PEP-6 Node Pilot - A new node deployment solution

Attributes

  • Author(s): Shane Burgett
  • Recipient(s): Shane and Ryan Burgett
  • Category: Reimbursement
  • Fulfills: RFP-7: Node Deployment Tools
  • Asking Amount: 161k POKT

Summary

In response to RFP-7, we would like to submit Node Pilot for funding consideration. Node Pilot is a Linux executable that allows anyone to deploy and manage Pocket Validators and other blockchain nodes. Seamless Docker integration brings enterprise-level security and scalability to any level of user.

Background

Shane and Ryan Burgett started developing Node Pilot shortly after POKT mainnet launched in August 2020. Shane was a full-time business development contributor to Pocket through most of 2019, and came on-board again in September 2020. Ryan is a full-stack crypto application developer with years of experience in the areas of wallets, interoperability platforms, mining, and node deployment.

Motivation/Rationale

The idea of Node Pilot came about after realizing the level of infrastructure competency that would be required for anyone to run a Pocket Validator. To get the Pocket Network to a place where there are millions of Validators serving applications, we believed there needed to be a solution that makes Validators approachable to the masses while adhering to the best industry standards.

There are some node management platforms out there like DappNode and AVADO, which are great for simple node deployment, but they lack the features required for someone to be an effective Pocket Validator operator. Validators that are not run properly become a burden on the network and affect the quality of our service. Node Pilot was designed from the ground up to be just as easy as these other platforms while providing important features that make for good Validator operators.

When everyday users don’t have a user-friendly, self-hosting solution, they only have one option, which is hosting services. These services are great, but Pocket needs to be an ecosystem with options, and a solution like Node Pilot gives everyone the freedom to be an independent Validator operator and overcome the technical barriers that exist today.

Objective(s)

Launch Node Pilot as free software that any can be used to deploy and manage Pocket Validators and other blockchain nodes. Node Pilot installs with a few copy-and-paste commands on a Debian-based Linux and is 100% GUI driven after that, making it approachable to users of all technical levels.

Node Pilot fully utilizes Docker to ensure best practice security, resource management, and updateability. This would be the only Pocket Validator deployment tool that is built entirely on Docker orchestration, making updating standardized across all supported blockchains. Node Pilot is simple enough to be used by small node runners, but also can be used by advanced users for multi-instance orchestrations.

Objective Key Results

  • GUI controlled node deployment and management
  • Docker-based deployment
  • Expandable design for easily adding new features
  • Backup system to help user save wallets, certificates, and configs
  • Scales to be used by both small node operators to large node operators
  • Professional aesthetic to best represent the Pocket community and brand

Needs Being Met

Node Pilot provides a direct solution to RFP-7: Node Deployment Tools and specifically addresses every Objective Key Result:

  • There are more node deployment options available
  • Existing node deployment options (e.g. Docker) are easier to use
  • We have greater node diversity / more self-hosted nodes

Node Pilot also provides a direct response to the general community who have asked for an approachable Validator process.

Dissenting Opinions

No known dissenting opinions to a deployment solution like Node Pilot.

Deliverable(s)

  • Launch Node Pilot Public Beta in April (95% complete)
    • Automated TLS
    • Built-in webserver GUI (accessible via your own domain)
    • 10+ blockchain nodes (including ETH, BSC, BTC, AVA, xDAI)
    • Multi-chain Pocket Validator setup
    • Built-in load balancing orchestration
    • 1-click node commands
    • 1-click backups
    • 1-click updates
    • Easy-access logs
    • Resource monitoring
  • Community call and demo (April 19th)
  • User resources, including video walk-throughs (85% complete)
  • VMs/images that enable 1-click deployments (10% complete)
    • AWS
    • DO
    • VMware

Budget

Collectively, Shane and Ryan have put in over 370+ hours into this project. Including 277 development hours thus far. Beyond the time already invested, Shane and Ryan expect to continue contributing to ensure updating continues in critical areas of:

  • New pocket-core releases
  • New blockchain node releases
  • Adding new blockchains supported by Pocket
  • New node commands
  • Security and feature updating

Instead of asking for a budget prior to showing work, we opted to develop first, prove the value of the software, and then ask the community and DAO to gauge if it’s worthy of reimbursement as a free tool for the community.

  • Base value of development work within Web2 world: $46k
  • Added value of Web3 app development expertise: +20%
  • Risk of being paid in 100% in POKT with little liquidity guarantees: +30%
  • Incentived updates and continual development: +25%

Total budget: 161K POKT

Development Goals Beyond This Proposal

  1. Node Pooling
  2. Automated updates
  3. Mobile application (iOS & Android)
  4. Notifications
  5. Fleets (enterprise-ready API platform for multi-instance orchestrations)

Contributor(s)

Shane Burgett - Pocket bizdev contributor with a background in business development, marketing, design, and media production.

Ryan Burgett - Full-stack Web3 application developer with 4+ years of experience in the areas of wallets, interoperability platforms, mining, and node deployment.

Copyright

Copyright and related rights waived via CC0.

Join the community call and demo: RSVP


UPDATES
1. Website has been launched: https://decentralizedauthority.com/
2. Documentation has been released: https://docs.decentralizedauthority.com/
3. Community call / step-by-step video walkthrough: Node Pilot Community Call & Demo - YouTube
4. Three new versions have since been released with updating instructions (4/28/21)

Completion percentages in Deliverable(s) have been updated (4/28/21)

3 Likes

This looks amazing and mofongo for all the work you’ve already put into it! This will work as a crazy lead magnet I’m sure.

Am wondering how me and @JaureguiA will play a role in this, if at all? From my understanding this serves to be beneficial for anyone running validates, not just specifically POKT.

Am excited to hear more!

2 Likes

Can’t wait to see this demo!

2 Likes

Agreed. If Node Pilot is the most effective way to spin up X nodes, then that’s just another angle we can use to create a connection with that project/community. It opens the door to encourage them to then monotize those X nodes with Pocket.

Pocket is perfect to allow other chains’ validators to “double dip” in the rewards. Run a validator on X chain, and monetize it again via Pocket. Node Pilot is perfect for those kind of strategies.

You guys are welcome to use any community events or products as marketing tools. Use community and DAO activity to show Pocket’s energy. Active communities grow… if people know there is activity.

Exactly! It is primarily targeting Pocket right now, but really it is the easiest way possible to start any chain supported by Pocket. Look on YouTube for how to run each of the different chains supported by Pocket lol. It’s wild, watching folks enter terminal commands for thirty minutes to show how easy it is to get a node up. We have invested the time and energy to make starting a Pocket node or any chain as easy as one click.

1 Like

PROJECT UPDATES

  1. Website has been launched: https://decentralizedauthority.com/
  2. Documentation has been released: https://docs.decentralizedauthority.com/
  3. Community call / step-by-step video walkthrough: Node Pilot Community Call & Demo - YouTube
  4. Three new versions have since been released with updating instructions

Thanks for the support everyone! Between this post, the community call, DMs, and Pocket’s Discord, we have received a lot of positive feedback and seen dozens of deployments so far.

We have submitted this proposal to the DAO for their vote. DAO members can vote here.