A common criticism of Statoshi is that it is too complicated for the average person to configure and install. After discussing the need for such statistics with the Bitcoin Core developers, it appears that we are in agreement that it is desirable to offer statistics reporting with Bitcoin node software. However, due to the difficulty involved in designing a simple and elegant solution I think it is unlikely that this will occur in the near term. As a result, I am making an instance of the Statoshi project publicly available at statoshi.info.
Instead of simply providing the Graphite interface, which can be a bit clunky to navigate, I’ve swapped it out for Grafana. Grafana is a powerful dashboard building tool; you can watch a demo video of its capabilities here. I’ve been quite pleased with Grafana and think that it will be intuitive enough for the average person to browse while also complex enough for a highly technical person to use to glean insights from the data.
I’m still exploring all of the customizations available with Grafana — note that you are not limited to the graphs that you see as defaults on the main page. You can create custom dashboards from any of the available stats, though the custom graphs are not currently storable. You should be able to access all of the statistics captured by Statoshi if you click on a graph title and select the “Edit” option. At the moment I do not have ElasticSearch enabled, but if there is enough demand for people to be able to store and re-use their custom dashboards, I’m happy to look into supporting this feature. If you end up using statoshi.info often, consider enabling the Auto-Refresh feature, which will truly allow you to monitor what’s going on in realtime.
If you’re completely lost when you look at the graphs on statoshi.info, you may want to read over this post and this post. It’s a lot of data that probably doesn’t make sense unless you are familiar with the Bitcoin protocol itself.
For those of you who may be interested in the technical specs of this Statoshi instance:
- Ubuntu 14.04 64 bit OS
- 1 core CPU
- 4 GB RAM
- 60 GB disk
- 100 Mbit dedicated bandwidth
- Geographic location: Bissen, Luxembourg
I’m not sure yet what the next step will be for the Statoshi Project; there are many possible avenues but the common theme seems to be a need to make it easier for every node operator to be able to access these type of statistics for their instance. One option may be to support a hosted StatsD / graphing service that a Statoshi node operator can point their node to — this would eliminate the need for a node operator to install any software other than the node itself. I’ve also had some discussions with people about running a community-financed node operation that uses Statoshi nodes to prove the trustworthiness of the operation in order to incite donations from the public.
I hope that some of you out there find this service to be insightful and useful — if there are metrics that you think would be beneficial to the community that Statoshi is not currently tracking, don’t hesitate to contact me with your ideas!