Solana Network Upgrades – QUIC, Stake-Weight QoS & Fee Markets

Solana has a new official link to get the latest status updates for the three major improvements that are rolling to the Solana network to improve resiliency, stability and performance. They also set this up to clear up FUD and misinformation. Lets have a look 👀

They made the official page here summarising the following advancements being deployed to the network. These changes have been in the planning & engineering phase since 17th Feb 2022 and even as far back as 14th Dec 2021. This is a long time coming and has been needed to address the 3 outages that occurred over 2021 & 2022 with total downtime of 28 hours (source – Austin Federa).

So What are the Improvements that are Rolling Out?

Github – UDP based transaction ingestion is too simple for current usage patterns #22726

QUIC – Today, Solana uses a custom raw UDP-based protocol to pass transactions between RPC nodes and the current leader. Since UDP is connectionless and lacks both flow control and receipt acknowledgments, there is no meaningful way to discourage or mitigate abusive behavior. In order to affect control over network traffic, Solana core protocols are being reimplemented atop QUIC, a protocol built by Google, designed for fast asynchronous communication like UDP, but with sessions and flow control like TCP. Once adopted, there will be many more options available to adapt and optimize data ingestion.

Solana Outage Report & Mitigation Announcement – 3rd May 2022
Github – forward packets by prioritization in desc order #25406

Stake-weighted quality of service (QoS) – Leader network bandwidth has a fixed capacity and to effectively use it, stake-weighting is a must in order to end the current practice of indiscriminately accepting transactions on a first-come-first-served basis, without regard for source. Given that Solana is a PoS network, extending the utility of stake-weighting to transaction quality of service is a natural choice. Under this model a node with 0.5% stake will have the right to transmit at least 0.5% of the packets to the leader, and the rest of the network and no combination of the remaining stake will be able to fully wash them out. Stake-weighted QoS is in parallel development with QUIC today. Stake-weighted QoS will be more robust in conjunction with QUIC.

Solana Outage Report & Mitigation Announcement – 3rd May 2022

Fee-based execution priority – Once ingested, transactions can still contend for modifying shared account data.  This contention has been dealt with by a simple first-come-first-served similarly to network data ingestions, leaving users no means to express the urgency of their transactions’ execution. Given that anyone can submit transactions to the network, stake-weighting is not suitable for this prioritization.  Instead a new instruction is being introduced into the Compute Budget program, offering users the ability to specify an arbitrary “additional fee” to be collected upon execution of the transaction and its inclusion in a block. The ratio of this fee to the requested compute units will serve as a transaction’s execution priority weight.  Additional fees will be treated identically to the base fee today.

Solana Outage Report & Mitigation Announcement – 3rd May 2022

Where can I Learn more about the Changes?

Back in June, Chorus One wrote up a great summary on the changes for QUIC, Stake Weighted QoS and Fee Markets. This is a comprehensive summary and deep dive into the 3 big fixes so check it out!

When are the Improvements Rolling Out?

Stay tuned to the “Status Updates” over at the official Solana website. However, in general these updates are rolling out across v1.10 and v1.11 Solana code bases. You can see the current status of validator software version deployment at the Solscan Validator page.

Following Anatoly’s pinned tweet also helps too!

Anatoly’s Twitter – Mid July 2022 Pinned Update

What about Tracking Actual Solana Performance?

This is a tricky one to track but Solscan is certainly providing some great dashboards for that also! Performance can be experiential so track total TX metrics may not cut it. Considering hourly TPS average and Success rate is a good measure:

Solscan Analytics Public Dashboard
Solscan Analytics Public Dashboard

Are you looking forward to all 3 deployments? Will this be Solana v2.0 ?

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