Server Deployments Week 43
As always, please refer to the server deployment forum thread for the latest news and updates.
Main (SLS) Channel
On Tuesday, October 21st, the Main channel was updated with the server maintenance release previously deployed to the LeTigre and Magnum RCs in week 42. This update includes a crash fix and improves the delivery pipeline for abuse reports.
On Wednesday, October 22nd, the release candidate channels should be updated as follows:
- BlueSteel and Snack will remain on the CDN project, but should also be updated with the same server maintenance package being deployed to the Main channel
- LeTigre and Magnum should both be updated to the CDN for texture and mesh fetching.
On Wednesday, October 15th, the Lab issued a Grid Status update on potential problems accessing external websites using the viewer’s internal browser. The notice was issued as a result of the Padding Oracle On Downgraded Legacy Encryption (Poodle) vulnerability reported by Google.
At the time the notice was released, the Lab indicated they were working to fix the issue (via the removal of SSL v3.0 support within the viewer’s browser). This work was completed at the end of week 42, and resulted in the release of the Browser Fix RC viewer, version 188.8.131.525539.
MAC Yosemite Issues
There have been some mixed results for those Mac users updating to the 10.10 Yosemite version of OS X, which reached a consumer release status on October 16th.
While most of those updating have found it relatively smooth, there has been a report of keyboard shortcuts borking, although there is a workaround should others encounter the same problem – see here.
A potentially more widespread issue people may encounter is that with Yosemite, Apple have apparently reverted to older nVidia drivers (as reported by Cinder Roxley at the Open-source Developer’s meeting on Monday, October 20th). One JIRA on the matter has already been filed (see BUG-7575), although if Apple have chosen to roll back some / all of their default drivers, there’s not a lot the Lab can do about matters. Cinder also reports that Yosemite makes greater use of OpenGL, which she indicates can tax GPUs further.
Following the scheduled Wednesday deployment, all of the RCs should be using the CDN. This represents around 30% of the total grid, possibly a little more, given the existence of Snack. The BlueSteel deployment does not seem to have resulted in the kind of performance issues experienced during the expansion of Snack to 250 regions, suggesting the latter problems were most probably down to overloading the sim hosts with too many high volume (in terms of avatar numbers) regions. If all goes well in the coming week, it is likely that the Main channel will gain CDN support in week 44.
“Today we also finished an update to the group chat servers,” Simon Linden announced at the Simulator User Group meeting on Tuesday, October 21st. He continued:
Many of you have helped us test that at Thursday’s beta user group, and that’s now on the newest version. Those are back-end servers … when you send something to group chat, it goes from the viewer to the region you’re on, then to the (new) back-end chat servers, and from there it’s distributed to everyone in the group.
While no promises are being made as to the overall improvement – or how visible improvements may be to users, Simon went on to note, “I know [from] looking at the metrics and data we can gather … the systems are running much nicer than before.”
As well as working on the update issues (see my previous group chat updates), the Lab has been brainstorming ideas on how groups might be configured differently. There are a lot of groups that have very heavy chat usage, and others where chat is actively discouraged in favour of outgoing notices; however the latter are handled exactly the same as those where chatting goes on, generating updates as people log-in and out, etc., even though these aren’t actually required. Exactly what might be done is unclear at this time, but it would appear ideas are being put forward and discussed.