Shelley Testnet System Requirements

Hey guys,

Pretty new to the Cardano world, but would be very interested in running a full node as part of the decentralized system. However, as I’m a recent addition to the community I’ve missed the shelley testnet registration…

So my question is in order to try and get an idea of what is required ahead of the launch, what sort of system requirements are recommended for running a full node, and what systems are you guys using for the shelly testnet.

Thanks for your time! (looking forward to the future)

p.s. (hope I’ve posted this in the correct category)

From what we know nobody knows what will happen with the ~2000 staking pool registrations, or when it will happen.

Imo a noticeable number of this registrations happened, because one simply would start staking his money, but never had in mind to run a highly available node server - called staking pool.
There will be around 100 such pools who can collect delegations from normal stakeholders.

In any case you can run your own full node and verify all transactions, then probably with no or relative low staking profits.

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So it depends a bit if you’re interested in staking profits, or becoming a pool operator, or if it’s a general interest in some details about delegation stake to pools can work.
In last case look at Understanding the basics of staking - how and why, and even when

I don’t remember where exactly but it sounded like they will provide docker containers. Good for delivering updated versions, but I personaly would prefer packages who wouldn’t favourish having 90% of all nodes hosted on AWS.

So maybe there only be a limited number of staking pools run by a select number of nodes that Cardano will pick? If not will the physical hardware needed to run the node vary depending on the size of the staking pool being run?

Also have you any idea on the physical hardware requirements needed to run a full node, making good rewards?

Just trying to preempt the decentralisation release, and have the correct harware in place for this.

Thanks for your help!

I haven’t heard about any HW specs.
Obviously there is no requirement for GPUs or Asics. :wink:

So - by just guessing and looking at tipical internet services requirements - I would say a reliable node is build with components like:

  • server class mainboards including ECC Ram modules (parity check)
  • reliable storage (min some kind of Raid with parity and spare drives)
  • continuous network connection (in best case redundant or at least failover)
  • all the datacenter stuff like physical access control, redundant power lines, UPS, power generator, redundant cooling system, gas based fire prevention
  • some kind of firewall and ddos protection (international distributed mitigation points) would help if adversary objects try to put your pool offline just the moment (slot) you become elected, and should by fully functional to get the rewards for the people who delegated her stake to your pool.

At bottom line I believe it has to be a compromise between cost-effectiveness (alowing lower tx fees and profitable rewards) and a high reliability alowing at least 4-nine uptime (99.99% with less then 53 minutes of downtime a year)

Also to consider when someone wants to run all of this on own physical hardware: if you buy new devices they should contain Spectre and Meltdown-proof CPUs, announced for second half of this year.

As already said I really hope the provided images will not strongly favourish that most of them end up as VMs in the well known big clouds. Real decentralization is build on real independence who is standing on their own feets.


Thanks, was actually a really helpful reply, gave me some things to think about!

Exactly, so I guess Cardano will have to release some form of hardware specs, along with the reward system? Surely in order for individual community members who are looking to run a full node to weigh up investment into hardware and returns for running a node… Otherwise, how is it possible to reach decentralization if only larger organizations will be able to afford to run nodes?

So as I missed the registration for the Shelley testnet, how did individuals anticipate the system requirements needed to be selected to participate? if so what sort of hardware are the individuals within the current Shelley testnet using??

Only around 100 main nodes are envisaged, so I don’t think it’s for ordinary individuals anyway. Decentralisation is not all or nothing, and they obviously consider 100 to be sufficient.

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So if they had envisaged only 100 full nodes, why did they open up the Shelley testnet to any parties interested in participating and not select a few themselves to test the system?

Surly to reach a point of full decentralization, the system would have to become open to parties willing and able to safely and securely run a full node… otherwise Cardano may just select the biggest/ best to run the nodes, which then means it can’t be classed as a proper decentralised system, if there are limits and boundaries set by one organisation?

Which ok, I understand that Cardano will be there to protect the system, and there should be a vetting process in which potential stake pool operators should be authorized, but that should be it. Surely they can’t have the power in a decentralized system to pick and choose between two similar able parties, just because there is a node limit?

That’s just my opinion, haha I’m still fully supportive of what they are doing!

I remember that this number k=100 of staking pools is a well thought and scientific considered compromise between valid decentralization, network overhead between all nodes and overall performance.
It’s not “hardcoded” and can change over time. Also they said 20% of staking should/could still be done by solo stakers.
The probability to get elected when someone doesn’t join a pool is very low, but in case the revenue can be a good one. So probably very less constant and slightly lower revenues because of relative high costs to run the own pool 24x365 and store all transactions

I really don’t know if registering earlier this year was the only way to become a pool. Also I have no idea how they are going to choose from registrations. When I looked at the reg form the only and anly slightly technical requirement listed there was to have and provide a certain SSL certificate. No hardware, no bandwith, IOPs or other ressources was mentioned.
I also saw pists on Facebook where certain individuals asked when staking starts and they have already registered for. So obviously a significant number registered without knowing or understanding that it was meant for pool operators.

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Thank you for this, I feel a bit more informed! I definitely think that IOHK needs to update us on this, and explain how this delegation of stake pool operators is going to pan out! Will try to keep a look out if they update us on this!

Durring last meetup at London Aggelos Kiayias mentioned there will be some special mechanism who will allow slightly higher revenues for pool operators who fund their own pool with a relative high fund. From my understanding this would favourish rich/whales to run a pool and easily attract many delegations. On tge other side thus pool has “many to stake” and wouldn’t loose it. A high and strong incentive to act as a reliable node.
On of our friends showed me his study on this already visible drafts and it looks very interesting.