Jun 2, 2009

Network Specifications Finalized

After a tough few weeks of mapping network protocols, we have finally come to a consensus for the underlying backbone fo Andromeda3D. A layered protocol working in concert with various technologies, A3D will be able to handle the "crowd" aspect of virtual environment in a cost effective manner. As opposed to a purely centralized server approach, we're working with a hybridization approach that will be hard pressed to collapse under the weight of large scale simultaneous users.

Employed in our approach are peer to peer redundancy to ensure data stability across the virtual universe, as well as an intelligent P2P network to relay user information to those who are closest in 3D space. Database systems will also be handled using a novel and highly effective distributed database technology so that no one server in the network is ever overwhelmed with requests.

When combined, these technologies which comprise the underlying backbone infrastructure of A3D will facilitate a system by which the more simultaneous users there are, the stronger and faster the virtual universe becomes overall, while reducing central bandwidth in the process over time.

This is in complete opposition to current technologies employed today by Linden Labs, Active Worlds, There and any other virtual worlds platforms whereby their approach involves adding more servers centrally to handle the load.

In order to ensure privacy, we are also employing top level encryption to files prior to sending them to the network cloud. While the files in question will be represented only by 128kb file blocks, which are not directly tied to a single file on a 1:1 basis, we will be employing data encryption to supplement security measures and further secure intellectual property from prying eyes.

The level of complexity involved will be a challenge overall for us to employ, but we are confident that by following this network protocol specification roadmap we will be able to truly take a virtual environment expectation of a few hundred simultaneous users at a single virtual location to orders of magnitude higher.

Expectations are high with our choices, and we are constantly looking to improve and amend our systems to include better approaches. As it stands, we have the basis for a very solid hybrid decentralized network, and possibly the breakthrough of the industry.

Capacity thresholds for a single location (reliably and with adequate frame rates) is expected to be approximately 5,000 - 10,000 simultaneous users per location, though we are being highly conservative with our estimates until we can fully stress test the system and make adjustments.

In theory, the hybrid decentralized system should handle upwards of 500,000 simultaneous users at a single location (and a few billion users simultaneously logged in across the universe). We believe our novel approach will once and for all shatter the glass ceiling that has become an ongoing barrier to virtual worlds environments using the standard centralized approach, and allow us to finally serve the rest of the world as a new gold standard for virtual worlds implementation.

Our planning, in terms of release testing, will follow a strict guideline and will include only the ability to build using an Object Path repository for worlds. At a later time we will upgrade the Andromeda system with the ability to offer personal inventory space for premium users. The underlying backbone for the system already supports a personal inventory space, but in order to properly stabilize inventories, we will need to have a central storage capacity per user as an anchor point.

As we progress with implementation, we will be releasing tests for our active beta group to evaluate, and we look forward to milestone 1 of A3D Beta.