Linden Lab Nov. 4 launched Second Life Enterprise, a behind-the-firewall version of its 3D virtual world software. Linden Lab has loaded Second Life on a server for IBM, Northrup Grumman and the U.S. Navy to test in a beta. Second Life Enterprise includes LDAP integration, intranet-grade authentication and central access controls for protecting proprietary information and managing content created in the 3D worlds. Linden Lab is also building a marketplace to let its third-party programmers sell their enterprise applications and virtual goods.
Second Life is getting a second wind behind the firewall from its parent
Linden Lab. The company Nov. 4 began selling the 3D virtual world software to
enterprises that want to use it to let their employees work together in virtual
meetings or simulations.
Second Life is a 3D virtual world technology that lets users create digital
personas, or avatars, and mingle with others in virtual worlds that include
streets, stores and buildings.
Initially launched for consumers in 2003, more than 1,400 businesses,
government organizations and agencies have used Second Life to hold meetings,
conduct training and prototype new technologies as a solution hosted by Linden
But some businesses, including some that are currently using the SAAS
(software as a service) model of Second Life, prefer the control of hosting and
managing applications themselves.
That's why Linden Lab created Second Life
, which includes the same user interface and features of the
hosted version, including Voice over IP (VOIP), text chat and 3D collaboration
to let workers add and share media files and documents.
Second Life Enterprise includes LDAP integration, intranet-grade
authentication and central access controls for protecting proprietary
information and managing content created in the 3D worlds, Chris Collins,
general manager for enterprise at Linden Lab, told eWEEK.
Starting at $55,000 for a server (two 1U blades) loaded with the virtual
world software, Second Life Enterprise comes with seven prepackaged 3D regions.
These include a four-corners auditorium, two conference centers and sandbox
regions, where users can test virtual items and practice building. To people
these regions, Linden Lab is offering business avatars.
Moreover, Collins said existing Second Life customers can move the content
they created in the hosted iteration over to the Second Life Enterprise beta
environment, effectively saving their work. Second Life Enterprise can support
up to eight regions simultaneously and 800 concurrent users in the same
Though just in an open beta, Linden Lab already counts IBM,
defense contractor Northrup Grumman and the U.S. Navy among the 14
organizations using Second Life Enterprise.
IBM lets workgroups host
in Second Life Enterprise. Northrop Grumman uses Second Life Enterprise to
simulate the control panel on a bomb disposal device, allowing workers to
safely learn how it works.
Linden Lab expects the beta program to run through the fourth quarter, with
general availability in the first half of 2010.
Linden Lab is also building the Second Life Work Marketplace to let
customers find, test and buy content from Second Life's third-party developers.
This way customers can save the time associated with creating 3D applications,
while Second Life developers can make money from their 3D work. Linden Lab will
take a cut of the proceeds.