On Friday, October 16th, Oz Linden posted on the status of the cloud uplift work – see: Uplift Update -, the article coming as regions on the main (Agini) grid are gradually starting to be migrated to AWS services. For those possibly unaware of this project, Oz provides an opening explanation:
We’ve been working hard on the Uplift of Second Life. If you have not been following this project, that’s what we’re calling the migration of our Second Life simulators, services, and websites from a private data centre to hosting in The Cloud (Amazon Web Services). It’s a massive, complicated project that I’ve previously compared to converting a steam-driven railroad to a maglev monorail — without ever stopping the train. This undertaking has at times been smooth sailing, at other times a very bumpy ride. We wanted to share some more of the story with you.
The uplift project was first announced in August 2017, and formed a part of the Lab’s presentation at the AWS Reinvent conference that same year – which if nothing else points to the amount of planning and testing that has been going on both before and during the gradual migration of services, which has been going on for somewhere between 12 and 18 months, recently reaching the point were the aforementioned main grid region migrations could commence.
As Oz notes, the work has been very incremental in nature, and always with a the aim of transitioning services in such a way that users generally have not been aware of which services have moved and when. This has certainly been true for many of the back-end services (no-one noticed when the log-in services and the inventory / asset services moved to AWS, for example). However, as Oz notes in his post, there have been a few bumps on the road.
Some of these problems were initially manifested on Aditi, the Bet grid, which saw batches of regions cloned from the main grid and transitioned to the cloud. Region crossings were one such problem which, thanks to extensive testing by users on Aditi, allowed the Lab to make changes to region crossing that have generally improved things even sans the uplift – although as the Lab readily notes, there is still future work to be done on region crossings once the uplift work has been completed.
However, some problems unfortunately only manifested once some back-end services had been uplifted and were so bedded-in to running on AWS, reverting to running them out of the Lab’s co-lo is no longer an option. Again, as Oz notes, the recent group service issues being a case in point. Other issues – such as the recent bout of avatar bake (appearance) failures – have been the result not of moving that service to the cloud (the Bake Service has also been AWS based for a while without most users noticing), but in making subsequent changes to a related service – again pointing to the complexities involved in moving multiple systems and services from an established operating environment to an entirely new operating environment.
Elsewhere, there has been a need to revert the Marketplace to running via the lab’s co-lo (albeit it temporarily), whilst some known issues – such as teleport failures – may or may not be linked to migration issues, with the Lab engaged in trying to get to the bottom of things. So if you do see a problem, don’t automatically assume it is uplift related; even without the current migration work, SL can be temperamental!
Currently, around 100 regions on the main grid have been uplifted, and Oz confirms that, barring the unforeseen, the end-of-2020 for uplift completion is still very much the goal.
For more information, please take a read of his post.