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Announcing Hubs Cloud


Hubs Cloud is a new product offering from the Mozilla Mixed Reality group that allows companies and organizations to create their own private, social spaces that work with desktop, mobile, and VR headsets. Hubs Cloud contains the underlying architecture that runs hubs.mozilla.com, and is being offered in Early Access on AWS. With Hubs Cloud, it is now possible for external organizations to deploy, customize and configure their own unique instances of the Hubs platform.

Welcome to Hubs Cloud

When we began building Hubs, the plan was not to try and create a singular, shared online experience owned entirely by Mozilla. Instead, we wanted to create a platform that could be adopted and deployed by organizations to suit their own needs and build their own social applications that worked on both 2D and on VR devices. With that in mind, the team set out to build a set of collaboration tools with versatile web frameworks that could lay the foundation of a platform that provides private rooms, customizable avatars, and the power of virtual reality to connect people regardless of whether or not they were in a shared physical location.

Over the past several months, we’ve done a lot of work to provide a way for external development teams to stand up private instances of our Hubs infrastructure on an organizational AWS account. Hubs Cloud instances are compatible with the same avatars and scenes that are published on the main hubs.mozilla.com site, or you can choose to create your own content, unique to your application. Hubs Cloud offers access to an administrator panel that allows you to customize the branding for your site, approve scenes and avatars that are submitted, import default environments and set platform-wide room settings, and use your own domain names. And, since the deployment is done through your organization’s AWS account, you control the account access and data for your individual instances.

The administrator panel on a Hubs Cloud AWS deployment allows you to change features and branding of the Hubs platform

We’ve been incredibly excited by the use cases that we’ve seen from our early partners who have deployed Hubs Cloud. Last month, IEEE deployed a custom Hubs Cloud instance to host an online experience for their VR conference, and brought viewing parties, poster sessions, and breakout sessions into shared virtual spaces. Companies have also begun deploying custom instances of Hubs for industry-specific verticals, bringing the power of collaborative 3D computing to their existing workflows in areas such as accident visualization and reconstruction. We’ve also seen explorations in educational initiatives at the K-12 and university levels, and look forward to sharing more about what our partners are working on in the coming months.

A participant watches a stream at IEEEVR 2020 in Hubs

Hubs Cloud is available in Personal and Enterprise editions. For both editions, billing is based on hourly metering and the instance sizes used. On the AWS Marketplace page, there is a cost estimation calculator to help estimate these ahead of time, and are dependent on the concurrency expected, uptime for the system, data, and storage costs. Both Personal and Enterprise offer the same platform features, but Personal is configured to use a smaller instance size at lower costs and has limits on system-wide scalability.

In the coming months, we’ll be working on bringing Hubs Cloud to additional providers, with Digital Ocean as our next target platform.

Get started with deploying Hubs Cloud today at hubs.mozilla.com/cloud, check out the documentation, or send us a message at hubs@mozilla.com to learn more.