Gamers have long been some of the toughest critics of the network. Not only do they want the fastest possible connection in terms of throughput, but they also want low latency (low ping times), low jitter and extremely consistent performance. Indeed, some ISPs have been known to look at gamers like canaries in a coal mine. With the extreme sensitivity to latency and performance that gamers have, they are often the first to notice when something is amiss on a network and thus there are those who have tapped into this resource that can sometimes find issues when other more conventional approaches don’t.
Which brings us to NorthCon 2012, the biggest LAN party in Germany. We recently announced our 2012 in NorthCon with Innovalan in a press release. With 2500 hardcore gamers coming together for a long weekend of gaming with Counter-Strike, League of Legends, StarCraft, Warcraft, Unreal Tournament and other games on tap, not to mention free pizza, live music, DJs and other generally cool, fun things, you can be sure it was a good time.
Powering the fun (and the network behind it), a BlackDiamond 8806 was at the core, with a 10GbE backbone connecting Summit X450s which fan out connectivity for the various halls and server rooms, topped off with a 1 gig internet uplink. Combine hardware like this with the networking expertise of our partner, Innovalan, and you have a receipe for a high performance gaming network.
Events like this always present a bit of a problem because it is not clear whether the most fun is to be had building the network or using it. Maybe the right answer is both.