What Happens when you OUTGROW Simonastick

Michael Timeless

New member
Joined
Oct 10, 2018
Messages
4
SL Rez
2007
I travel quite frequently. I don't sell anything and most of my creations are for personal use. I've used SIMONASTICK for years when traveling. However as OpenSimulator has added features I've gotten hooked on variregions. I've tried almost all of the grids and have used 4x4, 6x6, 8x8, 10x10 and currently using a massive 25x25. The problem is two-fold. As you expand so does lag.
I'm a hardware guy and understand it pretty well. Simonastick is about the maximum level of my software competence. What I want to build is an offline single region that is either another 25x25 of the max for OpenSimulator, which is 32x32. This allows me to take Google Maps and create massive landscapes based on real world terrain. My current project running on one of the professional grids is a replica of North Carolina's Pisgah National Forest. However I'm seeing LAG based on people using the grid.
What I want to do is eliminate people as an issue (and their assets, if I'm understanding the dependencies here).
I've read that simply loading a massive region the problem becomes memory. So, my questions are:

Can I reduce lag by simply adding more memory to a standalone server? Would more cores help? Would replacing the normal Intel I series with multiple Xeon cores give me any advantage or adding more GPUs (I currently use dual Nvidias in SLI mode, which I know is not much help client side. Would there be an advantage in using professional level GPUs similar to the Nvidia Quadro? Like I said, I know the hardware but don't understand the software well enough to know what I need - I'm sort of unconsciously incompetent - I don't even know what I don't know. :)

The idea system should be primarily standalone, occasionally be able to attach to OSGrid or Metropolis and use Hypergrid. It should support no more than 5 avatars at max load and I would probably limit it to 500k prims since I am primarily using this for scenic walkaround projects. Scripts would be limited to basic scripts for waterfalls, some doors (both pretty much rotation based) and other scenery related things and the usual avatar AO attachments.
I would prefer to build my own hardware, but would not be adverse to using one of Amazon's AWS solutions for on/off and would like to keep the costs below about $300 USD if using a cloud based solution. Lots of stuff here and as I said not even sure of the right questions to ask. When I've asked in several grids the answers have been pretty evasive almost like they think I'm looking to compete rather than use this for some of my mobility limited friends, who can no longer get to these locations.

Thanks for any help
 
  • 2Like
Reactions: Han Held and Cristiano

Noodles

Queen of Ramen
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
587
Location
Illinois
SL Rez
2006
Joined SLU
04-28-2010
SLU Posts
6947
So, I don't know about the details behind SimOnaStick's hardware demmands exactly, but some thoughts on it if you are moving to a larger build.

I assume you are running it natively and not actually on a stick. Since running it from a USB stick will be a bottleneck for sure. It's ok for easy portable use, not so much for a larger more permenant instance.

Also, you may look into setting up an actual proper OpenSIM instance. This kind of falls into the same vein as the point above. SoaS is made to be portable above all else, so I am not sure how efficient the database it's using is, some sort of dedicated mySQL instance may work better.

As far as hardware, my bet would be on the more RAM the better, since it's a server.

I don't really have any recommendations for hosting. I use Digital Ocean for some websites and Ave used it for OS Grid a bit but I stopped just because I wasn't really using it. Never for anything that large. I think I was running 9 regions at one point in an underpowered $5/month VPS, but I doubt there was really any traffic.
 

Han Held

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
618
Joined SLU
0
SLU Posts
0
You have several choices.

1) One choice is to move to the "Dreamworldz" platform, which is similar to "Sim on a stick" but is more flexible, has backup tools and includes newer versions of Opensimulator.
Outworldz OpenSim Installer

2)Move to a full-fledged existing grid, there's several to choose from. Hypergrid.org is a good free choice; they're german but fluent in and welcoming of english speakers. There's also Infinitigrid.com -a commercial grid on the hypergrid run by many folks from SLU/VVO (I have regions on both :love: ).

3)find a hosting provider to server you a standalone instance. I've heard good things about dreamland metaverse over the years though they're fairly expensive. There's a list of providers (some from grids, some standalone) on Hypergrid Business: OpenSim Hosting –
 

Han Held

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
618
Joined SLU
0
SLU Posts
0
I travel quite frequently. I don't sell anything and most of my creations are for personal use. I've used SIMONASTICK for years when traveling. However as OpenSimulator has added features I've gotten hooked on variregions. I've tried almost all of the grids and have used 4x4, 6x6, 8x8, 10x10 and currently using a massive 25x25. The problem is two-fold. As you expand so does lag.
The Diva distro is self-updating -tho it needs a nudge. I don't know if you've been updating, or simply using the oldest version. I assume that you've stuck with what it came with.

There's issues with the viewer (in particular Firestorm doesn't like large regions and depending on you graphics drivers may or may not work decently. In particular I have had issues with FS not wanting to draw water (which was annoying when I wanted to fly on a var region) on 0.9

I'm a hardware guy and understand it pretty well. Simonastick is about the maximum level of my software competence. What I want to build is an offline single region that is either another 25x25 of the max for OpenSimulator, which is 32x32. This allows me to take Google Maps and create massive landscapes based on real world terrain. My current project running on one of the professional grids is a replica of North Carolina's Pisgah National Forest. However I'm seeing LAG based on people using the grid.
What I want to do is eliminate people as an issue (and their assets, if I'm understanding the dependencies here).
I've read that simply loading a massive region the problem becomes memory. So, my questions are:
My technical chops are a bit choppy, but my understanding is the issue is three-fold; the server, the viewer and the GPU. Opensimulator doesn't affect the GPU (to the best of my knowlege), but the quality of your GPU AND DRIVERS has a huge impact on how your viewer performs.

Can I reduce lag by simply adding more memory to a standalone server? Would more cores help? Would replacing the normal Intel I series with multiple Xeon cores give me any advantage or adding more GPUs (I currently use dual Nvidias in SLI mode, which I know is not much help client side. Would there be an advantage in using professional level GPUs similar to the Nvidia Quadro? Like I said, I know the hardware but don't understand the software well enough to know what I need - I'm sort of unconsciously incompetent - I don't even know what I don't know. :)
The big question would be how script intensive are your regions? If there are a large number of scripts, or if they're very complicated that will blow up your server and cause lag. Personally, I run a couple of large (2580sqm x2580sqm ) regions on a dedicated server and don't see a lot of lag ...but they're very, very lightly scripted.

And they fall over if people come to them.


The idea system should be primarily standalone, occasionally be able to attach to OSGrid or Metropolis and use Hypergrid. It should support no more than 5 avatars at max load and I would probably limit it to 500k prims since I am primarily using this for scenic walkaround projects. Scripts would be limited to basic scripts for waterfalls, some doors (both pretty much rotation based) and other scenery related things and the usual avatar AO attachments.
Hmm, max of five people? I believe that I can safely have 5 people (maybe 6) on one of my simulators before it begins to fall over.

Here's a copy/paste of the specs of what I'm currently using;
CPU: Dual Intel Xeon 5150
RAM16GB RAM$0.00
Operating System:CentOS 7 64-bit (I filed a ticket to switch to Ubuntu 18.04)
Bandwidth1Gbit Port: 100TB Transfer

I would prefer to build my own hardware, but would not be adverse to using one of Amazon's AWS solutions for on/off and would like to keep the costs below about $300 USD if using a cloud based solution. Lots of stuff here and as I said not even sure of the right questions to ask. When I've asked in several grids the answers have been pretty evasive almost like they think I'm looking to compete rather than use this for some of my mobility limited friends, who can no longer get to these locations.
Yeah, shit's gotten pretty cut-throat in a weird way.

I am renting a dedicated server from nocix.com ...I've also used kimsufi.com too. Both are cheap providers that rent out their old hardware (kimsufi is the ultra-budget arm of OVH). While I've gotten good results from my server, I don't know if I would trust it to regularly have multiple people on it.

I think AWS is probably going to be prohibitively expensive, but I could be wrong. Frankly if I had $300/mo to put into Opensim I'd probably get a package from OVH;
Dedicated server prices - Explore our full server range - OVH

Those prices range from $89 to $125

There's also the option of going with digiworldz' managed hosting, which is Opensimulator specific (and that might make it a better choice than going solo with OVH):
Shopping Cart - DigiWorldz LLC

Caveat; I have no idea what's included with digiworldz' package or how that even works.

With G+ imploding it's hard to tell you where to go for answers, but here's some current (Oct 10th 2018) resources;
Opensim Technical; https://plus.google.com/communities/113342748780124527813
Opensim mailing lists; Mailing Lists - OpenSimulator (probably Opensim users?)
Lastly, there's a lot of knowledgeable folks on Discord (though you're going to run into the same "fart in an elevator" dynamic you've already described), the most active Opensim server I'm aware of is this one:
Hypergrid Explorers & Creators: Discord - Free voice and text chat for gamers ...which does have a tech channel (#os-tech)
 

Daffy

New member
Joined
Sep 25, 2018
Messages
10
The more objects and scripts you run , the more memory you need on your server. You can see this when the simulator is started,
and when it loads in the scripts. A few thousand of scripts isn't a big problem, but i remember once a guy had a few regions, and
at 1 he had more then 30.000 scripts wich made it very laggy, but even then it still ran good on linux CentOS .
Positive messages i've heard about using maria db instead of mysql, but how well it performs on a big var is hard to say.
Also positive messages about the "LaNani "version of opensim, when it comes to avatar mesh body loading.
Her, (LaNani Sundara from OSgrid) version is used by several people at OSgrid now, and performs better than the
simulator version offered by OSgrid.
On OSgrid is also a region named " SuperVar " , it's a 32x32 =1024 regions. Perhaps you can login there, and see the owner
name ,and try to contact them , maybe they are willing to tell you what hardware they are using.
 

Michael Timeless

New member
Joined
Oct 10, 2018
Messages
4
SL Rez
2007
So, I don't know about the details behind SimOnaStick's hardware demmands exactly, but some thoughts on it if you are moving to a larger build.

I assume you are running it natively and not actually on a stick. Since running it from a USB stick will be a bottleneck for sure. It's ok for easy portable use, not so much for a larger more permenant instance.
I think I badly worded my post trying to be humorous.
I'm not trying to run anything this large on Simonastick. Currently, I am renting a pro-server from DigiWorldz where I am the only resident and region on the server. What I meant by my simonastick comment was that was the limit of my Open simulator skill set. I can edit the .ini's with the best of them but don't understand the underlying software. To be honest I doubt simonastick in any form could run anything larger than a 6x6.

What I am really looking for is what I can build as a standalone server that would best serve a single region 25x25 or 32x32. I can add whatever CPU, GPU or Memory necessary, but I'm not even sure where to begin. I do know any system would require at least MySQL as the database. I do appreciate your post and thanks.
 

Michael Timeless

New member
Joined
Oct 10, 2018
Messages
4
SL Rez
2007
Some clarifications.

Based on what I've learned whatever I build will be a full Open Simulator build. It will use a real database MySQL or as was suggested possibly Maria. I have tried having it hosted on several existing grids. The problem becomes rapidly becoming a pain in the butt to the host when you are experimenting with things that affect their grid or cause them to regret having low prices when you need extra help. Some of the hosts are just too busy. In one case after paying extra to have the region surrounded by water - and paying extra for it, the host told me he would get too it - and never did but did collect the money. In another grid they went belly up (thank you InWorldz). In yet another the "standalone server" seem to have periods where lag would increase exponentially without any scripts running or prims being out. I did notice that this corresponded with times when the rest of the grid was busy, which I wouldn't think would have affected a "standalone" server.
In short, I've become a bit gun shy. Call it paranoia after almost fifteen years with SL and then InWorldz. That's why I'm really interested in creating my own unit that I can see what the interactions are for example:

Is a "standalone" server really "standalone," or does the asset server or other dependencies drastically affect it no matter how frugal you are with prims, scripts or inventory? In one case I had my inventory down to 500 items, no prims out and no scripts enabled and was still getting 5-9fps on a "standalone" server. It's possible they could have been doing a backup for 20+ hours but I have my doubts.

Is a larger variregions, even feasible with minimal avatars, prims, and scripts no matter how much hardware you throw at it? Han Held also brought up an excellent point about knowledge implosions. Even the Open Simulator page rarely posts new information and many other sites are shutting down or people are focusing more on Unity based solutions (personally as a hardware guy I don't see VR really working in the next decade despite the hype), or being about as useful as my 3D Space Navigator. :)

So, I guess what I am looking for is a way to build a standalone grid in the garage. Then see what needs to be added to increase the performance. Anyway, long day, little sleep, hope I'm not rambling too much. Thanks to everyone who contributed, I will be using your links and ideas to keep pushing this project along.

Mike
 
  • 1Like
Reactions: Han Held

Daffy

New member
Joined
Sep 25, 2018
Messages
10
There are on Osgrid enough Var regions run by people on either a home pc, or hosted . I run a 5x5 on Metropolis and a bunch of single
regions on Osg on a single home pc.
I know that on OSG some run bigger var regions, such as 6x6 , the biggest i saw , that 32 x32 SuperVar region didn't show me buildings
when i was there, in the center i saw a area with some water, and i noticed i could rezz there, but can't say what was on there.

I think the best is to give it a try , for example by using the osgrid distro on osg connected to osg , on a simple PC first with the
var size you want ,wich is 32 x 32.

The opensimulator can be setup to run in several modes, in standalone mode it runs local on your PC, so actually there is not a router
or modem neccesary because it runs local only. You login with FS or Sing , or any other opensim capable viewer with "local"
or "localhost "in the gridlist from that viewer. Since it runs local it's using it's own database for the assets and inventory, either the
buildin sqlight or a "real "database such as mysql or maria db. It's also possible to run the simulator local on a PC within your local network, and run the viewer on a different PC within your local network.

Then there is a mode "standalone hypergrid " , it's a mini grid in a for the rest empty world , but it allows you to teleport out of that
to other grids or mini grids connected to the hypergrid . This "standalone hypergrid "mode is using it's own database , asset server,
inventory server and so on.
When you use your simulator in "grid hypergrid " mode then it means you connect the regions to a existing grid such as Osgrid , Metropolis, and the inventory and assets are then done by the grid you are connected to.
And yes, i assume when they do a daily backup you will notice a slow down on your regions when that backup takes place .

So, for mainly work on landscapes using google maps you could simply use a standalone simulator that runs local only , or
create a "standalone hypergrid "and have also full control over everything including the databases for all assets, and the inventories,
on a home based PC or on a dedicated server from a hosting company.
 

Han Held

Well-known member
Joined
Sep 20, 2018
Messages
618
Joined SLU
0
SLU Posts
0
So, I guess what I am looking for is a way to build a standalone grid in the garage. Then see what needs to be added to increase the performance. Anyway, long day, little sleep, hope I'm not rambling too much. Thanks to everyone who contributed, I will be using your links and ideas to keep pushing this project along.

Mike
It sounds to me like the Dreamworldz installer might be your best bet, or at least a good jumping-off point.
 

Michael Timeless

New member
Joined
Oct 10, 2018
Messages
4
SL Rez
2007
So, for mainly work on landscapes using google maps you could simply use a standalone simulator that runs local only , or
create a "standalone hypergrid "and have also full control over everything including the databases for all assets, and the inventories,
on a home based PC or on a dedicated server from a hosting company.
I will give that a try
 

Daffy

New member
Joined
Sep 25, 2018
Messages
10
Because i was curious how a super Var would perform on a home PC i set up a few days ago a simulator with the size 8192x8192.
Han Held said dreamworldz installer would be a good choice, but i don't think it can be set up that big, that interface goes from a single
256 region up to a 1024 x 1024, so the max would be 4x4 = 16 regions.
I used the osgrid binary , a old one, the 0.8.1.03 for it , for windows, and was able to set the size to 8192x8192 and ran it local,
in standalone mode.
Later i tried a bigger size, but that didn't increase the size, so i assume the limit for the opensimulator is set to 8192 x8192,
wich is 32x32 regions , thus 1024 regions, with no inside borders.

This was done on the dual AMD based PC i'm typing this message at, still using windows 7 here, 8 giga Ram this pc has, processor
is a AMD Athlon II X2 280 running at 3,8 gigaherz. Videocard is a Nvidia GTX 660.
Starting up such big Var, even in local mode takes quite some time, took about 8 minutes to load that super Var while the processor
usage was around 50 % and the Ram usage went up to around 4,4 gigabyte.

Then the processor usage dropped finally down to zero and the ram usage dropped down to 1,5 gigabyte , so, i could login there.
When i logged in with the Firestorm viewer at first it looked normal, but the progress bar in the screen "Loading World " was stuck
at the end of that bar for almost 4 minutes, and then finally i was there , inworld , but local.

Then i imported my avatar and dressed me up, and was a while running , flying and tp-ing over that big Var and made a few screenshots.
Then i downloaded a oar file for 1 region from zadaroo, the castle from linda kellie and loaded that on the Var at the coordinates
2048,2048,0 as shown on the other screenshot.
SuperVar

Castle

How much regions i can fill up there depends on the Ram usage mainly, at this PC i'm limited to 8 Giga, the viewer runs at 2,2 gigabyte
and the super Var at 1,5 , so i suppose i could drop 8 a 10 single region oars over that region running a few thousand scripts.
By running the viewer on a second local PC i could put more single region oars there i suppose.

Yesterday i upgraded 2 Var regions for friends at OSgrid using the latest opensimulator distro from OSG, and the first friend
was amazed how fast this latest version ran and started, and i agree that it is a hughe and very welcome boost to the system.
He was using windows 10 ,and installing the simulator and bring it back online was going well, but on the the other upgrade,
from the other friend , things didn't go that smooth at first. It seemed to start well, but crashed, and it turned out i had to do
first a .net upgrade to .net 4.62 on that win 7 PC, and then finally all worked.

Well, now it's about time to upgrade my own online regions as well and enjoy the speed of this simulator, and maybe when i have time
i will create a new SuperVar on this PC and see if the bootup time goes faster, i think it will, but how much is a surprise for now :)