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What do you think about this idea ?
Fantastic concept. Love it. 33%  33%  [ 4 ]
Terrible idea. Who would pay for something that can be free ? 67%  67%  [ 8 ]
Total votes : 12
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 Post subject: MOSS Servers
PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:06 am 
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Obduction Backer

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I doubt this is profitable.
I doubt this is feasible.
I doubt this is reasonable.
But... How about if server machines were to be distributed by Cyan, containing only a MOSS server, ready to be installed by even the least computer-savvy ? Someone walks into a store, grabs it off the shelf, plugs it into a wall outlet, runs a small wizard... and that's it, a small, personal server for about 10-20 people. For an element of comparison, see the TonidoPlug (http://www.tonidoplug.com/), a small, 99$ server running Ubuntu Linux. Imagine a day when everyone could set up a shard just by doing that.
Then again, Cyan is (I assume) running on very limited resources. Plus, I don't think this would be very profitable in the long run, because setting up an entire hardware division to manifacture these devices seems, frankly, ludicrous for a software company to do. Therefore, judge not the feasibility of this idea, but the idea in itself. What say you ?

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:37 am 
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What you are going to see happen with MOSS is very much like what is going on with OpenSim. The OpenSim server side software is about a 25mb download. there are several tutorials on setting it up. Right now one needs some techie knowledge to get it on the net. With a little more they can join a grid, a shard in our parlance, or join the Hypergrid, a collection of independent grids that cooperate at a modest level. The software places a light load on the local machine with 2 to 4 players in the server. Older hardware can run the server side.

Your solution is overkill and requires upfront money to get the machines and have them ready for sale. Plus the time and labor of Cyan. Anything that requires Cyan time, effort, or money is unlikely to happen.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:39 am 
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This would make a bit more sense if Cyan had written MOSS (which I've learned stands for Myst Online Server Software - so "MOSS Server" is something of a redundancy). However, Cyan didn't write MOSS.

a'moaca' and cjkelly created MOSS. It is an open implementation of a Myst Online server. Among the differences... Cyan's server requires that you use Oracle for the database, and it runs under Windows. MOSS uses an open SQL system (PostgreSQL) and runs on Linux.

I expect it would be a great objective for the MOSS development community to make it easier to set up, to provide recommended hardware information with Linux distribution setup instructions, or perhaps recommendations for hosting companies where MOSS could be set up (might be easier... you can buy a Linux hosted environment and just pay a monthly fee for bandwidth and support).

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 1:52 am 
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LOL. Well, I'm surprised Nalates might not have remembered this, but the idea has been in the long term plans to implement on OpenUru.Net if at all possible. When there's time. Someday.

Basically, I want anyone to be able to spin up a test "insta-shard" at a moment's notice in the "cloud" on demand with no contractual commitment (no minimum fees except for what you use). I ran into roadblocks with both Amazon Web Services (what MOULa and MQO are on) and Rackspace, but things have changed where it's becoming more feasible to do it the way I wanted. I've seen a few more service options lately. And some other things have changed, such as open source.

MOSS on Linux using PostgreSQL simplifies matters a great deal.

Server Provisioning & Billing Services On OpenUru.Net:
http://forums.openuru.org/viewtopic.php?f=52&t=272

This makes Lyrositor's idea virtual and instant. Much easier.

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PostPosted: Wed Apr 13, 2011 11:28 pm 
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The terms shard and grid are ambiguous and vague for our use in regard to MOSS and MOULa servers.

At one point we were talking about the possibilities of having multiple home machines make up a 'shard'. Some seemed to think we could have a home computer serving an age and another a different age… or one or more servers helping with a busy age and they all work together sharing the same login.

We do some of that in OSGrid and other OpenSim grids thus forming the Hypergrid for OpenSim.

Is something like that possible with MOSS?

Does the MOULa server do something like that?

I would expect OpenUru.net to be a bit down the road. In the post you link to, Net would be a hosting service where fans could have a MOULa server, now MOSS. But, don’t you have to wait for the content license?

/me wabes License Now sign

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:25 am 
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Nalates wrote:
The terms shard and grid are ambiguous and vague for our use in regard to MOSS and MOULa servers.

At one point we were talking about the possibilities of having multiple home machines make up a 'shard'. Some seemed to think we could have a home computer serving an age and another a different age… or one or more servers helping with a busy age and they all work together sharing the same login.

We do some of that in OSGrid and other OpenSim grids thus forming the Hypergrid for OpenSim.

Is something like that possible with MOSS?

Does the MOULa server do something like that?

I would expect OpenUru.net to be a bit down the road. In the post you link to, Net would be a hosting service where fans could have a MOULa server, now MOSS. But, don’t you have to wait for the content license?

/me wabes License Now sign

As I understand it (So this could be entirely wrong, but it's how it worked before), you have a central "Game" server that accepts connections. The "Game" server then creates and connects to a "Session" server to authenticate a user who is logging in. Once the user is authenticated, the client requests an age. The "Session" server looks up if there is an "Age" server running for this particular User/Age/Ownership combination, and if it isn't running it starts one and co-ordinates traffic between the client and the "Age" server. In a default installation, all these servers run on the same machine, as each server is started by the "Session" server, which also acts as the point of connection. However, with a little more configuration, the "Age" and "Session" servers can be distributed to more than one machine. These machines don't even need internet connectivity, though the "Game" server has to be able to connect to it, so a local network between them would be necessary, and they have to be able to connect to the database.

So you'd end up with something like:
Code:
 Client   Client   Client
   \\       ||       //
    \\      ||      //
     \\     ||     //
      \\    ||    //
       \\   ||   //
        \\  ||  //
         \\ || //
          \\||//
           \||/
Database-- Game ---,
    |     / | \    `- Auth
    '+---/-+|--\---+---'
     |  /  ||   \  |
 Session Session Session
 /   |    |   |    |   \
Age Age  Age Age  Age Age

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 7:51 am 
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Nalates wrote:
The terms shard and grid are ambiguous and vague for our use in regard to MOSS and MOULa servers.


While I appreciate Anaerin's enthusiasm.... I strongly feel that resolving these terms more specifically should not be an issue for the end user. The distinctions that Nalates is bringing up matter primarily to shard administrators, and personally I think it over-complicates the discussion to delve so deep into the technicalities.

Simplifying a concept often introduces inaccuracies. Purists may complain, but this trade-off can be analyzed for its advantages and disadvantages.

I remember growing up having learned that red + blue = purple, yellow + red = orange, and yellow + blue = green. Simple basic rules from kindergarten. And for the crayons I was drawing with at age 5, the rule worked. It wasn't until I was older that I learned that this is the subtractive, CMYK model, that really the colors are cyan (not blue) and magenta (not red) along with yellow... and that in the additive, light-based RGB model, the primary colors are red, blue, and green. Red+Green = Yellow? That was a shocker. But when I was dragging colored wax pencils over paper, I didn't need to know all that.

In this case, I think we're in better shape if we leave the specifics of everything a shard can be to the admins, and let Average Joe rest easily with the idea that for the purposes of Myst Online, a shard is a computer, and a server is the software. It's complicating enough that the term 'server' is used interchangeably in other contexts for software and hardware. If we can clear up the confusion introduced by that, I vote that we not replace it with even more complicated concepts.

TL;DR: When you start splitting it up into "Well here's the database server, and here's the MOSS server, and here's the authentication server..." then most heads go asplodey. Keep the techy talk to the people to whom it matters, and stick with "server = software" and "shard = hardware" consistently around everyone else.

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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 1:47 pm 
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Marten wrote:
I remember growing up having learned that red + blue = purple, yellow + red = orange, and yellow + blue = green. Simple basic rules from kindergarten. And for the crayons I was drawing with at age 5, the rule worked. It wasn't until I was older that I learned that this is the subtractive, CMYK model, that really the colors are cyan (not blue) and magenta (not red) along with yellow... and that in the additive, light-based RGB model, the primary colors are red, blue, and green. Red+Green = Yellow? That was a shocker. But when I was dragging colored wax pencils over paper, I didn't need to know all that.


Actually, its the Red-Blue-Yellow model, not the CMYK model. CMYK is used for (and pretty much only for, infact) printing... Cyan-Megenta-Yellow-Black is not the same system you were taught in kindergarten. The Red-Blue-Yellow was. Red-Blue-Yellow is another colour mixing system, which is commonly used for pigments, for example, paints.

There is, however, the CMYK, and the RGB one, in addition to the red-blue-yellow system. =)

(so, yes, in red-blue-yellow, red+blue = purple, yellow+red = orange, blue+yellow = green.)


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 3:27 pm 
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It's the database (vault) that makes the shard. You can have one server or a server farm, but their one common database makes them one shard.


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PostPosted: Thu Apr 14, 2011 9:24 pm 
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@Martin, I didn’t get that Anaerin was clarifying the definition of shard and grid. I brought up the ambiguity of the words because of the question I was asking. Anaerin gave a reasonable answer. [/Martin]

We have considerable thread space on MOUL forum used defining shard and the idea still remains nebulous.

I think Rusty’s statement that the database makes the shard is accurate. I think all that matters to most fans is that a shard contains a group of players that can communicate with and see each other. They couldn't care less about hardware configurations.

JWP’s point that a future NET will allow a virtual MOSS machine to be 'taken off the shelf' completely reframes Lyrositor’s poll. There are some interesting things happening with cloud hosted virtual worlds. Some OpenSim worlds are now extremely cheap to host, ranging from nothing when idle (no players) to a couple of dollars per user per hour and up depending on performance requested. With player access controls one can control their cost.

Still there is a cost. Running my VW in my home computer has limits but it does not change my basic computer/Internet cost. For visitors there are lag issues. So, free home hosting for someone that wants to have lots of visitors will likely be way more costly than a hosted server with lots of outbound bandwidth.

So, asking why pay for something that can be free, while a pertinent question, leaves out the issue of performance, which many are willing to pay for.

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