📖
📖
📖
📖
EthStaker KB
English
Ask or search…
K

Resource scaling

Resource scaling is a pivotal aspect of managing large-scale Ethereum staking operations. Knowing when and how to scale your resources can mean the difference between seamless operation and a bottlenecked, inefficient network. This guide aims to help you make informed decisions on scaling your Ethereum staking setup.

💰 Cost

Scaling costs vary based on several factors:
  • Infrastructure Providers: Costs depend on the chosen provider's pricing model, reliability, and performance.
  • Node Client Software Requirements: Different software may require varying levels of computational power, impacting the cost.
  • Beacon Node Redundancy Setup: The number of beacon nodes per validator client (VC) affects redundancy and cost. More nodes offer better fault tolerance but increase expenses.
  • Key Distribution: The method of distributing keys across VCs influences both security and cost.
  • Peer-to-Peer (P2P) Max Peer Number: Higher numbers can enhance network robustness but might lead to increased bandwidth usage and thus higher costs.
  • Subnet Subscription Settings: These settings can impact egress traffic, affecting the cost, especially if your provider charges based on bandwidth usage.

⚠ Risk

Scaling introduces various risks:
  • Concentration Risk: Assigning too many keys to a single VC or a group of beacon nodes increases the risk. Hardware failures, software bugs, or misconfigurations can lead to significant losses.
  • Network Security Risk: As you scale, the risk of attacks like DDoS increases. Appropriate security measures are essential to mitigate this.
  • Operational Risk: Large-scale operations require sophisticated management. Mistakes in scaling can lead to inefficiencies or operational failures.

📊 Performance

Balancing performance and cost is challenging:
  • Diminishing Returns: The cost of performance improvements increases as you approach the peak of the performance curve. Beyond a certain point, the additional rewards may not justify further investment.
  • Network Efficiency: Efficient scaling can significantly improve transaction processing speed and network reliability.
  • Hardware and Software Optimization: Optimal performance often requires investment in high-quality hardware and continual software updates.

🚧 Optimizing Storage Allocation and Filesystem Scalability for Non-finality Periods

What You Need to Know

During non-finality periods in Ethereum staking, the blockchain may experience delays in finalizing blocks, leading to increased storage requirements as more data accumulates. Ensuring that your system can adapt quickly by extending the filesystem is crucial to avoid disruptions.
Best Practices
  1. 1.
    Maintain Reserve Storage Capacity: Allocate additional storage space beyond your current needs to accommodate potential data accumulation during non-finality periods. For example, if your current operations require 1 TB of storage, consider having an additional 20-30% reserve, i.e., an extra 200-300 GB, to handle unexpected increases in data.
  2. 2.
    Use Scalable File Systems: Opt for file systems that support rapid resizing. File systems like ZFS or Btrfs are designed for scalability and can be expanded quickly without significant downtime. This flexibility allows for immediate response to increased storage demands.
  3. 3.
    Scalable Cloud Storage Solutions: Cloud-based storage solutions like AWS EBS or Google Persistent Disk offer high scalability. These services allow you to increase storage capacity on the fly, often with minimal disruption to operations. For instance, AWS EBS allows you to modify the volume size, performance, or both while the volume is in use, enabling quick adjustments to storage needs.
  4. 4.
    Automated Monitoring and Scaling: Implement automated monitoring systems to track storage usage and trigger scaling actions when predefined thresholds are reached. This proactive approach ensures you're always prepared for unexpected increases in data storage requirements.
  5. 5.
    Regular Audits and Cleanups: Periodically review your storage utilization and perform cleanups of unnecessary data. This practice not only frees up space but also helps maintain an efficient and organized filesystem, reducing the risk of running out of storage unexpectedly.
  6. 6.
    Decentralized Storage Options: Consider leveraging decentralized storage solutions like IPFS or Filecoin as part of your storage strategy. These can offer redundant and cost-effective alternatives for storing large volumes of blockchain data.
By following these best practices, you can effectively manage your Ethereum staking operation's storage needs, ensuring smooth and uninterrupted functionality even during periods of non-finality.

🔢 CL:EL Combinations - Pros/Cons

A 1:1 CL:EL setup implies having an equal number of consensus layer clients and execution layer clients. This section also explores other potential combinations, such as using different ratios of CL and EL clients, and discusses the pros and cons of each. Additionally, the use of Vouch and Dirk, which are validator management tools, will be considered in these setups.
Best Practices
  1. 1.
    1:1 CL:EL Setup
    • Pros:
      • Balanced Performance: Ensures a well-rounded performance with equal focus on validating blocks and executing transactions.
      • Simplicity: Easier to manage and monitor due to the symmetry in the setup.
    • Cons:
      • Resource Intensive: Requires significant resources as each EL client needs to be paired with a CL client.
      • Costly: Higher operational costs due to the need for more hardware and energy.
  2. 2.
    Other Combinations (e.g., 2:1 CL:EL)
    • Pros:
      • Efficiency in Specialized Tasks: Allows for more focus on either consensus or execution, depending on the ratio.
      • Resource Optimization: Can be more resource-efficient if the workload is heavier on one layer than the other.
    • Cons:
      • Complex Management: More complex to manage and optimize due to the uneven distribution of clients.
      • Potential Bottlenecks: Imbalance can lead to bottlenecks in the layer with fewer clients.
  3. 3.
    Using Vouch and Dirk
    • Vouch: A slashing protection and validator orchestration tool.
      • Pros: Enhances security by managing slashing risks; automates and streamlines validator duties.
      • Cons: Adds an additional layer of complexity; requires understanding and proper configuration to be effective.
    • Dirk: A remote signer for ETH2 validators, emphasizing security.
      • Pros: Increases security by isolating key management; beneficial for setups with multiple validators.
      • Cons: Requires a secure and reliable network setup; may introduce latency in signing operations.
Recommendations
  • Evaluate Your Specific Needs: Choose a CL:EL ratio that aligns with your operational needs and goals. For instance, a higher number of EL clients may be beneficial if transaction processing is a priority.
  • Resource Allocation: Assess your available resources to determine the most efficient setup.
  • Security and Management Tools: Consider implementing tools like Vouch and Dirk to enhance security and efficiency, especially in larger or more complex setups.
  • Regular Performance Assessments: Continuously monitor the performance and adjust the CL:EL ratio as needed based on network demands and operational changes.
In conclusion, the choice between a 1:1 CL:EL setup and other combinations should be guided by your specific requirements, resource availability, and the need for efficiency and security in your Ethereum staking operations. Using tools like Vouch and Dirk can further optimize the process, though they require careful management and understanding.

💾 Archive Nodes

What You Need to Know

Archive nodes in the Ethereum network store the complete history and state of the blockchain. They are essential for specific use cases that require access to the entire history of transactions and states, such as detailed auditing, historical queries, or for development purposes.
Best Practices
  1. 1.
    Assess Necessity: Operate an archive node only if your specific use case demands access to historical state data. Common scenarios include deep blockchain analytics, development of complex dApps that require historical data, or conducting thorough audits.
  2. 2.
    Resource Planning: Be prepared for significant resource demands. Archive nodes require a large amount of storage space, often several terabytes, to store the entire Ethereum blockchain history. Additionally, they demand considerable computational power for processing and maintaining this data.
  3. 3.
    Regular Data Pruning: Implement strategies for data pruning where appropriate. While an archive node stores everything, regular maintenance and pruning of irrelevant or non-essential data can optimize performance and storage efficiency.
  4. 4.
    Robust Hardware and Networking: Invest in high-quality hardware with ample storage capacity and fast processing capabilities. Additionally, ensure a robust and high-bandwidth network connection to handle the data throughput required by an archive node.
  5. 5.
    Backup and Redundancy: Maintain regular backups and consider setting up redundant systems. Given the critical nature of the data stored in archive nodes, having backup systems can prevent data loss due to hardware failure or other issues.
  6. 6.
    Security Measures: Implement stringent security protocols. Archive nodes are valuable targets due to the comprehensive data they hold. Employ firewalls, intrusion detection systems, and regular security audits to protect against unauthorized access and cyber attacks.
  7. 7.
    Regular Updates and Maintenance: Keep the node software up-to-date and perform regular system checks. This practice ensures optimal performance and security, and keeps the node in sync with the latest protocol changes in the Ethereum network.
  8. 8.
    Cost-Benefit Analysis: Regularly evaluate the cost versus the benefits of running an archive node. Considering the high resource requirements, ensure that the value it adds to your operations justifies the expense.
By adhering to these best practices, you can effectively manage an Ethereum archive node, ensuring it serves its intended purpose without unnecessary resource expenditure or operational risk.

⏳ When/How to Scale Up the Setup? What to Look Out For While Scaling?

What You Need to Know

Scaling your Ethereum staking operation is a critical step that should be approached strategically and systematically. It's vital to recognize when scaling is necessary and to understand how to do it effectively while mitigating risks.
Best Practices
  1. 1.
    Metrics Monitoring: Continuously monitor key performance indicators such as CPU, memory, and storage utilization, as well as network latency. These metrics provide valuable insights into the current state of your system and indicate when scaling is necessary.
  2. 2.
    Thresholds for Scaling Actions: Establish clear thresholds for each metric that, when exceeded, trigger a scaling action. For example, if CPU utilization consistently exceeds 80%, it might be time to scale up processing power.
  3. 3.
    Cost-Benefit Analysis: Before scaling, conduct a thorough cost-benefit analysis. Consider the financial implications, potential performance improvements, and the overall impact on your operation. Ensure that the advantages of scaling justify the investment required.
  4. 4.
    Scalability Testing: Regularly conduct load testing to simulate increased demand on your system. This helps identify potential bottlenecks and provides a realistic assessment of how your setup will perform under scaled conditions.
  5. 5.
    Intensified Post-Scaling Monitoring: After scaling, increase your monitoring efforts to quickly identify and address any issues. This includes tracking the same metrics as before, but with a closer eye on how they change post-scaling.
  6. 6.
    Flexible and Scalable Architecture: Design your system architecture to be inherently scalable. This can involve using cloud-based services that allow easy scaling, adopting microservices architecture, or using containerization technologies like Docker or Kubernetes.
  7. 7.
    Regular Reviews and Adjustments: Periodically review your scaling strategy and make adjustments as needed. This could be in response to changes in Ethereum's protocol, shifts in staking rewards, or advancements in technology.
  8. 8.
    Redundancy and Failover Plans: Ensure that your scaling includes redundancy and failover mechanisms to maintain operations during unexpected issues or peaks in demand.
  9. 9.
    Security Considerations: As you scale, it's crucial to reinforce your security measures. Scaling often introduces new vulnerabilities, so it's important to conduct security audits and implement enhanced security protocols as part of the scaling process.
  10. 10.
    User Experience and Performance: Keep an eye on the user experience and overall system performance. Scaling should ultimately result in a smoother, more efficient operation for both administrators and end-users.
By following these best practices, you can scale your Ethereum staking setup effectively, ensuring improved performance and reliability while maintaining control over costs and risks.

Resource scaling requires foresight, preparation, and a good understanding of the operational intricacies of Ethereum staking. By keeping these best practices in mind, you can ensure that your large-scale Ethereum staking operation is both robust and agile, capable of adapting to the ever-evolving landscape of Ethereum staking.
The information in the Scaled Node Operators section has been written and reviewed by Igor Mandrigin and Gateway.fm, a leading large scale Ethereum staking infrastructure provider.