Thursday 15 November 2012

Kitely Roll Out New Opensim Asset System

Kitely has rolled out a new cloud-based asset system which promises to offer significantly better performance than the regular OpenSim inventory service. Acording to Kitely the new inventory service provides...

  •     Avatars enter worlds faster, and experience less lag while inside.
  •     Avatars that are already in a world experience less lag when someone else enters    the world.
  •     Opening large inventory folders is much faster.

This sounds like a great advancement because inventory is proving somewhat of a problem on OSgrid which is probably down to the huge storage requirement given they have the most registered avatars and regions. Clearly, Kitely are meeting this problem early on in their development and that is a big plus for using their service.

I think more grids could push their databases to cloud and I always thought how useful it would be if a company like Kitely, or even Second Life, offered cloud based inventory data storage to other grids where Kitely or SL could, in effect, shield content from copy thieves since no grid owner using the service would be able to look at the data and change permissions. A service like that could help to make Hypergrid more secure and instill confidence in more content creators who want to sell stuff in the open Metaverse without the risks. I agree it would probably have to be on offer with a proprietary server package but even that would be worthwhile since the majority of us don't tinker with the server code anyway so never need access to it.

Linden Labs are not likely to do anything like that even though they are well placed both financially and with a huge store of content but I wont say never for I keep hearing rumors.

Kitely, on the other hand, could boost their business by developing a Metavers-wide asset server and proprietary Opensim server in the cloud for distribution where content could flow securely across the whole market. I would certainly be willing to pay for a service like that on top of the cost for a presence on the Kitely grid. I hesitate though to simply accept Kitely as a Metaverse in it's own right for that would be falling back into the kind of monopoly that is Second Life and wannabe's like SpotON3D.

It's food for thought but really any one could set up a cloud MySQL to serve their regions but a mass storage under the management of a reputable company could serve many securely and that is the point.


  1. Gaga --

    I agree with you. A centralized asset system would be great for small grids and private grids that don't want to deal with the hassles of storing this stuff -- and dealing with DMCA complaints.

    I guess grids could pay for a subscription to the service.

    Or it could be ad supported -- for example, each user could get a "daily freebie" which will include an ad for that freebie's designer and a hypergrid link to their shop.

    1. Thank you for commenting Maria. I personally think a subscription service that allows for scaling up as load increases so other commercial grids world be interested. I don't think a Metaverse asset service would do much good if there was very low take up. But for the grids who don't want the trouble of maintaining asset servers while staying independent in most other respect this could work well. Perhaps they might use OMC currency too and further reduce the work of maintaining a commercial grid. In any event, I would expect the grid owners to make much of the fact they are using secure services.

  2. never thought of the content theft, that's a great benefit of this

    then central storage is clever too, especially for avatars

    "I hesitate though to simply accept Kitely as a Metaverse" - regarding this, i'd say they are falling into something i'd term as "under the management of a reputable company"

    Kitely is the one doing this work, it's being used by people who are terribly critical of offerings (me), they contribute code to OpenSim, and they have earned my confidence and trust

    to "seal the deal", if they allowed IARs to be exported from an avatar service, then there would be nothing to lose

    now . . . how much could they charge for this? would people pay $1 per month? would that cover it? 2$ many people expect it for free and look at OSgrid - it's free but someone pays for the server which isn't free

    1. Yes Ener, I think I would give Kitely my trust as a reputable company considering what I have observed of their actions over the past year or so since they started up.

      I wouldn't want to look at any grid as a Metaverse structurally for that would be like calling AOL the Internet all over again if you get my point. I am absolutely against any one company holding a monopoly on asset services but we do need the content security the service could extend to smaller private home-standalone's and mini grids that want to set up services, clubs, games, etc while not being bound by another grid's TOS.

      We know eventually - well, we hope - content creators and vendors will be able to set an outward bounds permission for their own individual goods so they can leave the grid in which they are sold but that could actually become unnecessary if a lot of grids are served by the same data services. I would think the export perm would only be set for allowing the content to go onto another grid outside it's home servers or possibly onto another rival cloud service. This is why I mentioned Second Life in the blog post because they could offer a great service to the open Metaverse and allow SL content to be used beyond the main Linden grid.

      How much is a fair price for a service like I suggest?

      Well, of course, if Kitely set up a service I am sure it would not be over priced. If LL set it up I think you can bet they would price it on the high side but, then again, if we could actually get what we own in SL onto out own sims then it's likely to be a price worth paying since you have the benefit of lower simulator costs anyway.

      The bottom line here that creators and vendors need solid evidence that their sale goods are reasonably secure to realse onto sections of the open Metaverse that are Hypergrid enabled.

    2. Another way such a service could pay for itself is by having a centralized online marketplace for virtual content and taking a cut of all the transactions.

      However, I don't think charging individual users will work -- we're too used to having free avatars everywhere, plus, it will be impossible to integrate with grid services if some users sign up and others don't.

    3. Actually, Maria that sounds like a good idea. Someone sets up an online market site trading in virtual content that is distributable to grids running a proprietary module no one can tamper with that enables content to be called for use rather like Hypergrid calls avatar appearance. I am not sure of the real technicalities other than what Ilan has said but even better if content such as building items can be displayed as part of the sim build.

      I agree, charging individual users may not work but grid owners, especially commercial ones, should be in a position to afford it. I think too that vendors looking to sell their stuff would pay to list items on the market place too.

      Personally, I have never been a great admirer of online Market place sites as I think it stops people browsing and shopping inworld for their needs, however, the opensim Metaverse is quite a bit different from Second Life and a market place web could serve up a much more secure Hypergrid.

      I do feel strongly there are some workable solutions in all this.

    4. Gaga -- You can jump start the marketplace with the Linda Kellie collection -- it's licensed for both free and commercial use.

    5. lol, not sure about Linda Kellie collection. It is everywhere and becoming very samish so to speak - no put down of Linda intended. It is also full perms which is not the primary market I would be aiming at. I would rather see new content creators make an appearance and launching a cloud asset service coupled with a web market place should give them the security they demand. Then its just a matter of getting grid owners to accept a module to enable stock to be sold and used locally within those grids. I would think top class content makers would start to get interested reasonably quickly once grids start to sign up and their small populations adds to the consumer base.

      This is why I like your idea Maria.

  3. A centralizes asset system for private grids is feasible but if the intention is to save the grids from the liability of handling the assets you would need the system to bypass passing the assets to the private grid's sims. It's close to what Kitely does with our proprietary asset system but this isn't how standard OpenSim currently works. We could offer a specialized module that private grids could run to connect to Kitely's asset system but I'm not sure the costs for covering storage and bandwidth won't make using it more expensive than just having Kitely host the sims as well.

    1. Hi Ilan

      Thank you for replying to this and I am encouraged that you see it as feasible. I was not sure about that at all so it is helpful to know from you how such a system might work.

      I do understand that it might make more sense for some grid owners, especially small ones and homesteaders, to just use the Kitely grid services to host their sims but I am thinking of medium to larger grids who might have rental clients of their own. Perhaps also some grids might run adult clubs and services that they would prefer to have under their own TOS and controls. Some might want to run large mega regions (5X5 and greater) too and even financial service such as OMC and web delivery from their own commerce web site. I wonder also if this service could not be extended even to Auroa Sim grids.

      I can think of many reasons to stay independent and many reasons to use a shared asset service - even if the cost are comparable with just renting the whole sim package from Kitely. I think it is likely to be a price worth serious consideration. I certainly would be interested.

      Thank you


    2. We'll consider it if/when we see there is sufficient market demand for it to become financially viable.

      One thing worth noting though is that you probably won't be able to use such a service to host content that isn't already allowed in Kitely. The limitations we have now are mostly dictated by Amazon's TOS and their TOS are quite similar to those provided by most reputable cloud computing providers.