12 hours ago
Wednesday, February 21, 2018
Hippo Technologies Announces Closure Due to "Infrastructure Failure"
Those whom have been around Second Life for a long time are probably familiar with Hippo Technologies, or at least it's products HippoVend and HippoRent, particulary merchants and renters. But the sight of the HippoRent cubes will soon be a thing of the past. On their blog on February 16, Hippo announced they were closing due to "infrastructure failure" of Rackspace Cloud Servers, which they had been using to hold their data.
On Feb 12th Rackspace Cloud Servers collapsed and took down the legacy Hippo web services which Rackspace supported. Rackspace admits service degradation to cloud orchestration and cloud servers. Surely in due time the long established server technicians at Rackspace will rebuild their cloud infrastructure, but for the time being there appears to be an unsafe amount of dust and smoke around the Rackspace Cloud server collapse to extract the backup databases to migrate to another server host.
For the last several years increasingly abandoned land through Second Life has also led to lack of new customer demand for the legacy web service. It marks a best decision for Hippo Technologies to step away from that legacy web service.
Hippo Technologies will certainly be keeping a keen eye to future trends in virtual worlds.
Caspertech, perhaps Hippo's biggest competitor, would post about Hippo's close later that day on their own blog.
Today is a sad day for some, and a frustrating day for many, as Hippo Technologies has finally bit the dust. Hippo's services (including HippoVend, HippoRent and HippoUpdate) were extremely well respected and well established within Second Life for a long time. HippoTech pre-dates CasperTech by a few years, and although their presence in Second Life has slowly been in decline, many users heavily depended on them right up until today.
It's unclear exactly what happened - the blog post alludes to a catastrophic failure at Rackspace Cloud services, but Rackspace's own status page mentions no such failure (I have contacted Rackspace to ask for clarification). What is clear, however, is that it leaves a lot of users in a very unfortunate position - their vendors, rental units and update systems are suddenly non-functioning, leaving their businesses high and dry.
Aside from these two blog entries, there's not really anything to go on. A look at the two Hippo groups I found revealed no recent announcements. Their products are still on sale in Marketplace. When I talked to Casper Warden, the head of Caspertech, he didn't have a greal deal to add, "From my understanding, they were taken offline by a technical fault. Given that their business was dwindling it was not worth the technical effort to invest into getting it back online." He did want to make it clear, " that it's only my understanding, i don't know anything about it for certain."
In any event, places that once used HippoRent are now having to decide what to replace them with.