Kitely moves inventory to the cloud

Kitely, the on-demand OpenSim grid provider, is moving yet another piece of the OpenSim infrastructure to the cloud. This time, it’s the user inventories.

Kitely CEO Ilan Tochner

“This significantly improves inventory performance on Kitely and helps us avoid the inventory-related problems that are plaguing other grids that are using OpenSim,” Kitely CEO Ilan Tochner told Hypergrid Business.

According to today’s announcement by Kitely co-founder and VP of R&D Oren Hurvitz, the new system will allow avatars to enter the grid faster, and open large inventory folders faster. They will also experience less lag while inside the world, and when other avatars enter the same region.

Kitely was already running the region servers in the cloud. This is the OpenSim software that runs individual regions — or megaregions. Kitely was also using the cloud for asset storage. Assets are the stuff that’s physically located in the regions — the buildings, the trees, the landscape textures.

The inventory system, by comparison, stores information about the stuff that’s owned by individual avatars, and is stored in their personal inventories.

“OpenSim inventory and assets are handled by two different systems, with different database entries  and different server components,” said Tochner. “Regular OpenSim inventory handling created a lot of lag even after we replaced the regular OpenSim asset service with our own cloud-based system. By also replacing the inventory service, we eliminated a major source of OpenSim load and reduced lag noticeably. There are still things we intend to improve, but the combination of these two cloud-based systems already makes Kitely a lot more responsive than OpenSim grids that don’t have the benefit of our proprietary cloud-based architecture.”

Thinking about whether to load up my inventory with all of these Linda Kellie freebies on Kitely. But hey, with the new inventory system — why not?

The new cloud-based inventory system will not force Kitely to fork OpenSim, however.

“Just like with our cloud-based asset system, and our advanced megaregions technology, our cloud-based inventory system integrates cleanly with regular OpenSim and can be used with the standard OpenSim releases with minimal development work on our part,” said Tochner. “We are very vigilant in making sure we don’t lose this compatibility.”

Keeping compatibility with standard OpenSim means that Kitely can update quickly when new version of OpenSim, patches, or feature improvements are released. It also allows the company to donate its own improvements and fixes back to the OpenSim community.

However, Kitely does not donate the cloud-based part of its infrastructure, which it keeps proprietary, and is the company’s main competitive advantage in the OpenSim hosting marketplace.

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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. Follow me on Twitter @MariaKorolov.

10 Responses

  1.' Araxie says:

    I don’t get it? Its ok though, I’m a silly. but need more info.

    What have they actually done that’s innovative here?

    Just moving a database to a cloud server?

    From what I’ve seen,
    OpenSim in grid mode has had the ability to run assets data on a different database or ip for awhile now.

    Just edit gridcommon.ini, Heck all my stuff is “on the cloud”, though mine is just a toy (no reason it couldn’t scale up and down with load- If I had the dough to spend for the increased cloud power).

    Heck, I may split my assets and region databases up too- for my tiny grid toy, just for database management reasons and convenience when upgrading.
    I don’t see why a server running a mysql asset database couldn’t just scale just like any other cloud based server. I think I’m missing something with this new mojo they have.

    •' Ilan Tochner says:

      Hi Araxie,

      The standard OpenSim ROBUST architecture suffers from scalability and performance issues. Kitely developed its own distributed asset and inventory systems to replace the ones that OpenSim includes. This results in much better performance and a lot less lag than you get when running OpenSim’s services on the same number of servers as we use.

      You won’t get the same performance as Kitely provides, unless you develop high-performance scalable replacements for these OpenSim services as well.

  2. Ener Hax says:

    well, they are the first ones to offer this and they do so to improve their offerings. it’s not so much about innovation but about implementation, imo =)

    a regular schmuck like me benefits from using their service because of this improvement – SL could have been the pioneers in cloud-based virtual worlds but they chose not to be

    Kitely is the leader when it comes to a commercial solution that someone like me can easily use =)

    • I did say months ago that Kitely is the game changer.

      I’m happy to be a Kitely fangirl.

      wish I had the time I once had to jump in and escape, play, create. I
      miss my worlds ;p I miss Ilan and Stio and the meetings and my stuff.
      But, I’ve been busy launching my real world business so can’t fly Kitely
      for a bit longer.

      The up side is by the time I can get back to
      it, Kitely should be maxing out on all the update goodies so I’ll be
      like a kid in the candy store!

      <3 Virtual Clover

  3. It should be noted this is becoming a common theme for grids that reach certain levels of usage. We (InWorldz) rolled a nosql based inventory storage system around the end of 2011. This is the same type of Dynamo/BigTable inspired technology used in “the cloud” to power key/value stores and is highly scalable and fault tolerant.

    •' Stardust Sky says:

      Well it has made a difference, I found Kitley inventory quicker than others anyway now it really flies, a noticeable difference.

      Kitely is the VW game changer until anyone else can offer 20 sims and unlimited use for $35 a month! I can’t really see how closed grids charging 40 – 75 per sims are going to survive long term – or even short term as the word spreads. Will this force everyone to re model to amazon per minute hosting? and will they able able to catch up with Kitely developments? – best move i have made since exploring outside SL:)