Wednesday, October 29, 2008

My two and a half thoughts..

Although Steelhead does not have any open space sims to itself the pricing rise that Linden Labs has announced in its blog does affect us all. After all the fifth Steelhead Sim, Myst which was going to be a private estate for the Eclipse Household was going to be our first openspace sim for Steelhead, we were going to buy it right after or along with Port Harbor... plans have changed now.

I had decided to take the evening off to myself but even not being in world I could still feel the tension and anger and anxiety over this even days after the fact.

I know that sevreal folks approached myself and Tensai about renting an openspace in Steelhead as a 'Duchy' is sold in Caledon. To be quite blunt it is difficult to empower so much land to one person especially to make their tier, if they do not pay their rent on time the person footing the bill is me. I am rather novice at this estate management so I played it safe. Even Desmond himself warned me about openspace sims and I took his advice and my gut instinct.

After this announcement Steelhead has made the initiative that it will not have openspace sims rented out. If we do get an OS sim it will be as it was intended to be used for... mountains like Mt. Rainier we were and still are planning on creating and open water regions that are part of the commons land even then its something we're tossing back onto the writing board and rethinking.

I attended one of the meetings where Desmond Shang, owner of the Caledon estates spoke more in depth of the conversations he had with the Lindens about this and how it will affect Caledon in the long run. Considering they have 20 of these openspace sims out there I'm sure the tension surrounding this issue is great there.

The Lindens state that the reason they created these openspace sims was for landscaping, water, etc. Once they announced the prim increase I'm sure everyone hopped on the bandwagon to get a few of these sims for themselves. Why not, pay 75$ USD for a full sim with a few thousand prims is a good deal. Many abused these sims by overruning them with scripts, turning around and selling them to other so they do not have to purchase a full sim to have one of these quarter sims thus finding a loophole around the rules. The cost to maintain them became more than the price they were selling them for and thus they felt the folly of their own devices.

Open your mouth again and stick the other foot in.

I found it rather amusing when 'camping chairs' and 'dance clubs' and 'sex clubs' and 'malls' became the culprits of the price increase. I know it is a folly of mankind to point fingers everyway but your own and I am the first to admit I do this myself. Yes I make mistakes, and damn proud to do so. *gets off of soap box before it is too late*

But if you want to place blame it is best you look in the mirror.

Don't hang me yet, please... allow me to explain. Let's talk technical for a moment.

Each SIM, full SIM has its own CPU all to itself. That is what your 1000$USD buy's you, the 295$USD buys you space on their server racks and the cost of maintenance... their cups of coffee... etc etc.

Let's have some Tensai talk straight from the professional network technician specialist in charge of several international servers for many years. SUN Certification, Linux specialist... she's uber what else can I say?

Tensai Hilra says: now the way it's setup.. think of this..
Tensai Hilra says: 4 sims on a 4 cpu box...
Tensai Hilra says: gives the box the potential of 1 CPU per SIM
Tensai Hilra says: ALSO gives the box the ability to Boost one sim to use 4 cpus if the other 3 are idle
Tensai Hilra says: Hence why a class 5 kicks so much ass

Thank you dear, a class 5 does kick ass. What about openspace sims?

Tensai Hilra says: if all the sims were at full bore, it would even it out to one per CPU to avoid slowdowns
Tensai Hilra says: on my main PC with 2 cpu's .. it realllly makes a difference..
Tensai Hilra says: I rarely lock completly up and usually am running at 50% cpu when fully loaded
Tensai Hilra says: now, the old openspaces are being Forced to upgrade to Class 5 servers BTW
Tensai Hilra says: to get them out of the super-lag area
Tensai Hilra says: as it is now... a class 4 box running openspace, could in all possibility be 16 sims on 2 cpu's!
Tensai Hilra says: one CPU sharing 8 sims!
Tensai Hilra says: so naturally LL panics
Tensai Hilra says: it really makes sense why they are doing this... problem is, they let it go on too long and the change is too abrubt

There are 4 Sims per CPU, an openspace sim is 4 openspace sims per CPU, so if each server has 4 CPU's there is the potential of 16 sims being run by one box.

Each of these sims has the capacity less prim count of running the same as a full SIM. The problem being is you're stealing CPU from three other sims and up to 15 others if you are say... having a ball where you're running about 50 dance scripts, as well as streaming audio and have lets say 100 people in them and the comptuer has to compensate for these massive balls with big flowing gowns and avatar's AO's, scripts, and inventory.

When I pointed out that perhaps the dances were a bit much strain for these computers I was told 'well Steelhead has dances.' Of course we do, we also have a full CPU dedicated to us and if we're completely scraping for resources we're probably lagging down possibly 3 other sims as opposed to 15 IF the system allows for it. The only shared resource on these machines is the HAVOK engine which is threaded as a whole instead of singularly.

Which means, your neighbor in world is not your neighbor on the servers.

Tensai Hilra says: so it's possible one sim is in california, another in texas, and a third in their europe center... and you could all converge on one corner
Tensai Hilra says: thats where sim-crossings suck and the VPN to fiber upgrades WILL help

Tensai Hilra says: ah, I grilled Concierge about it once

You keep grilling dear. For me to understand the problem and find a solution or a middle ground I have to understand the workings on why this came to be. Ultimately it is our own fault and Linden Labs for NOT disclosing to us what these openspace sims could be used for and also for NOT capping each sim's resources so they couldn't take from their shared neighbors.

At this point everything is not set in stone, we must wait to see what will be done. Maybe dropping the prim count to what void sims used to be could help, maybe having a way where we could trade in four openspace sims for a full sim may help our neighbors.

But whatever the case may be, I am sorry this came to be and sorry for those who have to toss everything on the drawing board or worse... wait.

Till next time,


Fogwoman Gray said...

Thanks so much to you and your talented wife :)
I finally understand some of the technical issues that were still unclear to me in this.

Tsai Jie said...

My thanks as well. I have been hearing the rumbles and I haven't understood what all the fracas was. I loved the idea of open space sims and thought it was a fine idea, and then suddenly I was inundated with notecards from people asking me to protest Linden decisions.

Steelhead is a lovely place, BTW. Keep up the good work!