Monday, January 14, 2008

Scalability of SL

The major concerns the residents of Second Life had in 2007 were probably Scalability and Stability, and these were addressed in the Project Open Letter sometime mid 2007. In those days Second Life got laggy when there were more than 30K people online at the same time.

Yesterday Massively wrote on Jan. 15 stats for Second Life:
A peak concurrency of 61,560 (a new record!) at 1:45PM, and a minimum concurrency of 34,399 at 11:55PM. Median concurrency for the day was 46,627.

So where does this put Second Life in terms of maximum concurrency? In the same blogpost Massively provides some data for comparison:
For comparison purposes, Everquest's record concurrency is reported to have been approximately 90,000 which puts Linden Lab's virtual world more than two thirds of the way there in terms of usage.

People always boast about World of Warcraft, but those have different servers (serverclouds) for different continents, so you can't really test how much one grid can hold before falling down. A little while ago Aleister Kronos reported some concurrency stats for a number of worlds:

Scalability, max concurrency are all relative categories though, as each and every world uses its own technique (streaming, download client, java, flash and whatelse there is in variation). Second Life islands can hold 50 to 90 people at the same time, other NVE's can run 8,000 on a single server. It's architecture, infrastructure and all these little things. The bottomline is do we have a good experience when the world we're in is pushing its limits?

Some noticed a slight downfall in performance last weekend on Second Life, as they were pushing their max concurrency. Scripting, rezzing etc slowed down a bit. So perhaps it will be July 2008 before Second Life pushes beyond 80 K and year end may see 100K, but I know they're getting there. The new Windlight Client that's available is going to be the best tested client ever and the Linden QA team is trying to get rid of all that resource sucking stuff in there. I think 2008 shows promise for Second Life.

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