SoftPaw hosting rebrands with new services, new grid

OpenSim hosting company SoftPaw Estates announced that it is rebranding as Zetamex, and has launched a new grid running on the Aurora-Sim version of OpenSim.

In addition to traditional single-region and mini-grid OpenSim hosting, Zetamex now also offers dedicated server packages.

“Dedicated packages are for people who want direct control of their regions, simulators, grids, etc,” the company said in a press release today. “They allow you full and complete dedicated hardware usage. This means that you are the only one on that entire machine, no computer resources are shared.”

The servers are located in in St. Louis, Missouri in the U.S. and in Strasbourg, France. Customers have unlimited bandwidth in both locations.

Welcome plaza on AuroraScape grid. (Image courtesy Zetamex.)

The company has also launched a new grid, AuroraScape, designed to be both a social grid and a testing and development platform for the Aurora-Sim software.

“Voice and currency are enabled,” Zetamex founder Tim Rogers told Hypergrid Business. Hypergrid connectivity to OpenSim-based grids is not yet working, however.

According to Rogers, AuroraScape is set up as an open grid, allowing users to connect self-hosted regions for free.

This is unusual — typically, it is non-profit grids like OSgrid and FrancoGrid that allow self-hosted regions, while commercially run grids prefer that customers rent regions from the grid owners.

“It is pretty much a resident-run grid on a larger scale, all I do is maintain the sites and core regions and grid servers,” said Rogers.

Another unusual business decision is that the grid’s currency, Aurora Credits — AC$ — are not redeemable. Users can purchase the currency, with the money going to support central grid architecture, or earn it by participating in the community.

“Posting on the forums earns you credits, volunteering, supporting, and even just hanging out in world,” he said. Rogers referred to it as “toy currency.”

“We are trying to find a balance in community and in development,” he added.

Zetamex offers low region prices, with a Second Life-style, 15,000-prim region running OpenSim at just $20 a month, and the same region running on the Aurora-Sim platform at $15 per month. Dedicated server prices are also lower than average. The company said it “found a way to offer … quality services for a much more reasonable price.”

While low prices are attractive to customers, they can also be risky if the margins are too tight for the vendor to make a reasonable profit. Rogers previously offered 15,000-prim OpenSim regions for as little as $12 per month, so the new price schedule may be more sustainable for the long term.

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.

  • Linda

    Good article Maria, I rented a dedicated server from Zetamex and I’m thrilled with it and have been playing with it all day.

    I’ve always rented regions packages from Timothy Rogers. He has become a wonderful friend and I’m excited for him about both of these new ventures.

    I am also on the AuroraScape grid. I can’t pass up an opportunity to be a pioneer on a new grid. And to be able to go to a testing grid that allows (and even encourages) you to break things is really fun!
    With the current drama and unfriendly and unwelcoming atmosphere that surrounds OSGrid now so many people are leaving and finding welcoming, warm, and friendly grids like AuroraScape and Metropolis. So AuroraScape is less than a week old and last I heard there were already about 50 registered users and people setting up regions already as well. It should be a blast.

    • Thanks for the help with the press release!

      Note to other grids and vendors: I LOVE getting business-oriented press releases and pretty much run all of them. It’s free publicity, so send them in. Plus, this publication is indexed by Google News, so it counts extra for your SEO.

      • hack13

        I just really suck at press releases. I am more the techy guy, I am pretty bad when it comes to writing up that stuff. I might end up getting someone to start doing my press release stuff since I am always so busy in the back end.

    • Guest

      Hope Tim does well, he’s a good guy, though I’m going to stick with Metropolis as I don’t feel I want to deal with the “papercuts” that come from being on the cutting edge of new technology. I also don’t want the bother of having to change to another viewer just to take advantage of the different technology.

      • Linda

        I love the papercuts of being on a new grid. I’m going to be enjoying Metropolis as well. It will be fun to compare the two platforms.

  • hack13

    The reason I started AuroraScape was to finally give back to my community all that it has done for me. I wanted to push forward and try and get more people to come see what they are missing on the Aurora-Sim platform. I know it sounds crazy to allow anyone to connect, but that is what I did, as it is the best way to get better feed back on issues that need to be fixed.

    I am hoping to attract more developers to the Aurora-Sim platform, so that they may start helping fix the few issues that we have found here and there, but so far those issues are few and far in between. Our only known issues right now are:
    +Ghosting, when you TP somewhere you leave a clone behind that can still hear and repeat local chat to you. So it is recommended relogging after TPing occasionally.
    + Purchasing something doesn’t give it to you until purchasing something else, a 1 delay in inventory pushing, or you can just relog and the item be in your inventory.
    + Some upstream issues with not being able to upload iar’s and older versions of oar’s

    But people login to AuroraScape knowing they are entering a grid that is a Test Bed, but they stick around to enjoy the community so we can keep finding the bugs to fix.

  • Having dealt with some legal matters, I am now free to re-involve myself in the community.

    It is truly a pleasure to be able to comment here about the reliability, flexibility and speedy responses that I got from SoftPaws Estates, now Zetamex.

    And I will be in touch with Zetamex about some of my own ideas.

    • hack13

      I look forward to hearing from you again, and thank you for your kind words.

  • roberthabing

    Zetamex site doesn’t have any way to contact for questions etc.. At least any that I can find of can someone direct me to where I can contact for pre sales questions on a dedicated set up?

    Thanks

    • hack13

      I apologize about that, I forgot to include that page I am doing that now as I post this. If you have any questions you can feel free to send me an email at my personal address for the time being timothy.f.rogers[at]gmail.com