Linden Lab, the company behind the Second Life platform is launching the open beta of Project Nebraska today. Project Nebraska was the working title for what is now called Second Life Enterprise, a standalone Second Life solution for enterprise use.
This "Second Life in a box" solution, is actually in two boxes. It consists of a combined software and hardware bundle, including two 1RU rack-mount servers, prepackaged as an appliance and configured to provide virtual environment and voice services, ready to use with standard Second Life viewer software.
But that's not all.
A second system called the Second Life Work Marketplace will allow companies using the Enterprise product to browse, try out and purchase ready-made enterprise content for their virtual environment, from third-party developers and solution providers.
Already, 14 organizations are participating in the beta program for Second Life Enterprise. This list includes: IBM, Northrop Grumman, Naval Undersea Warfare Center, DefenseWeb Technologies, Case Western Reserve University, The New Media Consortium, among others.
"The Second Life Enterprise version offers a great combination of collaboration, content creation and communications tools and resources," said Francoise Legoues, vice president of innovation initiatives, IBM. "We were one of the early adopters of the Second Life platform, and having that technology behind the firewall gives us the opportunity to expand our use of the platform enterprise-wide."
Some of the features of Second Life Enterprise beta include:
Runs completely within an enterprise's network thus providing the same level of security as their intranet. With comprehensive authentication and access controls, this enables confidential and proprietary information, prototypes and training materials to be shared securely.
Advanced 3D visual, spatial audio, and text collaboration tools to allow workers to easily upload media files, share documents and create custom content.
Seven prepackaged virtual regions, including a four-corners all-hands auditorium, two conference centers, and a number of sandbox regions, where users can test virtual items and practice building. Also included is a set of standard business avatars. With a full set of workspaces and avatars, enterprises can begin using the product immediately after deployment. Additionally, content owned by the company can be moved from the main Second Life environment into the Second Life Enterprise beta environment, maximizing investments already made in Second Life. And we're fascinated by that particular detail.
Centralized administration that enables enterprises to manage the entire environment including users, regions and content from one central location, complete with LDAP integration. Administrators can also allow Second Life Enterprise beta users to use their real-life names for their avatars - although in any sizeable enterprise there are statistically duplicate names.
Meets US military grade information assurance compliance standards.
Advanced infrastructure that can support up to eight regions simultaneously and 800 concurrent users in the same immersive environment.
"Virtual Worlds have the potential to provide a safer, more cost effective approach to some of the Navy's current mission areas. The Naval Undersea Warfare Center (NUWC) has collaborated with Linden Lab to create a version of Second Life Enterprise that is secured and meets military grade information assurance compliance standards - out of the box," said Douglas Maxwell, Program Technology Lead for NUWC Metaverse Strategic Initiative. "Hosting the Second Life Enterprise on a secured network allows us to conduct training, concept of operations exercises, and collaborative engineering activities using sensitive information in safety."
The Second Life Work Marketplace is currently under development and a closed alpha is planned for the end of Q1 2010.
Pricing for Second Life Enterprise starts at US$55,000. Linden Lab expects the beta program to run through Q4 and announce general availability during the first half of 2010. Parties interested in more information about the product, can contact Linden Lab at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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