InWorldz rocks the growth charts

We don’t normally cover the InWorldz grid — the owners have told us that they don’t consider to be an OpenSim grid — but we have to make an exception this month because of the grid’s stellar performance over the past thirty days.

The grid — which runs on a branched-off version of the OpenSim software and is not on the hypergrid, but can be accessed with the standard OpenSim and Second Life viewers — gained 185 regions this month, putting it far ahead its nearest competitor, Metropolis, which only gained 41 regions. InWorldz is now the second-largest grid, after OSGrid, running on the OpenSim software (or its derivative).

InWorldz also gained 3,942 new users over the past 30 days, compared to 2,654 new users on OSGrid.

Total regions on 40 largest OpenSim grids.

Overall, the top 40 OpenSim grids gained 393 regions over the past 30 days, for a new total of 10,820 regions. Meanwhile, Second Life lost 92 regions over the same time period, according to data from Grid Survey.

OSGrid cleans out more dead regions

OSGrid normally rules the region growth metrics, but lost a net total of 197 regions these past 30 days as a result of some additional housekeeping. According to OSGrid statistics, over 1,000 abandoned region names were cleared away about three weeks ago. Not the regions themselves — those remain on their owners’ servers or home computers. But the OSGrid database entries showing where the regions are located on the map, and how they connect to OSGrid.

“We occasionally purge regions,” explained OSGrid president Michael Cerquoni (known as Nebadon Izumi in-world). “A lot of people try OpenSim for a day and never come back, and leave their spot populated.” OSGrid purged a total of 3,000 regions over the summer — and more than 10,000 over the past year, he added.

OSGrid doesn’t have a reservation system for region locations, Cerquoni told Hypergrid Business. A region that has been unresponsive for more than 48 hours may be purged from the database, but in practice the purges normally take a few weeks, he said.

Keeping a dead region in the database means that people can still find it on the map — but aren’t able to teleport in, which can make the grid seem less reliable. But purging regions immediately would mean that people might lose their favorite spots if their servers went down over a weekend and someone else swooped in and grabbed the prime location.

OSGrid region counts. (Source: OSGrid)

Without the purge, OSGrid would have gained around 800 new regions.

Meanwhile, OSGrid continues to be the largest grid running on the OpenSim platform, with a total of 5,668 regions, and the most popular grid as well, with 5,936 active users and a total of 48,957 registered users.

The Hypergrid 1.5 migration

The OpenSim universe continues to be divided, with more grids upgrading to Hypergrid 1.5 and OpenSim version 0.7. This new upgrade is incompatible with the earlier Hypergrid 1.0 and OpenSim 0.6.9.

Grids running the older version include ReactionGrid, OSGrid, and all other grids pegging their upgrade schedule to one of these two powerhouses.

Grids that have switched over include GermanGrid, Dorena’s World, Triton Grid, AnSky, UCI Grid, YourSimSpot, Iti Motu and Alpha Towne.

It is impossible to hypergrid teleport from a grid running HG 1.0 to a grid running HG 1.5 and vice versa, leaving some hypergrid travelers temporarily cut off from their favorite shopping and entertainment destinations.

The new version of OpenSim adds a significant security improvement to hypergrid teleports, closing a security hole through which rogue grid owners could have accessed the inventories of their visitors. Though there were no reported cases of this actually happening, it was a worrisome possibility. In addition, the latest version of OpenSim also allows media-on-a-prim, which is useful for businesses and educators making presentations in virtual worlds, and supports Second Life Viewer 2. The media-on-a-prim functionality, for example, can already be tested out on GermanGrid, though it requires the Second Life Viewer 2 and isn’t currently a feature in Hippo or Imprudence.

However, other grids are waiting for the new features to be thoroughly debugged first.

“Lots of modules are still not working right, like groups,” said OSGrid’s Cerquoni. “I don’t have a firm ETA right now — too many variables.”

The full chart of the 81 public grids that were active this month, with grid addresses,  is located here: September OpenSim Grid Statistics.

September 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.