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Validator Node Installation Specifications

This page provides specifications for host environments for Volta and EWC validator nodes.

Host Machine Requirements

Validator nodes for Volta and the Energy Web Chain must run on a dedicated server or Virtual Machine only for the purpose of running the client; do not use hosts that already perform other tasks.
You can choose to run your validator node either On-Premise on your own hardware or on a virtual machine / cloud computing instance of your choosing. If you have any questions please contact the EWF NetOps team: [email protected]​
The following specifications are strongly recommended, but validators are free to configure their host machine at their discretion in accordance with relevant internal policies or requirements. Please note that hosting a node on a machine with insufficient CPU, storage, RAM, and/or networking capacity may result in node failure (e.g. unable to connect to peers, unable to synchronize, unable to seal blocks) and require extra labor to reconfigure the host machine.

On-Premise Hardware

A on-premise node should have these specs or higher. For security reasons these resources must be reserved for the validator node and not shared with other workloads.
  1. 1.
    Modern Multi-core x64 CPU (at least 4 threads, preferably Xeon-class)
  2. 2.
    8GB RAM (preferably ECC)
  3. 3.
    Local SSD storage, 300 GB free capacity for blockchain, redundant in RAID-1
  4. 4.
    1 GBit NIC

Cloud Environments

The following specifications are strongly recommended based on the most common cloud environments used by existing EW Chain validators. You may select any cloud provider of your choosing
Amazon AWS
The following EC2 instance sizes are appropriate to run validators. These resources should be reserved for the validator node and not shared with other workloads.
  • m5.xlarge
  • m5.2xlarge
  • m5a.xlarge
  • m5a.2xlarge
  • c5.xlarge
  • c5.2xlarge
The default EBS storage assigned (normally 8GB) is not large enough to run the node. Make sure to run the node with following EBS storage settings:
  • General Purpose SSD (gp2)
  • at least 300GB size
Microsoft Azure
The following Azure VirtualMachine sizes are suitable to run a validator. These resources should be reserved for the validator node and not shared with other workloads.
  • D4s_v3
  • DS3_v2
  • B4ms
Use Premium SSD as attached storage with a size of at least 300GB.
Google Cloud
The following Google Cloud Virtual Machine sizes are suitable to run a validator node. These resources should be reserved for the validator node and not shared with other workloads.
  • n2-standard-4 and above: https://cloud.google.com/compute/docs/general-purpose-machines#n2_machines
Digital Ocean
The following Digital Ocean Virtual Machine sizes are suitable to run a validator. These resources should be reserved for the validator node and not shared with other workloads.
  • General Purpose Droplet: 16 GB memory, 4vCPU
  • CPU-Optimized Droplet: 8 GB memory, 4vCPU
Use Block Storage as attached SSD storage with a size of at least 300 GB.

Connectivity Requirements

The following requirements should be met to ensure proper operation:
  • Wired connection with 100 MBit/s symmetric link to the internet
  • Low latency connection to next internet hop (<5ms)
  • No data volume limitations
Even though we recommend a 100MBit/s connection, that connection will likely not be saturated by the node. You can expect 10-30MBit/s when the chain is under load. Traffic will mainly flow on port 30303 (udp/tcp).

Operating System Requirements

The following Linux-based Operating Systems are supported for running a validator node:
  • Ubuntu Server 18.04 LTS or later
  • Debian 9.8 or later
  • CentOS 7 or later
  • RedHat Enterprise Linux 7.4 or later
Validators can elect other operating systems at their discretion, but may need to customize the installation scripts. Contact [email protected] for questions and support.
The following section provide a comprehensive guide for installation of one the supported operating systems. All further deployment procedures are based on the installation results.

Ubuntu Server 18.04 LTS

On-Premise
Procedure based on version 18.04.2.
  • Boot the ISO
  • Select English as language
  • Choose a convenient keyboard layout
  • Choose Install Ubuntu
  • Let the network auto-configure -or- configure manually if needed. The system needs an internet connection.
  • Select no proxy and keep the mirror address.
  • Select Use an entire disk and confirm
  • Choose user name and host name in next screen. Choose a strong password.
  • Select Install OpenSSH Server but don’t import keys
  • Don’t select any snaps and continue
  • Finish installation and let it boot to the prompt
  • Login as the created user and run a full system update using 'sudo apt update && sudo apt dist- upgrade -y'
Amazon AWS
Ubuntu AMI's are listed at https://cloud-images.ubuntu.com/locator/ec2/. Search for "ebs 18.04 amd64" to get the right version.
Microsoft Azure
The URN for the image is Canonical:UbuntuServer:18.04-LTS:latest

Debian 9.8

On-Premise
  • Download the NetInst ISO from https://www.debian.org/distrib/netinst​
  • Boot the ISO
  • Select Install from the boot screen
  • Select English as language
  • Select Location based on actual location of the host
  • Chose a convenient keyboard layout
  • Let the network auto-configure -or- configure manually if needed. The system needs an internet connection.
  • Name your host. Change it from debian to something else
  • Choose a strong root password
  • Create the user account and choose a strong password
  • Select the proper timezone
  • For the partitions use Guided - use entire disk
  • Select All files in one partition
  • Finish partitioning and write changes to disk
  • Select No when ask to scan more disks
  • Choose a mirror close to the host
  • Opt-out of the package survey
  • on the Software Selection select only SSH Server and standard system utilities
  • Install the grub bootloader to MBR and use the primary disk for that
  • Finish installation and let it boot to the prompt
  • Login as root and run a full system update using 'apt update && apt dist-upgrade -y'
  • Reboot
Amazon AWS
The AMI Id's can be found at https://wiki.debian.org/Cloud/AmazonEC2Image/Stretch​
Microsoft Azure
The URN for the image is credativ:Debian:9:latest

CentOS 7

On-Premise
  • Download the minimal ISO from https://www.centos.org/download/​
  • Boot the ISO
  • Confirm the automatic boot option Test this media & install CentOS 7
  • Choose English as language
  • On the installation summary choose Installation destination and confirm automatic partinioning
  • Back on the installation summary screen click on Network & Hostname
  • Change the hostname
  • Enable the network interface and make sure it is configured properly
  • Click Done to get back to the summary and click Begin Installation
  • During installation set a root password
  • Finish installation and let it boot to the prompt
  • Login as root and run a system update with 'yum update'
Amazon AWS
Microsoft Azure
The URN for the image is OpenLogic:CentOS:7.5:latest
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Running a validator node requires raised awareness of host and node security as authorities are a main attack surface to disturb operation of the blockchain. The following security rules are strongly recommended:
  • No services are permitted to run on the same host that are not part of the validator node package
  • All incoming connections on all ports except SSH (22/tcp) and the P2P (30303/tcp+udp) port have to be firewalled on the host with DROP rules. To guarantee proper network etiquette, incoming ICMP has to be accepted.
  • SSH access is only allowed for non-root users
  • SSH access is only allowed through RSA keys
  • OpenEthereum or Nethermind client RPC endpoints (HTTP, WebSocket) have to be disabled
  • System updates have to applied regularly and in a timely manner
  • Regular (monthly) run of rootkit detectors
  • If you are using AWS please also check out the additional AWS Security guide.
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