Thursday, October 30, 2008

Oh, I Hate Getting Involved In This, But.....

Usually, with technical stuff, I turn to Tensai. She explained the OpenSpace situation, how they're supposed to be run, what alot of folks are doing instead, etc. My guess for the whole price hike was to compensate for the uses (additional processors, CPU's, etc), instead of LL going around and telling each OS owner that they have to get rid of everything (Houses, clubs, malls, etc), and only use the OS for trees or open water. In the end, nothing is set in stone, and they are looking into every possibility before the planned change, so it's possible that those OS regions that are being used as Linden Lab intended them to be used for (such as the sailing sims that Hotspur likes to visit) may not have an issue. They are also taking suggestions on the situation. And for those wondering: No, I was not sending one of my patented "Love Letters To The Lindens" in regards to this price hike announcement.

What follows, via cut and paste, is but one of the suggestions that was made in regards to this situation (for the benefit of those who haven't read the Linden Lab blog), one that Jack Linden thought to be one of the most constructive Linden Lab has read. So, sit tight and breathe. More changes may happen before January that will be in the resident's favor. Please take note, the following is only a suggestion, and not a final decision from Linden Lab.

Two classes of OpenSpace sims. There is demand for the “original” OpenSpace “void sim” application: lower primcount, very few scripts, very few avatars–just very light load, and only in areas surrounding other, full-primmed sims. There is also a clear demand for heavier use OpenSpaces–still much lower density than full-primmed sims, but posing much more demand on the backend services than does the “void sim” application. These need to be separated into two distinct products with different fee schedules; let’s call them “Void” and “Low-Density” sims.

The details of what’s a “Void” and what’s “Low-Density” should be worked out in consultation with LL Development and Operations, but I’d suggest that “Voids” could continue to run 4 per CPU and Low-Densities perhaps 3, and that new Voids would have to be attached to full-primmed sims and only available in groups of 4. For both sim classes, Development must devise ways to throttle inter-sim demands *and* demands on back-end central services and networks to keep the products viable.

Conversion without penalty. Like it or not, the “unbelievably good deal” of $75/mo OpenSpaces was a product marketing mistake. Such things happen all the time with new products, and LL really should step up and admit that this was their f*-up, not the fault of an evil empire of abusing buyers. Or don’t admit it, but act responsibly anyway: That $250 set-up fee should be credited toward whatever product to which the buyer chooses to transition now. Four OpenSpaces to one full-primmed sim: Free; any fewer: $250 credit per OpenSpace. Also free: choosing “Void” or “Low-Density” for existing OpenSpaces.

Temporary Partial Grandfathering. Everybody has to expect pricing fluctuations for new products, but nobody can plan for a 67% increase–that really is punitive, and a business breaker. So, instead: on 1/1/09, Low-Density sims ordered before 11/1/08 will be charged $100/month until 6/1/2009, when the rate will go to $125/month; new Low-Density sims ordered after 11/1/08 will go to $125 on 1/1/09 without grandfathering. Maybe fees for Voids could even nominally decrease on 1/1/09.

“Hardwired” Estate sim clustering. The idea that an Estate owner can manage their OpenSpaces as a group, so they share CPUs only with each other, has some real merit. It’s understood that inter-sim resource demands are only part of the problem: what load they pose on backend central services still has to be addressed, but LL Development and Operations need to come up with a way for Estate owners to choose CPU sharing for their OpenSpaces. Indeed, it has emerged that full-primmed sims can affect others that share their server box, even though running on a separate core, so a generalization of this could be of value to Estates who have no OpenSpaces at all.

In the end, they are listening. But, even if something like the above became Linden Lab's new policy on OpenSpace sims, you have to ask yourself if your OS sim or favorite OS sim is being used as a "void sim" or if it's being used for something more? Answer to that is simply going to Linden Lab's description of an OpenSim:

Normal regions run on their own dedicated CPU, but the Openspace regions run four per CPU; as you would expect, this limits their performance. Openspaces only ever share with other Openspaces on a server.

It is therefore important to understand what these regions are. They are provided for light use only, not for building, living in, renting as homes or use for events. As a stretch of open water for boating or a scenic wooded area they are fine, but we do not advise more serious use than this and will not respond to performance issues reported should you not use them in this way.

What's your OpenSim used for?

1 comment:

Christine McAllister Pearse said...

That may be so and all well and good, but it does defy all logic and explaination why you'd give people X amount of prims for just trees and rocks.

I still think this just shows the Lindens at their most brilliant...they seem to be the kingpins of the "Speak now from on high, think later" school of thought (which, personally, I'm still debating if they think at all).

As for Edward, myself and Argylle, we are taking a wait and see posture. Ultimately, the sim belongs to Des and it will be what his decision is that determines ours.

I will admit though, it's things like this that make RL more and more attractive.