The story behind the Second Life central database upgrade

Linden Lab's systems administrator, Charity Majors has been with the company for a while – since 2004, in fact – but we've not heard much from Majors previously. That's a shame, because Majors' latest post detailing the process behind the recent Second Life central database upgrade is a real treat. We've not seen its like for a couple of years, sadly.

The story of the recent database upgrade (which was originally attempted in 2007, with less than stellar results) is frank, detailed and informative.

It's really rather a pity that Majors isn't writing blog posts on policy and economic metrics, because Majors puts almost all the other Linden Lab bloggers to shame for precision and clarity.

The process described shows planning, deliberation, concern for results and concern for users of the Second Life platform, elements which – while they may not be absent from other Lab communications – are rarely so evident and so well expressed in them.

It's an ironic coincidence that today is almost one year after an old colleague of mine performed an almost identical database upgrade on a grid-computing/content delivery network database, having encountered similar problems throughout including having to create her own profiling and replication tools. A pity that work couldn't have been shared.

Granted, the tale isn't for everyone. It's a story about about specialist technology, so if it isn't among your specialties, you're going to have to look a lot of stuff up in order to follow the story. However, we can only imagine what things would be like if all the Lab's communications met this high standard.


Are you a part of the most widely-known collaborative virtual environment or keeping a close eye on it? Massively's Second Life coverage keeps you in the loop.

This article was originally published on Massively.