Mar 28, 2007

Virtual Worlds Hosted in Data Centers

A few weeks ago, I went to a talk by Linden Labs CTO, Cory Ondrejka. His background leading up to Second Life is quite interesting. He started off developing simulators for the military, then moved to writing arcade games, and then finally ended up creating Second Life. Pretty interesting fellow, and a good speaker as well. For those of you not at the talk, here's an interesting article in Information Week about Second Life (SL).

SL runs on dual-cpu x86 servers with Linux and MySQL. A 16 acre "plot" in SL runs on a single core on one of these servers. A human (or company) in the real world can purchase a 16-acre plot for an initial cost of US$1900 and a monthly payment of US$300. SL is essentially a hosting company for virtual real estate and virtual goods that are traded in the real world. As an example, the SL city of Amsterdam sold for US$50,000 on eBay. (Check it out)

Here's some metrics on SL:
  • Bandwidth: 10 GB/second outbound
  • Storage: 40 TB of user data
  • Scalability: 100,000,000 SQL queries/day (using MySQL)
Cory also claims that SL is one of the largest (or the largest) deployment of MySQL. And SL is adding 1-2 racks of servers each week to keep up with demand. Now those are some pretty impressive stats.

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