Gamers Explore, Inhabit, and Create Heroic Alter Egos in Red 5 Studios Firefall on AMD’s SeaMicro Server
Red 5 Studios strives to create transformative games that connect millions of gamers around the world. Their games meld together art, sound and powerful stories in new ways that create not just adventures, but worlds for their players to live out their heroic alter egos. With the upcoming launch of their new game Red 5 Studios™ Firefall™, the company created a mobile gaming unit (MGU) to raise awareness and market the new game. The MGU was outfitted with high end AMD gaming peripherals with premium audio and visual equipment to create an experience that would leave a lasting impression.
Case Study - Red 5 Studios
The MGU is a mobile gaming center transported on a bus, and a small server footprint was a key requirement. Other critical technical requirements included the ability to provide a high level of computing and low latency bandwidth so that gamers would have an unmatched first time experience. After rigorous evaluation and testing of servers from leading server vendors, Red 5 Studios selected AMD’s SeaMicro SM10000-XE™ high density server for its ability to provide a combination of compute, networking, and storage in the industry’s most compact form factor without sacrificing performance.
The Red 5 Studio´s gaming application is built using Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM) virtualization technology. It is delivered and managed using OpenStack® and extended to Red 5 Studio’s Amazon EC2-based computing and storage environment. In a small closet on the MGU, the SeaMicro SM10000-XE provides 256 Intel® Xeon® cores with 40 Gbps of bandwidth to the gaming clients. Internally, the system provides the 64 individual servers over 1.28 Tbps bandwidth over SeaMicro Freedom™ Supercompute Fabric. Red 5 Studio’s mobile gaming environment was created with the capacity and performance to support thousands of gamers simultaneously.
As a gaming software company, Red 5 Studios did not want to change, rewrite, or optimize their code for a new, unproven server platform. The performance and familiarity of x86 servers allowed their team to focus on creating an experience that was worthy of the company’s vision rather than having to constantly tweak and optimize their code to work well. Red 5 Studios created the MGU not only for marketing purposes but also to solve the biggest problems of bandwidth performance in LAN gaming. In LAN gaming, gamers use a computer connected over a LAN primarily to play multiplayer computer games. With the rise of popular mass multiplayer online (MMO) games, bandwidth and performance have become the biggest challenges to overcome. Typically, large LAN gaming is considered to have about 400 gamers. With the SeaMicro SM10000-XE, Red 5 Studios was able to create a mobile LAN gaming center that can support up to 3,000 simultaneous players.
There was no shortage of server options when the company embarked on the road to creating a mobile gaming experience. They evaluated the latest, most power efficient options from leading vendors as well as white box versions. No other server vendor was able to provide the density and power efficiency of AMD’s SeaMicro server platform. AMD’s technology advantage was due to an innovative approach rather than one of modifying standard reference designs. Instead of optimizing each individual computing component, AMD created a completely different server architecture that eliminated dozens of unnecessary parts and components, resulting in industry-leading computing performance per watt of electricity.
A mini-motherboard was created and combined with AMD’s SeaMicro TIO™ (Turn it Off) technology, which reaches into the CPU and chipset to consolidate functionality and shut off unused blocks. This, combined with a supercomputer-style interconnected fabric designed to link these mini-motherboards into a single system, delivers a dramatic reduction in power draw while providing lower latency, lower cost, and more bandwidth.
As one of the hottest gaming companies on the market today, Red 5 Studios is excited to be able to fulfill their online gaming vision of potentially connecting millions of gamers in online communities and tribes. The MGU allows Red 5 Studios to bring their Firefall experience to gamers and fans around the country, and it could not have been achieved as easily or cost effectively without the SeaMicro SM10000-XE. With this platform, Red 5 Studios was able to shrink what would normally take a data center for other games into a small closet that could be transported on a bus.