Drama, outages plague OpenSim grids

Update: I missed a couple of grids in the first version of the story, AllCity updated their stats, and I removed Alife Virtual’s stats from the report because of questions about their accuracy. Read full story here.

Only a small handful of grids had problems this month, while the rest maintained their size or grew, but those few dragged the region numbers down by 1,339 this month, so that the total land area of OpenSim, in standard region equivalents, is now 61,947 regions.

However, registered users and active user numbers both showed healthy growth.

The biggest land loser was Virtual Worlds Grid, which is currently undergoing some maintenance and did not have complete varregions counts, reporting only the number of named regions. This resulted in a paper loss of 820 regions. Avination and AviWorlds were both down, affecting land area, registered users, and active user stats.

There’s still no word on when Avination is coming back up. The grid, owned by OpenSim core developer Melanie Thielker, is a major closed commercial grid and had around 500 regions, 500 active users, and more than 80,000 registered users in June, the last time we were able to see its stats.

StarLight World — also billed as “Greeklife World” on its welcome screen — lost 220 regions, for a new total of 573. The grid owners have informed me that GreekLife Grid Club is the official name of the grid, and the database has been updated to show that.

Virtual Brasil lost 203 regions, though its active users increased.

And ZetaWorlds, the Zetamex-owned open grid that allows anyone to connect a region, lost 137 regions due to a database cleanup of inactive map reservations.

“The numbers could go back up as people re-connect their simulators,” Zetamex spokesman Timothy Rogers told Hypergrid Business. However — just like the other grids after a clean up of dead regions –the number does drop.”

The biggest land gainer was SkyLifeGrid, which grew by 683 regions from its previous incarnation at just 49 regions late last year. SkyLifeGrid was briefly named Digitaleisure before a conflict with a preexisting online games company forced it to change its name. It is one of the grids that emerged after the most recent flameout of AviWorlds.

Metropolis gained 298 regions, DigiWorlds gained 259, Kitely gained 231, OSgrid gained 230, Alife Virtual gained 205 and Lost Paradise gained 200.

Land area of OpenSim's public grids, in standard region equivalents. (Hypergrid Business data.)

Land area of OpenSim’s public grids, in standard region equivalents. (Hypergrid Business data.)

For those who are new readers, OpenSim is a free, open source virtual world platform that’s compatible with the Oculus Rift. It allows people with no technical skills to quickly and cheaply create virtual worlds, and then teleport to other virtual worlds. Those with technical skills can run OpenSim worlds on their own servers for free, while commercial hosting starts at less than $5 a region — compared to $300 a region for the same land in Second Life.

A list of hosting providers is here. Download the recommended Firestorm viewer here. And find out where to get content for your OpenSim world or region here.

Popularity

When it comes to general-purpose social grids, especially closed grids, the rule of thumb is: the busier, the better. People looking to make new friends look for grids that already have the most users. Merchants looking to sell content will go to the grids with the most potential customers. Event organizers looking for the biggest audience… you get the idea.

The total number of active users on the public OpenSim grids reached 32,215, a gain of 605 new actives compared to last month.

Metropolis was the big winner this month for new active users, gaining 370 to pass OSgrid for second place. FrancoGrid gained 226 new actives, Craft gained 151, and Kitely gained 117.

The Brazilian AllCity grid gained 105, possibly due to Brazilians coming over from AviWorlds.

Top ten most popular grids:

Some grids were also better than others at bringing in new residents. InWorldz, a popular first step for Second Life users moving to OpenSim, reported 1,772 new registrations over the past 30 days. However, its active users fell by 80.

Kitely was a very close second, with 1,738 new registrations. Virtual Brasil reported 652 new registrations and Genesis Global Journey reported 609 — while its active users fell by 10, to just 22 active monthly users.

The total number of registered users on the public OpenSim grids increased by 3,476 to a total of 484,310.

Meanwhile, the hypergrid as a whole is beginning to function more and more like one large grid, with an increasing number of multi-grid events, communities, and groups.

Active users this month on hypergrid-enabled grids, on InWorldz, and on other closed grids. (Hypergrid Business data.)

Active users this month on hypergrid-enabled grids, on InWorldz, and on other closed grids. (Hypergrid Business data.)

In fact, InWorldz now accounts for 86 percent of all active users on the closed grids. The 46 other closed grids have just 969 active users between them, the first time this number has dropped below 1,000 since I started keeping track in March 2012.

A closed grid is one that does not allow its users to travel the hypergrid. Closed grids also typically run all the regions on their grids, while open grids like OSgrid, Metropolis, and Atek allow users to connect regions run by third-party hosting companies, or that they host themselves on home computers.

In the past, most commercial grids were closed but recently more and more grids have turned on hypergrid connectivity and enabled filtering of content, so that creators who want their products to stay on that grid can have that option.

Looking at land area, the numbers are even more dramatic, since the hypergrid offers more renting options for users, as well as the ability to connect their own regions for free. Hypergrid-enabled grids currently account for 94 percent of all OpenSim land area.

Kitely Market listings drop on cleanup

The total number of products on the Kitely Market, OpenSim’s main commercial marketplace, dropped slightly this month, since the market removed a couple of merchants from their listings.

The market now has 7,978 products a drop of 28, in 14,980 product variations. However, the number of exportable variations actually increased by three items, to a new record high of 10,194.

Ilan Tochner

Ilan Tochner

The merchants who were removed declined to comply with Kitely Market guidelines, Kitely CEO Ilan Tochner told Hypergrid Business.

He did not specify exactly which of the guidelines were violated, nor which particular merchants were involved. Kitely’s policies cover maturity ratings, intellectual property rights, as well as how products should be described and categorized.

“Our main goal when we launched Kitely Market more than three years ago was to create a virtual goods marketplace that provides high-quality properly-licensed items to the metaverse,” said Tochner. “In order to achieve that goal we provide merchants with multiple ways to easily organize and manage their listings, including categories, attributes, product variations, product groups, and more. We’ve also had to create and enforce various guidelines to ensure that merchants do not list their products in a way that makes the marketplace harder for potential buyers to find what they are looking for.”

That means that Kitely keeps an eye on the marketplace to ensure that it remains well-organized, and also responds to user complaints about individual items.

Merchants usually comply with the guidelines once they understand them, he added.

“But there have been a few cases when we lost merchants due to our insistence on items being listed in a particular way,” he said. “That’s unfortunate, and we try to work with merchants when they show reluctance to work within our framework, but we believe it is more important that Kitely Market retain the high quality of its listings than retain all merchants.”

(Data courtesy Kitely Ltd.)

(Data courtesy Kitely Ltd.)

The Kitely Market currently delivers to more than 151 different OpenSim grids, both closed and open.

The Kitely Market allows merchants to group multiple variations of a product under the same listing. Those variations could be different colors, sizes, payment options, prices, or permissions. So, for example, a merchant could offer the same item for export to other grids at a different price.

As merchants have become more and more comfortable with selling content to the hypergrid, the number of exportable items has been climbing, while growth in items that are non-exportable and can be used only on the Kitely grid has leveled off.

All hypergrid-enabled grids, by default, can accept Kitely Market deliveries unless they specifically configure their grid settings to keep these deliveries out. Grids that are not accessible via the hypergrid can still accept Kitely Market deliveries, if they choose, by following these instructions.

XMIR grid to go down at end of month

The mesh-focused XMIR grid will be shutting down at the end of the month, grid owner Geir Nøklebye told Hypergrid Business.

Norderhov region on Xmir Grid.

Norderhov region on Xmir Grid.

Geir Nøklebye

Geir Nøklebye

“I am to have major surgery at the beginning of that month,” he said. “It will be impractical to keep it running during the reconvalescent period that will take three to six months.”

We’ve been tracking the XMIR grid since the fall of 2014, and it currently has 37 regions and 39 active users. It is hypergrid-enabled.

Nøklebye added that he will also be suspending his Kitely Market store, and will probably not be able to contribute much to the Kokua viewer project during this time.

The XMIR Kitely Market store offers clothing, building components, avatar accessories, plants, and other mesh objects.

FarWorldz grid is down

Tall Adams, the owner of the OpenSim Virtual community on Google Plus and a well-known thought-leader, has been forced to shutdown her Farworldz Grid as a result of technical issues.

(Image courtesy Talla Adams via Google Plus.)

(Image courtesy Talla Adams via Google Plus.)

“I’m sorry to say that a hard drive has failed on my server and the OpenSim will need to be rebuilt,” she said in a post. “Fortunately I do take regular OAR and IAR backups so the loss wont be catastrophic. I will have it back as soon as I can get my head round the task.”

AviWorlds still down

AviWorlds is down for the ninth time since we began keeping track back in 2012. But it’s probably coming back up again, in one form or another, as it usually does.

However, it’s unlikely that we’ll ever see AviLabs, its sister company, back again. AviLabs provided hosting to several grids but the disastrous way in which recent server problems were managed forced all of its customers to flee to other providers — as was the case with Loff Virtual Worlds, which went to DigiWorldz — or actually start their own hosting companies.

Owner Alexsandro Pomposelli lost his previous tech staffers when he accused them of hacking and incompetence and they, in turn, said that he had stopped paying them. They are now running their own grid and hosting company, SkyLifeGrid.

Now Pomposelli is looking for new hosting for AviWorlds.

“I’m currently talking to Genesis and Zetamex,” he told Hypergrid Business.

AviWorlds was last hosted with Zetamex back in 2014, but the relationship ended after a series of distributed denial of service attacks.

To date, AviWorlds has tried:

Pomposelli has left a trail of failed relationships with customers, employees, and business partners. It is remarkable that he continues to find new people to do business with and still has any residents left.

Do people not know how to Google?

Speaking of residents, Pomposelli’s not holding out any hope that the folks who had regions on the AviWorlds grid or its sister grid AviBrasil will be able to get their builds up, pointing to a terms of service that does not require him to provide region exports, typically delivered in the form of OAR files, to his customers.

And he will not be bringing the existing builds back when he revives the grid, either, he said, claiming that he no longer has any backups of the grid’s content.

Pomposelli accused one of his former employees of hacking into his servers, taking all the data, and deleting all the backups.

He has previously also accused his former employees and customers of hacking into his social media and financial accounts and has levied many such accusations over the course of the past few years.

Genesis? What was that about?

Did you miss the part a few paragraphs back where Pomposelli said he was talking about hosting with Genesis?

That’s Genesis MetaVerse, formerly known as Stargazer Genesis. Not to be confused with Genesis Global Journey, a totally different grid.

Genesis used to be hosted with Pomposelli’s AviLabs, and also did some technical work for him. And, yes, when everything imploded last month, Pomposelli also accused the Genesis team of hacking and a bunch of other things.

Now Genesis MetaVerse has their new grid, and is in the process of setting up their own hosting company.

Genesis is now feuding with SkyLifeGrid, the other grid and hosting company that emerged out of the AviWorlds flame-out, over content copyright issues.

Regions on their grid run about $6 a month for a 20,000-prim region, which may be an unsustainably low price.

The company is also offering a free 30-day trial for new customers, founder Cliff Hopkins told Hypergrid Business. Hopkins is also known as “Dragon Genesis” in-world.

He added that it was news to him that AviWorlds was considering using Genesis for its hosting.

“He hasn’t contacted us at all since the day all the issues started,” Hopkins said. “But I will say this — if — and that’s a huge if — if Alex does come to us, we will 1,000 percent make sure that people’s OARs are secure.”

Given what just happened to AviWorld’s residents, this is a “no ifs, buts, or maybes” requirement.

“It was a huge screw up and mess,” he said. “I’m never letting this happen to anyone ever again.”

Kea Nation grid takes flight with help from Genesis

One of Genesis MetaVerse’s first customers is the aviation-focused Kea Nation grid, which launched in August.

(Image courtesy Da Admiral via Google Plus.)

(Image courtesy Da Admiral via Google Plus.)

Kea Nation is a commercial grid based in New Zealand, with in-world currency from Podex.

Don Hayward

Don Hayward

“To date we have found the team from Genesis and other associated grids like Baller Nation extremely helpful and professional,” grid founder Don Hayward, also known as Da Admiral in-world, told Hypergrid Business.

The project started out in Second Life, as the DOR group, then was in AviWorlds for a year, as one of the largest groups on that grid. However, the grid has not been able to get backups of its builds as a result of the most recent collapse of AviWorlds.

“Unfortunately, we lost a years’ worth of building and work,” said Hayward.

The grid is hypergrid enabled, and the address is login.ballernation.us:8002.

“We will work with everyone for the advancement of OpenSim and hope to be a good neighbor to everyone,” he said.

Transitions

We added eight new grids to our database this month: Kea Nation, Kroatan GridMoonglow, Hypergrid Life, Maze Matrix, Osirus, Revo Grid, Mystery, and Second Chance.

The following 24 grids were suspended this month: Aheilos, Alluris Estates, Austeria-Grid, Avi Brasil, Avi Globe Grid, Avination, AviWorlds, Blackswan, CableGrid, Chaos Entertainment, Dream Forest, FarWorldz, Free World, Home Stone Grid, HomeStoneGrid, Lighthouse Point, NZlandia, Pomroys World, Radioactive Grid, Superborea, TaylorWorld, UFGQ Grid, Virtual Beach Party, and Watcher’s World.

Grids that have been suspended for more than two months will be marked as closed. If your grid isn’t on the active grids list, and not on the suspended list, it may have been marked closed when it shouldn’t be. Please let us know.

And if there’s a public grid we’re not tracking, please email us at [email protected]. There’s no centralized way to find OpenSim grids, so if you don’t tell us about it, and Google doesn’t alert us, we won’t know about it.

By “public,” we mean grids that allow hypergrid visitors, or have a website where people can register for or request accounts.

September Region Counts on the Top 40 Grids

The list below is a small subset of existing OpenSim grids. We are now tracking a total of 1,180 different publicly-accessible grids, 266 of which were active this month, and 200 of which published their statistics.

All region counts on this list are, whenever available, in terms of standard region equivalents. Active user counts include hypergrid visitors whenever possible.

Many school, company or personal grids do not publish their numbers.

The raw data for this month’s report is here. A list of all active grids 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.

  • Da Hayward

    No Kea nation?
    oh well

  • Frank Corsi

    Best luck to Geir Nøklebye in your surgery and wish you the best of health for the future!

    • Thank you Frank!

      • Talla Adam

        I hope all goes well, Geir. My thoughts are with you.

        • Thanks Talla!
          I’ve been out a winter night before, so it will be all right. 😉

  • nooo radioactive is gone 🙁 i use to chat with radio all the time in SL but lately he’s been playing train simulator alot and i dont blame him its a great game for us railfans.
    btw radio if you see this, Michael Linden is rebuilding WARR 😀

  • I do hope things go well for you Geir.

    • Thank you. I am sure it will work out for the better in the end. 😉

      • Dragon Heart

        best of luck Geir its a shame tho your grid has to shut down, no way of keeping it up?

        • Thank you!
          If the procedure goes well, there will be a period of 8+ weeks were it won’t be possible to fix things if something goes wrong. So it will be down for that period at a minimum. The intention is to get it back up sometime after Christmas.

          • Dragon Heart

            ahh ok understandable, it happens, health is something we all cant avoid, it catches up with us all lol

            best of luck and hope it goes well for you

  • SkyLifeGrid

    Alex did not delete everything and he has the files for all his grid. If he finds hosting I’m sure the company can bring up the regions from Alex’s files

    • Dharma Little

      I would fear for anyone doing business with grid operators or staff that commit long protracted public spectacles that’s ingrained with drama. it only serves to give outsiders looking into OpenSim a negative opinion while never seeing other potential. good thing Maria has never added in standards of conduct to a grids ratings otherwise some would just talk themselves off the list.

    • Aj Fackler

      LOL… Facklerland mostly gets missed. We were down 2 days due to a MySQL program error. DB is and was fine.
      We have 13 super-stable regions hosted by OVH, set-up and managed by us/me. We have 6 available for rental, 5 unique owners already in place. We’ve been around since 2013 but often skipped over due to our diminutive size. That 2 days was our longest down time, lol. Anyways, I doubt our 13 would make a dent in the numbers.

      Regards,
      AJ Fackler ( facklerland.com , facklerland.com:9000 ) Stream : facklerland.com:8000 *

  • ok. let’s work to get next month’s stats article titled “No Drama and vaccines make Opensim fun!”

    btw, I have been following the Metropolis Metaversum’s increase and haven’t been able to pin it on anything specifically.

    I have a thought that some previous SL regions that have come to Metro may be getting more of their friends to Metro.

    OSG hasn’t lost any actives of significance which is the normal path for increased Metro activity.

    I shall keep an eye on this and report posthaste any definite facts that may shed light on this matter.

    • Dragon Heart

      I agree OpenSim does need something to make it fun again, at the moment its plauged with drama, i for one am working on a few projects, and leaving this fued with skylife as its not worth my time or effort, Myself and my team have some huge projects this month along with a few nice additions to OpenSim and some quite large investments im personally making for development to worry about and fueding in public makes us look no better.

      SL is about to implode as they are getting closer and closer to the official alpha release of Sansar and notice that more and more things just simply are going wrong with SL, i think they are trying thier hardest to sabatage it in favor or Sansar, i know a few that have left in favor of OpenSim grids and if im honest i cant really blame them.

      @ SkyLife – this fued between us needs to stop, weve both wasted to much time and effort on this and both of us have bought the OpenSim community into a laughing stock, it needs to stop, and stop now, if you want to sort this out as gents you know how to get ahold of me (i wont be doing anything publicly you know my skype and website to contact me), weve gone our seperate ways since leaving Avi* but now is the time for unity, the choice is yours, Personally ive better things to do with my time than squabble in a school yard.

  • TribeGadgets

    I think HG Business does that – reading through the various comments over the past few weeks has been an – eye opener.

  • I do a survey every year asking residents to evaluate their grids. The last one was last fall: http://www.hypergridbusiness.com/2015/10/2015-opensim-grid-survey/

    And… that reminds me — it’s time for the next one!

    I’ll run it the first couple of weeks of October. As usual, I will limit the offered choices to the top 15 or so most popular grids, and allow people to write in their own grids as well. (Each year, there’s at least one write-in grid that does extremely well, and typically goes on to further success.)

    I ask the same questions every year, so that they can be compared. But I can also put in another question, if there’s something particular that folks want to know. If you want to suggest a question for the survey, please email me: [email protected]. Thanks!

  • Hi Maria, Lighthouse Point is still online. I dont have a webfront but I do still have the grid (grid.lighthousepoint.co.uk:8002) and the grid blog (https://blog.lighthousepoint.co.uk).

  • SkyLifeGrid

    Please to announce we have just acquired a 7th server for SkyLifeGrid we now push over 1650 virtual regions with a land mass equal to New York City. Join us today and play free. Our virtual land is some of the cheapest around. But with the most power and user management system. Visit SkyLifeGrid dot com

  • SkyLifeGrid

    Due to some issues with our Asset server we will be doing some backend work over the next few days that will require some regions to be down and at times the entire grid will go offline ( Transferring the data can take a few hours depending on the size and right now we are sitting around 10 GB of data … Converting about 240,000 Entry’s to be compatible with the new asset server is very rigorous task and requires that the asset server be off for this to happen. We will keep you posted on here with the latest news.. Logins are ok as of now and all regions (SHOULD) be online. If you happen to Notice you cannot login try changing your start location to Sandbox. This will help you to login.. Thank you for your time to read this and we hope you understand that we take this serious and its a desperate need to help spread the load we are getting from all the users.. Thank you for everyone that is helping make SkyLifeGrid what it is today.. Josh Boam CEO

  • LordNine

    Why is Avination being so silent on their progress towards moving to a new host ? Have they given up ?

    • Dragon Heart

      strong possability … its been a long time them being off, site doesnt work right, blogs arnt active anymore so no idea your guess is as good as anyone elses … maybe shes concerntrating on the OpenSim development.

      Its also been quite a long time that i dont think anyone is left waiting, they went to other grids and started over .. so really anyones guess is the right one at the moment.

      • The majority likely went back to SL.

        • Da Hayward

          Probally.

    • Da Hayward

      I hope they haven’t.

  • SkyLifeGrid

    Avination is well known for its great casinos I will truly miss the grid if she is gone.. I have had my Jp Collections Region there for about 3 years now One of the Very First Grids in Opensim my boats worked in .. and thanks to Her team we now can enjoy them all over the grids with UBODE 🙂 Everyone make the switch its a Secondlife Like Physics system and Most all Vehicle Scripts are drag and drop.. Not much needed to make them work. Turn rates need a bit of work But even then not much:) I say everyone should switch to the latest version of opensim 0.9 and Enjoy the amazing benefits of UBODE

  • SkyLifeGrid

    Also At the Devs of Opensim Time to wake up and roll out the 0.9 Official!!!!!!