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Second Life Simulator Update with Script Performance Improvements


Linden Lab

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Happy new year!  We released a change this week that hopefully will help fight the winter blues.

Uplift has been an ongoing adventure for a number of engineering teams, but the goal of improving the SL experience for all residents has not changed.

Uplift brought in new hardware and the ability to reconfigure it quickly to react to changing circumstances. A few months ago, we quietly changed hardware configurations to provide better performance for the simulators, but our job was not done there.

After this upgrade our engineering teams dug deep into the simulator to modernize it and take better advantage of AWS capabilities. We referred to this as our “Tooling Update,”  which allows LSL scripts to run more efficiently. Regions with heavy script usage will likely see more scripts run and even some spare time returning to the simulator.  The release also includes a modernization of our compiler and supporting runtime.  Newer tools allows for better code generation and awareness of modern CPU designs.

While the news is mostly good, a word of caution that with more scripts running, other areas of the simulation environment may be driven harder.  Scripts that were already approaching throttles or other limits may find a throttle engaged; this also applies to remote services accessed via llHTTPRequest. We do see the possibility of revisiting these throttling limits as a result of these improvements. They could see higher request rates as scripts perform more work.  

We hope that you enjoy the additional script performance for your regions. Anecdotes from region owners on the RC channels before release were generally positive. We are keeping an eye on the data with expectations that these improvements are here to stay.  We hope that as the regions improve performance you will find ways to create and explore in ways that you could only dream of before.

SSL Support

Library upgrades include more recent SSL support.  Removal of old protocols and obsolete ciphers is underway and some new restrictions are in effect for llHTTPRequest, llRequestURL, and llRequestSecureURL functions.  With this release, SSLv3, TLS 1.0, TLS 1.1, and related
ciphers are deprecated for these functions. This does not change the login service in any way.  These changes are restricted to simhosts.

We hope you benefit from this update!  As ever, we welcome your thoughts.

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