Google Cloud hopes that game developers can now improve the online multiplayer experience for players with a new cloud tool.
Game servers used for online play can now run on Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE) on autopilot using another new feature from the company, an open source game server orchestrator called Argones. By combining these two services, Google Cloud can manage Kubernetes clusters and scale them up or down depending on the number of players connected to the server at a given time.
In a company blog post, Ishan Sharma, Senior Product Manager, GKE, said, “At Google Cloud, we are steadfast in making game launches boring by making GKE Autopilot the platform of choice for running game workloads for scalability, reliability, and automation.”
Save time and money
Since GKE Autopilot takes care of this scaling automatically, it should save developers time, effort, and money when compared to using traditional Kubernetes methods. Sharma gives an example: “You might overprovision node pools much earlier in anticipation of scaling and keep those node pools running longer before downsizing. It all costs money.”
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With the variance in the traffic and workloads typical of the day-to-day operation of a game server, Holger Mueller, an analyst at Constellation Research technology professionals, believes the cloud can prove its value in these scenarios.
He noted that “Running infrastructure for gaming workloads manually quickly becomes an expensive endeavor, and mistakes are often made. So automated infrastructure, which Google Cloud now provides with GKE Autopilot, is critical. Combine this with Google’s ultra-fast network and you have A very compelling platform for gaming workloads.”
By embracing more benefits of the new cloud hosting tools for game servers, Google says developers will only pay for the power the hardware actually consumes, so they won’t be charged for any unused potential. The company also cites an internal study that claims to show that GKE Autopilot can reduce infrastructure costs by up to 85%, and improve developer efficiency by up to 45%.
Furthermore, Sharma noted that developers will not be restricted to using only Google Cloud with GKE and Argones on autopilot, as their open source nature means games remain flexible and versatile when used in conjunction with other cloud and on-premise infrastructure.
Also with a multi-purpose parallel deployment, developers can build a new GKE cluster in certain specific regions, if they only want certain updates and features, for example, to be implemented in certain locations around the world, possibly for test runs before a worldwide rollout .
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