Red Post Collection: NA Server Roadmap Update, NA Centralized server move this year, and more!

Posted on at 7:15 AM by Moobeat
This morning's red post collection includes Riot Ahab with another NA server roadmap update and confirmation the NA centralized server move will happen this year, Lyte commenting the new reform system will hand out punishments for intentional feeding next patch, and more!
Continue reading for more information

Intentional Feeding Punishments being added to the Reform System 

With the new instant feedback player reform system in testing, Lyte tweeted out that next patch it will also look to hand out immediate punishments for intentional feeding in addition to verbal harassment:
[1] "Quick update: We've added some Intentional Feeding punishments in the next #leagueoflegends patch for the Reform System."

[2] "We're also working on launching EUNE, KR, and OCE's Reform Systems next in #leagueoflegends."
He continued, clarifying EUNE is just a version update as the new system is already live there:
[3] "EUNE is a version behind, we're going to bring it up to 100%."
More information on the new player reform system that launched at the end of May can be found here.

Chager on Ally R Timers on the HUD Update

Following the HUD Update announcement, PBE launch, and the HUD Update Q&A, Chager popped on the boards to clarify the team is interested in adding ally R timers to the HUD.
"Truth. This was on our backlog list of things that we want to do but weren't able to accomplish for the PBE launch. We also wanted to validate with players whether or not its something they would find useful. Overall players have asked a lot for this, and its something that we're working to deliver."

NA Server Roadmap Update: South Bridge pt. 2 & ISP Peering

Riot Ahab has posted another lengthy update on the NA server roadmap, this time focusing again on the South Bridge, more partnering with ISPs, and confirming the centralized NA server move will happen this year.
"TL;DR: As of this week, we’ve installed all PoPs hardware to complete the South Bridge (with the exception ATL - more on that below), and we have an update on partnered ISPs you can find at the bottom of this post. Today, we pull back the curtain to tell you more about our process for working through peering agreements—if you fancy a little walk through the exciting world of internet exchanges and peering protocols, read on! 
Hey, everyone! Riot Ahab here with another update on the NA Server Roadmap
Last time, we updated the progress made along the South Bridge, which included bringing the Ashburn and Atlanta PoPs online. Ashburn is humming along, but we ran into some workflow system issues which has delayed the ATL PoP from coming online. 
We’re actively working through the issue and should see it come online soon. 
Now, progress on the South Bridge drives back west along the southern US to close the loop, bringing Dallas, Denver, and Los Angeles online as of this week.
So now Phase 2 is done? 
This update completes almost all of the hardware installation of Phase 2 of the NA Server Roadmap—so in terms of hardware, yes, this phase is mostly complete! But building this direct network is like building a new computer: first you collect and assemble the hardware, but installing all the necessary programs takes additional time once it’s up and running. 
Bringing hardware online at key internet exchanges across NA is the relatively easy part. Next comes reaching out to local ISPs at those PoP sites and setting up contractual agreements to get your League traffic off the ISP’s network and on to ours. 
Yeah, yeah, Ahab “it’s an ongoing process” - you always say that. 
Fair enough. How about instead of talking in generalities about the “partnering process,” we instead walk through what goes into working with ISPs? Note: I’ll be simplifying quite a bit of information to avoid getting lost in the weeds here, but feel free to follow up with questions should you want to dive into the nitty-gritty in the comments below! 
Step One: IXs, ISPs and plotting the map. 
We start by keeping an eye on where League traffic travels and curating a list of which ISPs are carrying the most League data. This list can shift and change as new ISPs start up, old ones merge, territories of ISPs expand or contract, or as players switch their choice of ISP. Using this list, we plot out where the data travels and where the ISPs are located—and most, if not all, that data has to make stops through Internet Exchange Points (or IXs). 
IXs are key interconnection crossroads where ISPs can exchange data between their networks to make sure your information gets to wherever it needs to go. Using our ISP data, we identified the key IXs where we wanted a presence for the NA-dedicated network, then set up hardware in those areas (i.e., all the PoPs on our network map).
You may notice there aren’t any Canadian PoPs on the map. This doesn’t mean Canadian players won’t get in on the benefits of the network or we’ve somehow forgotten you! Since Canadian traffic needs to cross the border to access the game servers, we focused on setting up PoP links on the most direct paths we can find to the IXs that service Canadian traffic. For western Canadian ISPs, that access point is in the Seattle IX. For central and eastern Canada, TOR-IX (Toronto) and QIX (Quebec) both connect back to Chicago through the same capacity used by high-frequency trading financial institutions. 
Step Two: Setting up the PoP hardware and reaching out to ISPs. 
The hardware we set up at those key IXs are the PoPs (points of presence) we’ve referred to throughout these North and South Bridge updates. They allow us to interface with the local internet exchanges, and route League traffic directly toward the game servers. But having the hardware near an IX isn’t enough—we need to convince ISPs to agree to transfer League data over to our network via the PoPs! 
Once our hardware is properly installed and connected to a local IX, we begin reaching out to ISPs who are on that particular exchange (that we identified back in step one). 
Step Three: Setting up peering agreements. 
The vast majority of ISPs we reach out to (around 75%), route through “public exchanges” with open peering policies. Open peering means that all we need to do is contact the participating ISPs with a request to peer their League traffic through us instead. It’s then a matter of configuring some software to automate that peering process and putting it into action. Overall, this process can take anywhere from 24 hours to 6 months, depending on how responsive a particular ISP is. 
Some ISPs operate private connections outside of public exchanges, which means they handle their data exchanges themselves. This gets a little more complicated, but only because we have to go where these ISPs are and install hardware to connect to their systems. Most ISPs are pretty open to this, and it’s just a matter of housing the hardware and getting software in place to route that League traffic to our direct network. This approach represents anywhere from 5-10% of ISPs we peer with. 
The remaining ISPs we peer with operate paid peering policies. Usually these ISPs take some time to set up agreements with because there’s contractual back and forth once we’ve made the initial introductions and both parties agree to the scope of the peering project. This type of peering agreement can take anywhere from 30 days to 8 months to put into action. 
Step Four: Putting data into motion. 
With hardware and agreements in place, League data then flows from your local home network through your ISP’s system to the nearest PoP, where it then enters our direct network and travels on the fastest possible route to the game servers. 
That’s the plan, anyway. As with any complex system, however, there can be hiccups and crossed wires. Users of WOW! Internet experienced just that a few months back when our peering agreement went online—an issue surfaced because the routing software was sending players’ League data through a nasty bottleneck. Players quickly notified both Riot and WOW! customer service, which helped us team up with WOW! to solve the problem quickly and get Leauge data flowing correctly again. 
A huge portion of ongoing work comes from bringing ISP agreements online then making sure data is routed properly. We may see a national ISP servicing multiple PoPs, so extra care is required to make sure they’re correctly routing local data. For example, we may only strike up a single blanket agreement with Comcast, but we’ll need to make sure the geography makes sense and traffic from Dallas isn’t being routed through the New York City PoP. 
Step Five: Continued tweaking, support, and optimizatio
As the ISP and internet exchange landscape continues to shift and change, we’ll continue to monitor and adjust the dedicated League network to make the most of your connection to League. While the last of the network hardware might be placed, it’ll be an ongoing effort to optimize the flow of data with the partners we work with from across the telecom industry. 
So… if Phase 2 is done, what happens next? 
In future updates, we’ll continue to keep you informed of ISPs we add to our peering partner list. Aside from that, the next NA Server Roadmap update will focus on Phase 3 of the plan: a centralized server move. In that post we plan to cover details of this centralized move with dates, locations, and expected impact. Stay tuned! 
Questions? Comments? The NA Server Roadmap team will be hanging out in the thread for a few hours, so feel free to hit us up! 
We’ll wrap up this post with an update to the list of partnered ISPs with finalized agreements! New additions since last update will appear in bold. Keep in mind that we’re still in talks with lots of other ISPs, so if you don’t see yours on this list, it doesn’t mean we’re not planning to peer with them—only that we haven’t finalized an agreement yet! 
Thanks for reading, and stay tuned in the weeks to come for more NA Server Roadmap updates! 
3Z Canada
Abovenet Communications
Alaska Communications

Atlas Networks Corporation
Bell Canada (correction - we featured this ISP in our last update, but we’ve hit a snag and are currently working through logistics. More updates to follow!)
Charter Communications
Clear Wireless
Cogeco Cable

Cogent Communications
Comcast Cable Communications
CTS Communications Corp
Electronic Box
Fibrenoire Internet
Frontier Communications
Google Fiber
Hurricane Electric
Interconnected Associates
Level 3 Communications
Lightspeed Communications

LS Networks
Molalla Communications Systems Inc.
Network for Education and Research in Oregon (NERO)
NTT America
Oricom Internet
Pavlov Media
Pocketinet Communications
Rogers Cable Communications
Saskatchewan Telecommunications (SaskTel)
Shaw Communications
Sonoma Interconnect
Start Communications

Syringa Networks
TDS Telecom
TekSavvy Solutions
TELUS Communications
TeraGo Networks
Threshold Communications
Time Warner Cable
Verizon (correction - we featured this ISP in our last update, but we’ve hit a snag and are currently working through logistics. More updates to follow!)
Videotron Ltee
Vision Net
WindWave Communications
WOW! Internet"
Following the update, Riot Ahab and others jumped on the boards and reddit to answer questions!

For those who may have not been following the NA Server Roadmap, Ahab explained:
"Hey gang! Since this comment is a little out of context for folks who haven't been following the NA Server Roadmap, here's short rundown to catch you up: 
NA Servers and the Future- Announcement post of the NA Server Roadmap, outlining the roadmap plan. 
NA Server Roadmap Update: Optimizing the Internet for League and You - - Outline of how Phase 2 (an optimized network) works. 
NA Server Roadmap Update: PoPs, Peering and the North Bridge - First update on Phase 2, outlining progress on the North Bridge. 
NA Server Roadmap Update: Addressing the Q's in Quality Connections =Outlining the impact of Phase 2 on your connection, and how we're working on improving more than just your ping. 
NA Server Roadmap: South Bridge update - Update on how the South Bridge PoPs are progressing down the East Coast. 
Which brings us to today! NA Server Roadmap Update: South Bridge pt. 2 & ISP Peering - Where we outline the last few steps of Phase 2. 
In comments elsewhere on Reddit, I received questions about Phase 3 (a centralized server move). While I can't give an exact date, I can confirm that the move will happen this year."

As for a quick and dirty of what this network is aiming to do, Riot Ahab noted:
"That can vary - but this network is most focused on limiting the number of hops (exchanges) your League traffic makes on the way to the game server. In some cases, that'll decrease your ping (by taking a more efficient route). 
More importantly, this system limits the potential "failure points" in each hop, so by design packet loss goes down and stability goes up!"
Riot Ahab also commented on the points of presence mentioned throughout the announcement:
"These points of presence (PoPs) are two-fold: 
First, we install the hardware and turn it on. 
Second, we reach out to ISPs on the local exchange where our PoP is located. Depending on whether or not we've got an agreement in place with the ISPs on those exchange, that can take extra time. 
Something to keep in mind is the Phase 2 direct network is designed for optimization - removing the number of hops your connection has to make between you and the game servers. Every hop is a potential point of failure (and packet loss) - by removing them we're creating more stable connections. Sometimes as a side effect of a more efficient routing path, some players experience a decrease in ping in addition. 
The biggest impact to ping you'll likely see in NY is when Phase 3 of the roadmap (a centralized server move) comes online."
As for the issue with IPv6 and the LoL client, Steeb noted:
Tangentially related but what's the outlook on IPv6 being implemented?
The completion of Phase 2 will not specifically address the issue with IPv6 and League Client. The real issue is the platform that we use to build the client (Adobe Air) doesn't like to work that well with IPv6. We are currently working to find the best solution to address this problem so that we can be somewhat future proof."

When asked about AT&T's absence from the list, Riot Ahab  noted:
Any plans on working with AT&T?
We're in contact with AT&T and are actively working out an agreement, but it may take some time before things are finalized and working the way we want them to be."
Riot WizardOTL  continued:
Very interested to know the status of AT&T U-verse
In talks with them now, should have things sealed up soon, and then we need to move to actual peering. Give us about 90 days."

As for the status of Atlanta's PoP, Ahab noted:
"We were actually hoping Atlanta would be online in time for this post, but that didn't pan out. We're actively working on it and it shouldn't be long until it's back on track."

As for Cablevision, Riot WizardOTL noted:
Maybe Monday. We have our connection up, just testing."
and Windstream:
What about Windstream Internet?
We are working with them, but they are moving fairly slow :("

When asked about how this will effect Canadian players, Riot WizardOTL  commented:
What about Canada? I want to see how my country is effected.
We are in the Toronto Internet Exchange (TorIX), Seattle Internet Exchange (SIX) and Quebec Internet Exchange (QIX). We are peering with Canadian ISPs as fast as we can :)"
Riot Ahab also added:
"Exactly. While there aren't any PoP locations in Canada, we built PoP nodes in internet exchanges that handle Canadian traffic when they cross over to the US to get to the game servers. We're also actively partnering with Canadian ISPs to make sure your data get sent to those exchange sites on the most efficient path possible."

Building on to this, Riot Ahab also confirmed that their phase 3 of moving the NA servers from the West Coast to a more central location in NA will happen sometime this year.

NA Centralized Server Move This Year

As you may have noticed above, Riot Ahab also confirmed in this roadmap update that Phase 3 - moving the NA servers to a more centralized location - will happen sometime this year.
I think most people are anticipating Phase 3. Can you give us an ETA on the new server location? Will it be this year?
Yes -- Phase 3 (the centralized server move) will happen this year. 
The next update you'll see from the NA Server Roadmap team will contain information and details around it."

On Reddit, he continued:
"Totally understand Phase 3 is the prize almost everyone has their eyes on. My apologies for not getting a concrete date for you all; we're trying to make sure it's a promise we can deliver on since our track record in the past hasn't been great. 
I CAN say, however, that Phase 3 (a centralized server move) will happen this year. 
The next update you see from me and the NA Server Roadmap team will contain more concrete information, dates, and projected impact of Phase 3."

As for any more details, he continued:
"We've been pretty conservative with sharing dates since we started the NA Server Roadmap, and I'm still being conservative when we say it'll happen this year. A lot of work is already underway!"

Riot Ahab also noted that the prep work for phase 3 has already started:
"Phase 3 has already begun the necessary prep work while we've been working on Phase 2, and you should be seeing a fully functional centralized server before 2015 draws to a close."

When asked what the centralized server move means for current West Coast players, Riot Ahab commented:
"By nature of increasing physical distance between the west coast and the server location, yes - raw ping numbers are likely to go up for west coast players. 
The work done on Phase 2 building out the dedicated network for League traffic will mitigate a sizable portion of this impact with less packet loss and optimized routing. 
All said and done, we're aiming to get the majority of NA players under 80ms ping."
He continued:
"Most steps have overlapped - we're actually moving at a good pace on Phase 3's rollout. Phase 2 will do a LOT of work in terms of making the most out of the server move, both for players who the server is moving closer to (East Coast), as well as mitigating the impact for who the servers are moving further away from (West Coast). Net result is everyone should have a much more stable connection no matter which coast you call home."

When asked about the response if something ends up being delayed or pushed back, Ahab noted:
"The NA Server Roadmap team and I are dedicated to keeping up with regular updates, so if something needs to push back we'll let you know far ahead of time and explain why."
In response to criticism on how a similar announcement was handled in the past, Ahab commented:
"MonitorMan's right - the way we had handled messaging the problem with East Coast ping was pretty bad for a long, long time (e.g.: truckloads of servers). 
Since October we've attempted to be more transparent and consistent with these updates, but I'll be first to admit we have a lot of work to do in order to earn back trust on this issue."
As for a solution for NA players who may have transferred  to a different server due to ping issues, Ahab noted:
"We'll have a solution for players who want to come back to NA. Whether it's free transfers for all or tokens for those who transferred, we're not sure - but we'll have info on that when we announce more details around the central move."

Community Collab | Helmet Bro: The Animated Series

Next up we have new Community Collaboration video on the League Community page - check out Helmet Bro: The Animated Series.

"A dark helmet rises... 
Animated by ehlboy:
In collaboration with Hyun's Dojo: 
**Created in Collaboration with Riot Games**"

Featured Community Articles & Let's Talk About The Boards

Speaking of the community, last up for today is a collection of featured articles by the community team!

Over on the boards, ADillonMostDirty, d'Artagnan, and RiotZwill have also gathered to host a "Let's Talk About The Boards" thread, where they are looking on feedback on Boards Organization, Visible moderation, the universial rules, and ongoing boards development. Check it out.

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