When I started playing EVE Online about a year and a half ago, it had about 40,000 subscribers and 5,000 concurrent players at peek hours, usually Sunday afternoon (evening in Europe). Those numbers slowly grew and by the fall 2005 were reaching about 70,000 subscribers and around 12,000 concurrent users. This was great for the EVE community except in one regard, the servers were getting extremely slow on those peak hours, to the point of servers crashes and downtime. It was difficult logging in, and both EVE players and CCP were getting fed-up with the situation.
Then in late October CCP announced they had purchased a RamSan solid state disks from Texas Memory Systems, and the flood gates were open. What a difference this little (but probably expensive) piece of hardware made. Stability returned to the EVE universe even though more and more players were joining.
Yesterday, TMS and CCP released their case study on the installation of the solid disk array. I find it always interesting to read up on the technology behind virtual world and what hardware and software systems make possible these adult playground.
Earlier, in September, CCP, with IBM this time, we had be given a first joint case study, "Pushing the technological barriers of game design with IBM technology" on how the UK-based server farm (on which EVE Online runs) was built and is operated remotely from Iceland. This one is filled with interesting facts and figures, which will make the geek in you drool.
I hope we'll be treated to more of these in the future. Now let's get back in the EVE.