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Part 4 - Setting Up Your Server

* Server Hardware *

The amount of CPU, memory, and hard drive space you need will vary based on the number of CS:S servers and associated services you run. My personal server is an Intel Q9300 with 8GB of RAM and runs 4 CS:S servers, HLstatsX, a web server, and MySQL. CPU stays under 50% and only about a quarter of RAM is in use.

As previously stated on the server environment page, it is highly recommended that a RAID1 be deployed to mitigate downtime and provide some level of data protection.

Everyone has their own favorite server operating system. Personally, I like Windows 2012 R2. It has low memory overhead, works with a great range of hardware, and has shown itself to be reliable.

The two supported platforms for dedicated Source engine-based servers are Windows and Linux. This guide assumes a Windows server.

* Server Partitioning *

Everyone has an opinion on drive partitioning - I have my server divided into 3:

Boot (C:)
Server (S:)
CS:S (T:)

Boot is (obviously) for Windows, Server is for Apache/MySQL, and CS:S is for the game files. This is how I've setup my folder structure:

S:\hlx\27015\ - HLstatsX
S:\httpd\ - Apache
S:\mysql\ - MySQL
S:\perl\ - Perl
S:\PHP\ - PHP

T:\srcds\27015\ - CS:S Game files

As you can see I host multiple CS:S servers so I like to keep them separated by port number. Even if you are only planning to host one server I still recommend a scheme similar to this one to keep things organized.

Your next step should be to fully update your server. Windows has many holes that should be patched up to current. Microsoft Updates roll in once a month - I recommend running them after patch Tuesday (2nd Tuesday of every month). See the maintenance section for additional maintenance tips.

* Server Security *

When running services that are available to the entire internet, a best security practice is run applications with as few machine privileges as possible. If an application is exploited, it will help limit the exposure on your system. It is highly recommended that you create a non-admin user on your server and run CS:S under that account. srcds (the Source engine dedicated server that CS:S uses) has zero problems running as a standard user.