Emerging Clouds — Distributed Hosting Update 03

Holo Closed Alpha Progress and Related Updates

Emerging Clouds — Distributed Hosting Update 03

Summary

Our first wave of Closed Alpha testing is going well. It’s exciting to see real Holo hApps, running on a hosting device and being served up to a web browser on another device. Early tests provided insights that led us to make some adjustments to part of our networking infrastructure. Such changes are not unexpected, but require experimentation at various scales to learn from results, which is exactly why we’re rolling out alpha testing in ‘waves.’

Highlights

  1. Alpha Testing Roll Out
  2. Networking: An Overview and a Solved Challenge
  3. HoloPort Update: OS Image Ready and Auto-Updating

Details

1. Alpha Testing Roll Out

In our Closed Alpha Testnet announcement and first two Emerging Clouds issues, we alluded to pieces that would land at a later stage of Holo alpha testing. We’re rolling out functionality in successive ‘waves,’ inviting more people to get involved with each wave. This lets us grow in a sustainable way — every wave will come with its own set of issues to resolve and we need to make sure our dev and support teams can handle them effectively. We’re not just testing our product; we’re testing our organization infrastructure as well!

Here’s a brief overview of what we’re testing in each wave:

Alpha Testing Roll Out

2. Networking: An Overview and a Solved Challenge

We gave you a glimpse of our networking infrastructure in the first Emerging Clouds. In the Leadership & Org 07 update, we went into greater detail. There are a lot of moving parts, so here’s a diagram that focuses on the relationship between a web user and a Holo hosting device.

Holo Networking Diagram

This diagram is a little abstract, so to help you get the picture, here’s a walkthrough of a person booking a room on a fictional Holo-enabled, holiday rental service.

Holo Hosting Example

*Please note: This flow will change somewhat when we reach Open Alpha, as the Holochain ‘Light Client’ for browsers will be ready and web users will run apps directly in their browsers.

During Closed Alpha Wave 1, we discovered a challenge with the secure tunnel solution we’d picked out. This was only meant to be an interim component during the testing phases. But it didn’t take long to realize it was not going to be appropriate even for our immediate needs. After some intense research, we found an alternative that fits nicely with the peer-to-peer network we’re building. In fact, we might even use it in some form in the final design of our network. It’s a delightful surprise to discover a solution that not only fixes the original problem but makes other things better in the process!

3. HoloPort Update: OS Image Ready with Auto-Updating

We’ve finished the ‘golden master’ of our HoloPortOS image and shipped it off to our manufacturing partner. Auto-updating has been successfully tested, so HoloPorts will be able to receive new software after they’ve been built. The first batch of HoloPorts have been assembled and packaged.

HoloPorts on the assembly line

As we shift from critical infrastructure and integration, to user experience, we will be focused on the UIs that we have to build, then test, and refine with real users. This feels like a large project at times.

We feel we’re responsible for bringing the promise of agent-centric distributed apps to the masses, and we’re not taking this responsibility lightly. As more of you are invited into our alpha testing waves, we encourage you to take an active part in giving us candid feedback on your experience.

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