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February 22, 2001

OSI: UO, Above.net, ATT, etc

Ruben Cortez, Sr. Manager of Network Infrastructure for EA.com, posted a long message about UO and their connectivity issues on Ultima Online's Connectivity Forum, here. Below is a bit of the beginning of his post.

UO, Above.net, ATT, etc


I'd like to introduce myself to this community, as I haven't made a public announcement regarding UO and our connectivity in years. I hope I have the time to make that fact change going forward.

I'm the Sr. Manager of Network Infrastructure for EA.com. I manage all our network infrastructure as well as datacenter decisions for EA.com domestically and internationally. Since UO is a very vital part of EA.com, a lot of the decisions I make day to day are guided by what is best for UO and itís player community. Also, since EA.com is looking to expand its PSW (persistent state world) offerings, I also make decisions based on what is best for all new PSW's to come, as well as our current games at www.ea.com.

Let me give you some background. Iíve been involved in building UOís network presence from the very beginning. I was involved in building network connectivity when UO was within the networks of Epoch, Digex, Smartnap, GlobalCenter, IXC, Exodus, and now Above.net. The international datacenters and ISPís as well, but I wonít go into more details on them here. You can point the blame for ďwho choose Above.netĒ to me. Iím fine with that. In a minute Iíll give you more information as to why Above.net was chosen in the first place.

I have also been intimately involved in every single move weíve ever made with a UO shard. Itís perhaps the most difficult process I ever have to deal with. Itís extremely complex, not too mention nerve racking and stressful. Making the decision itself is the most painful part of it all. Itís not easy. I wish I could give you details on how circumstances exactly come about that requires us to move a shard, but there are so many I wouldnít know where to start. But I can assure you of this. We have never made a decision to move a shard, including the recent moves of Great Lakes and Lake Superior, without taking into consideration how the move was going to affect our gamers. And the number one factor I take into consideration when devising our strategy on where the best place is to put a shard is this: How is the shard going to look for 90-95% of the players? The one, clear, unquestionable fact about online gaming Iíve learned from building and managing UO connectivity for over 3 years now is this: regardless of what we do, regardless of how much money we spend, regardless of what ISP we choose, we can not make everyoneís ping times sub-100ms with no packet loss. Itís a very painful fact; one I wish I could change. But I canít. I donít control that much of the Internet. As a matter of fact, no one does. But what I DO have and can present to you, is path weíve been working on for years to try and decrease the percentage of those we cant please from 5-10%, down to maybe just 1-2%. More on this in a minute.
As noted above, the entire post can be read here.

Posted by Nobody at February 22, 2001 8:07 PM

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