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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2007 8:25 pm 
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Over the years, I swore by Nuclearfallout insisting their servers were superior to all other providers on the main ground that their hardware and connection (bandwidth) seemed top notch as they are. I have been very poorly deceived throughout the years but since I have paid Nuclearfallout thousands of dollars, I was sworn to secrecy of quality because when you pay so much for something, you convince yourself it's good; and I fell victim to that.

Nuclearfallout and their employees insist that my problems are and always were due to my plugins, amxmodx, and metamod; well truth be told, we've experienced a myriad of lag spikes and registration issues even when everything has been disabled so that is far from the truth. I am contemplating what to do with my server, whether to accept the degredation of late nfo quality or to consider another host, or to just buy a dedicated server for my own sake to be able to run several stable servers on one machine for less than 2 nfo servers easily. I am very displeased with the low-level of service as well from NFo because once basic troubleshooting is not needed, the support team cannot provide an incredible amount of assistance. They don't support anything besides the most simplistic of mods and even with that, they don't really support it; they just re-install it if necessary, no real work involved in that. Almost any issues is beyond their realm of knowledge apparently.

I am merely fed up with nfo to be quite honest although I am still a customer as of yesterday. My server consistently spikes and shows signs of instability as I will demonstrate in this image:

Image

I'm sorry to have to say this because I do like the company "Führers" or owners John and Tom but from what I see, my server is unstable with and without any modifications.

Sleeper @ bndclan.com

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2007 10:10 pm 
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Sigh, there's so much wrong with your post. So much misinformation here.

I'll start by responding to the suggestion that your problems aren't caused by your server configuration. This is untrue. Your problems have always stemmed from your configuration for as long as I've been looking at them, which is probably a number of years now. You provided a HLSW graph that shows some of the sorts of issues that your plugins cause (although HLSW graphs in general are very poor indicators of performance). Here is another graph -- your player usage for the last 30 hours, as taken from your control panel:

Image

For comparison, here is another graph, from a healthy server. This one is of our community server "NuclearFallout:Chernobyl", which is a CS 1.6 server just as yours is, is on your same physical machine, and uses the exact same bandwidth in LA:

Image

The dips in your graph represent when our system was unable to poll the server, just as the red sections in your HLSW graphs represent when your HLSW client was unable to poll the server. If your problem was caused by something on our end, you would see it for both servers -- and Chernobyl shows no dips at all.

Let's take a look at your plugins to see whether you're running anything unusual that might cause this. A common troubleshooting step is to temporarily disable plugins until the server runs normally, to find out which causes the problem.

You are running these metamod plugins:

Code:
> rcon meta list
Currently loaded plugins:
      description      stat pend  file              vers      src   load  unlod
 [ 1] AMX Mod X        RUN   -    amxmodx_mm.dll    v1.76d    ini   ANY   ANY
 [ 2] SBSRV            RUN   -    sbsrv_mm.dll      v3.5.2    ini   Start Never
 [ 3] MySQL            RUN   -    mysql_amxx.dll    v1.76b    pl1   ANY   ANY
 [ 4] Fun              RUN   -    fun_amxx.dll      v1.76     pl1   ANY   ANY
 [ 5] Engine           RUN   -    engine_amxx.dll   v1.76     pl1   ANY   ANY
 [ 6] FakeMeta         RUN   -    fakemeta_amxx.dl  v1.76d    pl1   ANY   ANY
 [ 7] CStrike          RUN   -    cstrike_amxx.dll  v1.76     pl1   ANY   ANY
 [ 8] CSX              RUN   -    csx_amxx.dll      v1.76c    pl1   ANY   ANY
 [ 9] SQLite           RUN   -    sqlite_amxx.dll   v1.76b    pl1   ANY   ANY
9 plugins, 9 running

Fakemeta and SBSRV pop out at me as having the potential to cause problems in that list, based on what I've personally seen before. But you could easily have AMXModX plugins that are causing problems as well. Let's take a look at that list.

Code:
> rcon amxx plugins
Currently loaded plugins:
       name                    version  author            file             status
 [  1] AMXBans                 5.0      YoMama/Lux & lan  amxbans.amxx     debug
 [  2] AmxBans Admin Base      1.76     AMXX Dev Team     admin_amxbans.a  running
 [  3] Admin Commands          1.76d    AMXX Dev Team     admincmd.amxx    running
 [  4] Admin Help              1.76d    AMXX Dev Team     adminhelp.amxx   running
 [  5] Multi-Lingual System    1.76d    AMXX Dev Team     multilingual.am  running
 [  6] Menus Front-End         1.76d    AMXX Dev Team     menufront.amxx   running
 [  7] Commands Menu           1.76d    AMXX Dev Team     cmdmenu.amxx     running
 [  8] Players Menu            1.76d    AMXX Dev Team     plmenu.amxx      running
 [  9] Teleport Menu           1.76d    AMXX Dev Team     telemenu.amxx    running
 [ 10] Maps Menu               1.76d    AMXX Dev Team     mapsmenu.amxx    running
 [ 11] Admin Chat              1.76d    AMXX Dev Team     adminchat.amxx   running
 [ 12] Anti Flood              1.76d    AMXX Dev Team     antiflood.amxx   running
 [ 13] Scrolling Message       1.76d    AMXX Dev Team     scrollmsg.amxx   running
 [ 14] Info. Messages          1.76d    AMXX Dev Team     imessage.amxx    running
 [ 15] Admin Votes             1.76d    AMXX Dev Team     adminvote.amxx   running
 [ 16] NextMap                 1.76d    AMXX Dev Team     nextmap.amxx     running
 [ 17] TimeLeft                1.76d    AMXX Dev Team     timeleft.amxx    running
 [ 18] Pause Plugins           1.76d    AMXX Dev Team     pausecfg.amxx    running
 [ 19] Stats Configuration     1.76d    AMXX Dev Team     statscfg.amxx    running
 [ 20] Restrict Weapons        1.76d    AMXX Dev Team     restmenu.amxx    running
 [ 21] StatsX                  1.76d    AMXX Dev Team     statsx.amxx      running
 [ 22] CS Misc. Stats          1.76d    AMXX Dev Team     miscstats.amxx   running
 [ 23] Warcraft 3 Frozen Thro  3.0 RC1  Geesu & Avanderi  war3ft.amxx      debug
 [ 24] Team Balancer           1.8b3    Ptahhotep         ptb.amxx         running
 [ 25] AMX Super               3.7      Bmann_420 & Bo0m  amx_super-speed  running
 [ 26] Bad Camper              1.3b     Brad Jones        bad_camper.amxx  running
 [ 27] Grenade Spam Punish     1.3      [gOf]-Soul        grenspampunish.  running
 [ 28] Admin Spectator ESP     1.3      KoST              admin_spec_esp.  running
 [ 29] AMX Toggle Immunity     3.12     slmclarengt       amx_toggleimmun  running
 [ 30] DeagsMapManager         2.40     Deags/JTP10181    deagsmapmanager  running
 [ 31] ChickenMod: Rebirth     1.0a     T(+)rget          amx_chicken.amx  running
 [ 32] AMX Llama               1.4      SniperBeamer      admin_llama.amx  running
 [ 33] Advanced Roll The Dice  v2.5 RC  Striker           roll_the_dice.a  running
 [ 34] Spawn Protection        7.0      Peli              spawnprotection  running
 [ 35] AdThemes                1.6      Vet(3TT3V)        adthemes.amxx    running
 [ 36] FakeFull Original       1.7.6    JTP10181/Freecod  fakefull_origin  running
 [ 37] Server redirect         0.9.1    x0R               serverredirect.  running
 [ 38] Map Spawns Editor       1.0.16   iG_os             Map_Spawns_Edit  running
 [ 39] Clan Vs. All            1.0      GHW_Chronic       clanvsall.amxx   running
 [ 40] High Ping Kicker        1.0      Shadow/Bo0m!      amx_hpk.amxx     running
 [ 41] Slots Reservation       0.9.7    f117bomb          slots_reservati  running
 [ 42] Knife Only on Bridge i  1.0      xx_sirhc_xx       amx_deagle5_kni  debug
42 plugins, 42 running

You are running quite a few custom plugins by a number of different authors, several of which are in debug mode there. One or more of these could easily be the culprit.

I'm sorry, but it's quite clear that your confidence that this is not due to your server configuration is misplaced.

Let's also take a look at some of the statements you made individually.

Quote:
Over the years, I swore by Nuclearfallout insisting their servers were superior to all other providers on the main ground that their hardware and connection (bandwidth) seemed top notch as they are.

We have always used some of the best available hardware and bandwidth. That is absolutely correct. Most of the time, having the fastest hardware and bandwidth, and keeping both of them underutilized, is what game performance boils down to, and we have that licked. On top of that, we add our own tweaks and automated systems that we believe bring performance beyond what competitors with similar configurations can offer.

Quote:
I have been very poorly deceived

You have not been deceived at all. We are not liars here, and we do not mislead anyone either. You pay for excellent performance and service, and that's exactly what you get.

Quote:
I was sworn to secrecy of quality because when you pay so much for something, you convince yourself it's good; and I fell victim to that.

Your statement is a little odd there and I want to clarify to anyone reading this that we didn't make you swear to anything and that our prices aren't actually that high for our segment.

Quote:
Nuclearfallout and their employees insist that my problems are and always were due to my plugins, amxmodx, and metamod

Every time I've looked at your server, that has been the apparent case (minus the Metamod part, since we provide that and it's the same as on all other servers). I am looking at the data that you see above, and the fact that we are not getting other performance complaints, and it's hard to draw any other conclusion.

Quote:
degredation of late

I have heard claims that we're "not as good as [we] used to be" before and it always annoys me because I know, and our staff knows, that is is entirely untrue. We have more spare hardware, more spare bandwidth, lower overall CPU usage, higher standards, and better systems in place than ever. Our performance is not decreasing, it's increasing.

Quote:
I am very displeased with the low-level of service as well from NFo because once basic troubleshooting is not needed, the support team cannot provide an incredible amount of assistance. They don't support anything besides the most simplistic of mods and even with that, they don't really support it; they just re-install it if necessary, no real work involved in that. Almost any issues is beyond their realm of knowledge apparently.

I'm going to have to call you out on this one as well. We offer outstanding service and we bend over backwards for for our clients. We only "officially" support what we list on our order page (since we don't have unlimited resources), but any customer can tell you that we often go far beyond this. We have logged hundreds of hours trying to help you with your server, looking at all sorts of possible causes, and quite frankly it is to the point now that only you can fix it, as much as you don't want to.

You would not be able to find the consistently high level of service we have here anywhere else. And Sleeper, I encourage you to try! I suspect that one reason you have stayed with us so long is that you know we have the best service around.


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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2007 10:54 pm 
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I do not need much support from other companies; I would merely need to know from them whether or not the server is physically messed up or something like a DDOS is occuring. Granted, not many companies are so prompt as to respond respectively and for that I respect NFo. In fact, if NFo went public on the stock market, I would have invested years ago and probably made money. Part of my concern is that there may be specific "modifications" server-side corrupting server quality because even with those "tweaks," they may be detrimental under certain circumstances.

Many of our crashes do actually result from WC3FT as expected as well as SQL problems (web server in LA can be intermittent and going back to NFo's provided SQL would equate to more problems as for some reason WC3FT doesn't support the latest SQL).

The biggest thing that bothers me is that for me personally the support is never able to provide any type of assistance (no offense personal meant to Brendan/Siren/anyone else) because for some reason, they don't go above and beyond anymore to help me. I understand with the issues WC3FT causes my graph will be skewed but I am working diligently to fix that as well as college finals upcoming. I am under the impression that my server is causing issues on it's own but I have also noticed plenty of problems with registration complaints/latency spikes without any mods.

And to shoot your last point down as to why I stay with NFo, it's primarily because my IP is the most well-known that way and switching providers would take some time before getting regulars back.

I have very mixed feelings and emotions about NFo, quality and service in particular because I look at the raw tech specs and they look great but some times it feels as though it's not performing anywhere near that level :-\.

Sleeper

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PostPosted: Sun Dec 09, 2007 11:13 pm 
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BnD|Sleeper wrote:
The biggest thing that bothers me is that for me personally the support is never able to provide any type of assistance (no offense personal meant to Brendan/Siren/anyone else) because for some reason, they don't go above and beyond anymore to help me.

As I said, we don't have unlimited time on our hands, unfortunately, and we simply can't support everything that's out there. We try to help customers more when we can, but if you load unusual and unsupported customizations on your server, it's only reasonable for you to be the one to maintain them ;).

Quote:
I have also noticed plenty of problems with registration complaints/latency spikes without any mods.

As I said, we have not been getting other complaints of these in LA and our community server on your same box is doing great, but I'm always more than happy to look into performance complaints. Please email the performance details to rentals@nuclearfallout.net, including exactly who is seeing the problems, their IPs, traces to the server, what measurable problem they are seeing in-game (choke, loss, etc), and anything else you think might help us troubleshoot these.

Quote:
I have very mixed feelings and emotions about NFo, quality and service in particular because I look at the raw tech specs and they look great but some times it feels as though it's not performing anywhere near that level :-\.

We're very forward and honest about exactly what's occurring with your machine and bandwidth. For instance, you see the same data we do on your Health tab in the control panel as far as CPU and memory usage, and it tells you exactly the type of machine that you are on. We also make sure to let you know ahead of time through the Events page when important planned maintenance will be occurring.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 12:19 pm 
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One of the things that can cause what seems like a decrease in quality is how NfO randomly ninja attacks your server.cfg once in a while and reputs in their own settings. I know for a fact it happened to me a few times and I checked every once in a while to put back in my own settings that I think gave better performance.

As someone who's an intermediate AMXX coder, looking at that list I can tell your server is a total noobranch with crap going across players' screens constantly. Personally I would suggest NFO get some kind of workshop or something for it's techs to learn things like AMXX and very popular 3rd party programs (like the up and coming sourcemod) so problems like this can be solved easily by them being on top of knowing the badly coded plugins, knowing how people can misuse certain plugins/functions, or looking at the soruce of someone's "leet new plugin" and seeing it was poorly written so they don't have to argue with people constantly like "Omgz mai s3rv is teh lagz0rz! H3lp fix me gigahurtz!"


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 12:45 pm 
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kmal2t wrote:
One of the things that can cause what seems like a decrease in quality is how NfO randomly ninja attacks your server.cfg once in a while and reputs in their own settings. I know for a fact it happened to me a few times and I checked every once in a while to put back in my own settings that I think gave better performance.

As someone who's an intermediate AMXX coder, looking at that list I can tell your server is a total noobranch with crap going across players' screens constantly. Personally I would suggest NFO get some kind of workshop or something for it's techs to learn things like AMXX and very popular 3rd party programs (like the up and coming sourcemod) so problems like this can be solved easily by them being on top of knowing the badly coded plugins, knowing how people can misuse certain plugins/functions, or looking at the soruce of someone's "leet new plugin" and seeing it was poorly written so they don't have to argue with people constantly like "Omgz mai s3rv is teh lagz0rz! H3lp fix me gigahurtz!"


I use two different aliases for my gaming affliliations and one of them which you may know is "slmclarengt" as I am also a coder of amxx. Unfortunately I do know some plugins are fairly flawed (in particular wc3ft) that my server runs but they are also quite popular. Some of my problems like stated before are in occurrence even with no plugins/mods enabled but seeing that my server is usually busy when I'm awake, I don't want to disable all the mods just to prove it.

I am working proactively to fix the many issues I encounter with the server but at certain points, I see no reason to pay x amount of $$$ to NFo just for "high quality hardware/bandwidth" without the support I need when I could pay half that for sufficient hardware/bandwidth with no support needed because usually the support is unable to really assist in almost all circumstances these days.

Sleeper

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 1:33 pm 
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kmal2t wrote:
One of the things that can cause what seems like a decrease in quality is how NfO randomly ninja attacks your server.cfg once in a while and reputs in their own settings.

We have a script that runs each morning and sets very basic settings such as the correct sys_ticrate, but we have no other systems that adjust the settings there and our staff does not edit customer configurations except in an emergency or at customer request.

Quote:
Personally I would suggest NFO get some kind of workshop or something for it's techs to learn things like AMXX and very popular 3rd party programs (like the up and coming sourcemod)

As a whole we know quite a bit about AMXx and its plugins, and about Sourcemod. Nick in particular is extremely familiar with these systems and he helped coordinate the AMXx sponsorship. Because of this, we can often provide targeted additional help. However, we don't always have the time for this, especially in very complicated cases like Sleeper's. During very busy times, we concentrate on core support such as performance concerns and officially supported plugins.

Sleeper wrote:
I am working proactively to fix the many issues I encounter with the server but at certain points, I see no reason to pay x amount of $$$ to NFo just for "high quality hardware/bandwidth" without the support I need when I could pay half that for sufficient hardware/bandwidth with no support needed because usually the support is unable to really assist in almost all circumstances these days.

Sleeper, you have failed to mention here that we have spent hundreds or thousands of hours already, helping you very frequently over the last three years. You have definitely gotten your money's worth, just on the service, and even our base level of service is higher than most or all of our competitors. You would also not likely be able to find our level of hardware and bandwidth for this price, at least not on the type of permanent basis that you get it here.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 5:33 pm 
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Edge100x wrote:
kmal2t wrote:
One of the things that can cause what seems like a decrease in quality is how NfO randomly ninja attacks your server.cfg once in a while and reputs in their own settings.

We have a script that runs each morning and sets very basic settings such as the correct sys_ticrate, but we have no other systems that adjust the settings there and our staff does not edit customer configurations except in an emergency or at customer request.

Quote:
Personally I would suggest NFO get some kind of workshop or something for it's techs to learn things like AMXX and very popular 3rd party programs (like the up and coming sourcemod)

As a whole we know quite a bit about AMXx and its plugins, and about Sourcemod. Nick in particular is extremely familiar with these systems and he helped coordinate the AMXx sponsorship. Because of this, we can often provide targeted additional help. However, we don't always have the time for this, especially in very complicated cases like Sleeper's. During very busy times, we concentrate on core support such as performance concerns and officially supported plugins.

Sleeper wrote:
I am working proactively to fix the many issues I encounter with the server but at certain points, I see no reason to pay x amount of $$$ to NFo just for "high quality hardware/bandwidth" without the support I need when I could pay half that for sufficient hardware/bandwidth with no support needed because usually the support is unable to really assist in almost all circumstances these days.

Sleeper, you have failed to mention here that we have spent hundreds or thousands of hours already, helping you very frequently over the last three years. You have definitely gotten your money's worth, just on the service, and even our base level of service is higher than most or all of our competitors. You would also not likely be able to find our level of hardware and bandwidth for this price, at least not on the type of permanent basis that you get it here.


I would be very hesitant to say hundreds let alone thousands of hours being helped by NFo as the majority of my issues results in my saying "Thank you - cya" without any real assertion or help from helper. I am left dazed, confused and ever more frustrated because not only did I waste time by asking but I got further behind in critical thinking. I do agree the service NFo provides is above industry standard as well as hardware/bandwidth but the service definitely does not satisfy my needs as at some times, a NOC is really the only person able to provide satisfactory help.

I could actually rent a dedicated server from a specific well-known company powerful enough to run 4 game servers or more stable as well as web and voice on a cocktail of high-quality bandwidth like NFo for just a few dollars over 100/month.

John, I don't know what to tell you because I'm just voicing opinions I have personally seen over the years occur to me. It's difficult to say what to improve on because you honestly try to pretend as though Nuclearfallout is flawless in every way, shape, and form. If that were true, would you not have innumerable amounts of dedicated servers with no bandwidth/hardware problems and no complaints ever? Also, why is it that over the years, the server's FPS varies enough to degrade the quality sufficiently (ie: server FPS seen go from 250 --> 400 --> 60 --> 130 --> 275). It's fine for it to be +- 50 or so but when it jumps as far down as 60 within at least 10 seconds to relapse (ie: look at stats - ten seconds later, look at it again, then again...).

My main point I'd like to make about NFo as a whole lately especially: the price some times is difficult to justify with performance/service. Yes, I agree with you John, NFo is lower-priced than the other competitors for high-quality servers/support but the fact is, there are cheaper alternatives for sufficient/good quality servers with little/no support available, which can be tempting at times. One of the things that keeps NFo ahead of the curve but is a double-edged sword simultaneously is automation. It allows players at 3AM to order a playable server within 5 minutes, but at the same time can load balance incorrectly or route bandwidth improperly...

Don't get me wrong here, I like NFo as a whole, but from a personal server owner for over 5 years (3+ with NFo), I question whether or not it's really worth the value.

Sleeper

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 7:19 pm 
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This thread is really getting long and I don't think we're getting anywhere with it. I'm going to have to shut it down pretty soon to prevent it from monopolizing my time.

I'm glad we don't get many flames!

BnD|Sleeper wrote:
I would be very hesitant to say hundreds let alone thousands of hours being helped by NFo

I would not be hesitant. It has been hundreds or thousands of hours of frustrated attempts at assistance from us. Much of the time you refuse to listen to us and take our troubleshooting suggestions, and we can't go further than that. If you won't shut down your server and try it without plugins, for instance, when we ask you to -- that's as far as we can go.

Quote:
I could actually rent a dedicated server from a specific well-known company powerful enough to run 4 game servers or more stable as well as web and voice on a cocktail of high-quality bandwidth like NFo for just a few dollars over 100/month.

That's significantly more than you pay for your server with us, and you'd have far less support with a dedicated server than you get here -- you'd have to really run everything yourself there, including the game server installation and updates.

I seriously doubt that you can get the quality of bandwidth we have here for that price. Right now LA is working off basically pure InterNAP, and I don't see many resellers of InterNAP in LA or many other bandwidths that stack up to it.

Quote:
John, I don't know what to tell you because I'm just voicing opinions I have personally seen over the years occur to me.

It's very frustrating for us is that you've been coming to us with the same plugin problems for so many years now. We've sort of reached the end of what we can do for you.

Quote:
It's difficult to say what to improve on because you honestly try to pretend as though Nuclearfallout is flawless in every way, shape, and form.

We're not flawless and we don't claim to be. We do claim to be better than most of our competitors in price, service, etc.

Quote:
If that were true, would you not have innumerable amounts of dedicated servers with no bandwidth/hardware problems and no complaints ever?

Dedicated servers? What? Game servers are our business, not dedicated servers, and we concentrate our efforts on those. Many GSPs add dedicated server offerings as an additional revenue stream, including us in the past, but that is a different market that has different requirements, and we haven't found it very appealing.

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so, why is it that over the years, the server's FPS varies enough to degrade the quality sufficiently (ie: server FPS seen go from 250 --> 400 --> 60 --> 130 --> 275). It's fine for it to be +- 50 or so but when it jumps as far down as 60 within at least 10 seconds to relapse (ie: look at stats - ten seconds later, look at it again, then again...).

We don't see variable server-side FPS as you describe very frequently at all. It is usually one of the first things we check when a customer comes to us with a complaint, and we have a system that graphs it for us at 30 second intervals so that we can get very good data. I haven't seen a customer with server FPS problems in quite a long time now that did not turn out to have serious plugin problems, as you do.

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My main point I'd like to make about NFo as a whole lately

Sleeper, you have a unique experience that can't be generalized to describe NFo as a whole. Your experience has basically been driven by your problems with plugins, and isn't so much about us as it is about your plugin problems.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 7:51 pm 
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Yes this thread is monopolizing both mine and your time so I guess it would be fine to close it. I am getting fed up with my plugins being claimed for all the problems because I have specifically tested shutting my server down, turning off all mods (by setting Server DLL as default instead of Metamod, which effectively disables everything else I have), and the problems do still persist, however, they are less frequent and I won't deny that. Nuclearfallout servers are powerful but I do still see some occasional problems even without my plugins/mods enabled at all. I will consult you and/or techs if I have any more specific problems and need to prove it.

I would rather consider the point of my thread constructive criticism as I tried not to make it personal or offensive, let alone a flame.

At this point, I'd pretty much be repeating myself so I consider this case closed.

Like I said before, I really do like NFo and what you/Tom/everyone have done with it; but maybe it's just my demand for excellence approaching perfection that is skewing my vision.

Sleeper

P.S. If you don't mind, please don't make a "last word" then close it because then I have no ability to rebut your response.

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PostPosted: Mon Dec 10, 2007 7:54 pm 
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Please do follow up in email with the specifics on any measurable issues that you still have after disabling plugins.


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