OSGrid loses regions, other grids continue to grow

The top 40 public grids lost 20% of their reported area this past month — from 11,717 to 9,343 regions —  due to summer cleaning at OSGrid. The largest OpenSim-based grid lost more than a third of its land area, falling from 7,530 to 4,962 regions as grid administrators cleared inactive regions off the books.

The other grids in our top-40 list grew by an average 5%, however. The biggest gainers were NeXtLife with 40 new regions, SIM World with 28 new regions, and GiantGrid with 22 new regions. Several other grids in addition to OSGrid lost regions. Pirate Grid lost 23, Triton Grid lost 47, KS Grid lost 50, and Open Neuland and ReactionGrid lost 85 regions each.

Summer cleaning cuts region numbers. (Source: Hypergrid Business)

ReactionGrid isn’t only a grid, but also a hosting company. CTO Chris Hart tells Hypergrid Business that it now operates 50 private grids for clients, with an average of six regions each. (List of other OpenSim hosting companies is here.) Some of those lost regions may have migrated to private grids.

In fact, standalones — or mini-grids — continue to multiply, as easier and more secure hypergrid connectivity allows companies and individuals to set up separate grids that are still connected to the rest of the OpenSim universe by hypergrid teleports. One of the most popular free versions of OpenSim for these minigrids is the Diva Distro, which was downloaded 2,118  times since the start of April, when a new version was released. It doesn’t mean that there are 2,000 new grids running OpenSim, however — each download can be used to run several different grids, or could represent an abandoned effort. Most of those downloads occurred immediately after the release came out. The Diva Distro was downloaded 306 times since mid-May.

In addition to renting grids or regions from a hosting company, or running the Diva Distro, there is a third alternative — to download and install the default OpenSimulator distribution and configure it from scratch. Unfortunately, historic download statistics aren’t available, but the pre-packaged OpenSim installer has been downloaded 90,023 times as of today, according to OpenSimulator data.

Meanwhile, the total number of Second Life regions fell slightly this month, to 31,811 regions, down 74 regions from 31,885 regions in June, according to data from Grid Survey.

The total number of registered users on all the top-40 OpenSim grids grew 7% from 82,480 in June to 88,386 in July, but the total number of unique monthly logins stayed flat, hovering around 10,000. OSGrid gained 1,854 new registered users this past month, the most of any grid, with MyOpenGrid second with 1,186 new users, and Meta7 third with 509 new users. WorldSimTerra gained 429 new users, Avatar Hangout gained 314 users, New World Grid gained 265 users, and ReactionGrid gained 262 users.

When it comes to unique monthly logins, OSGrid continues to lead the pack with 4,899 users, down slightly from 5,098 unique users in mid June. This may be a cyclical decline as students and other users go on summer vacations. We don’t yet have annual trend numbers to run a seasonal adjustment. Your Alternate Life came in second with 1,339 unique monthly visitors, up from 1,284 in June. However, this number may not be reliable since unique logins typically average 10% of total registered users — and Your Alternate Life only has 1,857 registered users. Meta7 was next with 1,144 unique monthly logins, New World Grid had 423, ReactionGrid had 408, WorldSimTerra had 388, 3rd Rock Grid had 313, and Role Play Worlds had 225. All other grids had less than 200 visitors each month.

(Image courtesy OSGrid.)

Statistics for simultaneous users are currently only available from OSGrid, which has been tracking them for the past year. On average this month, between 60 and 120 users are only at any given time, varying by time of day and day of week. Given the fact that OSGrid has four times as many monthly logins as the nearest grid, it’s reasonable to expect that other grids would have at most couple of dozen users on at any time — except for special events — and the smaller grids may be completely empty at some periods.

(Image courtesy OSGrid.)

There are two new grids on our list this month — Virtual Worlds College, and  SimValley. We are now tracking a total of 90 different publicly-accessible grids, 79 of which were up this month. The raw data for this month’s report is here.

July Region Counts

maria@hypergridbusiness.com'

Maria Korolov

Maria Korolov is editor and publisher of Hypergrid Business. She has been a journalist for more than twenty years and has worked for the Chicago Tribune, Reuters, and Computerworld and has reported from over a dozen countries, including Russia and China.

  • Ener Hax

    interesting on the summer cleaning. what do you think of installing OpenSim on Cari.net? say on dedicated server? for $200 a month you can get 4 cores, 4 GB RAM, and 250 GB disk space

    i don't know enough on the tech side to assess that properly. i just know from our RG server that RAM seems the first to get eaten up. CPU always stays low (under 10% except on sim restarts) for us, but we only have 4 or 5 people max at one time

    are there other hosts (not OpenSim hosts) that would be similar to a dedicated server like Cari.net has? (i don't think our fibre optic line would support many concurrent users, thus the interest in some commercial server option)

  • Ener Hax

    to add to my question above – after doing some leg work and my other half talking with Justin Clark-Casey here is what we have concluded

    first JCC is booked till early next year, so getting Cari.net is out of the picture (an option we also entertained was hiring someone's talented daughter to install OS for us)

    but, even with Cari, it seems hard to beat simhost's price. they also run on Cari.net and what would cost us $200 is about $179 with them with the HGB discount

    btw, Cari.net seems to have an attractive discount for people using them for OSGrid deployments

  • Ener —

    There are a few other folks you can hire to set you up with Cari.net.

    Melanie Thielker of 3D Hosting and Kai Ludwig of TalentRaspel can probably also do this for you, as well as Snoopy Pfeffer of Dreamland Metaverse.

    I don't know if they can get you the same kind of bulk discount as Adam Frisby of SimHost can, though. He's got a good relationship with Cari.net, as does OSGrid as a whole.

    I'm a big fan of OSGrid, but wary of putting mission-critical regions on there — you're dependent on their databases for your assets and inventory, and get tied to their upgrade cycles.

    Having your own grid (or mini-grid) puts you in control of both. I'm seeing some folks setting up their private grids, and then also putting up a region on OSGrid which they use to promote their grid, put up a hypergate and otherwise make it easy and attractive for people to come visit via the hypergrid.

    — Maria

  • Twitch166310

    I’m feel more then sure that if the account users at LBSA were friendlier, less abusive, more attentive to the needs of new users they would not have so many abandoned regions to clear off the grid. People do not want to stay in such a negative hostile environment. So many upper management over look or they are not aware of the true natures of those that hang out in the Hot Spot called LBSA. This is a cliquish tight group of old accounts that do what they please on the grid, regardless of the impression it leaves on new comers. I for one cleared my tiny little region off the grid and left.I will never have anything good to say about this grid, and will not recommend this gird to anyone seeking a please to relax and have dun.