I'm working on a big project, and I do not have much experience with servers and how much they cost.

The big project consist of a new table game for online playing and betting. Basically, a poker server that must be responsive with thousands of concurrent users.

What type of server must i look for? What features, hardware or software, are required? Should I consider cloud computing?

thank you in advance.


You're going to need more details than just the number of concurrent users.

  • What web services do you need (PHP, ASP, static files, database, which database, cache layer, etc...)? Some of this will
  • What level of redundancy/availability do you want? Higher availability means less potential down time but at an expense of higher cost, time, and skill to setup.
  • What is the average request rate for a user of the site? Look at static files, dynamic files, database requests, what can be cached and what can't.
  • Do some quick tests/benchmarks for various systems to get a rough idea of what capabilities they have. Even better would be a simple prototype game setup which simulates the kind of requests you expect.
  • If you're completely unsure just start with cheap/basic hardware and perform benchmark testing when you application gets to a minimally usable level. With a good design and setup you'd be surprised how much a low end server can do. Design and plan the system for easy migration to more powerful hardware if/when you need it.

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