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Network Team Update

· 4 min read
Marcin Szamotulski

Stake-Driven Data Diffusion Release for Relays

IOG networking team decided to release the Stake-Driven Data Diffusion with Robust Optimised Peer Selection also more commonly known as P2P. In the last update, we informed about a performance regression, but it turns out it only affects block producers, and thus we highly advise against running it on such nodes. Further investigation is required to find the cause of it.

On IOG's benchmarking cluster we have seen quite a good performance improvement on block propagation itself. The cluster is running a static topology with valency 6 (each node is connected to 6 other nodes). In which every of the 50 nodes are block producers. The setup of this network is the same as mainnet. We've seen 40-50% performance improvement on block propagation comparing to the same cluster deployed with the same topology but using non-P2P nodes. We think this performance improvement is caused by using full duplex connections. Quite likely the transaction traffic floating in both directions on the same TCP connection helps to keep the TCP window open. Note that in a cluster of 50 nodes with valency 6 the probability of having at least one duplex connection is more than 50%. We don't expect the same improvement on mainnet because the network is much wider and the transaction traffic is not as large.

Just before the release we squashed two small bugs:

  • issue #4163 - top level integration bug in keep-alive;
  • issue #4177 - a bug in outbound-governor;
  • PR #4165 - a fix cardano-ping support of NodeToNodeV_10.

Peer Sharing

We were carrying a review of peer sharing PR.


Neil Davies was invited to give a guest lecture entitled Avoiding System Catastrophes at UCLouvain.

What have we achieve last sprint

  • issue #4163: we found out that a control message is not passed to the keep-alive mini-protocol, this results in every demotion executing demotion timeout rather than a graceful termination. With the fix the node will no longer log:

    { "kind": "PeerStatusChangeFailure"
    , "peerStatusChangeType": "WarmToCold (ConnectionId {localAddress =, remoteAddress =})"
    , "reason": "TimeoutError"
  • issue #4177: we fixed an assertion failure in the outbound-governor; now we don't try demoted peers which are being demoted already.

  • PR #4155: we refactored ouroboros-network packages. There's a top level ouroboros-consensus-diffusion package which integrates network & consensus code. We also introduced:

    • ouroboros-network-api package which contains the API shared between network & conensus;
    • ouroboros-network-mock package which contains mock API used for testing (e.g. a mock chain & chain producer, etc.)
    • ouroboros-network-protocols package which contains implementation of all (but handshake) mini-protocols, exposes a testlib and contains test and cddl components.

    This made the dependency tree of network & consensus packages much cleaner.

  • PR #4169: we described the usage of release branches in doc.

  • PR #4165: we fixed cardano-ping support of NodeToNodeV_10 protocol.


The abstract of the talk:

An essential step to ensuring that distributed systems are fit for purpose.

Distributed systems have become an integral part of our society and daily lives. We are, both implicitly and explicitly, individually as well as collectively, placing ever more trust in them.

Are they worthy of this trust? Our need for them to be ‘fit-for-purpose’ goes well beyond notions of functional correctness (i.e. never getting the wrong answer). We need them to deliver the desired outcomes in a timely, robust, reliable, resilient fashion, at scale and in a sustainable way (both economically and environmentally).

This all sounds like a worthy aspiration, but what would be a practical approach to capturing and reasoning about these issues? How can we ensure that systems can meet their fit-for-purpose objectives, not just in their design but as they are deployed, encounter the imperfect world, are scaled to become economic, and proceed into ongoing maintenance?

This talk will illustrate how the notions of Outcomes and Quality Attenuation (as captured by ‘∆Q’) are being used to both frame the necessary notions and provide a basis for assuring the refinement and reification of such systems, from initial concept to operational infrastructure.

You can download the slides from here.