Simon Linden has posted to the Server topic area of the technology forum about a new SL server feature, “region idling” which commences today, Wednesday 16th May.
This will see those regions that do not have any avatars either in them or camming into them to lower their frame rates and script processing, thus reducing their load on their host CPU. This should in turn improve the performance of the other regions running on the same hardware.
The idling itself should be entirely transparent to users, with the region immediately returning to “full speed” should anyone enter the region or cam into it. However, Simon does warn of a possible caveat to the transparency:
We expect this feature to be totally transparent to users. Residents will not see or be on regions that are idling. Scripts, however, may observe the effect if they are using the llGetRegionTimeDilation() function, and may require fixing.
There are some additional points to note with this capability, which are addressed in an FAQ also posted to the forum. These include:
- Regions are not turned off or shut down. They merely run at a slower frame rate when nobody is there. They will appear exactly the same way as before in search, the world map and other Second Life features
- Region idling cannot be manually disabled for a region
- Any scripts that use LSL network functions will suspend region idling for a short period of time to allow them to function normally. This will allow scripts that connect to outside services via email, http and xmlrpc to run as expected.
The roll-out of the function will commence with the Blue Steel release channel, and will then be progressively rolled-out to the rest of the grid in the coming weeks. Anyone suspecting region idling is having an adverse effect on their region is requested to file a JIRA (no specific project given), providing clear information on the problem and the exact times it happened.