Test Server- A matter of opinion

I’m deciding on putting up a test server where we can RT our project to get most of the bugs out (well before alpha). While I’ve constructed servers for business, some quite large, I’ve never setup a server specifically for testing out a game. We are constructing an open-world MMO style game that will, in time, accommodate no less than 50 people and contain no less than 300-500 NPC adversaries. If anyone has practical experience in this area I would appreciate your sharing your wisdom.

My view: Xeon processor, 16Gb ECC memory (or more), 1TB RAID 1, a modest video card, and Windows Server 2012.

Is this too much, too little?

Can I get away with a server built form an i3, i5, 16GB memory, a collection of 250Gb drives, integrated video, and win 7 64?

Thanks in advance.

Why the overhead of Windows Server 2012?

You could probably get away with a Linux dedicated server that would easily do the job. The reason I use UE4 is for the Linux support (besides all the other “awesomness”). All my test servers are dedicated Linux servers that I host through Digital Ocean. Basically I set up my server and then store it as an image … so when I need more I just create new ones from those images.

I have also built a web-based admin system that uses the Digital Ocean API to spin up/down and create/remove servers as I need them.

If it is a server, you shouldn’t need graphics cards and stuff like that … your server should definitely run as a dedicated server.

Why Windows? I have zero linux exposure but 20+ years of Windows server experience. While I’m not as sharp with Windows Server as I once was, I still can hold my own (fix and tweak) a windows box as opposed to learning Linux from the ground up. I prefer Nuclear Fallout servers, I’ve used them in the past, they too have web-admin interface and top shelf support.

What do you think about the hardware requirements? Xeon or I3,i5, i7? Is ECC necessary for a game server?

If it is a dedicated server than you should focus on CPU and Memory … not sure ECC would be required and an i7 would probably be overkill. However if you are using a database and others services (IIS / Apache) then an i7 wouldn’t be wasted.

This would probably be more than adequate, obviously I have no idea how demanding your game is … but it seems good enough to me.

I would suggest you work out what you budget for server rentals is and go with what you can afford without breaking your budget. Possibly start off smaller and scale up as the demand increases.