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In a Virtual World, Latency Can Be Deadly

The same kind of high performance, low latency computing technologies used by stock traders is attracting the attention of companies building massively multiplayer online games (MMOGs). A Computerworld article highlights some of the challenges faced by MMOG systems, which may host tens of thousands of concurrent players:

In rapid-fire stock trading, a minuscule amount of latency in the transmission of data packets “costs real money,” said David Laux, IBM’s global executive for games and interactive entertainment. “In a game, the slightest bit of latency may mean the difference between life and death of your character.”

CCP, an Icelandic company that developed EVE Online (an MMOG set in a futuristic virtual world), is looking at investing in mainstream HPC technologies like InfiniBand and MPI to make sure that their infrastructure can scale as they add hordes of eager new players. Wall Street, move over.

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