How Containers Will Change the Game Server Hosting Industry

The core product has gotten older, the consumer base has increased considerably, and lots of innovative features have emerged resolving several of their heart hurdles to containerization of game servers as well as other opinionated software. We have also seen several exciting new products and hacks showcasing some of their wilder possible pairings of container technology and game titles.


An applications engineer with a passion for gaming, I focus on gaming related jobs in my spare time. I also talk about Rent Ark Server automation once I have the chance. In this column I’ll have a peek at the way the previous 12 months at the Docker worldhave influenced game titles and the gaming world generally.

“2015 watched some fascinating @Docker improvements for game titles” — through @brendanfosberry
Even though Docker has been broadly embraced in the area of internet services, adoption has been much slower compared to the gaming market.

Traditionally this business has been concentrated on deadlines and deliverables instead of reusable code, programmer experience, or codebases longevity. This sort of deliverable-focused development boosts innovation but mostly within the context of this core merchandise. Therefore, the gaming market has been hugely advanced in regards to its core advantages — AI, producing, physics, distributed simulation and forecast, etc. — however spearheads much fewer new technologies amongst what could be incidental services.

Due to this, the services sector tends to pull forward in regions like public APIs and tooling, container technology, and new languages and frameworks. Coupling that with the entire normal closed-source, compiled product from the gaming business, it will become obvious as to why Docker and other container technologies haven’t flourished, regardless of the apparent suitability. Containers help in solving several problems common to a lot of businesses, particularly those issues crucial to Rent Ark Server, including portability, dependencies, and source management.

Containers fix problems in gaming, but there are reasons they have not flourished.
This isn’t to say Docker hasn’t found its way to the industry. Improbable.io has been utilizing Docker for a time to power their simulator stage, and before this season, EA had a great talk on how they’re utilizing Docker. Both are instances of Docker used to host game titles, but to get a hosted, highly automated system.

Thomas Shaw also gave a great talk at Docker Con 2015 on using Docker to induce cultural change. Demon ware uses that the Docker toolset as part of the development pipeline to assist in supporting long-running jobs and reduce issues with the broad selection of dependencies throughout projects. This is a wonderful example of utilizing Docker at a really approachable and broadly applicable manner, whatever the final product or hosting alternative may be.

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