Rotate Signers

Scale IBFT Consensus Algorithm for Broader Participation

The rotate signers service optimizes environments running IBFT consensus and lets you run more than 16 signing nodes within environments.
What it is

Rotate Signers Service

The rotate signers service is an inclusion and optimization service for environments running IBFT consensus. Kaleido caps the active signers limit at 16 to ensure the stability and performance of the algorithm, and as such this service allows for environments with more than 16 signing nodes to achieve equitable participation in the voting and block signing processes. For environments with 16 or fewer signing nodes, the active signer count can be lowered to optimize the algorithm’s threads while still maintaining maximum byzantine fault tolerance.

Choose and Assign the Number of Current Active Signers

This can be trimmed down to maximize efficiency of the algorithm while still maintaining the highest degree of byzantine fault tolerance.

Manage the Number of Signers to be Added and Removed in Each Batch

Multiple signers can be batched into each rotation interval as a way to offer more consistent participation. Alternatively, the rotation pool can be set at the lowest threshold of 1 as a way to offer more prolonged periods of participation.

Set the Rotation Interval Specified in Minutes

Environmental administrators can configure this interval in accordance with agreed upon network mandates. The minimum interval is 5 minutes.

How it Works

When using the Istanbul BFT consensus algorithm alongside either the Quorum or Pantheon node clients, the upper benchmark of actively participating signers is capped by Kaleido at 16 in order to ensure stability and performance of your blockchain network. If the number of active signers were to exceed the logical limit, the algorithm would become overstrained due to an untenable number of threads and render your chain unusable. By enforcing a signer limit, Kaleido safeguards against overwhelming traffic that would otherwise suffocate the environment.

However, as a consortium begins to scale and the number of participants in a network exceeds the upper bounds of permitted active signing nodes, there needs to be a mechanism to provide equitable participation in the consensus algorithm’s voting process. For example, imagine a Kaleido environment with 30 nodes all belonging to different organizations where all of whom desired to be signing nodes.

Organizations participating in coopetition-style networks will undoubtedly want, and likely need, to play a part in the signing of blocks and validation of the chain. The rotate signers service exists to accommodate this mandate by allowing one or more nodes to be added and withdrawn from the active signing pool in configurable intervals.

Set the rotation interval specified in minutes

Environmental administrators can configure this interval in accordance with agreed upon network mandates. The minimum interval is 5 minutes. Take an environment with 5 signing nodes, 4 active signers, a batch of 1 and an interval of 5 minutes. This means that each node would only spend 5 minutes during a 25 minute window as a non-singer.

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