Archive for the ‘Concurrency’ Tag

Second Life Maximum Daily Concurrency Peaks At 56, 148 During Coronavirus Crisis

It appears people are beginning to remember Second Life … and, hopefully, for better reasons than as a “den of debauchery” — Oh, you mean there are some parts like that …? (Grin)

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Daniel Voyager

According to the Second Life Grid Survey the maximum daily concurrency in #SecondLife reached 56, 148 on 22nd March 2020. The median daily concurrency average at the moment is around 42, 000. It’s getting a little higher every week but no huge peaks in the max daily concurrency yet due to the current Coronavirus crisis.

If things get worse in the next few weeks and months then I think the Second Life daily concurrency levels will go up due to the strict lockdowns across the world. If any new huge peak occurs soon then I will blog about it.

Second Life Grid Survey Data

What do you think the concurrency levels will be in the weeks and months ahead ?

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Posted March 27, 2020 by Harper Ganesvoort in News, Reblog

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M Linden Replies to NWN Article on Discovery Island Building Tutorial Problem

In my article last week, I noted how the comment of a reader of the New World Notes article on the new “first hour” experience for newcomers to Second Life sent me to check the place out.  I found it to be the fact:  no mention of building, and no basic tutorial on the subject at all.

Hamlet Au went deeper on the subject and asked Linden Lab about the matter.  Petra Linden replied that the Lab is planning to add an area for build basics in the future; and, in a comment to the story, Mark Kingdon (M Linden) adds that, since the design of the islands is modular, more areas can be added while keeping the “natural flow” of the concept in place.

It’s good to know that the Lab is taking note of this so quickly.  As I said in my own comment to the article:  “Without something to let the newcomer know distinctly that building [is] possible, and to let them experiment at least briefly with it, at least some percentage will never know what that Build item on the menu bar is all about. Without new content creators — and new creators’ ideas to keep the pool fresh — Second Life builds would eventually stagnate.”

New Welcome and Discovery Islands Missing Important Things for New Avatars

I’m one of several Residents that went exploring yesterday.  After reading Ham Au’s article on his visit to the new Welcome and Discovery Islands for new avatars, I went ahead and created an alt account to investigate on my own.  (You can see pictures of some of the six areas at New World Notes.)

The whole idea of revamping the welcome regions is to give the newcomer training and tools to get going in Second Life, and to retain them — the great problem.  It goes hand in hand with the reworking of the viewer to version 2, another move to get and hold new accounts.  And, to a certain degree, the job gets done, especially when the new experience is compared to the jungle and game settings on some of the old Orientation Islands.  (I came in through a Scholar’s Island myself, and so didn’t have all those distractions.)  With a little practice, you can pick up the basic functions of movement, flying, chatting and camera control — all the main things that a newcomer needs to know to function in avatar society.  And apparently, according to Pete Linden (in Ham’s article), retention rates improved during testing.

But I also went into my mentoring shtick without announcing who I am — not that I’m exactly an SL celebrity, or would want to be; and, of course, these newbies wouldn’t know jack about me or this blog.  And I discovered, as Marianne McCann had noted in her comment to Ham’s article, that there was no visible mention of how to build content.  I also found no notes of how to change appearance and clothes or wear attachments, and no explanation of the Linden dollar economy.  Ham says that there are videos with tutorials about the Discovery Islands, but they did not seem very obvious as things that played, and I never got one going.  (In the Lab’s defense there, I think I need to update QuickTime on my computer.)  I didn’t even find a mention about sandboxes; and you cannot rezz up anything on the ground there — not even packaged gifts from the Lindens themselves.  And I found just as many questions from newcomers as I ever have seen.

I’m not sure that this new welcome system works.  Yeah, the old official welcome islands had descended into hell on wheels with griefers and spammers thick on the ground.  But my first impression (and probably my only, depending on a chance for return) is that a newbie gets less information here than they did before.  I’d rather direct them to jump in at someplace like the Trinity College orientation ground in Dublin region, at least at the moment.  That, plus maybe a corps of greeters who can answer newbie questions consistently and in a friendly manner.  I think this would do a lot more for retention in the long run.  I plan on dropping in again, if I can teleport onto one of the islands as a “well-aged” avatar, and see what happens then.

Time, of course, and apparently increased concurrency, as well as a growing Grid economy, will tell the final tale of whether this new system works well.  In the meantime, I’m getting ready to answer a lot of newcomer questions….

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Peak Concurrency Record

Monday, September 1, while I was out on the road, Second Life hit a record high for concurrency — the number of avatars in world at one time.  According to Hamlet Au at New World Notes (who has a capture of the opening screen), 68,593 users were in world simultaneously, up over 1,200 from the previous record set just eight days before.  The crush was heavy enough that logins were disabled around 5:00, according to a comment to the story from Kate Amdahl.

One speculation for the cause of such a flocking, based on an eyewitness account in another comment (from Ann Otoole), is that we’re getting what used to be known as the Usenet college bounce:  tons of new college students joining in when they get themselves established at their homes away from home.  She also suggests that this may come from the growing number of professors using SL as a classroom environment.  This could make sense; the spike might come from students getting themselves logged in and established ahead of classes starting.  (I wouldn’t expect this to be a classroom activity, as September 1 was Labor Day in the United States and Canada.  Most schools and colleges would be closed then.)  Any other ideas for the spike are, of course, welcome for airing and consideration.

Can the Grid handle the strain?  The Big Blog is silent on the matter; they haven’t even taken notice of the new concurrency high.  The logins were disabled for concurrency load, though, which means that the servers couldn’t keep up with everything.  If the neighborhood of 67k is the true maximum cap for the total number of avatars in world at one time, then we are still far from the true Metaverse, or even the true Web 3.0, when the operating model needs to handle hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of people simultaneously.  You want backup for that?  Go back and re-read Stephenson’s Snow Crash, the book many consider to be one of the models for Second Life.  The Street in Snow Crash was constantly crowded, without a sign of a system failure; avatars could be as extravagantly dressed as they desired, even with three-meter-large hairdos of light, and the system not only coped, but thumbed its nose at the load.  We are nowhere near that yet in content-rich, artist-free Second Life; and the other metaverses out there (such as Google’s Lively), while presumably more stable, don’t give the same kind of flexibility that the Grid does.

It’s early days yet in virtual worlds.  The good thing is that we can hit peaks like 68,000 for a time.  But we have miles to go before the developers can sleep (thank you Robert Frost).

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