Greetings EVE Players, long time since I've done a blog...
Red Moon Rising is out and as you have probably noticed we are still dealing with issues from the deployment. RMR is a rather big change, in many aspects close to Exodus in scope, especially at the lower levels. RMR contains many optimizations and improvements behind the scenes to deal with EVE's continued success (BTW thank you so much for that, EVE owes much of it's success to you the EVE Player community).
As the game grows and we stubbornly maintain our goal of one cluster, we have to take a more drastic approach to platform management than before. The gradual addition of hardware and on going software optimizations are not able to keep up with EVE any more. Oveur recently did an excellent blog describing our efforts.
The urgency of the situation becomes evident when we do updates of the scale of Red Moon Rising. The margin of error is virtually non-existent as we are already so close to the glass ceiling of our current cluster architecture that the smallest mis-configuration leads to us banging against it. This causes effects which we just witnessed at 15:00 GMT today.
We have been doing research into how we can considerably increase our headroom, the first step was the Ramsan, the next step involves a move to 64 bit architecture. We have brought Christian Tismer, the godfather of Stackless Python to Iceland and him and porkbelly are here at the office busy figuring out how to squeeze all potential power out of the x64 AMDs we are planning to build our next major cluster upgrade on.
Next to them Papasmurf and Dr.J are feverishly calibrating all pistons of our current cluster to focus all computing resources in the right areas so that RMR will hold the 25.000 PCU we seem destined to achieve before we manage to have the new super cluster hardware assembled, delivered, installed, tuned and tested.
The hardware needed to increase our headroom isn't something you can go to the store and buy. We have world experts assisting us and after everything has been completed the EVE cluster will probably be the first game related cluster site to rank on the Top500 list.
Anyway I wanted to offer my small reassurance that we are focused on backing our commitment to single cluster for the world wide market (The China cluster is a whole different ballgame which warrants a separate blog) and we fully realize that seriously increased hardware and R&D investment is required to back it and that will be done.
In the short term we have world leading experts in MMO development working around the clock here at the office, ignoring all other commitments (which understandably are considerable this close to Christmas). I remain in constant amazement how committed our developers are to make sure we pass each hurdle, commitment that is only matched by the understanding of their families.
In the long term we will build a completely new cluster utilizing all modern day technology to construct something at the scale needed to simulate nuclear explosions or the earth's weather system.
So this is blog is our plea to you, the EVE Player community, to yet again give us a chance to resolve these matters and to explain that we have long term and short term goals to remedy the situation as quickly as possible.
Of course EVE Online is a commercial venture but seeing what we have achieved together often makes you think otherwise. We here at CCP remain committed to keep up our end of the bargain. With your help we'll take MMOGs to the next level.