As we have previously blogged, Homesteads will be launched as a new product on Monday 5th January. Those of you that own an Openspace should already have received emails from us explaining the changes taking place; this post is to ensure that you have as much information as possible ahead of the change.
In launching a new product, there are many areas that will change, including additions to the website, new knowledgebase articles, and of course, changes to the Land Store itself.
Here’s a quick wrap-up of what to expect:
- The Land Store will be closed from 8am until noon SLT on Monday to allow us to make the needed changes. When it comes back, both Homesteads and Openspaces will appear as options for owners of full islands.
- On Monday, all Openspace regions will undergo a rolling restart. The large majority of these restarts should happen before noon.
- If you have declared to us, via a support ticket, that your Openspace will genuinely be used for light use scenery, then from Monday it will remain an Openspace. However, it will have the 10 agent limit and 750 prim maximum applied. This means that to remain an Openspace, a region needs to have its prim count lowered to 750 prims or less before Monday. Posting of classifieds and events will not be possible on these regions.
- All of the other Openspace regions will become Homesteads after the restart. There will be no change to the prim limit for Homesteads, but there is an agent cap of 20. Classifieds and events will work as usual. The billing for Homesteads will move to USD$95 per month, starting on the next bill date that falls on or after the 5th January. If you normally bill on the 25th, then your January 25th charge will be USD$95.
- Educators that have paid for a half year or full year in advance via our invoiced order system will be unaffected until their renewal date, when they should expect the new fees to be reflected on their renewal invoice. If you need to confirm your renewal date, and what the fees will be, please contact the Concierge team.
To maintain the best performance for all our Residents, we recognize that script limits are necessary. This is especially true for those products like Homesteads and Openspaces where there are multiple regions sharing a CPU. Without limits, one region overloaded with scripts could negatively affect the performance of other regions on the same CPU.
In Q1 we hope to release some new code in the simulator to capture very detailed data about script load from all of the regions on the Grid. This additional logging will not affect performance.
Once we have this data, we will begin sharing that information with the community and talking about where the limits should be. The aim here is to prevent the overuse that can negatively impact the performance of other regions on the same CPU, and most islands will probably fall below any limits we put in place. However those limits are more likely to impact the minority of islands that are very heavy script users.
Even after we have decided on what those limits should be, we still have to then build into the viewer the tools you will need to monitor and measure your own script usage. Once those tools have gone through QA, First Look and Release Candidate stages, they will finally make it into the default viewer. Then we will need to provide you all with a reasonable length of time to adjust to those limits.
This is a process that will take some time. To give you a rough idea of our current timeline, we plan on finalizing what the script limits will be in Q1, then releasing the Viewer tools in Q2 for possible enforcement in Q3. Once we have more definite dates, we will let you know.
Current performance issue
Finally, one last item to let you know about. We have identified a minor issue on the servers that causes a certain process to get stuck. This happens rarely, and we see only a handful of cases per day, but when it does happen it causes FPS performance to dip on regions on that CPU. For that reason, this affects Homesteads and Openspaces more than full regions, as they share a CPU.
While we work to fix this problem, we are putting in place a script that regularly hunts out and kills these stuck processes automatically. This means that in the unlikely event that your region does become affected, within an hour or two it should return to normal performance. If after a few hours it still hasn’t recovered, please contact support.
If you have any concerns or questions, please contact support as usual; the Concierge team offers telephone and livechat support 24×7 so please do get in touch.
Just to recap:
The Homestead and Openspaces changeover takes place on Monday, January 5, 2009.
- Openspace region: Light use and intended only for scenery, it allows for 10 agents and 750 prims. No classified or events postings are possible for Openspace regions. USD$75 per month.
- Homestead region: For light commercial and residential including rental, Homesteads have a 20 agent limit and 3750 prims. Classified and event postings are allowed. USD $95 per month.
- January 5th: From 8am until 12 noon SLT, Land Store closed for maintenance. Upon opening, both Homesteads and Openspaces will be available as options for island owners.
- January 5th: All Openspace regions to undergo rolling restart. Most will happen before Noon SLT.
- If your normal monthly bill date is before the 5th you will be billed your new rate in February 09
- If your normal monthly bill date is on or after the 5th, you will be billed the new rate in January 09
- Educators that have paid for a half or full year in advance will be unaffected by rate increase until their renewal date. For more information and to confirm renewal dates contact the Concierge team.
- We will need to implement script limits to prevent a heavily overloaded region from negatively affecting the performance of another region.
Timing for Script Limits:
- In Q1, we will be gathering data on script load, and sharing this usage data with the community before deciding what the most appropriate limits are.
- In Q2, we expect there to be Viewer changes to allow you to monitor your script usage against those limits.
- In Q3 we will begin enforcing script limits.