Feeds

Linden Lab unveils Sadville: Enterprise Edition

A private Second Life in a $55,000 box

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

Some companies like IBM have an uncanny attraction to Linden Lab's virtual world, Second Life. They claim the software provides a 3-D collaboration space that's viscerally superior to what traditional mediums such as teleconferencing, instant messaging, or video conferencing can provide.

Trouble is, hapless employees ushered into the virtual world quickly find their avatars rubbing elbows with lonely middle-age men pretending to be teenage girls and anthropomorphic wolves looking for a good time. And that's when the weather breaks into an inconvenient deluge of flying penises. Firms may also shy away from letting employees share sensitive corporate data over Linden's off-site server farms that host all forms of Second Life traffic, both base and business.

Hoping to regain a rather large bit of momentum lost in this field to the likes of Facebook, Twitter, and - perhaps soon - Google Wave, Linden Lab has conjured a $55,000 hardware appliance that allows companies to host their own private Sadville.

Linden said it has launched an open beta program for a behind-the-firewall product, Second Life Enterprise. The company expects the program to run through Q4 with general availability during the first half of 2010.

Second Life Enterprise runs completely within a company's network, without a connection to Linden's servers or the virtual world used by the unwashed masses. It includes seven pre-packed virtual regions, including an auditorium for events, two conference centers, and a number of sandbox areas to test virtual objects.

Content can also be moved into Second Life proper if a company wants to let the public wander though their work.

Linden said 14 organizations are already participating in the beta program, including IBM; Northrop Grumman; and the US Navy's research center, The Naval Undersea Warfare Center.

Did we just say The Naval Undersea Warfare Center? Yes indeed, we did:

"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 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," stated Douglas Maxwell, Program Technology Lead for NUWC Metaverse Strategic Initiative (which sounds important, at least).

Maxwell said the Navy outfit is using Second Life Enterprise to conduct training, concept-of-operations exercises, and collaborative engineering activities using sensitive information.

Personally, this reporter is relieved to no longer have to worry about an invading force of aquatic Fox-men bent on strapping victims to a counterfeit sex chair. The US Navy totally has that covered. ®

The essential guide to IT transformation

More from The Register

next story
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
Scratched PC-dispatch patch patched, hatched in batch rematch
Windows security update fixed after triggering blue screens (and screams) of death
This is how I set about making a fortune with my own startup
Would you leave your well-paid job to chase your dream?
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.