Virtualize your game servers

January 18th, 2009 by jason Leave a reply »

Why not?  This is a 24 player Team Fortress 2 dedicated server running on Windows Server 2003 on top of VMware ESX 3.5.0 Update 3.

  • 1 vCPU
  • 512MB vRAM
  • 1 vNIC
  • Periodic banner advertisements in game spreading the word to gamers about VMware virtualization and its practical application to the gaming community which has a large following

Click on the image below for a larger version:


One month CPU utilization averages:




  1. Scott says:

    Love TF2 and VMware ESX, FTW.

  2. Rob says:

    We’ve been using ESX to run game servers at Fragapalooza for a couple years now. Fragapalooza is the biggest LAN party in Canada and is held annually in Edmonton. Besides helping to organize it every year, I’m also the server/storage guy (including virtualization) at work, so it was natural for me to start using ESX at Frag as well. Besides running our various intranet services at the event (internal web-site for news/events during the 4-day event, internal IRC server, etc.) we have used it to host game servers for a whole variety of games. The last two years all of our official tournament servers ran from VMs on a single ESX box. Last year HP also loaned us a nicely loaded DL585 which of course I ran ESX on. We had enough spare capacity after all of our own game servers were up that I was able to create a simple linux template and offer to deploy empty VMs that any participants could use to setup their own dedicated game servers during the event.

    Maybe for next year, someone will offer to loan us multiple servers and a small SAN array, and we can have a vmotion-capable cluster at the event.

  3. jason says:

    @Rob Thanks for the informative reply. It’s great to hear VMware is providing benefit at such a large LAN party. I take VMware Workstation with me and host servers on that when I travel to LAN parties. The server stats shown above are on an HP DL580G2 4×2.5GHz. Not the fastest boxes in the world, but the best I can afford right now for server class equipment. A point to be made though is that I don’t need the fastest hosts known to man to host a game server (although faster CPU and storage helps out quite a bit during map changes).

  4. this is so good to have this on a server. i just love playing team fortress

  5. dedicated servers are the best type of web server that you could possibly get but they are a bit expensive~.*

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