Public Test Grid Status/Future

Paul Rabahy prabahy at gmail.com
Wed Jun 17 02:20:37 UTC 2015


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Hi,

I've been meaning to do this for a while, but here is the quick
overview of the public test grid.

The short version: In my opinion the public test grid is not doing
very well at this moment.

The introducer had about 1 month straight downtime in May and June.
I'll take most of the blame for not having a ready made backup plan,
but there was also some delays in the communication between key
parties to get the service restored in a timely manner. Now that the
grid has been restored, there is still lackluster participation. I
have had the introducer running for 1 week solid and it has only seen
7 nodes. At this moment, there is only 1 reachable node on the grid
(mine).

In its current state, if a new user was to try to use the public test
grid, they would be disappointed because their upload would fail due
to not enough servers of happiness. I could fake it out by running a
bunch of nodes on my own hardware, but I don't want to provide a false
sense of security because it would still be a single point of failure.

Ok, that was gloomy... Time for some brighter news.

I still have a lot of confidence in the future of the public test
grid. I plan on upgrading my own storage node to the recently released
1.10.1 shortly. Once that is done and I am confident that it is
stable, I will upgrade the introducer.

I have also taken steps to ensure that the introducer will not have
any more long lasting downtimes. The introducer.furl now has 3 DNS
entries for redundancy. 2 are being donated by members of the
Tahoe-LAFS community and 1 is being provided by afraid.org.
Unfortunately, the introducer is running on consumer grade hardware
with multiple single points of failure (power, network, etc.). I have
direct access to the hardware, so if something does happen to go wrong
I should be able to fix it quickly. The key introducer files are (and
have been for a long time) stored in multiple secure locations.

If you have not done so yet, please update your introducer.furl to the
match what is shown at
https://tahoe-lafs.org/trac/tahoe-lafs/wiki/TestGrid. (I didn't
include it here because it is now long enough that GPG breaks it into
multiple lines)

Here is what I would love to see from the Tahoe-LAFS community: If you
have extra hardware, please add it as a storage node. Remember that
Tahoe-LAFS doesn't automatically detect NAT routers, so if you are
behind a NAT, you will need to manually open a port and adjust your
tub.location to include your public IP address. If you are not sure if
you have done this correctly, just shoot me an email with your node's
nickname and I'll verify it.

In the long term future, I would love to see multi-introducer merged
into the mainline client. Once that is done anyone that wants to can
add an additional introducer to improve the grid's redundancy. There
are also a couple of tickets in the bug tracker for a whisper/gossip
protocol that would (I believe) completely eliminate the introducer.

Please let me know if there is anything that I can do to make the
public test grid a more useful tool for anyone. Feel free to shoot me
any questions, concerns, criticisms, or comments.
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