Choose Computing Resources - Amazon GameLift

Choose Computing Resources

Amazon GameLift uses Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) resources, called instances, to deploy your game servers and host game sessions for your players. When setting up a new fleet, you decide what type of instances your game needs and how to run game server processes on them (via the runtime configuration). Once a fleet is active and ready to host game sessions, you can add or remove instances at any time to accommodate more or fewer players. All instances in a fleet use the same type of resources and the same runtime configuration. You can edit a fleet's runtime configuration, but the type of resources cannot be changed.

When choosing resources for a fleet, you'll need to consider several factors, including game operating system, instance type (the computing hardware), and whether to use on-demand or spot instances. Each of these issues is discussed further in this topic. Keep in mind that hosting costs with Amazon GameLift primarily depend on the type of resources you use. Learn more about Amazon GameLift pricing.

Operating Systems

Amazon GameLift supports game server builds that run on either Microsoft Windows or Amazon Linux (see supported game server operating systems). When uploading a game build to Amazon GameLift, you specify the operating system for the game. When you create a fleet to deploy the game build, Amazon GameLift automatically sets up instances with the build's operating system.

The cost of resources depends on the operating system in use. Learn more about the resources available for the supported operating systems:

Instance Types

A fleet's instance type determines the kind of hardware that will be used for every instance in the fleet. Instance types offer different combinations of computing power, memory, storage, and networking capabilities. With Amazon GameLift you have a wide range of instance type options to choose from. View a list of available instance types or open the Service limits page in the Amazon GameLift console to view instance types, current usage, and usage limits. To learn more about the capabilities of each instance type, see Amazon EC2 Instance Types. Note that the instance types offered may vary depending on the region.

When choosing an instance type for your game, consider the following: (1) the computing requirements of your game server build, and (2) the number of server processes that you plan to run on each instance. You may be able to run multiple server processes on each instance by using a larger instance type, which can reduce the number of instances you need to meet player demand. However, larger instance types also cost more. Learn more about running multiple processes on a fleet.

On-Demand versus Spot Instances

When creating a new fleet, you designate the fleet type as using either On-demand or Spot instances. On-demand and Spot instances offer exactly the same hardware and performance, based on the instance type chosen, and are configured in exactly the same way. They differ in availability and in cost.

On-demand instances

On-demand instances are simply that: you request an instance and it is created for you. You can always acquire an On-demand instance when you need it and you can keep it as long as you want. On-demand instances have a fixed cost—you pay for the amount of time that you use them and there are no long-term commitments.

Spot instances

Spot instances can offer a highly cost-efficient alternative to on-demand instances. Spot instances take advantage of currently unused AWS computing capacity, which is what can make them less expensive but also less available. When using Spot instances, it is important to be aware of two key facts: (1) Spot prices fluctuate based on the supply and demand for each instance type in each region, and (2) Spot instances can potentially be interrupted by AWS with a two-minute notification when AWS needs the capacity back.

Amazon GameLift FleetIQ, however, significantly mitigates the chance of interruptions, allowing you to achieve cost savings while maintaining high game server availability. FleetIQ is responsible for finding the best available resources for each new game session. When a fleet has Spot instances, FleetIQ prioritizes using instances with the highest cost savings and historically low interruption rates. So, if your fleet includes a mixture of t2 and c4 Spot instances, and demand for t2 instances has recently been high, FleetIQ evaluates the t2 instance's interruption risk and may opt to use a larger c4 instance.

You can evaluate FleetIQ's performance using a set of queue metrics, as well as instance-specific metrics on spot instances. Learn more about Amazon GameLift metrics. You can also view pricing history for any instance type in the Amazon GameLift console. The Spot history page graphs On-demand and Spot pricing and calculates the relative cost savings with Spot instances. Use the controls to select an instance type, operating system, and a time range.

Learn more about how to use Spot instances in the Spot Fleet Integration Guide.

Instance Service Quotas

AWS limits the total number of Amazon EC2 instances (On-Demand or Spot) that you can have in an AWS account. In addition, each instance type has a maximum limit, which varies by region. You can extend these quotas by request.

You can access information on service quotas:

  • AWS Endpoints and Quotas lists general quota information for GameLift, as well as other AWS services.

  • Look up specific quota values for instance types per region in the Amazon GameLift console. Go to the Service Limits page and select a region to view quotas for the available instance types. This page also displays current usage values for each instance type in the region.

  • Retrieve quota values for instance types per region with the AWS CLI command describe-ec2-instance-limits. This action also returns the number for instances currently active in the region.