600
Well I always make nice numbers going up, so we'll set sv_maxrate to 10000 on both servers.

Now what does this mean? it's the maximum amount of bytes per second 1 client will use.
So 1 client can use up to 10kb/s
If you ever get lag, put it to 9500 or 9000, if you get choke turn it up a bit.
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#10
I hear what you're saying about helping people. And yes, it is a lot of fun when things work out. As you can tell, I'm certainly no expert, but my knowledge grows each time I come here and meet guys like you. Thanks!

I have reset my rates according to what you specified. Makes total sense to me. I'll see how things go and adjust it from there.

Last question..

1. How exactly does the -autoupdate command-line feature work with relation to bandwidth usage? Can this feature take up bandwidth when it does it's version checks during map changes? How does it check the versions? Does it poll a server somewhere and do a file comparision of some kind?

Thanks so much again! You truly are, "Da Man"!

Mav
About Me:
I help people who at least try to help themselves. Please use the "Search" button before posting a new topic.
If you post, give us the info we need from the "READ ME FIRST" sticky at the top of each thread!

I'm here to share my experiences to help others. If I'm wrong about something, don't hold it against me, educate me.
I not perfect and try to learn from every failure, yours and mine.
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#11
-autoupdate only works on linux, windows simply doesn't do anything.

It works like this, every time the server starts up (so first time or after a restart) it will check if the current version is up to date with the updatetool, if it's not up to date it will update the program, then again it will check. AFTER it's checked/updated the server will start, so you'll never have any trouble with this since the server simply waits in line for the update to complete.

You can make this yourself in windows with a .bat file. If you want to know how just reply and I'll put and example how to do it here.
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#12
reply Smile.
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#13
Ok I used my own restart script to put it in as an example (see attachment)

Here's basically what it's all about:
Code:
start /wait F:\SRCDS\Updater\hldsupdatetool.exe -command update -game "Counter-Strike Source" -dir F:\SRCDS

put that line right above the start /wait "pathtoserverhereblabla for startup"
Make sure you set everything correctly of course (correct paths)


.zip   SRCDS-Guardian-autoupdate.zip (Size: 871 bytes / Downloads: 258)
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#14
Thanks Drocona! Great info. I created a separate post (http://forums.srcds.com/viewtopic/5033) with the -autoupdate info to help some other people who may miss it because it's buried so deep in this unrelated thread.

I may be posting some other questions. I sure hope you're around and still able to help out when I do.

Have a great week!
Mav
About Me:
I help people who at least try to help themselves. Please use the "Search" button before posting a new topic.
If you post, give us the info we need from the "READ ME FIRST" sticky at the top of each thread!

I'm here to share my experiences to help others. If I'm wrong about something, don't hold it against me, educate me.
I not perfect and try to learn from every failure, yours and mine.
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#15
I'll be here for a long time I'm sure.

Good that you made a post about it, it should show up at peoples search results now immediately and clear.
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