This month, Intel is releasing the code for its Distributed Scene Graph 3-D, which enables thousands of avatars to interact concurrently on one OpenSim region, HyperGrid Business recently reported. That would be an amazing innovation in itself, displaying many times the number of avatars now possible in Second Life or OpenSim. But even better, Intel will also put out instructions for running Scenegraph-powered regions on Amazon's cloud, which should make the technology more cost-effective (at least in many scenarios.)
The Intel tech was developed in large part by John Hurliman (known in-world as Eddy Stryker), who gave me more insights on it last year: In trials using test bots, they'd "simulate the actual load of a user by wandering around, playing animations, and downloading all of the prims and textures they see," and still managed to do that without lag. Since then, Hypergrid Business reports, the Scenegraph has been improved, enabling “thousands of users to interact in a single region.”
Sounds like spectacular news, though of course, the real test is when thousands of actual users actually try to use this. Stay tuned, and meantime, watch this Intel demo video:
Curiously, John told me last year, "There is no technical reason why you couldn't build the entire SL protocol on this architecture other than the time investment." Wonder if that's still true now. The SL protocol could sure use it.