EVE Online Architecture

Sorry, the content for this post apparently did not make the transition from the old HighScalability website, it's all messed up, but there's still a some useful content...

EVE Online is "The World's Largest Game Universe", a massively multiplayer online game (MMO) made by CCP. EVE Online's Architecture is unusual for a MMOG because it doesn't divide the player load among different servers or shards. Instead, the same cluster handles the entire EVE universe. It is an interesting to compare this with the Architecture of the Second Life Grid. How do they manage to scale?

Information Sources


  • Stackless Python used for both server and client game logic. It allows programmers to reap the benefits of thread-based programming without the performance and complexity problems associated with conventional threads.
  • SQL Server
  • Blade servers with SSDs for high IOPS
  • Plans to use Infiniband interconnects for low latency networking
  • Founded in 1997
  • ~300K active users
  • Up to 40K concurrent users
  • Battles involving hundreds of ships
  • 250M transactions per day
  • Proxy Blades - These are the public facing segment of the EVE Cluster - they are responsible for taking player connections and establishing player communication within the rest of the cluster.
  • SOL Blades - These are the workhorses of Tranquility. The cluster is divided across 90 - 100 SOL blades which run 2 nodes each. A node is the primarily CPU intensive EVE server process running on one core. There are some SOL blades dedicated to one busy solar systems such as Jita, Motsu and Saila.
  • Database Cluster - This is the persistence layer of EVE Online. The running nodes interact heavily with the Database, and of course pretty much everything to do with the game lives here. Thanks to Solid-state drives, the database is able to keep up with the enormous I/O load that Tranquility generates.
  • With innovative ideas MMO games can scale up to the hundreds of players in the same battle.
  • SSDs will in fact bridge the gap huge performance gap between the memory and disks to some extent.
  • Low latency Infiniband network interconnect will enable larger clusters.

Lessons Learned

  • There are many interesting facts about the architecture of the EVE Online MMOG such as the use of Stackless Python and SSDs.
  • Check out the information sources for detailed insights to the development and operation of the EVE Online game.