How to Buy a Server for Minecraft?

If you want to purchase a Minecraft server, you should seek for a server designed for one purpose - hosting web-sites. Now, you have the habit of running a java server application, and your hosting company may not have much experience of working with applications, and may need some instructions to customize and build such server. This article will help you to choose the right server and get maximum benefit from it without affecting your home connection.

If you are going to use a big server with more than 40 slots, a dedicated server will be an optimal solution. Evidently, the capabilities of a shared server won't be sufficient for providing a great number of players with stable access. However, if you start from hosting a server in your house, and player data-base is not large, a cloud server would be a cheaper and effective solution until your project outgrows it.

If you opt for a dedicated server, do not be tempted to simply buy the cheapest product. Most pre-built solutions with high RAM and high clock speed are good for hosting web-sites.

CPU

In case of Minecraft server hosting, threading means a lot. The higher clock speed, the better. The same applies to the number of cores and threads. For instance, an octocore with lower clock speed is better than a quad core with higher GHz value. A small server like that would be better, but you will want to scale it sooner or later.

Hard drive

Space means a lot, but the main issue with Minecraft servers is drive speed. If you want your server to be able to deal with many players, select SSD for server OS. To save money, it is reasonable to store game environment and server files on the SSD and have a SATA drive for back-up options.

Another popular configuration is RAID 1. It consists of two drives that mirror information between them. Thus, if one drive breaks down, a new one can be put in, and your data will be copied from the working drive. The size of SSD depends on game world size: it may be from 60 Gb to 256 Gb.

RAM

Minecraft players know that this game requires a lot of RAM from both users and server owners. No matter which kind of server you buy – it should have enough RAM. Minimum optimal amount is 1 GB dedicated to JavaVM, but this is not the limit, and you should define necessary RAM amount judging by the plugins used and the amount of users. Specialists advise leaving buffer between the maximum and available RAM in the system. Over-allocation also has its drawback, and may slow the work of server down.

Together with RAM, don’t forget about RAM disc. This a part of RAM that provides physical space where you can store files. It is quicker than an SSD, but costs pretty much. RAM disc is cleared when server loses power, so you will need something to store the files of game world and server before the server shuts down, because if a server loses power all of a sudden, you may lose all data. This is recommended only when you have RAM to spare and some script that may copy world data to the physical disc regularly.

OS

If you are going to buy a large server, Linux is highly recommended. With this solution you won’t sacrifice too much RAM and CPU. Linux allows getting up to 8x performance out of your server, compared with Windows. Why else Windows is a less reasonable solution? These servers require expenses on the OS, a server can be managed by one user at a time, installation size is around 10 GB, and it utilizes more CPU.

Bandwidth

Typically, a Minecraft server requires about 100 Mb/hour for a client. If you have special mudpacks, or use additional plugins, usage may be higher. As a rule bandwidth is calculated according to the monthly usage at some certain speed up to some certain amount (if you don’t have unmetered port). If you use all bandwidth you have, increasing port speed may slightly improve the situation.