Fire And Ice’s 1st Birthday – Humble Beginnings
Fire And Ice’s 1st Birthday – One-year-old. Actually, the grid turned one year old in December. However, the first land subscription started in January 2020. Fire And Ice started as a completely new venture. The day the grid opened, it had just two residents, Sara and Leisha Diamond. There were just three regions, our home, the Welcome region and the Norse Adventure.
A Year Of Constant Growth
Over the last year, it has grown to have 287 local users. In December of 2019, there were just 24 visitors to our welcome region. From January 2020 to January 2021 that figure is 1774, of which 664 are unique visitors. Those are not total figures for the grid, just people who visited the main welcome region. Each month the grid now sees approximately 270 visitors.
The Fire And Ice grid now have 86 regions, of which 42 are subscriptions. We pride ourselves on offering value for money. Our prices are among the cheapest, if not the cheapest available on the hyper-grid. Despite the low price, the grid has been in profit for over six months. We started with a single server and now have 7 servers running the main grid, and an additional 2 running our testing grid.
Friendship And Community
We now have regular groups who get together as a community using both the grid and out out of world services such as the Discord server. There is a real sense of friendship and community growing at Fire And Ice. We also have people who have started volunteering to help new members get set up on the grid. Fire And Ice are now also on the dropdown list of grids in the Firestorm Viewer.
It is our residents who really make it all worthwhile. Their constant support and enthusiasm amaze me day after day. I just want to say a big thank you to each and every one of them. It takes variety to make a community and we definitely have that. There are people from all over the world on our grid. As the pandemic arrived it was an honour to provide a region for a real-world local charity. Eventually, they decided that zoom was a better platform for their members. However, Fire And Ice played a part in keeping a real-life community together.
A Little Bit of Tech – Fire And Ice’s 1st Birthday
On a technical level, the grid is very stable with full region monitoring that will restart any regions with a problem. From the very beginning, our grid has been run on self-managed servers. Unlike many others who rely on 3rd party companies to run and manage their servers, ours are bare bone un-managed. This is one of the ways we keep our prices down. All of our servers run up to date flavours of Linux distributions. Using Linux as opposed to windows is another way we keep the prices low. We also run a comprehensive backup system which is much quicker than our early days.
A Bump along the way which only made us stronger.
On the 18th of May 2020, the grids servers were breached. We were offline for less than 48 hours and have remained consistently online ever since. Following that attack, we moved from using password authentication to a key pair. After the restore, we made changes to improve backup recovery speed. All the data was securely saved. However, the restore took longer than is desirable. Now, we have four copies of all data. Each copy is in a different location and with different companies. Additionally, our primary backup is now substantially quicker.
Fire And Ice going into the next year will gradually be adding more and more web-based services. We plan to introduce a custom software to replace all the features currently offered by Wifi and more. However, that is a huge development project and will take an extended amount of time. Eventually, the plan is to offer a login service for users offering the choice of using other services such as Facebook and Twitter to log in as well as two-factor authentication. Each user will then be able to connect multiple avatars to their user account. From there they will be able to fully manage their avatars and regions. We are also looking at automating the ordering and setup of new servers. Once implemented this will allow very quick expansion of the grid to account for demand.
Other Places To Find Us – Fire And Ice’s 1st Birthday
Over the last year we have started many services to support and help our residents. Our YouTube channel has a growing number of tutorial videos. The Wiki provides space for residents to list their regions on a web page. There is an active discord group for residents to chat when out of world. There are also several social media channels to help us communicate with our residents in any way they like.