The Linden Blog notes that the recent embarrassing level of crashing & outages is highlighting to Linden Labs the need for scalability.
Scalability shouldn’t be confused with land mass, which there is planty of. The problem is only so many people can get online at once right now…… about 80000 tops!
FJ Linden explains in technical language the tight situation. Basically Second Life is at a bottleneck. It needs to be scaled up big time!
Imagine you have a burger stand, that to your surprise becomes amazingly popular. At first, everything is going well. You can serve people in a timely manner, and the place is packed.
Then a problem arises. Your customer base keep multiplying exponentially! (In this world, the entire globe can travel to your door easily without commuting.) So people are lining up at the door & down the street.
Seems good, but you can only serve so many people so quickly! Your kitchen staff (the database system) is exhausted from being constantly overworked. Yet more people keep coming. You’ve expanded your dining area enormously, but you now have too many tables to serve. People start complaining and getting angry because they can only get served half the time. They came for steak & didn’t even get a menu brought to the table…..
The quality of the burgers (the grid) starts to goes downhill fast as chaos grows. As your cooks try to work faster & faster, they start making more mistakes (inventory loss, lag, downtime). Now, those wonderful famous burgers just don’t taste as good as they used to anymore. New customers wonder how this place ever got so big & successful?
So you hire a man (restricted logins) to stand at the door to turn away a good many of your paying customers (both new and old) upon arrival.
This obviously is a terrible solution….. in the long term, it is no solution at all, and would slowly ruin this otherwise successful business.
What is a better solution?
Expand the “kitchen” & remodel, reorganize that workspace towards maximum efficiency – or as FJ Linden says rearchitecture. It’s got to be a tough job redesigning something so that it can be expanded ad infinitum. Tougher still when they have to keep the grid running, while expanding it. This is what the Lindens are working on right now. I’m glad to hear it…. kudos to them for attempting what must be a very arduous task.
When Second Life is always filled to over-capacity these days, how can it grow more? Booting out a portion of the user-base continuously is not a solution – its can only be a stop-gap temporary fix. The pressure’s on at the lab now….. we need a stable & scalable grid — and pronto!
Can they do it? I hope so…. good luck LL. 🙂