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Run a Block Producer in Tanssi Using Docker

Introduction

One of Tanssi's core propositions is that it provides decentralized and trustless block producers (also referenced as sequencers or collators) for its appchains. Tanssi's runtime handles block production assignments to all the active appchains in the Tanssi ecosystem and Tanssi itself.

Each time, the assignment algorithm distributes the available block producers per session, assigning them to a random chain (Tanssi or appchain). Consequently, they would be producing blocks for the same appchain only for a relatively short period, increasing the overall security of the ecosystem.

To this end, Tanssi's binary file (the software used to run nodes) already has an embedded mechanism to switch block production automatically to the assigned chain without requiring the node operator to make any changes. The binary includes the logic to sync the new chain and produce blocks when the session changes. Consequently, block producers need to run the Tanssi binary file, and not that of the appchains (like full nodes).

In this guide, you'll learn how to spin up a Tanssi block producer to be part of the shared pool of sequencers using Docker on a Linux computer. However, it can be adapted to other operating systems.

Hardware Requirements

To run a block producer successfully, using top-of-the-line hardware is a must. Using subpar configurations might cause the node to lag behind, missing authoring rounds and their associated rewards.

Since the block production/import process is almost entirely single-threaded, a higher single-thread performance provides better results than a higher core count.

The following are some hardware recommendations that have performed well:

  • Recommended CPUs - Intel Xeon E-2386/2388 or Ryzen 9 5950x/5900x
  • Recommended NVMe - 1 TB NVMe
  • Recommended RAM - 32 GB RAM

Warning

You are responsible not only for your own stake but also the stake of your delegators. Monitoring your block producer performance and keeping it up to date and secured correctly is critical to maximizing rewards and building up your reputation.

Checking Prerequisites

Installing Docker

To get started, you'll need access to a computer running a Linux OS and install Docker.

Run the following command to install Docker on a Linux Ubuntu platform:

sudo apt-get install docker-ce docker-ce-cli containerd.io docker-buildx-plugin docker-compose-plugin

And the following command to check the installation:

sudo docker run hello-world

This is what a successful execution in the terminal looks like:

sudo docker run hello-world

Hello from Docker!
This message shows that your installation appears to be working correctly.

To generate this message, Docker took the following steps:
1. The Docker client contacted the Docker daemon.
2. The Docker daemon pulled the "hello-world" image from the Docker Hub.
(amd64)
3. The Docker daemon created a new container from that image which runs the
executable that produces the output you are currently reading.
4. The Docker daemon streamed that output to the Docker client, which sent it
to your terminal.

To try something more ambitious, you can run an Ubuntu container with:
$ docker run -it ubuntu bash

Share images, automate workflows, and more with a free Docker ID:
https://hub.docker.com/

For more examples and ideas, visit:
https://docs.docker.com/get-started/

Pulling the Docker Image

A Docker image is built and published in every release, containing all the necessary dependencies a Tanssi block producer requires and the binary file itself.

A Docker image combines the binary corresponding to the latest stable release of the client node, along with the Tanssi orchestrator specification file.

The following command to pull the Docker image:

docker pull moondancelabs/tanssi

The command will download and extract the image and show the status upon execution:

docker pull moondancelabs/tanssi

Using default tag: latest
latest: Pulling from moondancelabs/tanssi
e1caac4eb9d2: Pull complete
1d4409959e6d: Pull complete
b8beed19c122: Pull complete
c0fab1f18601: Pull complete
d9dcf3cddfc5: Pull complete
Digest: sha256:0f717d6cf247bbb1b082f5f9e5761b23c44a0be8b704492a57fdbf8c63c0a91c
Status: Downloaded newer image for moondancelabs/tanssi
docker.io/moondancelabs/tanssi:latest

Setup the Data Directory

Running a block producer requires syncing with three chains: the relay chain, the Tanssi chain, and the appchain it has been assigned to.

Run the following command to create the directory where your block producer will store the databases containing blocks and chain states:

mkdir /var/lib/dancebox

Set the folder's ownership to the account that will run the Docker image to ensure writing permission:

chown INSERT_DOCKER_USER /var/lib/dancebox

Or run the following command if you want to run the block producer with the current logged-in user:

sudo chown -R $(id -u):$(id -g) /var/lib/dancebox

Note

The directory is a parameter in the Docker start-up command. If you decide to create the directory elsewhere, update the command accordingly.

Start-Up Command

To spin up your node, you must run the Docker image with the docker run command.

Note that the command contains three sections, divided by -- \:

  • Tanssi protocol section - it contains the flags to run the Tanssi node
  • Block producer section - it contains the flags to run the block producer node. It is abstract enough to be dynamically adapted in runtime to the specific chain the node will serve
  • Relay chain section - contains the flag to run the relay chain node

Name each of the sections with a human-readable name by replacing the INSERT_YOUR_TANSSI_NODE_NAME, INSERT_YOUR_BLOCK_PRODUCER_NODE_NAME, and INSERT_YOUR_RELAY_NODE_NAME tags in the --name flags. These names will come in handy for connecting the log entries and metrics with the node that generates them.

Note

For better performance, it is recommended that you run the optimized binary versions for either Intel's Skylake or AMD's Zen3 architectures.

docker run --network="host" -v "/var/lib/dancebox:/data" \
-u $(id -u ${USER}):$(id -g ${USER}) \
moondancelabs/tanssi \
--chain=dancebox \
--name=INSERT_YOUR_TANSSI_NODE_NAME \
--sync=warp \
--base-path=/data/para \
--state-pruning=2000 \
--blocks-pruning=2000 \
--collator \
--telemetry-url='wss://telemetry.polkadot.io/submit/ 0' \
--database paritydb \
-- \
--name=INSERT_YOUR_BLOCK_PRODUCER_NODE_NAME \
--base-path=/data/container \
--telemetry-url='wss://telemetry.polkadot.io/submit/ 0' \
-- \
--chain=westend_moonbase_relay_testnet \
--name=INSERT_YOUR_RELAY_NODE_NAME \
--sync=fast \
--base-path=/data/relay \
--state-pruning=2000 \
--blocks-pruning=2000 \
--telemetry-url='wss://telemetry.polkadot.io/submit/ 0' \
--database paritydb
docker run --network="host" -v "/var/lib/dancebox:/data" \
-u $(id -u ${USER}):$(id -g ${USER}) \
--entrypoint "/tanssi/tanssi-node-skylake" \
moondancelabs/tanssi \
--chain=dancebox \
--name=INSERT_YOUR_TANSSI_NODE_NAME \
--sync=warp \
--base-path=/data/para \
--state-pruning=2000 \
--blocks-pruning=2000 \
--collator \
--telemetry-url='wss://telemetry.polkadot.io/submit/ 0' \
--database paritydb \
-- \
--name=INSERT_YOUR_BLOCK_PRODUCER_NODE_NAME \
--base-path=/data/container \
--telemetry-url='wss://telemetry.polkadot.io/submit/ 0' \
-- \
--chain=westend_moonbase_relay_testnet \
--name=INSERT_YOUR_RELAY_NODE_NAME \
--sync=fast \
--base-path=/data/relay \
--state-pruning=2000 \
--blocks-pruning=2000 \
--telemetry-url='wss://telemetry.polkadot.io/submit/ 0' \
--database paritydb
docker run --network="host" -v "/var/lib/dancebox:/data" \
-u $(id -u ${USER}):$(id -g ${USER}) \
--entrypoint "/tanssi/tanssi-node-znver3" \
moondancelabs/tanssi \
--chain=dancebox \
--name=INSERT_YOUR_TANSSI_NODE_NAME \
--sync=warp \
--base-path=/data/para \
--state-pruning=2000 \
--blocks-pruning=2000 \
--collator \
--telemetry-url='wss://telemetry.polkadot.io/submit/ 0' \
--database paritydb \
-- \
--name=INSERT_YOUR_BLOCK_PRODUCER_NODE_NAME \
--base-path=/data/container \
--telemetry-url='wss://telemetry.polkadot.io/submit/ 0' \
-- \
--chain=westend_moonbase_relay_testnet \
--name=INSERT_YOUR_RELAY_NODE_NAME \
--sync=fast \
--base-path=/data/relay \
--state-pruning=2000 \
--blocks-pruning=2000 \
--telemetry-url='wss://telemetry.polkadot.io/submit/ 0' \
--database paritydb

Run Flags

The flags used in the docker run command can be adjusted according to your preferences and hardware configuration. The following ones are some of the most note-worthy:

  • --name INSERT_NAME - a human-readable name for this node
  • --rpc-port INSERT_PORT - specifies the JSON-RPC TCP port the node listens on
  • --unsafe-rpc-external - exposes the RPC service on all the interfaces
  • --state-pruning INSERT_STATE_PRUNING_TYPE - specifies when the Tanssi appchain state should be removed from the database. The pruning type can be either archive (which makes the node behave as a full node keeping all the state), archive-canonical (which keeps only the state of finalized blocks), or any number (representing the number of blocks whose states are kept)
  • --blocks-pruning INSERT_BLOCKS_PRUNING_TYPE - specifies how many blocks should be kept in the database. The pruning type can be either archive (which makes the node behave as a full node keeping all the blocks), archive-canonical (which keeps only finalized blocks), or any number (representing the amount of finalized blocks to keep)
  • --detailed-log-output - enables detailed log output

For a complete list of available flags, their description, and possible values, run the following command:

docker run -ti moondancelabs/tanssi --help

Syncing Your Node

The first time your node spins up, the syncing process displays lots of log information from the node configuration, the relay chain, and the node itself. Some errors are expected to be displayed at the beginning of the process, disappearing once the chain gets synced to the last block.

docker run ....
2024-02-08 18:30:04.093 INFO tokio-runtime-worker substrate: [Parachain] 💤 Idle (0 peers), best: #0 (0x4a2b…7de3), finalized #0 (0x4a2b…7de3), ⬇ 0 ⬆ 0
2024-02-08 18:30:06.368 INFO tokio-runtime-worker substrate: [Relaychain] ✨ Imported #14139635 (0x8c41…8df6)
2024-02-08 18:30:08.809 INFO tokio-runtime-worker substrate: [Relaychain] 💤 Idle (8 peers), best: #14139635 (0x8c41…8df6), finalized #14139632 (0xa9a8…cab9), ⬇ 32.7kiB/s ⬆

When the syncing with the relay chain and the Tanssi orchestrator is finished, the node will still need to sync with the appchain it has been assigned to. The syncing with the chain served by the block producer node will happen every time the block producer is rotated.

Last update: April 17, 2024
| Created: February 10, 2024