Who is going to Turn off The Virtual Worlds?

Gartner Group says ninety percent of businesses efforts in virtual Worlds like Second Life fail within 18 months.

Ninety percent of forays by businesses into virtual worlds–animated online communities where people can do things they do in the real world (and some things they wouldn’t)–fail within 18 months. That’s according to the tech researchers at the Gartner Group, although we could have told you the same thing, if not with a specific statistic.


Not so much

Over the last few years, businesses have raced to set up storefronts in these virtual worlds, notably Second Life, in order to test new products, grab some publicity, and maybe even make a few bucks by selling digital versions of their products. But many of these shops are now vacant. Last summer we wrote that “Second Life storefronts for Best Buy’s Geek Squad, Sun Microsystems and Dell were all deserted, and American Apparel’s was virtually boarded up.” Time magazine labeled Second Life one of the worst sites on the Internet and called corporate efforts there “a case of some CEOs trying too hard to be hip.”

How much power is Second Life consuming?  Remember Nicholas Carr's infamous Avatar power consumption post.

Avatars consume as much electricity as Brazilians

December 05, 2006

Tony Walsh has, as others do, some doubts about whether Second Life is sustainable as a business. But he also poses another question that I hadn't come across before: "Is Second Life sustainable ecologically?"

He quotes Philip Rosedale, the head of Linden Lab, the company behind the virtual world: "We're running at full power all the time, so we consume an enormous amount of electrical power in co-location facilities [where they house their 4,000 server computers] ... We're running out of power for the square feet of rack space that we've got machines in. We can't for example use [blade] servers right now because they would simply require more electricity than you could get for the floor space they occupy."

I think the guys at Second Life (Linden Labs) need to look at solutions like Cassatt's software that automatically turns off servers as demand decreases.

Updated Cassatt Software Watches Changing Demand on Servers and Automatically Turns Off Idle Computers to Cut Data Center Energy Use

Cassatt Active Response Improves Data Center Efficiency Using New Demand-Based Policies, Increased Compatibility with Third-Party Management Solutions, and Broader Platform Coverage

SAN JOSE, Calif., May 20, 2008 – Cassatt® Corporation, a leader in providing software to make data centers more efficient, today announced a major new capability of its Cassatt Active Response products that enables the software to monitor the changing demand on servers and automatically turn them off when they become idle.  The updated software is the first to enable data center managers to actively control server power usage in both predictable and unpredictable computing environments, reducing the amount of energy needed to run and cool data centers, while maintaining application reliability and responsiveness.

This unique, demand-based management capability is part of a major new update to the Cassatt Active Response product line.  The new Cassatt Active Response 5.1 release offers:   

  • The ability to use demand-based policies to manage IT infrastructure in real time
  • Increased compatibility and integration with third-party management solutions, and
  • Management and control over a larger set of technology and data center equipment from multiple vendors.