Ray wrote:yeah what's the deal? you guys say to keep the list limited "for now." what does that mean?
The current Minecraft server is not a true "server" architecture computer, and this server instance was never designed to be available publicly. It's more of a personal server for a small group of friends.
Since Minecraft is in heavy beta, and the server software being in beta even moreso, the final, official server requirements are nowhere near polished and are very unknown at the moment, not to mention unpredictable. From what I've observed while monitoring the hardware, the server software is very processor intensive and memory leaks are common. Clients running Mac OS seem to connect with no problem, while Windows clients seem to lag considerably, but not always. Distance from the server and ping times to the actual address don't seem to matter.
I could purchase another server and add it to my main server array which hosts all my other services, but that would almost certainly require me to charge a fee, or at least ask for donations to help cover server costs for Minecraft access given how much power the application seems to want. It's just not worth it at the moment, and until the application is closer to a final build number and supported properly, it's not something I can see launching for more than a few people. The application is very different than a website, and very resource intensive. On a well built single web server [not in a cluster], depending on hardware and bandwidth, you can have ~500 people [give or take 10,000] actively accessing a dynamic database driven website concurrently, and visiting a new page every few seconds. With Minecraft, that same server might host 20 people at full capacity.
Once Minecraft becomes more feature filled, optimization will hopefully be looked at by the development team over at Mojang. But in my personal opinion, with the amount of people who have already purchased this game during alpha and beta stages, and at the rate at which the game is increasing in popularity, optimization is something they should have a team of people working on now.