OpenSim hits new high; small grids multiply

OpenSim’s top 40 public grids gained 1,056 new regions over the past month, hitting a new record high of 22,651 regions. Meanwhile, the total number of active public grids is now over 90, with 16 new grids added to our list this month.

Total regions on 40 largest public OpenSim grids. (Hypergrid Business data.)

There are also an unknown number of private grids, possibly numbering in the thousands, that there is currently no way to track.

OSGrid gained the most regions, growing by 737 to a new peak of 10,819 regions, making it the largest grid running on the OpenSim platform. It also had the most registered users, at 70,870, and the most active users, at 3,280.

Avination was the second most-active grid, with 3,266 active users.

InWorldz did not release its active users this month. However, that’s going to be changing soon, said InWorldz partner and software architect David Daeschler, also known as Tranquillity Dexler in-world.

“I want to provide all sorts of stuff including number of assets we’re storing, current size of assets, monthly uniques, bandwidth… everything,” he said,

InWorldz continues to pull away from top competitor Avination.

Avination and InWorldz are OpenSim’s two largest commercial social grids, with roughly similar price structures and terms of service. Both are closed grids, with no content allowed to leave the worlds via either hypergrid teleports or OARs — region backup files.

On the non-profit side, George Washington University’s eceCloud grid grew to 127 regions this month, up from just four regions in December, mostly likely because courses are in session again.

And the third-largest gainer was Kitely, which grew by 92 regions, to a new high of 1,502 regions, making it the third-largest OpenSim grid. The company has postponed billing once again — Kitely CEO Ilan Tochner tells Hypergrid Business that it will come in “a few weeks.”

“And then we’ll start working on developing alternative login options,” he added. Kitely currently requires all its users to have a Facebook account. “Megaregions and hypergrid support will have to wait until we handle a few additional tasks on our to-do list.”

Meanwhile, the company continues to work on core infrastructure and other features. For example, Kitely just rolled out free Vivox voice to all regions.

“Now that we have Vivox voice working, we’re seeing a lot more projects being started on Kitely,” said Tochner. “For example, virtual world building courses for teens, seminars for non-profit organizations, language teaching courses, and more.”

Unlike most other grids, Kitely is run completely in the Amazon cloud, with regions activated only while they are visited, allowing users to have as many regions as they want for little additional cost — for free, now, and for just 10 cents each after billing is in effect. In addition, users will pay 20 cents an hour for the time they spend in-world.

As a result, however, Kitely feels less like a single big grid and more like a collection of isolated private worlds, since in-world region-to-region teleports have not yet been implemented, and no region is physically adjacent to any other. The company is working to address the social aspects as well. Most recently, it added a list of the busiest public regions.

Growth in smaller grids

We’re starting to see more smaller grids popping up, an indication that OpenSim is getting more stable and easier to set up. Or that we’re getting better at finding them.

This month, we started tracking several new grids, including Foto50Suranaree University of Technology’s 3D University2nd ClassroomeXtra LifeLFGrid,  ModolithicYFCContepomiBlack Opal PortTG GridRutgers University Virtual Worlds, Jane’s PlaceSkyLine GridSilverCityInternetz and the University of Cincinnati OpenSim Virtual Campus Grid.

None of these grids was large enough to make it onto our top 40 list this month.

Elsewhere on the hypergrid

There is currently no central system for tracking OpenSim grids. The OpenSimulator.org website does not track downloads, and grid owners don’t have to register their grids with anyone — unlike websites, where owners have to apply for domain names. The OpenSimulator grid list is out of date and incomplete.

In addition, a single download of the server software can be used to set up several grids, or can be used to set up no grids at all.

If there’s a public grid we’re not tracking, please email us at [email protected].

However, there are statistics for one popular version of OpenSim, the Diva Distro, a four-region, hypergrid-enabled, pre-configured minigrid.

The Diva Distro has been downloaded 696 times over the past month. The total number of Diva Distro downloads now stands at 10,624. This does not mean that there are ten thousand mini-grids out there, however — someone might download the software but never use it, or download it once and use it to set up many grids.

Diva Distro is also part of the popular Sim-on-a-Stick, a version of OpenSim packaged to run on a USB stick. According to Sim-on-a-Stick creator Ener Hax, the USB-friendly OpenSim package has been downloaded 679 times over the past month, bringing the total of these downloads to more than 6,400.

Meanwhile, according to data from The Hypergates, the number of hypergrid travelers increased by 151 travelers, to 3,835, compared to the previous month. However, the total jumps made has fallen by 903, to 2,386 jumps made since mid December, possibly a result of database problems on the network.

Not all hypergates are part of The Hypergates network — anyone can create their own hypergrid by dropping a script on any object, such as our touch or walk-through single-destination hypergate script. In addition, many people do hypergrid jumps without using any gate at all, simply by typing a hypergrid address into Map-Search. There is currently no way of tracking that traffic.

Meanwhile, Second Life lost 391 regions this past month, according to data from Grid Survey. Second Life now has a total of 30,863 regions, a decline of 1,022 regions from this time last year.

January Region Counts on the Top 40 Grids

We are now tracking a total of 197 different publicly-accessible grids, 91 of which were active this month. SpotOn3D, OpenLifeGrid and Curiosity Grid did not release their numbers this month.

The raw data for this month’s report is here.

 

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.

  • holy cow! 391 SL sims poofed? when did they do that “no setup fee” promo at LL? if that was like a normal sim purchase, that means you would have the first month free – lol, that $295 is a lot of money when it comes due!

    sim-on-a-stick continues to do well and after seeing your stats last month on how much of OpenSim is run on it, it’s no surprise

    i think the big thing about sim-on-a-stick is that it is easy and handy to have. i have several USB sticks and have soas on each, even one that is only for my day job work

    • Over the past week, Second Life has lost another 80 regions, now totaling 30,784 regions — 23,564 of which were privately owned.

      Meanwhile, OSGrid has gained another 95 regions for a new total of 10,914. 

      That means, adding up all the grids that report (not just the top 40 ones), there are now 23,625 OpenSim regions on the public grids.

      Again, not counting all the private grids, school grids, company grids, standalones, Diva Distros, and Sim-on-a-Sticks. 

      So we officially have more land owned in OpenSim than in Second Life.

      (User numbers are still abysmally low, though! Where is that kid in the basement who’s working on a new viewer? We need you!)

      And a lot more of the OpenSim regions are empty, as well. Why not, they’re cheap. 

      So this is a bookkeeping milestone more than anything actually significant. 

      But still — whoo hoo!

      • Wayfinder Wishbringer

        “(User numbers are still abysmally low, though! Where is that kid in the basement who’s working on a new viewer? We need you!)”

        Sooooo agree!   Was speaking with friends just last week regarding this Achilles Heel of OpenSim.  No matter how good the server software, if the viewer has problems, the whole system has problems.

        We do see viewer devs working their tails off (and bless them), but the problem is the viewers and the grids are being developed by different people.  And to be honest, viewers that I do see being developed by private grids are often underpowered and still contain the major bugs LL build into the code years ago. 

        These days when I find a major bug on a grid, half the time the answer is “Yeah, sadly that’s on the viewer end.”  That’s a real problem. 

        There’s no denying Second Life is still the King of the Hill regarding concurrency and activity numbers.  They have a huge heavily-vested population that is not going to easily give up the privilege of paying $200 to $350 a sim, no matter what the benefits.  But, physics is coming as are a wide variety of other goodies.  I am going to be very interested to see what happens to Inworldz, OSgrid, Avination and Second Life this year.  

        Running joke:  My greatest fear?  Any decision LL makes in December 2012.  😀

  • Wayfinder Wishbringer

    Inworldz grows a bit, Avination declines a bit, but here’s what I enjoy seeing:
    Combine Inworldz and Avination… add that to OSgrid and the numbers for the “mini-grids”… and we are seeing some real numbers. 

    I mean, did anyone ever think we’d see this many regions outside of SL? (I mean yes, we did, but woohoo! It’s happening!).   Did anyone ever think we could own our own region ranging from free (self-served) to $75 or so (external server)? 

    Our group has more land and creations than we ever dreamed of having in our 7 years on SL.   Now that we left that platform and focused on Inworldz… the creativity is booming and our members enthusiastically creating new worlds.  It’s nothing short of fantastic.

    These stats, regardless of individual increases or declines, are increasing overall.  I’m sure Avination will get their second wind soon; there is enough of this pie for everyone to have a nice piece.  Overall, taken as a whole, thousands and thousands of regions– and they’re not only functional, they work *well*. 

    Tickles me no end, I can tell ya. : )