It has been a great honor to be part of the ITN testnet for 45 days and during this time period by now having produced 1000 blocks is a symbolic milestone. The only way this was achieved was due to someone out there having faith in ANP and what we will accomplish for the ecosystem – to those I simply say I am honored by the trust and I work hard to make ANP contribute in meaningful ways. Thank you delegators!
So I wanted to write a bit about my background with a master degree in law and also in psychology. I think if I see a opportunity for contribution to the ecosystem in the fields of governance, legal research or also psychology I will try to contribute. It will surely be baby steps but I am going to focus time on writing smart contracts and thinking of easy to implement contracts with real life impact. I think a legal DSL is still years away but I do want to let the public know that there is already much research on the topic and quite old as such (see this thread for an example) and if I see a path towards building such a DSL I would want to take that journey.
My background from psychology was quite varied, from writing on gaming addiction (Everquest then World of Warcraft) before that was even a thing – to studying how teachers facilitated language acquisition in Concordia Language Villages. Same with my law studies that went from varied topics such as child rights law to energy law. I have also been a renewable energy advocate and I represented share holders in a power struggle with share dilution in the company Renewable Energy Corporation – and in that period wrote several analytical works on solar energy – for example this. I have been a stock investor for several years and you can find some of my articles on seeking alpha. So that is some short things about me that maybe could help delegators get to know me slightly better 🙂
I also want to take this opportunity to thank my delegators and if any of you want to get in touch with me feel free to write me an email. I currently expect that ANP also on the main net and setting up a company both for smart contracts, oracle services and as a staking pool and expanding on whatever direction is the most successful / achieving goals seems realistic.
It took a while but I am really happy with the custom made trancievers from fs.com that will fit to the brands of my network cards at a fraction of the cost if I bought it directly from the network supplier. This means we will at some point soon have a downtime but I want to have a good epoch – so far we have done 18 out of 19 and we could make up to 10 more this epoch. Given we had some poor luck in draws last two epochs that means I want to wait a bit before doing the rest of the networking equipment. I will update on twitter when the server will have some downtime.
Since network capabilities are important for any healthy network service provider like what a staking pool in reality is, I have decided that one of the most important aspect I can improve the pool is in its network capabilities. So to further my already investing into network hardware I am also scaling up the connections to internet as well. A dedicated 1GB fiber connection will also make it easier for me to differentiate the costs of running the pool between my day to day fibre conneciton used at home. Having an extra fiber connection from another ISP provider also gives the pool redundancy. Hopefully this will in retrospect be a good move for the staking pools future.
I notice degrading performance in our block production and decided this was a good opportunity to install the Mellanox Connect X 4 card for the server. We have not yet installed the new router as we are waiting on some transceivers but having now installed the network card and it is operational should cut downtime when we do change over new router as well.
We had a few rough periods and needed to rethink our approach. In that regard we made a new server structure as can be seen below in the image.
This has improved our stability and now our main pool server has had an uptime over a day without any problems. We are converting now around 82% of blocks an improvement of 75% from previous settings.
Finally an update on network equipment: Router has arrived and network cards as well. But we are waiting for the transceivers / cable equipment. Probably by next week we have everything and ready to install. The installation is likely to take half a day or with maximum preparations I could probably manage to get the pool up and running again in 1-2 hours. I will try to select a point in between blocks that is optimal – probably during next weekend.
On the cardano forums there has long been an active kiva lending team (see https://forum.cardano.org/t/cardano-community-kiva-lending-team/17613/26 ) and given that we are now almost half way to paying down the hardware of the server I figured it was time to also try and reach out for a good cause. You could argue its selfish in branding the pool but at the same time I hope it is something that also other pools would consider and that it could become a positive thing for the Cardano community that not only has there been an active lending team but also now pool operators help as well.
In any case I have picked two projects from Philippines as that is where my wife came from and it has a special place in my heart. Today is her birth day and we decided we wanted to do something special so we wanted to support Kiva projects in Philippines. I know also well the social system there and I know that a sari-sari store is very much ingrained in the culture there and supporting someone making one is a good cause. The same with jeepneys and motorcycle / tricyle type of transportation projects that is very much part of everyday life.
Finaly perhaps this post is also a good time to direct some attention to an idea I have regarding how to cut cost for oversea family members to cut costs for transfers to family members. https://forum.cardano.org/t/possible-idea-for-family-economic-connection/25247
ADA North Pool invests in the Mikrotik RB4011 for more powerful router hardware, this gives us capability to utilize some of the amazing performance of the Mellanox Connect-X 4 cards we have purchased. The router can handle roughly 5-5.5 million packets per second worth of routing small packages of 64 bytes (typical for staking pools who only need to transmit small info to each IP address)
As a first step to a potential data center class capability ADA North Pool as purchased both a Mellanox ConnectX-4 MCX4111A-XCAT 10Gigabit Ethernet Card and a Mellanox ConnectX-4 MCX4121A-ACAT 25Gigabit Ethernet Card. In theory these cards can in optimal situations handle 75 million TCP packets of information per second.