According to Zero Linden, the project was motivated by thoughts a year ago when Second Life was growing rapidly and Linden Lab was thinking about how to scale the grid.
There have been two timeframes set back then: The next few months and the next years. This architecture discussion is about the next years.
If we assume that virtual worlds will be a significant part of the future, then the following numbers might not be so far off:
Scalability of world extent:
- 60 million regions (probably more) (60 was mentioned here by Zero Linden )
Scalability of world population:
- 2 billion users
Scalability of concurrent users:
- 50 - 100 million concurrency (on whatever device)
Scalability for events (concurrent users in a single region):
These numbers will not be possible with the grid right now and additionally some more use cases need to be solved like connecting 3rd party hosted regions to the grid.
Additional scaling factors
The above scary numbers stem from population pressure alone, but there are other areas of growth which compound the impact of those numbers still further:
- Prim count expectations grow naturally. Limiting them to current values is not tenable.
- Scripting load will grow roughly in proportion to prim numbers, as well as proportional to population through attachments.
Wolves at the gates