Yardstick: A benchmark for minecraft-like services

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Online gaming applications entertain hundreds of millions of daily active players and often feature vastly complex architecture. Among online games, Minecraft-like games simulate unique (e.g., modifiable) environments, are virally popular, and are increasingly provided as a service. However, the performance of Minecraft-like services, and in particular their scalability, is not well understood. Moreover, currently no benchmark exists for Minecraft-like games. Addressing this knowledge gap, in this work we design and use the Yardstick benchmark to analyze the performance of Minecraft-like services. Yardstick is based on an operational model that captures salient characteristics of Minecraft-like services. As input workload, Yardstick captures important features, such as the most-popular maps used within the Minecraft community. Yardstick captures system- and application-level metrics, and derives from them service-level metrics such as frequency of game-updates under scalable workload. We implement Yardstick, and, through real-world experiments in our clusters, we explore the performance and scalability of popular Minecraft-like servers, including the official vanilla server, and the community-developed servers Spigot and Glowstone. Our findings indicate the scalability limits of these servers, that Minecraft-like services are poorly parallelized, and that Glowstone is the least viable option among those tested.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationICPE 2019 - Proceedings of the 2019 ACM/SPEC International Conference on Performance Engineering
Place of PublicationNew York, NY
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery, Inc
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9781450362399
Publication statusPublished - 4 Apr 2019
Event10th ACM/SPEC International Conference on Performance Engineering, ICPE 2019 - Mumbai, India
Duration: 7 Apr 201911 Apr 2019


Conference10th ACM/SPEC International Conference on Performance Engineering, ICPE 2019


  • As a service
  • Benchmark
  • Distributed systems
  • Minecraft
  • Online gaming
  • Yardstick


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