When it comes to distributed ledger technology, there’s a common misconception: If you want to interact with blockchains, you need to run your own nodes. This is incorrect, there are other options.
Namely, outsourcing your blockchain infrastructure to dedicated experts helps to guarantee service and eliminate downtime.
This approach lets you fully participate in the decentralized Web3, without the pain of self-hosted setups.
In fact, outsourcing your blockchain operation to a specialized service provider is almost always the best option. Put it this way, you would not maintain a web server just to operate a single website.
In this article we will look at the different options you may have when outsourcing your blockchain infrastructure requirements , and discuss which option is right for you.
Option 1: Using JSON-RPC API to leverage blockchain data
If your primary blockchain use case is querying data from, or writing information to, a public blockchain, then JSON-RPC API access is the best option for you.
This is true whether you are a developer, data scientist, wallet provider, custodian, or an IT-department providing the aforementioned with the required resources.
With services such as Ubiquity, you can access multiple protocols from a single API. Without this, you would quickly need to run a whole arsenal of nodes, at least one for each distributed ledger. Most of these would need to sync and permanently store multiple gigabytes of data.
This option lets you focus on your core competencies while your infrastructure provider (e.g. Blockdaemon) ensures your operations work as smoothly as possible.
Because this option is run on several load-balanced nodes, it is faster and more reliable than a single node. It also provides additional value, by virtue of being deeply embedded in the provider’s infrastructure stack.
These benefits include:
- Indexing and enrichment of data through the interpretation of blockchain ABIs
- Translation of hashed information into human-legible form
- Availability of historical block states
- Support of various clients e.g. Geth, OpenEthereum, Nethermind and Hyperledger Besu.
This last aspect is often overlooked, even though it significantly improves operational resilience.
Blockdaemon Ubiquity provides BaaS (JSON-RPC API access) to 20+ main and testnets.
Option 2: Enterprise-grade hosting and operations management
If, on the other hand, you need dedicated nodes, then outsourcing your node operations is the best option. This could be because:
- You have high volumes of request over a single blockchain
- You want to initiate a permissioned or private enterprise consortia blockchain like a Quorum instance
- You want to help decentralize a network by operating an individual node
- You are elected as a body of governance and security e.g. a validator
Unlike the use cases described in the JSON-RPC section, it is indeed necessary to run dedicated nodes for the cases listed above, but again there is no need to bother yourself with self-hosting.
In fact, there are good reasons why you should outsource to a blockchain infrastructure provider.
First of all, your accounting and compliance departments may be reluctant to handle cryptocurrencies given the as-yet-undefined DLT regulations. Especially concerning blockchain-specific mechanisms such as token-based validator compensations in Proof-of-Stake (PoS) protocols.
Furthermore, if you are unfamiliar with blockchain node operations, there is a high risk of unavailability. Nodes are difficult to maintain and uptime is crucial. Unexpected system failures, technical misbehavior and avoidable downtime can lead to financial penalties (slashing).
Fortunately, slashing can be prevented by working with specialized hosting providers. They will help you understand the subtleties of blockchain operations and how to deal with cryptocurrency transactions.
Providers like Blockdaemon have experienced DevOps teams to provision your nodes, immediately intervene in the event of technical difficulties and provide the support you need to keep your services running. We also offer 100% slashing insurance.
On top of that, you get continuous monitoring of your nodes and the capability to visualize the metrics e.g. on the professional analytics platform Grafana.
How to Eliminate Blockchain Downtime
Outsourcing blockchain services to a dedicated infrastructure provider makes it easier to access blockchains. This lets you focus on your core business activities while you leave the infrastructure to the experts. Eliminating blockchain downtime is helped through Blockdaemon’s 99.99% uptime across each protocol we cater to.
Blockdaemon are the leading blockchain infrastructure provider, we provide Nodes-as-a-Service for 40+ protocols. Our class-leading Ubiquity Blockchain-as-a-Service offering gives you access to 10+ protocols from a single API.