Top OpenSim grids set new growth record

The top 40 OpenSim grids totaled 11,717 regions this month, a respectable 4 percent increase over last month’s 11,240. However, adjusted growth is up a record-high 1,377 regions — an increase of 13.3 percent.

Why adjusted? ScienceSim has been running scalability tests, loading up 1,024 regions on a single server earlier this year, then shutting down 900 of them this past month. We didn’t count them as growth when they first appeared, either.

But ScienceSim isn’t completely out of the scalability test business. Last week, they were able to get almost 1,000 avatars into a single region.

Biggest growth, as usual, came on the non-profit OSGrid, which gained 841 regions, an increase of 13.4 percent. OSGrid was also the most active grid, with 5,090 users logging in over the past 30 days. But several smaller grids had ever higher percentage point increases — though with smaller region counts. SimWorld increased 53 percent from 19 to 29 regions. The education-focused New Zealand Virtual World Grid grew 43 percent, from 28 to 40 regions. Tertiary Grid also grew by 43 percent, from 21 to 30 regions.

Meta7 was the biggest gainer when it comes to active users, gaining 157 new active users last month, for a total of 1,231 unique logins.

The biggest loser was MyOpenGrid, which lost 195 regions.

(Source: Hypergrid Business grid survey.)

Meanwhile, Second Life’s main grid grew from 31,335  regions in mid May to 31,985 this week, according to Grid Survey, an unusually high increase of 650 regions, or 2 percent. Total private land ownership is still below the peak reached in October 2008.

(Source: Grid Survey)

New grids continue to spring up. This month, we began tracking NeXtLife, MetaverseNexus, GerGrid, Hidden Realm, Dorena’s World, Anubia, NorthGrid and Friendly Grid. The total number of active public grids we monitor each month is now over 80. We are no longer tracking InWorldz and OpenLifeGrid, both of which have split from mainline OpenSim, require proprietary viewers, and do not release their usage statistics.

Meanwhile, there were several hundred  downloads of the Diva Distro version of OpenSim, which allows anyone to easily create a four-region hypergrid-enabled mini-grid. We do not track these as part of the OpenSim growth numbers, but we expect that private grids will quickly become a large part of the OpenSim growth story.

Finally, more grids continue to open up to hypergrid teleports, allowing avatars from other grids to teleport in for virtual tourism, shopping, or to attend events. We’re currently tracking more than 54 hypergrid-enabled grids on the Hyperica directory of hypergrid destinations. More grids are expected to embrace the hypergrid with the next release of OpenSim, which adds more security for hypergrid travelers. Hypergrid connectivity makes it less important for artists, retailers, and other content providers to be part of a large, public, social grid in order to gain traffic — they can have their own private mini-grids, instead, and use marketing to bring in hypergrid traffic from other grids.

June Region Counts

Note: You can browse all hypergrid-enabled public grids with Hyperica, the directory of hypergrid destinations.

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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.

6 Responses

  1. Tinsel_Silvera says:

    I just finished logging into Inworldz with the standard Hippo Viewer. Are they planning to change this?

  2. Tinsel —

    This is what I have from Elenia Llewellyn, Co-Founder, Grid Admin, InWorldz, LLC:

    "We are no longer compatible to OpenSim… our standing is not to follow Opensim any further and do our own development."

    They do still have the Hippo download and login instructions available on their website, as well as their own viewer.

    The main benefit to moving off of standard viewers is that visitors will be unable to use them to export objects and move them to other grids. Well, that's a benefit for InWorldz, not so much for the users themselves. However, if they deviate enough from OpenSim, then copybot viewers won't work, either — and there the benefit is not only for the grid, but for content creators, as well.

    The downside, of course, is that they will have to duplicate on their own all the work that is being done in mainstream OpenSim, or risk losing ground to other grids. This can get very expensive very quickly.

    — Maria

  3. And here is the raw data for this report:

    — Maria

  4.' coyled says:

    Keep in mind that the region counts on the website are the number of registered regions, not the number of regions currently up and operational.

  5. Update from Elenia Llewellyn, Co-Founder, Grid Admin, InWorldz, LLC:

    "We have never stated that we rolled out our own viewers. We use the LL 1.23 based viewers with modifications rolled in by Imprudence and so on. We allow users to connect via Hippo, ours, Imprudence, Emerald (although we don't advise it), and any other viewer that is LL based.

    "In regards to libomv, we have no plans at this point to break from the SL protocol methods. That is not to say in the future as we completely restructure the OpenSimulator base code, and start a new viewer that we may not. But that is a very long ways down the road for us at this juncture.

    "Merging code back into the mainline OpenSimulator trunk is no longer a viable option. The modules we've completely gutted and rewritten along with the patches we've put in to handle the concurrency we're handling, would require too high a cost in maintaining both on our end, then on the OS trunk base. We have no desire to move up to the 0.6.9 base, and we would never drag them back down to the 0.6.5 base with the fixes we have in place."

  6.' Ener Hax says:

    as Linden Lab does its seemingly best to drive away residents and OpenSim advances in code development, we will see a tipping point, as Gladwell put it, arrive very soon in my opinion

    the most adventurous residents experimented with OpenSim first, then people like ourselves who were fed up looked for alternatives, and at this point where pseudo-adventurists like myself started coming in, clever people saw a chance to set up their own grids and try to profit from disgruntled residents like myself. once enough people like me cross over, the tipping point will have been reached.

    by profit, i don't mean anything negative. rather, it has become realistic for some people to invest into decent server space and start up their own commercial grids. time will sort out the best

    for people like us who feel severely burned by Linden Lab, we are a bit wary of anything that is not as wide open as possible. i don't want to repeat starting all over again. the freedom that progressive hosts like Reaction Grid offer us is hard to beat. incredibly easy utilities to back up or sims and download OARs with a single click is tough to beat. as is their very open and clear TOS. no licensing of content, there's is more like a server software than walled garden

    we don't have an interest in ever pursuing anything like Inworldz because our focus has shifted. if we still wanted to do in-world business, then Inworldz would be high on our list

    we now use virtual worlds in the manner that subQuark has for 3 and a half years, as a tool for education. he used Second Life as a 3D application, much like Poser and Studio 3D Max, to quickly and cheaply create video for branched scenarios for use in corporate eLearning. now he will use OpenSim for middle school education

    thank you for monitoring and reporting on the growth of OpenSim, it certainly seems the most approachable virtual world for the masses with the right blend of suitable graphics and ease of use (including ease of building)