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    2. [MAJOR] Our New Network, Physical Dedicated Machines + More!

      Hello everyone,   I would like to announce the release of a major project that we’ve been working for the last three weeks or so. GFL now owns its network that will be running in-front of our future game servers! This is by far my most favorite project I’ve worked on, ever. While the last three weeks have been very hectic (exchanging many emails/tickets/paperwork, actively trying to learn BGP routing + BIRD configuration, and so on), I do believe the end result will definitely be worth it, especially for GFL! I can say personally that I am learning a lot from this project and it further advances my knowledge in networking as a whole.   Our New Anycast Network@Dreae and I decided to build an Anycast network to put in-front of GFL’s game servers. For those that do not know what an Anycast network is, this article by CloudFlare explains it well in my opinion.    Anycast itself will benefit us because we’ll be able to absorb and filter (D)DoS attacks at the PoP server level. This results in overall better (D)DoS protection. With that said, the more PoP servers we have, the more network capacity we’ll contain.   Our Current Setup As of right now, we have nine PoP (Point Of Presence) servers scattered around the world and plan to add more as time goes on. These locations include:   Dallas, TX (US South). New York City, NY (US East). Chicago, IL (US Central). Miami, FL (US South). Los Angeles, CA (US West). Seattle, WA (US West). Paris, FR (Europe). London, UK (Europe). Frankfurt, DE (Europe).   Here’s our Anycast layout. As of right now, we’re using the Vultr setup and don’t have any PoP servers in Tokyo and Singapore. Though, we plan to get PoP servers in these locations in the future. As of right now, the above PoP servers combined cost us $135.00/m.   Our PoP servers run SRCDS packet filtering software made by @dreae which is open-source and can be found here. @Dreae has done a great job with this!   Ongoing Maintenance Due to the nature of routing and networking, this new Anycast network will more than likely require active monitoring for sub-optimal routes due to things always changing. This is why we have made the following sub-forum:   https://gflclan.com/forums/forum/959-gfls-network/   In here, we will make a form where users can submit sub-optimal routes they find to our PoP servers via traceroute/MTR. With that said, we will be posting maintenance and outage events in here as well.   @Dreae and I are still exploring the world of BGP routing and BIRD configuration. However, we are making progress by using BGP communities and so on to influence routing to our PoP servers. I hope we can eventually find something better than BGP communities, but it’ll do for now.   F.A.Q.Q - Do you plan on making a public guide going over how you’ve done all of this?   A - Yes, @Dreae and I plan to be as transparent as possible. We will be making a public guide in the future explaining everything we had to go through in order to create this network. We are still pretty new to all of this ourselves, but as time goes on and we learn, we will be making our techniques/advice public!   Q - Would you be up to host non-GFL servers via the Anycast network?   A - As of right now, this will be used specifically for GFL only. However, I am considering this in the far future (I’d LOVE to become a hosting provider some day, but A LOT goes into that and I need to gain more knowledge in networking itself before that’s a possibility).   Q - Do you plan to use other providers to host your PoP servers?   A - Yes, this is the plan and overall, this would make our network better since we wouldn’t be relying on one hosting provider to host our PoP servers. However, in order to do this, we will need our own ASN for our IPv4 block. This is a longer process since it requires verification, contracts with at least two transit providers, etc. However, in the next week I will be looking to apply for one through RIPE (our IPv4 blocker provider can sponsor us and we have two transit providers as well).   Our New IPv4 Block We have leased our very own /24 IPv4 block. This comes with 256 IPs as Anycast only supports a minimum of /24 IPv4 blocks. Thankfully, we were able to get this entire IPv4 block for only $56.00/m, which in my opinion, is a very great deal! The IPv4 block is 92.119.148.0/24 (usable IPs go from 92.119.148.2 to 92.119.148.254).   While being able to use this with our Anycast network is a benefit of its own. There are also other benefits of owning an IPv4 block. For example, if we were to want to switch physical hosting providers, we can do so without any IP changes as long as it’s a BGP-supported hosting provider. However, since our Anycast network itself forwards traffic from the PoP servers to the physical hosting provider, we won’t need a BGP-supported physical hosting provider. Thankfully, our new physical hosting provider has BGP-support either way. Therefore, if we were to remove our Anycast network for whatever reason, we can still setup a BGP session with them which will result in our IPs still not changing.   Geo Location Since this IPv4 block was purchased using RIPE, the geo-location of the block was either non-existent or pointing towards somewhere in Europe. We want this to be set to Dallas, TX, US to start. I’ve emailed three of the biggest geo-location database providers (MaxMind, IP2Location, and Neustar). MaxMind has already made this correction last week. I emailed IP2Location last night and they replied wanting further verification which I then provided. Therefore, I am just waiting to hear back from them. Neustar has yet to reply.   I believe the Valve Master Server may use IP2Location (I initially thought they used MaxMind, but I believe I’m wrong). Therefore, our game servers under this IPv4 block may show up late or incorrectly in the Valve server browser based off of the client’s geo location. Once the correction is made through IP2Location, we’ll just have to wait for the Master Server to update their database. As soon as that’s done, we should be good to go!   Acquiring Our Own ASN The next big process is acquiring our own ASN. As of right now, we have to use a hosting provider’s public ASN (in this case, Vultr’s) since we don’t have our own. Once this is done, we’ll be able to use multiple hosting providers for our PoP servers. This will make our network more stable/better and less costly since we’ll be able to use cheaper and more efficient providers with lesser locations.   Our IPv4 block provider will be able to sponsor us. Therefore, the only other thing I will need is contracts with two transit providers (I believe I have two I can use) and my driver’s license. After I apply for our own ASN, the process itself will take around 2 - 3 weeks.   New Physical Hosting Provider In US In addition to the above, we have found a new physical hosting provider that will be ran under the new network. We have purchased two machines from this new hosting provider which are the following:   First Intel Xeon E3-1271v3 @ 3.6 GHz. 32 GBs of DDR4 RAM. 500 GBs SSD. 15 TBs bandwidth. $80.00/m. Dallas, TX, US. Status - Active.   Second Intel i7-7700K @ 4.2 GHz. 64 GBs of DDR4 RAM. 500 GBs SSD. 15 TBs bandwidth. $120.00/m. Dallas, TX, US. Status - Inactive (still being built).   I was aware that our GS06 machine was very overloaded. Therefore, I decided to purchase two machines from the start to be on the safe side. This hosting provider will be able to setup machines within a reasonable time-frame as well and appears to always have dedicated machines available on the spot.   The first machine will host medium-ranged servers (e.g. <40 slot servers). The second machine will be used to host our bigger servers.   We found that this hosting provider also has pretty decent routing and good support. I believe they’ll work for us in the future! In the end, if they don’t, we’ll be able to switch hosting providers without changing IPs     What Servers Will We Be Running? With the new physical machines, we will have a lot of room to play with. We will be moving servers over to this new network that aren’t so popular. We will primarily move servers in Garry’s Mod and Rust. Unfortunately, any moved servers will require an IP change. But I’m very hopeful that’ll be the last time we switch IPs     We also plan to setup new servers as well! As soon as our IPv4 block’s geo location is corrected, I believe we’ll be good to go.   As of right now, I don’t have any list of servers we’ll be moving. This will be up to the Division Leaders + Directors. I will say I would like to see our Garry’s Mod servers from GS06 moved along with Rust.   Test Servers I’ve setup some silly test servers on our first new physical machine. You can find all servers that run under our new IPv4 block on GameTracker here.       Feel free to connect to these servers and see how your connection is from the PoP servers to the new physical hosting provider! Remember, you will be able to submit sub-optimal routes if you have one under the new network forum found here.   Special Thanks To @Dreae! I just wanted to thank @Dreae again! He has been a big help with this project. He has made the packet filtering software that runs on all of our PoPs, given advice on the network setup itself, altered some needed routing via BGP and BIRD, and more! This project definitely wouldn’t be possible without him.   Conclusion All in all, this is a BIG addition to GFL. There are going to be required tweaks in the future and there is still a lot for @Dreae and I to learn. But I am confident we’ll do great!   I have yet to see another gaming community that hosts game servers have their own network that runs in-front of their game servers. I believe this will be something special to GFL. I’m hoping the public guides @Dreae and I post publicly will influence other gaming communities to do the same since in my opinion, this is fairly cheap to setup (the entire setup itself is costing us <$200.00/m and we will be able to get that cost down once we acquire our own ASN). It might be hectic at first, but if you’re interested in networking, you’ll definitely enjoy and learn a lot from it You’re basically becoming your own mini-ISP!   If you have any questions, please reply to the thread or post in the GFL Network sub-forum!   Google Doc   Thank you for reading!

      Posted in Site Announcements

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    3. Reintroduction of Technical Administrator

      Hello, with the upcoming changes to our machines in the near future, and to prepare, we've decided to reintroduce Technical Administrator.   Their responsibilities will include handling the back-end of our system when and if necessary (includes web setup, gameservers, etc.) The following people in the group will be: @Roy @Dreae @Nick   Please join me to welcome them with our newly reintroduced role in GFL!

      Posted in Site Announcements

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    4. Humble Bundle

      Good morning, afternoon, and evening, GFL! Today, I’m pleased to announce our new affiliation with Humble Bundle!     Humble Bundle is an online shopping service for video games, similar to that of Steam. However, it differs from other digital storefronts in that it often allows users to buy bundles containing several games for a great price (thus the name Humble Bundle). Humble Bundle has been around since 2010 and has provided gamers with a variety of options to choose from. Humble Bundle often provides low pricing for games, and the money is split between charitable causes and the game developers. GFL and Humble Bundle have now become affiliate partners, and we expect to benefit greatly from this. With such a large and generous community, we could greatly increase sales for Humble Bundle, while also providing our community with a great outlet to some of the best games out there in addition to generating funding for the GFL servers. Check out the Humble Bundle site, www.humblebundle.com, and get yourself a bundle of games for great prices!   To start the community off with some great deals, here are the current listings we have, including this month’s Humble Monthly and another additional bundle: February Humble Monthly Link: https://www.humblebundle.com/monthly?partner=gflclan&charity=159423 FINE PRESENTS Bundle:https://www.humblebundle.com/games/double-fine-presents?partner=gflclan&charity=159423 Please note that prices on bundles are adjustable and the funds are able to be allocated to the developers, charities, or GFL as a whole. Because of our affiliation, whenever a GFL member purchases Humble Monthly for the first time ever using our affiliate link, GFL will receive $10 back. We’ve also received the benefit of a standard 15% cashback on any bundle, which can be changed by allocating the funds differently as mentioned earlier. Lastly, we'll also make 5% off of any games you buy in the store within 24 hours of clicking our links if it says "Thank you for supporting GFL" at the top and at checkout (Humble partner). It may seem a little confusing, but you can’t say no to all these great deals!   Also, there is currently a Humble Bundle winter sale going on now. If you were unsure of buying a game before, you might be able to find it discounted now while also giving back to the GFL community! A lot of great deals can still be taken during this time period while giving back to the community. The winter sale will end at January 24th, 10AM PST / 1PM EST. The partnership with Humble Bundle was created in order for both partners to benefit greatly. By partnering with Humble Bundle, we’ve not only allow our large community to flock to their site with a demand for games to buy, but we’ve also provided the community with a great opportunity to score some great deals while also helping the community meet its monthly server expenses. Hopefully, you’ll all enjoy these generous sales!

      Posted in Site Announcements

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    5. Shifting our Focus, new director, purge, and more

      A change in our direction   A few of you might have noticed that the Council role was removed. This is the result of some internal changes that occurred earlier today. It has become clear to us that we have become increasingly focused on our teams and the council rather than the servers. We have decided this combined with the drama caused by it does not serve our mission of providing a high quality gaming experience to our players, so we have decided that it would be best if we cut down and simplified. We believe that in order to best accomplish this, we needed to remove council. We also have a few other changes to the structure of teams that will be dropping after appropriate internal discussion has taking place. The specifics are TBD and TBA, though we hope to simplify the structure significantly. The last thing we have changed internally so far is trusted. We have removed some members of trusted who we felt were not very active or otherwise didn't really fit with the team. Trusted will now be chosen by directors from members who are interested in helping GFL move forward. We're looking for people that we can trust, give constructive feedback, and active within the community. There will not be any applications for this role however.   I would however like to take a moment and thank the following individuals for their time and dedication:   @Worgee @Joel @Kite9867 @VirusKing   Kite9867 will be staying as co-leader of moderation along with Benroy. I am uncertain of the plans of the other three.   Promotions   Speaking of @Ben Roy, I'd like everybody to welcome him to Director. He has remained dedicated to GFL for a long time now and has done some excellent work with discord. We hope he continues his good work as director!   Transparency   In addition to the other changes we have acted on, we would like to work on improving transparency. I would like to advocate that all staff begin using trello again so that we can communicate the current projects that are being worked on to the public.   Currently we only really have a trello for the directors, which has not been updated for quite some time, but I am going to push for this to change soon.   Directors: https://trello.com/b/890AW0QM/team-directors   Do take into consideration that some things will naturally be kept private regardless.   Concerning Team Members   This bit really only concerns team members, but in interest of transparency, I'm going to write this here rather than make another post. We have decided to remove Team Members from the staff discord. So you have not been kicked in error. Communication will be done through the public discord and the PR discord. You can join the public discord by clicking this link: https://discord.gg/qqpM47e   If you are a team member and need a link to the PR discord, message me for an invite. As of now, nobody has been demoted from teams nor has any team been dissolved.   Conclusion   If you have questions, comments, or concerns. please comment on this thread. I will be doing my best to address concerns and questions as they arise. However, we would like to avoid arguments or fights, so please do not do that.   Thanks!        

      Posted in Site Announcements

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    6. GFL Newsletter - December 2018

      If you missed a lot of things going on in the community, then good news! This newsletter will get you caught up with the things that went through this December.Promotions Two people returned to Director positions: Xy - According to the announcements, he returned to the position to assist with the Director team, now that he has free time. Snoopy - He returned as Director to help and work with them to get GFL back in its positive 2015 position.     New CS:GO Division LeaderWe’ve got a new face in the GFL higher-ups—his name is VirusKing. He originally came back to help with our Rust server—although it is only vanilla, it required a little maintenance and VirusKing had plenty of time to resolve this. He expressed interest in our 1v1 server and, after giving him access, he fixed up the server quickly. The server is doing quite well now, leading to a new UK-hosted 1v1 server being opened. Click here to join CS:GO Division Discord   New Team Leaders Earlier in December, Joel and Queue were promoted to Team Leaders. - Queue currently leads TS3 moderators. - Joel assists with all Team Leaders.   EventsAbout Overwatch and event information GFL is often known for many of its Garry’s Mod, CS:GO, and CS:S servers, but have you heard of the Overwatch division? Overwatch is a game centered on a set team of fighters with a range of special abilities, different fighting styles, and overall different weaponry and playing schemes with many opportunities for anyone to play as. Officially, Overwatch is generally recognized as a team-based multiplayer FPS with several characters with their own unique personalities and backgrounds. The game takes inspiration from Team Fortress 2 (although Overwatch was produced by Blizzard and TF2 was produced by Valve). Overwatch rose to fame when it revitalized the team-based multiplayer FPS genre, but in a brand new layout; new characters, new techniques, everything.   The Overwatch Division is centered on GFL’s presence within Overwatch, and GFL itself has many plans for its Overwatch server. Many events have either been scheduled or brought up numerous times that the masters themselves have taken a look at the idea. As of 12/14/18, the server is even rumored to have a 3v3 competition with amazing prizes fitted for the winners, even involving other communities to join in and partake in the fun! Overall, the Overwatch division is small yet thriving, having its own little community and receiving positive feedback from its community.     This article will be posted in any new changelogs and changes that you’ve missed from the server managers.   Breach Changelogs, planned by January 2019. - Backend changes to make future updates possible - Secondary round type for Site 13 (Main thing) - SCP-610 revamp - SCP-096 animations and buff (ability to break through doors?) - SCP-334 model, current one looks like fucking shit - SCP-079 UI revamp and additional SCP-079. (Possible) Site 13 support for SCP-079. - Various items for the Site 13 round type that will also make their way in to regular gameplay on other maps. - Various MTF Squads for the Site 13 round type, some of which will make their way into regular gameplay on other maps   Prop Hunt The recently revived Prop Hunt is doing great and is getting up there with TTT activity. We are constantly improving and adding different ideas based off of what the community wants and is a great place to relax.   Hide and Seek Changes were made in December, showing recently around Christmas week:  The return of the long-loved, long-awaited xmas_downtown. Custom textured Christmas hats (red and green) to go with the season, along with matching candy-cane jump packs and other festive amendments Two custom, completely originally drawn masks. Two custom made, original festive trails. Perfect for showing off the colorful chaos of Christmas in-game. The (now passed) Christmas event, handing out one gift on the daily.   Notable non-holiday additions: Mysterious 'challenge trails' A custom, completely new map-vote made by Fafy   Minecraft The server will be opened tomorrow by Jan. 1st, so don’t miss it! Future events will be coming after the launch, such as raids to fight bosses.  CS:GO Divisional Updates The division itself is going pretty well. US and UK Surf Timer and 1v1 Arena are starting to succeed with the slots getting filled up, and there is a new Discord launched for CS:GO, which originally was for 1v1 Arena. JailBreak is under WIP and VirusKing is currently leading the project. The server is next to be released.   Future servers In 2019, servers like Bunny Hop will be worked on/launched after Jailbreak is released. GMod Divisional UpdatesMore about this can be found here. A new server was released, managed by GlorifiedPig, called “Don’t Blink” and is located in Europe. The IP Address is 185.177.22.161:27019   - The League of Legends division is up and we have weekly in-house events. We are looking for some dedicated members to help run the events more consistently. - We are in need of more writers! If you're interested, click here.

      Posted in Newsletters

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    7. Holiday Sale!

      In honour of the holiday season, God emperor Roy has bestowed upon us a holiday sale!   VIP and Supporter can be purchased at 40% off their regular rates until January 7th and may be purchased using the following link: https://gflclan.com/donate   Thank you everybody for an excellent 2018 and we hope for an even better 2019!

      Posted in Site Announcements

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