Sega has tapped Force10 Networks, a supplier of switching and routing services, to provide the online infrastructure for some of its future online projects. The software publisher will use Force10's TeraScale E-Series as the core router in Sega's network, which serves hundreds of thousands of players through Sega's various online initiatives.
The router will power the unified network infrastructure that Sega adopted in 2004; previously, it had used case-by-case setups for each of its online games. The TeraScale E-Series allows hundreds of users to connect to one system, and provides separate processors to handle switching, routing, and functionality management.
"To provide the online gaming experience our users demand, we needed a robust infrastructure that could both provide performance predictability and scale as new players enter the game," said Sega network engineer Yoshimi Agata. "The E-Series switch/router provided us with the high capacity we needed to simplify our network and allowed us to create the reliability of an offline game in an interactive online world."
The first games to use the system will be RF Online, Sega's first original MMORPG venture after picking up and subsequently selling off The Matrix Online; the new infrastructure will also power Phantasy Star Universe on PS2 and PC, as well as Chromehounds.
"As a bandwidth-intensive application, online gaming requires not only a high capacity network but also maximum reliability and resiliency to ensure that interactions in the online worlds are in real time," said Force10 senior VP of sales Mark Cooper. "The E-Series has proven itself in some of the largest and most complex networks in the world, and now we are bringing that experience to enterprises like SEGA that require the same reliable, high performance networks."