June 25, 2024
A monthly social event on Wolf Territories Grid. (Image courtesy Wolf Territories Grid.)

In a move that promises a faster, smoother, and more responsive virtual world experience, Wolf Territories Grid has migrated to a new server cluster at a data center in Frankfurt, Germany.

The upgrade is expected to significantly enhance performance and reliability for the grid’s thousands of users, who can now enjoy lightning-fast teleports, quicker rezzing of objects, and an overall more responsive environment.

The switchover incurred minimal downtime for the grid — just 14 minutes.

Paul Clevett, also known as Lone Wolf in-world, is the director of Wolf Software Systems Ltd., the company that owns the grid. It was hosted at the Myloc Data Centre in Dusseldorf for the past three years.

“We had a hodge-podge of servers from Ryzen 5’s to Ryzen 9’s in the old cluster that we built up over the years,” he told Hypergrid Business. “Plus that data center had all our servers split over different networks. What this effectively meant was that the traffic between the servers would have to route around the data center. Plus, there was no high availability.”

The new server cluster boasts an impressive array of hardware, including AMD Ryzen 9 processors with 32 cores, at least 128GB RAM, and 2TB Server Grade NVMEs in RAID one configuration. There was no price increase for people who rent land on the grid.

“We were a pretty much lag free grid before, but this takes us to the next level,” Clevett said.

Users have already noticed the difference, with comments like, “It’s much more wizzy!,” he said. The improvements go beyond just reduced lag, with teleports now being nearly instantaneous and objects rezzing at a much faster rate, he added.

The grid’s large map, which previously took some time to load despite fast-loading tiles, has also seen a significant improvement.

“Because we have a huge map it used to take a while to load it in,” Clevett said. “You’d click on a region and it would take some time to bring up the region name. That is completely fixed by this upgrade.”

The migration process, while complex, was made possible through the efforts of the Wolf Territories Grid team, including grid administrators DJ Illusions and Luna Stormfeather, as well as the tech team comprised of Clevett himself, Busty, and Daja.

“From a technical perspective, it was not easy and without the help of Busty and Daja we definitely wouldn’t be where we are,” said Clevett. “The key really was making sure the cluster design was right and that it met our needs. What we had in our old cluster was something we kind of built as we learned.”

The grid also now has its own network in the data center, he added.

“Everything is faster because we’re not having to route our data round the data center,” he said. “There are noticeable speed differences, especially in heavier regions. This means the whole grid is way faster and ready for the future.”

Despite all the improvements, the cost of running the new cluster is about the same as the old one, he said, although the grid has incurred a large one-time cost this month due to running both clusters simultaneously during the transfer process.

Clevett said he’s open to helping other grids with similar projects — even if they might be considered competitors. He’s assisted other grids with technical issues in the past, he said, including providing server resources during emergencies and even helping revive grids that were on the brink of closure.

“I just think we’re better working together on this incredible OpenSim project,” Clevett said.

The entire Wolf Territories Grid team, including the friendly AI robot “Bobby,” is excited to welcome users to the improved virtual space, which is now better equipped to handle the grid’s goal of reaching 100,000 regions and 100,000 registered users, he added.

According to Hypergrid Business data, Wolf Territories Grid, founded in 2021, surpassed OSgrid in land area in November of last year, becoming the biggest grid by land area. It has held that spot ever since.

Wolf Territories has also been growing rapidly in active user numbers as well. In this month’s stats report, it was only five active users behind OSgrid, the most popular grid in OpenSim.

The grid had 5,271 active users in March, and the equivalent of 28,496 standard regions.

Here at Hypergrid Business, I use “standard region equivalents” as a measure of land size, instead of named regions, because OpenSim allows for regions of various sizes. So, for example, in OpenSim, you can have four Second Life-sized regions, each with, say, 15,000 prims — or a single two-by-two region with, say, 60,000 prims. From the perspective of a visitor to that grid, the two-by-two setup will look the same as four individual regions, except that border crossings would be easier — and it will be labeled as a single region on the map. But also, I’m the boss here. If you want to measure land in some other way, start your own blog.

I’m serious, please start your own blog! We don’t have enough publications covering OpenSim! I’d love to help in any way I can, and will run free ads for you, and introduce you to all the grid owners.

Back to Wolf Territories.

The grid offers regions in four-by-four, eight-by-eight, and 12-by-12 configurations, with a maximum capacity of up to 1.2 million prims.

“We may go crazy and see how a 32-by-32 performs but that’s for testing,” said Clevett.

Prices start at US $25 a month for a four-by-four region — the equivalent of 16 standard Second Life regions — with up to 20,000 prims total. The prices go up to $76 a month for the 1.2 million prim configuration, and there are discounts for bulk orders.

I just went and checked the latest stats. As of this writing, the grid reports 5,361 active users and 28,512 standard region equivalents. OSgrid, the previous leader, reports 5,280 active users and 27,985 standard region equivalents.

So Wolf Territories is now in the lead by both metrics.

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