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Oceanic Server Connection Discussion - Perth Edition


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#1 Mike Forst

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 10:28 AM

As we recently announced, we are trying out a new server for the Oceanic region that is located in Perth, Australia. With the recent changes I thought I'd write up a brief history of our servers in the region and the challenges we've faced.

The history of issues with Oceanic Region connectivity

Why start off in Singapore?

We picked Singapore originally because it was fairly central to a lot of countries with players. We had hoped to provide a good experience for most players in the region. Singapore also had the best selection of hosts who could meet our technical needs. It seemed like a good place to establish a presence in the region and provide a better play experience. There were a couple of caveats that we were prepared for, but ultimately weren't able to mitigate fully.

Routing is not always something you can control

When it comes to the Internet, your traffic doesn't always follow the shortest path possible. This is due to a massive list of reasons that are sometimes technical, sometimes physical, sometimes business related, and sometimes even political. Nearly none of these factors are something we can control or change directly ourselves. As such, we have to work with others to try to make things better, or do our best to work around problems.

One of the problems we've been consistently facing for Australian players is a routing issue. Australia currently has two exit points for Internet connectivity to the rest of the world: Sydney (East Coast) and Perth (West Coast). Traffic leaving from Sydney will generally have poor connectivity into Asian networks, but traffic leaving via Perth is usually much better. Some Internet Service Providers (ISPs) will send traffic out of Australia via Sydney and there's nothing at all we can do to change that. Some providers will use the Perth link. This East-West problem is the root cause of the connectivity issues players in Australia had when using our servers based out of Singapore. We had worked and worked to try and fix this issue, but in the end we decided we had to try something different.

Moving to Australia

We made a strategic decision to move the servers to Sydney, Australia, which is closer to the problem area. Our goal was to see if moving the servers closer to the players experiencing the biggest issues would help them out while not causing serious issues for the rest of the players who use this region.

It didn't work out as we had hoped. That Internet routing issue I described above reared it's ugly head again, but this time it affected everyone else but Australia. Asian players got routed through California, or sometimes even Chicago somehow. EU players always ended up crossing two oceans. NA players took a longer than expected route. We had fixed one problem at the cost of making it far worse for everyone else. We once again tried to work with our provider to see if we could get things working better. In the end, we decided that the time it would take to get things fixed could be too long. We needed to find something better.

Why have we chosen Perth?

We had looked for a provider in Perth that could meet our technical needs in the past, but weren't able to find one. Perth is an important server location candidate for us. It's in Australia, and therefore mostly eliminates the East-West routing issue. It's directly connected to Singapore, and so players in Asia should have a solid route (again, assuming their ISPs take it.) This would let us put a server in a location that would service both parts of the region well. Maybe not provide either AU or SEA with the best performance, but provide a consistent one.

We spent some time recently making some changes to our technical needs so that we could be a bit more flexible with whom we could choose as a hosting provider. With the slightly relaxed criteria, we were able to find a hosting provider in Perth that looks like it will do that job. That server is what you will be testing out.

But what happens if the SeaMeWe-3 cable gets wrecked again?

That cable seems like it is made out of shark bait and attracts boat anchors. If it happens then SEA players are going to have a worse play experience while it's being repaired. If it's broken for a long time we will look into alternative options. The good news is that the Australia Singapore Cable submarine fiber cable is coming online in a few months which should reduce the risks of this scenario causing issues.

What should I expect from this server?

Here are the rough ping times you should get with this server:
  • Australia/New Zealand/South East Asia: under 150ms
  • Rest of Asia: under 200ms
  • West Coast North America: under 250ms
  • East Coast North America: under 300ms
  • Europe: under 300ms
These numbers are rough estimates based on our early tests. I may revise these numbers once we have a larger number of samples from which to base better estimates.

If you get a result that is above these numbers please follow the steps in the FAQ section for reporting results so we can take a look.

FAQ

Why not add a 4th region?

We get asked this frequently, and the answer is simply "there are a variety of reasons why we can't at this time."

What about North American and European players wanting to use the Oceanic Server?

We do take this into consideration, and do work to try and provide an adequate play experience for all players to any regional server. However, at some points the limits of geography and physics end up applying. If you are in these regions and are getting very poor connectivity. We do want to hear from you. I'm going to be looking for outliers and obvious bad routes and will work to improve them. My reach for a lot of this is limited, but I will make my best effort to do so.

What's the best way to report results if I think there's a problem?

Ping times alone are nowhere near diagnostic enough. We need to know more about the route your traffic takes to us. The traceroute tool is decent for providing routes, but there is a more modern tool you can use instead: MTR. MTR stands for Multiple Trace Route and it provides more detailed looks at all the hops your traffic takes. You can download it for Windows at: http://winmtr.net/. You can use the following IP address for MTR testing: 45.121.208.130

Once you have generated an MTR for us, please send it to support along with your IP address via email at technical@mwomercs.com instead of posting it here. I might miss it here but our Customer Service team will definitely forward anything that requires my attention on to me.

You got <technical detail> wrong! It actually works like this...

I know. I'm keeping it simple for the sake of brevity. I am also aware that there are lots of small details about how everything works in the region that I might not be fully up to speed on. If you'd like to have a more detailed conversation about the issues in this region please feel free to discuss it in the thread or open a PM conversation with me.

Can we see more detailed data?

We have shared all the data we are able to share at this time. We are not able to share additional details for a variety of reasons.

You don't post anymore. Do you still like to post?

Yes.

How many times did you edit this post to fix typos and mistakes?

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#2 ZortPointNarf

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 11:15 AM

Thanks for the update on the time Posted Image

A very brief update from South Africa, its quite a bit worse.
https://steamuserima...9EAA93415AD8CC/
BUT, I would wager this is a routing issue, not a lot of SA traffic heading to Perth, and that is quite often routed via EU.
For the big forgotten continent (Africa, missing from the list, as well as South America) Singapore was better, but none were great, and being a realist I don't expect a Africa Server for the 50 people playing it.

Aside, thanks for attempting to address this, I know well rack space is not cheap.

Edited by ZortPointNarf, 03 April 2018 - 11:16 AM.


#3 Mike Forst

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 11:24 AM

View PostZortPointNarf, on 03 April 2018 - 11:15 AM, said:

Thanks for the update on the time Posted Image

A very brief update from South Africa, its quite a bit worse.
https://steamuserima...9EAA93415AD8CC/
BUT, I would wager this is a routing issue, not a lot of SA traffic heading to Perth, and that is quite often routed via EU.
For the big forgotten continent (Africa, missing from the list, as well as South America) Singapore was better, but none were great, and being a realist I don't expect a Africa Server for the 50 people playing it.

Aside, thanks for attempting to address this, I know well rack space is not cheap.


Please send an MTR to support as per the instructions in the FAQ section. I'm very curious to see which way it's going.

#4 STEF_

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 11:51 AM

View PostMike Forst, on 03 April 2018 - 10:28 AM, said:

Europe under 300.


Sadly , nope.

It's 388-393

Edited by Stefka Kerensky, 03 April 2018 - 11:51 AM.


#5 Poppaukko

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 11:55 AM

View PostStefka Kerensky, on 03 April 2018 - 11:51 AM, said:


Sadly , nope.

It's 388-393

About same here, sent the MTR file to support.

#6 MrKvola

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 01:41 PM

Was 305-310ms, is 345-ish now. From central Europe.

#7 I cant want to

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 04:54 PM

still looking for confirmation in regards to solaris -

NA server only (like faction)?
OR
all servers (like quick play)?

#8 Samial

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 09:48 PM

Never use WA.. for server stuff the west coast is worse than the east.. But hey at least they are trying..

#9 The6thMessenger

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Posted 03 April 2018 - 09:54 PM

250ms. There's also a few DCs i've encountered, not every match.

#10 Samial

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 12:40 AM

View PostThe6thMessenger, on 03 April 2018 - 09:54 PM, said:

250ms. There's also a few DCs i've encountered, not every match.

Thats my ping to NA

#11 Ebelaar

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 12:48 AM

NA: 244ms
EU: 275ms
Oceanic: 155ms

i like what i'm seeing. Posted Image

#12 zugnish

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 02:06 AM

Europeans --

I get at best 320ms to your server in EU wherever it is located. Maybe they can move that to Singapore?

Seriously, nobody expects to get a decent ping from EU to Australia. This server isn't for you.

I'm getting 65ms ping from Sydney, so it's only 40ms worse than it was last week. Would be nice to hear from people in Singapore and SEA.

#13 ZortPointNarf

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 03:08 AM

View PostMike Forst, on 03 April 2018 - 11:24 AM, said:


Please send an MTR to support as per the instructions in the FAQ section. I'm very curious to see which way it's going.


Will run it tonight when I get home, should be interesting.

#14 Kasumi Sumika

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 03:18 AM

150s from Indonesia, but I have some games on my team or enemy team getting dc'ed in early game which render the game unfair. Also I have some random lagging which could make gameplay problematic.

#15 arcana75

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 04:01 AM

Server status reliability aside, I'm getting 115ms pings, that's a vast improvement from the Sydney one where I was getting 300-310ms pings, which was worse than my pings to NA and EU at 250ms and 270ms respectively.

The best part? My traffic is routing from Singapore to Hong Kong BACK to Singapore, then direct to Western Australia, and it still managed 115ms. The SG to HK to SG leg took only 65ms (~30ms one way), and a further 55ms from SG to Vocus Communications in Perth.

Keep it at Perth/Vocus Comms.

PS: The SG to HK to SG routing was due to routing by Hurricane Electric, a US company. Looks like Vocus Comms is prioritising traffic to US via Hong Kong. If I'm right, NA players will route through HK via Hurricane Electric as well to reach the Perth server.

Edited by arcana75, 04 April 2018 - 04:15 AM.


#16 ZortPointNarf

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 07:46 AM

Results sent in, a steady 500ms :(

#17 MrKvola

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 08:02 AM

View Postzugnish, on 04 April 2018 - 02:06 AM, said:

Europeans --

I get at best 320ms to your server in EU wherever it is located. Maybe they can move that to Singapore?

Seriously, nobody expects to get a decent ping from EU to Australia. This server isn't for you.

I'm getting 65ms ping from Sydney, so it's only 40ms worse than it was last week. Would be nice to hear from people in Singapore and SEA.

Why would they move the EU servers to Singapore? I was getting bad ping to the servers when they were there. Also, there is decent player pop in the EU/Russia. It would just force me to play NA only and the SG server would be empty.

I just posted the ping to note that it got worse for me. I believe the expectation was for it to improve. No other reason. I was never seriously intending to use the Oceanic servers to play.

#18 zugnish

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 08:22 AM

View PostMrKvola, on 04 April 2018 - 08:02 AM, said:

Why would they move the EU servers to Singapore? I was getting bad ping to the servers when they were there. Also, there is decent player pop in the EU/Russia. It would just force me to play NA only and the SG server would be empty.

I just posted the ping to note that it got worse for me. I believe the expectation was for it to improve. No other reason. I was never seriously intending to use the Oceanic servers to play.


Why was the Oceanic server located 5000km outside Oceania? (yes I know there's a whole post at the top of the thread that says exactly why)

I was just baffled as to why EU players were reporting their ping times to a server in Perth. Of course they are terrible. If anyone was suggesting that the OC server should move back to Singapore because pings from EU were poor, that wouldn't be far off from me suggesting that the EU server should move thousands of km closer to Australia so I can play on it. Not saying anyone was, exactly. It's a shame it's not under 300, but it has never been that low from Aus to EU.

#19 Mike Forst

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 08:58 AM

To address the talk of poor connections from EU to the OC server: We were hoping that EU providers would go eastwards towards Perth like they generally did for Singapore. So far, that has not been the case. All the 300+ ping rates that are being reported are caused by traffic flowing westwards, crossing Europe and North America before crossing the Pacific to reach Australia. That is most definitely the long route. There are plenty of routes that go eastwards that might be better routing options. We are in the process of gathering traces and will be seeing if there is a common thread to them. If there is we might be able to work with providers to arrange for an alternate route which should help.

View PostThe6thMessenger, on 03 April 2018 - 09:54 PM, said:

250ms. There's also a few DCs i've encountered, not every match.


Please forward your MTR to support if you haven't already. I'd like to see if your forward route to Perth matches the reverse route to you.

#20 Mike Forst

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Posted 04 April 2018 - 09:05 AM

View Postzugnish, on 04 April 2018 - 08:22 AM, said:

Why was the Oceanic server located 5000km outside Oceania? (yes I know there's a whole post at the top of the thread that says exactly why) I was just baffled as to why EU players were reporting their ping times to a server in Perth. Of course they are terrible. If anyone was suggesting that the OC server should move back to Singapore because pings from EU were poor, that wouldn't be far off from me suggesting that the EU server should move thousands of km closer to Australia so I can play on it. Not saying anyone was, exactly. It's a shame it's not under 300, but it has never been that low from Aus to EU.


I'd like to see the ping times and MTRs from EU. We want to try to improve connectivity wherever and however we can. Sometimes it's a single backbone making the wrong choice. If we can help get that fixed then we end up improving global connectivity, not just for our players but for everyone.





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