Thursday October 11th saw a huge response to Oskar Linden’s request for assistance with network optimisation tests, with many people logging-in to Aditi to join is Beta User Group meeting (I actually made it for the first time myself, the time of his meeting is generally a little awkward for me). More were available on the IRC channel established for the test as well.
Things got off to a rocky start; mid-way through the Beta UG meeting everyone received the royal order of the boot, and problems occurred attempting to log back in. It transpired that an SSL certificate had expired at LL’s end and had to be renewed (through until 2015). Even so, not everyone appeared to make it back (or at least, not with their primary accounts!). Maestro Linden did make it back with the rest of us, and immediately sought protection in a state-of-the-art anti-crash system from Ordinal Malaprop* created (or is that crated?). No amount of coaxing could get him out, either:
Darien Caldwell: you can come out of the box now Maestro. Crash is over ;p
Mæstro Linden (maestro.linden): I’ll come out when I feel safe 🙂
The meeting also had some disruption from an unhappy camper or two complaining about bans. One of them made it back following the initial forced log-out, and as final preparations were made for the test, appeared to successfully crash the region. Shortly before this happened, concerns were raised that this individual may have been trying to disrupt the IRC test channel, as they appeared to be passing commands aimed at IRC in local chat (at one point a little later, a similar command appeared in the IRC channel, and I and a number of others were, coincidentally or otherwise, disconnected).
The testing itself proceeded pretty much as planned, with everyone logging-in to a specified region at more-or-less the same time, testing the network capabilities in handling a large number of log-in updates in a single region. From my perspective, this went well, and as one of the initial people to log-in, I didn’t appear to suffer from the kind of lag usually associated with moving around in a region where there are a large number of people arriving.
Following the en-masse arrival, we dispersed to two regions for a group chat load test. I cannot actually say how this went, as I arrived at my designated region, only to take three steps and crash (an issue at my end of the SL equation rather than anything else).
I made it back to participate in the IM tests, which comprised piling-on a mass of IMs to targeted avatars and then awaiting their reply. I think I was one of the first to IM and one of the last to get a reply, Again, not through any failure in the system, but simply because Pey’s Law affected the tester I was IMing – he replied on receiving my first message, but forgot to press ENTER to send :).
The final part of the test was a mass teleport to a specified region, again presumably to test how the network handled a large number of arrivials within a region. While this may have been a placebo effect from being on Aditi, the teleport itself seemed to me to be somewhat faster than is usual, with the progress bar merely flicking up on the screen and then vanishing as I arrived. Once, there I also found walking around with people people teleporting-in also did seem to be as prone to mini-freezes or stutters as can be the case. However, the load on the target region (selected at the last-minute due to problems with the intended destination) may have been lighter than hoped, as it had a cap of 21 on the number of avatars allowed into it, and a number of people did report they were unable to teleport-in as a result (there were probably around 40-50 listed on the IRC chat page).
Overall the tests made for a fun social gathering, with a lot of good humour all around, and Oskar and his team apparently gathering the data they wanted.
Hopefully, there will be further follow-up on the overall intent of the tests and the results in an upcoming Sim / Server UG meeting. Oskar certainly appeared pleased with the outcome, and was on the main grid after the tests to hand out medals to the participants (providing they knew the sekrit password! 🙂 ).
* With thanks to DD Ra for pointing this out; I missed checking the creator details earlier.