Setting up a site for social gaming


#1

I would like to set my site up to run SmartFoxServer for Flash, and design a social game for Facebook and other social networks. I am confused about how to best go about doing this. Do I need both a Private Server for the site and the server apps, AND a private MySQL server? Or can I just get the MySQL server up, start an apache instance on it, and use it to host the website AND any other running server apps I might need (like smartfoxserver)?

What else should I know in terms of doing this efficiently, securely, and as inexpensively as possible?

Thanks in advance.


#2

Hi,

You may be able to get away with using the standard (free, shared) MySQL server. However, you may need to upgrade to a MySQL PS if you start getting MySQL errors/ performance issues from too many connections and such. However you will need a PS if you are going to run 3rd party server software (like SmartFoxServer); it can also be used to host your web site. The Standard (web) PS does not run MySQL.

It’s also worth noting that Dreamhost does not provide support for 3rd party software; nor do they guarantee uptime for it. However, they MAY be able to help with related basic tasks like configuring the firewall to open the needed ports and things like that.

I hope this clears up your confusion.


#3

Thanks so much for the info. So you know, I am fully aware that they don’t support 3rd party stuff, the only help I’d need from them is the basic first steps, because my unix/linux skills are a bit shaky.

And, yes, you definitely need a private server for SmartFox. But you’re saying, I don’t need TWO? You just need to move your MySQL to a private server and then turn on the Apache instance, move your stuff over and you’re good to go? I don’t need to do the normal PS too?

Another weird question: I had some trouble/confusion (apparently) getting the thing up and running, and I think I caused the system to fully set up a PS that never fully registered: I can log into it with my FTP app and Terminal, but it’s not visible in the dreamhost panel – what’s weird is that, if I try to make a new Admin user, the ghost PS is available as an option in the PS dropdown (where you specify what server the new admin user is to be made for), but then when you click okay, naturally, the system responds that it cannot create the user because the server cannot be found.

Might be worth mentioning that, it doesn’t even let you make a new admin unless you have at least one PS showing in the panel, and since the ghost one was not, the only way I could even get it to erroneously popup in that admin user dropdown was to make a fresh additional PS. Meanwhile, I have about 3GB of stuff on the ghost PS I cannot get to (though, my public website, which is still up and running, seems to be hosted on that ghost PS), and since I cannot make an admin account for the ghost server, I cannot modify / delete the files that I will very soon be charged a LOT for.

Honestly, anything not related to the social gaming I’d like to keep off of the PS. Dreamhost has been very less than helpful with me about this issue, and it only makes matters worse that their panel is rather broken. I feel like I am wearing oven mitts trying to set this $#!+ up.


#4

Hmm. It looks as though the confusion with your PSes is occurring because service for some of the PSes has been canceled, but the machines haven’t been removed from your account yet. Write in to Support and they should be able to fix that for you (either by removing the expiring PSes, or by making them properly active again).


#5

It’s great that you are willing to learn, but DreamHost (or any host, for that matter) is not going to walk you through the setup such as yours. That is not their job. They only ensure that the “standard services” are working. That said, they are usually very helpful and prompt if something breaks on their end. They have even fixed and explained problems that were totally my fault :slight_smile:

Dreamhost also provides a number of self help tools. Namely, this forum, and the wiki.

http://wiki.dreamhost.com

I would hope the software you purchased has a decent setup guide for *nix to help with that. However, here is some recommended reading:

http://www.debianhelp.co.uk/

It looks like SmartFox also has a support forum. You should be able to get some help there. Who knows, you may even find someone else who uses DH and SmartFox.

http://www.smartfoxserver.com/forums/

UPDATE: The only threads that I have found on the SmartFox forums regarding DreamHost are from users complaining about how DH kills long-running processes (they were trying to use it under shared hosting before DH offered PSes :stuck_out_tongue: ). You may have better luck starting a new thread there.

Yes and no. Your typical DH shared setup works like this:

1 web server that many customers use to serve their website.

1 MySQL server that many customers use for their backend database (mostly for web sites)

One setup that MAY work for you is this:

1 DH PS Server. By default this server is configured to host websites. assuming Spartfox does not use port 80 (the same port used to host web sites), You can use one PS to do the hosting for your website, SmartFox, or anything else that needs a server. While it is hypothetically possable to set up MySQL on it as well, that would be more trouble than its worth, especially for someone who is new to severer administration.

1 shared MySQL server at no additional cost.

However, if the SmartFox server makes too many calls and impacts other users (especially if your game(s) become popular), you may be asked to upgrade to a MySQL PS. The MySQL PS runs MySQL and only MySQL. It is optimized for this purpose. You cannot FTP or SSH into it. But, the MySQL server would be accessible to servers running on your PS (like SmartFox, the mySQL text client, phpMyAdmin, and the DH MySQL panel)

[quote=“buganamo, post:3, topic:53268”]
Another weird question: I had some trouble/confusion (apparently) getting the thing up and running, and I think I caused the system to fully set up a PS that never fully registered: I can log into it with my FTP app and Terminal, but it’s not visible in the dreamhost panel – what’s weird is that, if I try to make a new Admin user, the ghost PS is available as an option in the PS dropdown (where you specify what server the new admin user is to be made for), but then when you click okay, naturally, the system responds that it cannot create the user because the server cannot be found. Might be worth mentioning that, it doesn’t even let you make a new admin unless you have at least one PS showing in the panel, and since the ghost one was not, the only way I could even get it to erroneously popup in that admin user dropdown was to make a fresh additional PS.[/quote]

That does sound like a bug on DreamHost’s end. Contact support with a separate ticket regarding only the above and they will be able to help you. UPDATE: Yep. see the reply above. AndrewF (a DH employee) already replied regarding this issue before I finished and submitted this rather long post. Also, an admin account is only needed if you need to run commands as root (using sudo), which you will probably need to do if you are installing a service like SmmartFox. The admin user can not be accessed via FTP. Really, you should never use FTP for any of your users at is not secure (i.e. someone could steal your password and do other bad things). You should use a secure protocol to transfer files like SFTP. See http://wiki.dreamhost.com/SFTP

[quote=“buganamo, post:3, topic:53268”]
Meanwhile, I have about 3GB of stuff on the ghost PS I cannot get to (though, my public website, which is still up and running, seems to be hosted on that ghost PS), and since I cannot make an admin account for the ghost server, I cannot modify / delete the files that I will very soon be charged a LOT for.[/quote]

I’m assuming you mean you have 3GB of data stored on the server. Dreamhost PSes are billed by the amount of RAM your that you have allocated to your PS, not the about of hard disk space used. The amount of RAM a server uses depends on the number of processes being run, and how much resources (in RAM) each process is using. During your trial, the panel allocates very high amount of RAM. After the trial, Dreamhost should lower the amount of RAM to a level that fits within the amount of RAM you used during the trial. That way, you have enough RAM on your PS to handle the load on it, and you don’t pay from RAM you don’t need. After that, you will need to adjust the RAM allocation yourself if your needs change. the panel has graphs showing resources used over time to help you make this decision. Considering your issues above, see if support will let you have a new PS with a new trial period once you are ready to deploy your services, that way, there is no guesswork on your part for allocation. See http://wiki.dreamhost.com/PS_Optimization

Dreamhost does have separate charges if you go over your bandwidth (amount of network traffic for all your services) and storage (the amount of disk space used for all of your accounts/servers) quotas. Most dreamhost customers qualify for unlimited plans, due to the fact that you are not using DH servers for standard purposes, you may not. For more details, see http://www.dreamhost.com/unlimited.html Even if you aren’t allowed unlimited quotas, DreamHost quotas are very generous. I’d contact support for clarification on this matter. Or perhaps a DH employee can answer here.

I’m not sure what you mean by “related to social social gaming”, but IMHO why not? If you have a PS use it for everything you can. That way, your site and other services’ uptime will not be affected by other customers.


#7

It is good idea!!! I like it!!!