Meltdown and Spectre Patches slowing down Server Performance

To the people in charge of the Servers,

Would you be willing to disclose if the patches for Meltdown and Spectre will be effecting the game servers?

Some articles are reporting up to a 30ish% slowdown for certain server and virtual machine use cases.

Also are you using Intel or AMD server processors?

Cordially yours,
Quickshot Gaming

P.S. give a treat to the hamsters for me, they work so hard.

Comments

  • Qu1ckshoT32_GamingQu1ckshoT32_Gaming Posts: 153 ★★
    edited January 2018
    Dear Server Maintenance people,

    Should we be expecting a performance hit with the next server maintenance interval?

    Games like Fornite have already experienced issues with server processor utilization increasing a lot and slowing down the game for all users trying to access it.

    Cordially yousr,
    Quickshot Gaming

    P.S. I've decided to name one of the Hamsters Fred, please give Fred some lettuce.
  • DNA3000DNA3000 Posts: 11,225 Guardian
    To the people in charge of the Servers,

    Would you be willing to disclose if the patches for Meltdown and Spectre will be effecting the game servers?

    Some articles are reporting up to a 30ish% slowdown for certain server and virtual machine use cases.

    Also are you using Intel or AMD server processors?

    Cordially yours,
    Quickshot Gaming

    P.S. give a treat to the hamsters for me, they work so hard.

    I believe Epic uses their own private cloud servers which had to be patched against Meltdown and Spectre within the last week or so, as that is when public patches became available. But MCOC appears to run in Google Cloud, and the big cloud guys received early alerts and workaround patches earlier than this: last summer actually.

    If MCOC is using dedicated backend servers with coarse threading, like I've seen some MMO instance servers do but I can't imagine what MCOC would use them for, they could be hit hard when the MCOC operations people patch guests. But they are unlikely to be able to predict the impact until they patch.

    What I'm seeing is virtualized and heavily threaded workloads usually aren't hit hard, but occasionally very hard. You'd expect anything doing a lot of context switching to be hit less hard by branch prediction nullification, but threaded workloads in single memory space like compilers seem to be getting hit very hard.
  • Qu1ckshoT32_GamingQu1ckshoT32_Gaming Posts: 153 ★★
    @DNA3000 You might be right, as the vulnerabilities were discovered last summer, but I'm just trying to find out for sure if the patches will be effecting us.

    Also if they we're using Epyc processors instead of Xeon I think they would be in a much better position for not taking as dramatic of a performance hit.
  • DNA3000DNA3000 Posts: 11,225 Guardian
    @DNA3000 You might be right, as the vulnerabilities were discovered last summer, but I'm just trying to find out for sure if the patches will be effecting us.

    Also if they we're using Epyc processors instead of Xeon I think they would be in a much better position for not taking as dramatic of a performance hit.

    Google announced they patched their cloud over the summer. Not 100% sure about Amazon and Azure, but they got the same information at the same time. I know that at least the front ends for the game are in google cloud, because the last time there was weird speculation about MCOC"s "servers" I just traced my game client's traffic to Google. But since the performance impacts are so specific, I don't think anyone can know until the patches go live.

    As to epyc processors, at the moment AMD's CPUs seem less vulnerable to Spectre and Meltdown, but that may only be because no one has found an exploitable sequence on AMD yet for some of the variations of the attack. Given how these attacks cut to the core of CPU acceleration techniques, we may be seeing cousins of Meltdown and Spectre hit non-Intel processor families harder than now down the road.
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