ETH ZS server lags

  • Hello nox,

    We need your help to solve a server lag problem on the Ethernity ZS server.
    It’s been happening for months now after we switched to the official 2016 vanilla version coming from Github. The server was running the 2014 vanilla version prior to that and we were not experiencing this problem.

    What we know :

    • Server starts lagging when ~40 players or more are connected
    • Players latency then fluctuate between normal and 10x more (ex. 11 to 120)
    • Lags last around 1 minute then goes back to normal for a few seconds
    • Physical server can sustain a 64+ slots ZS server and got a decent fibre internet connexion (gigabytes)
    • Server OS is the latest Linux Debian
    • Logs doesnt show any errors
    • It’s not DDOS attacks

    What we tried :

    • Allocating up to 8gb of RAM to the ZS server
    • Changing server tickrate to 33 then to 22
    • Monitoring the physical server which didn’t show any problem (see CPU usage, upload and download)
    • Monitoring ping routes using Pingplotter didn’t show any problem

    We are running out of clues to solve those lags, last one being the gamepanel causing trouble which is unlikely since it’s installed properly on the same machine. Server is not vanilla anymore, we did update it to change the menus and balance the gameplay but there are no addons and those changes don’t impact networking. Lags appeared before the updates after installing the latest ZS official version.
    It happens in any given situation, from early game to the end, in survival or objective maps, when there is action and when it’s “calm”.

    Do you have any idea how to fix this, or where it comes from ?
    Any help would be appreciated.

  • @azona I can assure you it isn’t a bandwidth issue, it’s most likely a CPU issue. I’m no developer, but most of the problems Nox faces are due to gmod’s heavy demands on both the server and client. If you look at the update log for the official ZS server you’ll see a ton of optimizations have been made to reduce server load.

    My suggestion to you is to try the github build without any of your modifications, and see how that runs. Without knowing what kind of CPU your server is running I can’t really tell you if it can handle it though.

  • I don’t get how an older version that wasn’t as optimised as the current public one wasn’t lagging.

  • I didnt specify in the first post, the CPU is a Xeon E3-1245v2 4c/8t (3,4ghz / 3,8ghz)

    A gmod server is executed on only 1 thread of a CPU core ?
    Looking at the CPU usage picture, it would explain a lot, since 1 thread represent 12,5% of 8 threads.

    Concerning server load optimisation, I guess our release of ZS is up to date because it’s the latest available, we did apply some of the fixes released by C0nw0nk but it was a few weeks ago.
    The 2014 ZS version we used before rarely went over 40 players, and no one seemed to remember similar lags but we may be wrong.

    Are the updates concerning server load included in the version we use ?
    Note : We are going to try another gamepanel (Gameserver manager) in case the one we currently use is causing trouble.

  • srcds currently and probably always will use just one thread. You can’t go above 12.5% cpu usage so single/dual core servers are best.

  • Thanks for your answers, I hope we can solve this soon I’ll come post again when we do !

  • We finally found the problem, it was caused by a script preventing players to proplaunch objects on other players.
    With the script enabled, 2 players on the server : 56% of the CPU core thread used
    With the script disabled, 2 players on the server : 20% of the CPU core thread used
    Still need to be tested live but normally it’s fixed !

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