On Friday, October 16th, Oz Linden posted about the work in migrating Second Life services to running on Amazon AWS cloud servers and infrastructure – see: Uplift Update, which I expanded upon in Oz Linden posts on Second Life cloud uplift status.
At the time of that update, it was indicated that about 100 regions on Agni, the main grid, had been transitioned to running on AWS, comprising a mix of Linden-held, Mainland and private regions.
Commencing on Tuesday, October 20th, the Lab will be expanding on the number by “a few hundred” regions during week #43. The announcement came via a forum post by Bugsly Linden, which reads in full (re-formatted for ease of reading):
This week marks the beginning of medium-scale migration of production regions to the cloud (AWS). We will be transferring a few hundred regions from all existing channels of Second Life based on the Engineering team’s need for additional data and performance metrics. Bulk region migration will take place this week between 6:00 AM and 12:00 PM (Noon) Pacific Daylight Time.
If you are interested in having a region you own (or are the alternate payer for) migrated to the cloud, please submit a Support Ticket. Regions that are migrated to the cloud may experience degraded performance or behave incorrectly; if you are in a cloud based region (you can check by clicking Help->About, and if you see the URL on line 3 end in “amazonaws.com” you’re in the cloud) and observe behaviour you believe is newly incorrect, please file a BUG at jira.secondlife.com.
Due to the rapid speed of our Uplift efforts, we are unable to guarantee that regions in the cloud that are behaving incorrectly will be moved immediately back to our existing hosts.
There have been concerns about aspects of performance with regions operating in the AWS environment – particularly with regards to communications with the KVP database associated with experiences, which has yet to be migrated), and there are on-going teleport issues that might be related to the Uplift work, although as Oz indicated in his blog post, this has yet to be confirmed.
Elsewhere, some of those with regions already uplifted – such as London City (see London City Uplifted) – have reported generally good performance, if with a one or two caveats such as legacy profiles being slow to load in viewers that support them (which again may or may not be Uplift related). Similarly,those testing region crossings between those based in the AWS environment and those still within the Lab’s co-lo facility have reported them to be generally “smooth”.
However, as Bugsly’s forum post implies, there could be a period of degraded performance within regions that are transitioned to AWS, so keep an eye on where you are in SL.
For those who are curious about whether or not they are in a region that has been uplifted to the cloud or not, and who don’t like opening menus and panels to find out, Fourmilab may have the answer: a freebie full permission halo that attaches to your avatar.
By default, it is invisible, but should you move from a region hosted by the Lab in their co-lo facility to one running on AWS, it will sparkle briefly into life to the faint accompaniment of harps being played (well, you’re in the cloud, after all) before vanishing.
Similarly, when you leave a region running in the cloud and return to one still based in the Lab’s co-lo facility, the halo will again briefly appear, this time a dull grey and without the golden sparkles, while a trombone plays a couple of sad notes.
Note that it will only play when moving between regions hosted in the two facilities, not when moving between regions in the same facility (so you won’t repeatedly get the trombone when moving between regions that are all hosted at the Lab’s co-lo for example).
You can grab the halo here.