Adding flavor to OpenSim

Open-source.

The term has become more than what it originally described. Nowadays a whole culture and mindset is attached to it. At its core all it describes is that the source-code of a piece of software is available for anyone to easily view and use themselves, without having to reverse-engineer anything. Open-source and the whole FOSS philosophy is about sharing, contributing and furthering software. Many projects rely on volunteers to make additions, fix bugs or maintain compatibilities, but they are not solely bound by that either. Many projects receive help from companies using the software or even develop it in the first place. These companies usually make profit on selling the support for the software or additional pieces or versions not available in the open-source version.

OpenSim is open-source as well. It has historically been developed by volunteers aiming to create a virtual world platform similar to SecondLife. At the time of its creation it truly had the philosophy of an open-source project. Over time the people working on the project left and new ones came in. With new people came new directions and those directions now somewhat differ from what they were initially. These days OpenSim is being developed by people who have a commercial interest in the software and may want to sell any fixes or additions to it. This, as described above, does not break the nature of the open-source idea or philosophy for that matter. At the same time it does mean that the project has somewhat deviated in its course for making the software better to, well, making money. Again, no issues with that in itself, but it must be said that this does create the possibility of additions or fixes being rejected based on the commercial aspect the software is used for by its development team. This has lead to a feeling of stagnation and rejection from the development team towards the community surround OpenSim.

We have always supported the decisions of the development team and have made efforts to support them financially and with additions to code, however the response we have gotten has been rather negative. We no longer see a future for the development of OpenSim with its current development team. As a result we have decided to create our own flavor of OpenSim in order to make sure development continues under the pretense of making the software better. In technical terms it’s called a fork, a divergence from the original. We will start to implement and change OpenSim based on the needs of our customers and to an extend the feedback from the community as a whole. We will continue to support those who want to better the original OpenSim, but the internal politics and money involved for the current development team has lead to unsatisfactory state for us and our customers and we would be mad not to attempt to correct it. This does mean that beside the original OpenSim we will be offering our own ZetaSim for our customers. Additionally we will make efforts to support other forks with the same intend of furthering the development of OpenSim and contribute some of the changes and fixes we have developed for ZetaSim. We feel that is the most liberal decision we could make given the current state of development and the need to support our customers as well.

All-in-One Grid Packages

With the metaverse steadily growing, more grids pooping up almost every week, we realized many do not wish to concern themselves with a detailed breakdown of costs and rather pay a “flatrate” for everything. While we continue to offer our highly customize-able options for grid and simulator hosting, we also want to make it easier for those who just wish to have a single solution, out of the box, running with a set of options already pre-configured. The new packages are available in north America and central Europe and include the basics needed to start your own grid and build a world all of your own.

A little overview of the packages for those interested.

Grid Complete Pack
-Includes all necessary grid services
-Money Server(Podex) or/and Gloebit
-PHP Asset Server with 100GB of asset storage
-Single Simulator for your welcome or failover region
-Integration to Zetamex Website packages and future embedded control panel

Price (excl. Fees): €95.00*

Simulator Server
-As many regions as the hardware can handle
-From stable to bleeding-edge all OpenSim-Core versions available upon request
-Access to all future module additions
-Integration to Zetamex Website packages and future embedded control panel

Price (excl. Fees): €85.00*

Barebone Extension
-Full DDoS protection
-Global caching to reduce loading times
-Daily backups and coldstore for months
-Full realtime monitoring

Price (excl. Fees): €69.00*

*As usual these prices have some flexibility. Name us your budget and we will see how we can accommodate to fit your needs while keeping cost down.

We hope these new packages will make it easier to get your ideas and dreams off the ground. If this sounds like the package you have been looking for feel free to drop us a message!

Emergency Maintenance [Completed]

We are performing some emergency maintenance to restore functionality to billing and other sites of our network. The cause for the downtime are failed upgrades on behalf of our service providers. Estimated time for this maintenance is 24 hours.

The billing system is back online, please clear your browser cache if the payment gateway continues to decline your request. All other affected services will be restored shortly as well.

Monitoring 2.0

Zetamex Network continues to grow and that means our network of servers and systems is growing and becoming more complex. Naturally, if nothing is done, it quickly becomes too much to manage. Proper monitoring of systems and automation of common tasks is key. We have made numerous advances in automation already, but monitoring continued to not be touched. This was partly due to the stability of the systems we have made and relatively low amount of incidents we have encountered the last couple months. Still, we don’t like to leave things to chance and it is simply common sense to monitor software like OpenSim, which is still considered somewhat alpha or beta software at this point.

We have spent some time this last week working on just that and introduced a centralized monitoring system for our entire network. Some of you, who may be more familiar with the IT world, might have heard about this system before. It’s the widely used Nagios Monitoring System. A fairly easy decision for us as Nagios is widely used and thus offers a great deal of resources to properly configure the monitoring of our servers and systems. Further have there been numerous drop-in replacements for it, should there ever be a feature we might not find in the standard Nagios system.

A new era for hypergrid shoppers

Historically the sale of regions has been the biggest market associated with OpenSim with the sale of inworld items, scripts, clothing and infrastructure being a close second place. Commerce have had to deal with currencies coming and going and subsequent customer relations suffering from it all. For the shop owners maintaining a constant income through local residents meant heavy advertising and a reliance on the stability of the grids community. Expansion across the metaverse often meant dealing with different currencies or direct-to-paypal vendor systems to accommodate for total lack of currency. The continuous growth of marketplaces like the Kitely-Market have shown that, first and foremost, ease of use and reliability are what keeps people invested in the creations of the OpenSim community.

To the rescue comes Gloebit, a new currency specifically designed for the hypergrid. Gloebit offers stability, usability and a level of integration that has not been seen in OpenSim thus far. We are happy to announce that with the production launch on ZanGrid, Zetamex Network will be offering Gloebit integration for grid customers.

Scheduled Work [Completed]

Work Completed [8:27 PM PT]

We have completed the major system updates to patch vulnerabilities in our systems. Thank you for sticking with us while we finished this work.

Restarts In Progress [10:45 AM PT]

We have got to the stage of some machines need restarts, for the next hour simulators and grid connectivity may be intermittent.

Scheduled Work [9:48 AM PT]

Work has been started on servers, we are currently running security patches and software updates.

 

NOTE: New mail group for customers have been instated, you should have an email asking you to join notify@zetamex.com to receive these updates via email when work is being done. You do not have to join. If you didn’t get an email please contact: contact[at]zetamex[dot]com