A Non-Technical Guide for Running a Stake Pool: Part 1

In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there is

run almost anywhere… a laptop in your house, a raspberry pi (mmm… raspberry pie), a server in a data center, or a virtual machine in the cloud to name a few. This rest of this article will attempt to lay out the different considerations that operators need to take into account when making this decision.

  • Decentralization: This helps increase the overall decentralization of the network. If all the nodes are running in the Amazon cloud and the data center goes down, the entire network could become unusable.
  • Security: The private keys used to run the node aren’t running in a data center somewhere that could theoretically be compromised.
  • Fun: Believe it or not, some people enjoy research, building, and maintaining a server rack.
  • Cost: The cost to buy your hardware, server racks, cooling, UPS backups, etc… can be considerable, plus the time to setup and maintain your setup.
  • Single Point of Failure: If the power or internet in your house goes out for a week, you are in trouble.
  • Not Fun: Believe it or not, some people don’t enjoy research, building, and maintaining a server rack.
  • Cost: You can pay only for the resources you need. For example, if the node only requires 2 GB of memory to run, you can choose the right sized server
  • Scalability: It is usually relatively easy to spin up new virtual servers with more memory/CPU/bandwidth.
  • Time: When a hard drive fails at 2am, there is nothing you need to do, the actual physical server maintenance is handled by the provider.
  • Location: A lot of cloud/VPS providers provide the ability to run your software in different physical data centers located throughout the world.
  • Physical Security: It is a lot easier for someone to break into your home than into a data center.
  • Decentralization: If most of the pool operators choose the same provider and that provider goes down, a large part of the network becomes compromised.
  • Key Security: You are putting a certain level of trust with the provider, as some of your private keys will reside on their servers.

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