Synchronous Multiplayer Using Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS) and Thundernetes

You can choose to manage containerized dedicated game servers using the Kubernetes orchestrator on Azure with the managed Azure Kubernetes Service (AKS).

This article will describe the architecture used in project Thundernetes.

Architecture diagram

Synchronous multiplayer using Azure Kubernetes Service and Thundernetes

Relevant services

Architecture considerations

Custom resource definitions (CRDs)

In this reference architecture, Kubernetes is extended by using Custom Resource Definition (CRDs) objects. These objects will be used to represent the dedicated game server entities.

Specifically, there are 2 core entities, which are represented by 2 respective CRDs:

  • GameServer: represents the game server itself. Each GameServer has a single corresponding child Pod which will run the container image with the game server executable.

  • GameServerBuild: represents a collection/set of related GameServers that will run the same Pod template and can be scaled in/out within the GameServerBuild (i.e. add or remove more instances of them).

    GameServers that are members of the same GameServerBuild have a lot of similarities in their execution environment, e.g. all of them could launch the same multiplayer map or the same type of game. So, you could have one collection for a "Capture the flag" mode of your game and another collection for a "Conquest" mode. Or, a collection for players playing on map "X" and a collection for players playing on map "Y".

Deployment template

Follow the instructions on the repository to create the Azure Kubernetes Cluster and install Thundernetes.

Additional resources and samples

Official Kubernetes documentation


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You are responsible for the cost of the Azure services used while running these reference architectures. The total amount will vary based on usage. See the pricing webpages for each of the services that were used in the reference architecture:

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