Virtual Environments and their effect on the Network
On September 6th, we held our first Networkers TechTalk in Second Life, Virtual Environments and their effect on the Network. It was well attended and there were some very good questions from the participants.Some of the attendees reported problems with their audio streams during the event, so here is the mp3 archive of the event, as well as this pdf of the slides. As you will hear during the preamble to the presentation, this is all a ‘work in progress’, and we have plans to drill deeper into the virtual worlds listed as well as explore the network impact of other implementations. If you happen to run into Dannette CiscoSystems avatar in Second Life, you may want to thank her for painstakingly editing out all the ‘ums’ and ‘ahs’ from this MP3.The executive summary of the entire talk is that the traffic of virtual environments is sporadic based on the architecture of the world (cache-intensive vs. minimal updates to a static world), and bandwidth is generally limited to around 500kbps with a few exceptions. The key learning is that the ‘network hygiene’ of most of these worlds, when it comes to security, is still ‘sub-optimal’ (borderline miserable). Cisco suggests that customers keep virtual world traffic on a separate guest wireless network until more secure and consistent implementations emerge. We’ll be elaborating on this recommendation in future blogposts, as well as developing a best-practices design guide as soon as our travel schedules subside a bit.