Author Topic: Witness Report for Verbaltech2  (Read 4635 times)

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Offline Thom

Witness Report for Verbaltech2
« on: March 20, 2017, 06:56:52 pm »
It's been quite awhile since I updated the community on activities of the BitShares verbaltech2 witness.

As I described in the thread topic about increasing witness pay, I am committed to increasing my involvement and stepping up my game.

I participated in the recent testnet by building the code, and deploying 2 new fullnodes (8GB, 32GB RAM). I was online in mumble throughout the testing.

I have registered a new domain name for all full nodes (seed nodes, witness nodes and redundant witness nodes) and created a pull request in github to update applications.cpp which contain the seed node definitions.

I have upgraded the node in Australia to an 8GB, quad core CPU to handle the increased trading activity on the DEX. I will also be upgrading another node to 8GB (probably the one in Singapore) later this week.

I have deployed the latest build of the witness_node to all of the nodes.

I began to notice an increase in my missed block count over the last couple of months. Since January 15th 4 blocks have been missed. Reviewing the server load I can see no obvious cause for it. Keep in mind this represents a very low failure rate of only 0.3%. Network latency is reasonable, even for the nodes in Singapore and Australia at between 300 and 400ms. 

I am also coming up to speed on Python, and I will be looking into why the latest 0.4.8 version of bts_tools fails to successfully build the witness software from source. It's not a must-have feature of the tools, as the build is pretty easy to do manually now, but it will serve as an aid to getting more proficient with Python as well as contribute a bug fix to wackou's most excellent bts_tools. After that I will turn my attention to python-bitshares. and uptick.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere - MLK |  Verbaltech2 Witness Reports: https://bitsharestalk.org/index.php/topic,23902.0.html

Offline Permie

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Re: Witness Report for Verbaltech2
« Reply #1 on: March 20, 2017, 07:18:46 pm »
Good to hear from you

I have upgraded the node in Australia to an 8GB, quad core CPU to handle the increased trading activity on the DEX
Exciting times

BTS bots and bitcrab I think
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Offline fav

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Re: Witness Report for Verbaltech2
« Reply #2 on: March 20, 2017, 07:36:08 pm »
fair enough, voted.
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Offline Thom

Re: Witness Report for Verbaltech2
« Reply #3 on: March 20, 2017, 08:07:23 pm »
fair enough, voted.

Thanks [member=31]fav[/member]. So why don't I see a 'Y' under fav for verbaltech2 in the voting report for witnesses on cryptofresh?
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere - MLK |  Verbaltech2 Witness Reports: https://bitsharestalk.org/index.php/topic,23902.0.html

Offline fav

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Re: Witness Report for Verbaltech2
« Reply #4 on: March 20, 2017, 08:36:09 pm »
fair enough, voted.

Thanks [member=31]fav[/member]. So why don't I see a 'Y' under fav for verbaltech2 in the voting report for witnesses on cryptofresh?

? it's there
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Offline Thom

Re: Witness Report for Verbaltech2
« Reply #5 on: March 20, 2017, 09:41:56 pm »
Yep, it is now, thanks fav!

I initially looked at it 25 minutes after your post, probably was too fast. Maintenance is ever hour now I believe.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere - MLK |  Verbaltech2 Witness Reports: https://bitsharestalk.org/index.php/topic,23902.0.html

Offline Thom

Verbaltech2 - BitShares Witness Report - Monthly Update
« Reply #6 on: April 03, 2017, 04:59:58 pm »

With the increase in activity on the BitSharesTalk.org forum, in Telegram and on the DEX itself, starting now I will provide regular updates, no fewer than once a month near the first of each month. I may provide additional reports as necessary to cover other activities. I will also mirror these reports on both steem and the BitSharesTalk forum.


WOW! What a rally in BTS price this past weekend
 
- Status of Upgrades
I just completed the upgrade of all of my nodes in March, doubling their RAM capacity and deploying the memory savings feature [member=120]xeroc[/member] told us about during the testnet. Yet, I added a 5th node with 16GB of RAM to insure adequate capacity should this rally in activity continue or grow.

All of the VPS providers I utilize must accept payment in crypto. That rules out the biggest hosting services like AWS or Digital Ocean, although some D.O. resellers accept crypto. The difficulty now is finding companies that also offer the bigger RAM configurations. If the BTS price remains at these levels dedicated servers will be the next upgrade path.

I also believe it's important to have good geographical coverage, so I run nodes in France, Australia, Singapore, Germany and the Netherlands. I have had nodes in North America (both USA & Canada) in the past, however that is well covered by other witnesses. I found a provider in Romania, however that provider suggested to relocate the node to the Netherlands to improve the network performance. The move only resulted in a small reduction in ping time.

One thing I've noticed is that the Singapore and Australian nodes miss more blocks than those in Europe and North America. The network connectivity is significantly slower to nodes in that region of the world, with ping times between 180 and 350ms.

Here are some graphs of RAM, CPU and active connections used from the bts_tools monitoring software I use (thanks [member=6601]wackou[/member]!). Only 3 nodes are shown as the one in Romania is being relocated and I haven't determined where I will place the 5th node:

France (16GB RAM, despite scale on graph)

 
Australia

 
Germany


Netherlands


Singapore

 
- Other Activities
I have also spent considerable time migrating a Wordpress website and associated forum to a VPS using an open source control panel called Webmin/Virtualmin. I prefer the leaner Nginx web server over Apache, which is how it is running now, however it's proving to be difficult under the Virtualmin control panel. I chose to use a control panel to simplify setup and management of email primarily, though there are many other conveniences and features as well. I also intend to use that platform to provide VPN services.

Once all this VPS work is complete I will begin writing a rudimentary scheduler in Python to deliver programming for a radio station. Once I'm reasonably comfortable in Python I will turn my attention to [member=120]xeroc[/member]'s uptick to create a few utilities to gather information from the BitShares blockchain and to help [member=6601]wackou[/member] improve bts_tools.

Your vote for witness Verbaltech2 is greatly appreciated! Thanks for your time and attention

« Last Edit: April 04, 2017, 12:30:33 am by Thom »
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere - MLK |  Verbaltech2 Witness Reports: https://bitsharestalk.org/index.php/topic,23902.0.html

Offline Thom

Re: Witness Report for Verbaltech2
« Reply #7 on: May 02, 2017, 02:41:16 am »
Last month I committed to provide monthly updates for the BitShares witness Verbaltech2. The weekend prior to that was a wild spike in the price of BTS, and since then BTS has skyrocketed as has Bitcoin, reaching over $1400 per BitCoin.


- Status of Upgrades
Although I just finished upgrading all of my nodes last month I decided it was time to move operations to dedicated servers. The witness node is now running on a dedicated 32GB RAM server located in Romania. I also bought another dedicated server in Singapore which will go online to replace the 16GB VPS node currently running there.

I am currently running 4 seed nodes and 1 witness node. I will use one of the seed nodes for the testnet if necessary, but will probably acquire another dedicated server for the testnet.

After RoelandP's witness info logging tool went online it showed there were several witnesses whose CNY feed was more than 5% inaccurate. Wackou updated his feed code to improve the issue, which appears to be related to the unreliability of feed sources. Nodes in China appear to have less problems obtaining feeds more reliably, perhaps due to the great Firewall of China. I can tell you that it's more difficult to provide an accurate CNY price feed compared with other currencies.

To address the issue I have also upgraded all of my nodes to bts_tools version 0.4.11 and I expect they will need to be updated again soon depending o what wackou discovers. With the increase in RAM these full nodes use, I need to look into the graph scaling as they don't reflect the upper ceiling of available RAM.

Find graphs of connections and memory usage below. Following that is a select listing from RoelandP's witness report for Verbaltech2.

Australia 8GB VPS

 
Romania 32GB Dedicated


Germany 8GB VPS


Singapore 16GB Dedicated

 
France 16GB RAMVPS


Info from RoelandP's Witness Logger


Your vote for witness Verbaltech2 is greatly appreciated! Thanks for your time and attention

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere - MLK |  Verbaltech2 Witness Reports: https://bitsharestalk.org/index.php/topic,23902.0.html

Offline Permie

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Re: Witness Report for Verbaltech2
« Reply #8 on: May 13, 2017, 12:30:09 pm »
Thanks for the update :)
 +5%
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Offline j.galt

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Re: Witness Report for Verbaltech2
« Reply #9 on: June 19, 2018, 06:05:52 pm »
Thom doesn't post here very often now, but he writes a monthly report every month you can find on steemit at:

https://steemit.com/@full-steem-ahead

You can also find him in Roeland P's witness log here: https://roelandp.nl/bitshareswitnesslog/?witness=verbaltech2

Offline Thom

Re: Witness Report for Verbaltech2
« Reply #10 on: December 05, 2018, 03:53:53 am »
Where did you get that info @j.galt? Actually it wasn't far off the mark, but upon reflection I've decided to post links to my monthly report here and on steemit, with primary content being posted on the Whaleshares blockchain. So here you go:

https://whaleshares.io/bitshares/@lets-share-waylz/verbaltech2-bitshares-witness-report-monthly-update

If you find this information useful please give an upvote.

Thank you! 
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere - MLK |  Verbaltech2 Witness Reports: https://bitsharestalk.org/index.php/topic,23902.0.html

Offline Thom

Re: Witness Report for Verbaltech2
« Reply #11 on: January 02, 2019, 02:22:06 am »
I posted my monthly witness report for December today, you can find it on Whaleshares here:

https://whaleshares.io/bitshares/@lets-share-waylz/6jaoav-verbaltech2-bitshares-witness-report-monthly-update


If you find this information useful please give an upvote.

Thank you! 
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere - MLK |  Verbaltech2 Witness Reports: https://bitsharestalk.org/index.php/topic,23902.0.html

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Re: Witness Report for Verbaltech2
« Reply #12 on: January 23, 2019, 02:37:15 am »
Hey Thom, would you be interested in publishing price feeds for 3 new Algorithm Based Assets on the BTS DEX? They're called Verthandi, Skuld and Urthr.

https://whaleshares.io/bitshares/@customminer/norns-three-phase-oscillating-algorithm-based-assets-on-the-bts-dex

Here's the new price feed script repo: https://github.com/BTS-CM/Norns
New parallel price feed script: https://github.com/BTS-CM/Norns/blob/master/parallel_feed.py (change the wss server & min price feed value difference at your discretion).

It would be massively appreciated, thanks 👍
« Last Edit: January 23, 2019, 02:40:42 am by Customminer »

Offline Thom

Re: Witness Report for Verbaltech2
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2019, 05:05:26 pm »

I posted my witness update today. You can find it on Whaleshares here:
https://whaleshares.io/stateofthewitnesses/@lets-share-waylz/verbaltech2-bitshares-witness-update

or on steemit here:
https://steemit.com/bitshares/@full-steem-ahead/verbaltech2-bitshares-witness-update

If you find this information useful please give an upvote.

Thank you!
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere - MLK |  Verbaltech2 Witness Reports: https://bitsharestalk.org/index.php/topic,23902.0.html

Offline Thom

Re: Witness Report for Verbaltech2
« Reply #14 on: April 02, 2019, 10:54:55 pm »
I posted my witness update today. You can find it on Whaleshares here:
https://whaleshares.io/@lets-share-waylz/6jah3w-verbaltech2-bitshares-witness-update

or on steemit here:
https://steemit.com/bitshares/@full-steem-ahead/verbaltech2-witness-update-for-1st-qtr-2019

If you find this information useful please give an upvote.

Thank you!
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere - MLK |  Verbaltech2 Witness Reports: https://bitsharestalk.org/index.php/topic,23902.0.html

Offline Thom

Re: Witness Report for Verbaltech2
« Reply #15 on: June 03, 2019, 07:38:34 pm »
I have published my quarterly witness report on the  Whaleshares platform:

I am the text here as well, since some may not have access to that website:

Welcome to my quarterly witness report.

In this report I'll cover:

    infrastructure / technical topics
    assessment of trends / activities / BitShares politics
    crypto market prices
    status of all nodes

Infrastructure & Technical
All nodes were updated recently to address a vulnerability that could potentially halt the chain. This patch was announced by @abitmore and was applied to all verbaltech2 nodes the same day. Prior to that in this past quarter the new 3.0.0 release was deployed into production as was mentioned in the last update.

I have observed a significant increase in the amount of network activity as reflected in the number of connections reported by each server. This causes an increase of logs, requiring either changing logging rotation parameters or more space. I have added additional drive space to accommodate this increased traffic.

The testnet has also received 2 updates in this past quarter.

It is anticipated all nodes will soon require another update, this time to version 3.1.x.
Assessment of Trends / Activities / BitShares Politics

This last quarter has also seen the launch of BEOS. With the migration of BTS onto that platform to obtain the BEOS rainfall, a substantial amount of voting power has gone with it. This represents a concentration of voting power in fewer hands. Whether you agree with what those hands are doing is separate from the issue of centralization, however as in most everything in life balance is important.

Anyone that understands the premise of PoS and DPoS concensus knows that the power of influence is ultimately determined by how many BTS an entity has, either directly or via a proxy. Control or influence over the direction the platform evolves is not as decentralized as the number of accounts. If that were the case AND those accounts participated in voting there would be far less centralization. Voter apathy and non-participation pushed the developers to implement proxy voting to mitigate that, so the platform could evolve and move forward, but at the expense of centralization.

Until BEOS, the strongest influence has been with proxies from the eastern cultures. Now it has swung back to those in the west who were instrumental in setting the vision and operating principles of BitShares, based on free markets and Austrian economics. I see this as a balancing action. I don't necessarily see it as more centralized, but simply a shift in the balance of power.

Price Feeds
I commented in the last report that the MCR bug fix has finally been released, thus it is now possible to implement algorithms to dynamically change the MCR. When BSIP42 was put into production the implementors chose to manipulate the feed price rather than wait for the MCR fix. BSIP42 was a disaster as a result, and split the community due to it's effects, and caused a black swan on BitUSD.

Despite the availability of the MCR fix, I have seen no effort to refine the BSIP42 algorithm to eliminate the price manipulation and replace it with dynamically changing MCR as a control mechanism to tighten BitAsset pegs. Why not? If you are aware of any please let me know in the comments.

Instead we see complaints against individual witnesses, that claim their feed is causing a significant (negative) influence on the price of CNY. That is simply not the case. The "official" price recognized published for a BitAsset in BitShares is the median price price published from all active witnesses. Using the median price guarantees no fringe or outlier price affects the median price. Verbaltech2 monitors his feed prices with RoelandP's witness log, which is a wonderful contribution that provides quality feedback about witnesses, including price feeds. It is the most objective tool available to evaluate witnesses.

I looked into exactly how the "median" calculation is made, and it is far simpler than I previously thought. Since the number of witnesses is always odd, it's easy to calculate (Note: not all witnesses publish feeds for all BitAssets, so the 2 middle values are averaged to define the median when the number of prices are an even number).

The median or "middle" is based on ordering all the values from low to high. The median value is the one with an equal number of values less that it and greater than it. In other words, in the middle of all values literally. Changing the magnitude of the sample at each end of the scale has zero effect on the median value, none, zilch.

There are many factors that affect a witness' feed price.Among them are which sources does the witness use, how often are they sampled, and the volatility of the market. All sources of prices are not available to all witnesses. Diversity is important in arriving at price that truly represents the market for that asset.

It appears to me that a lynch mob mentality pervades the assessment of witness price feeds, and ignores the careful design intentions built into the platform. This mentality doesn't serve the diverse needs of a world market but rather coerces conformity based on biases and agendas that don't acknowledge free trade and the difficulty imposed on witnesses to produce a feed with the sources he has access to.

I for one am glad for the BEOS voting influence (now that they have stabilized their voting) that recognizes these considerations and counter-acts this witch hunt mentality that targets witnesses based on only one narrow definition (I haven't even mentioned other very important criteria a witness should be measured by) of performance, that being price feeds.

That's all for now, but wow! This quarter has seen the end of the current bear market. Whew who! Up up and away! Here is the market summary since last update (all prices via CMC): BTC=$8,584.53, BTS=$0.067, STEEM=$0.399, EOS=$7.26, PPY=$0.904. I'll list WLS when CMC does.

Amsterdam


Gemany, node 1

Germany node 2

Singapore

And the testnet server for BTS:

Your vote for witness
Verbaltech2
is greatly appreciated! Thanks for your time and attention

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere - MLK |  Verbaltech2 Witness Reports: https://bitsharestalk.org/index.php/topic,23902.0.html

Offline Thom

Re: Witness Report for Verbaltech2
« Reply #16 on: September 03, 2019, 06:02:57 pm »
Welcome to my quarterly witness report. For node performance graphs please see them posted on whaleshares.

In this report I'll cover:
- infrastructure / technical topics
- assessment of trends / activities / BitShares politics
- crypto market prices
x status of all nodes (please see whaleshares link above for performance graphs)

Infrastructure & Technical

In July I started to update one of the nodes to the 3.2.0 release, however that was delayed until after 3.2.1 was released and no other witnesses reported issues. The testnet was also updated in this past quarter. I just now noticed version 3.3.0 was released 10 hours ago, so I will be updating all of the nodes again in the next couple of days.

The amount of network traffic continues at it's elevated level as I last reported, though I haven't seen a significant increase since the elevated levels were first noticed.

I have also disabled bts_tools price feeds and I now use Zapata's price feed script based on Xeroc's "BitShares Pricefeed". More on this topic below.

Assessment of Trends / Activities / BitShares Politics

This last quarter saw the conclusion of BEOS "rainfall" and the decline of the BEOS voting strength as new depositors declined and others withdrew their BTS. I couldn't possibly quantify the extent of the decline, but I did see it reflected in the voting. The next phase of BEOS is called the "Manna" phase, and is yet another form of sharedrop or incentive to participate. [See Stan's blog](https://www.google.com/url?client=internal-uds-cse&cx=011445933062884569876:-jmpkfnkicw&q=https://steemit.com/bitshares/%40stan/beos-spacedrop-manna-from-heaven&sa=U&ved=2ahUKEwiAvIqSxLPkAhUhnq0KHWTOAIEQFjACegQIDhAB&usg=AOvVaw1GBIpyCrMf-SRq1zXqmZhb) for details.

A very serious and disturbing trend in voting is occurring right now. It looks like a major effort is underway to either 1) destroy the BitShares platform by crashing it's price, or 2) dramatically drop the price so more BTS can be bought cheap. Almost all workers have been voted out, core being an exception thankfully, and the refund400K worker suddenly voted up to increase the worker funding threshold thus cutting off workers. Even the UI worker was voted out. This just shows how far short-term thinking has come with these whales that don't care about BitShares beyond what short-term profits can be squeezed out of it. How can BitShares possibly remain a viable project if funding for work is cut off?

Until BEOS, the strongest influence has been with proxies from the eastern cultures. With BEOS power  briefly swung back to those in the west who were instrumental in setting the vision and operating principles of BitShares, based on free markets and Austrian economics. Unfortunately that balancing influence is not as effective as it once was.

Price Feeds

I stopped feeding BitCNY and BitUSD (but continued all other feeds) in protest to the price manipulation and continual reduction of collateral requirements, at a time when they should be increased due to higher levels of market volatility. At the same time I began to dig into the bts_tools feed code, and made many improvements. However I also looked into Zapata's feed script and made the judgment it was superior to the feeds code in bts_tools, for several reasons, the main one being Zapata continues to maintain it. I still use bts_tools to provide a web interface and monitoring of all my nodes.

I need to investigate how to eliminate Zapata's script hanging, waiting for user confirmation when the market causes the price to swing to much since last publication. He has 3 settings that affect that but I never want the script to wait for user input. Rather, it should just skip publishing the feed if the markets are so volatile, no reason to stop all price feeds b/c 1 has changed too much.

I wrote a small Python script to run Zapata's script 3 times, 1) main set of assets and currencies, 2) HERO price feed, 3) HERTZ price feed. I pass the config.yaml file specific to each run as a command line option. The Python program that runs each feed is just a simple scheduler that waits a specific period of time between each run. In retrospect cron might have been a better choice to schedule feed runs, b/c if one instance hangs it wouldn't prevent subsequent runs, well at least until memory is exhaused by a bunch of zombie processes waiting for input that never comes.

I also run the feed script on 2 different servers with a 3rd feed server in reserve if necessary. This approach provides fault tolerance and redundancy as well as provide frequent price updates and spacing around the clock. There was a time when witness verbaltech2 had the most operations, or at least in the top 3 accounts with the highest number of operations, and this was due to how often I updated my feeds. I will monitor the operations count to see if that still holds true using Zapata's feed script. If it does that reflects it takes lots of operations to publish feeds. If not could be Zapata found a more efficient way to get the job done.

Despite those at the governance helm, BitShares has a shit-ton going for it. It is a very mature project with a huge list of features, including HTLC. I was surprised when I read this review of BItShares, not so much because of specific content, but rather due to how positive, comprehensive and accurate the report was. Can't find the link in Telegram right now, but I believe Alfredo has added a new HTLC tab to his explorer. Keep an eye open for it. There's a lot more HTLC activity going on right now than I thought there would be for a feature without a GUI yet. The activity I observed may be only testers, I don't know.

Cryto Market Price Update
Full stop. So much for the "end of the bear market" I mentioned last month. It was a short lived upspike, and the bear continues its rampage. Here is the market summary since last update (all prices via CMC): BTC=$10,364.82, BTS=$0.0334, STEEM=$0.165, EOS=$3.33, PPY=$0.822. I'll list WLS when CMC does.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere - MLK |  Verbaltech2 Witness Reports: https://bitsharestalk.org/index.php/topic,23902.0.html

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Re: Witness Report for Verbaltech2
« Reply #17 on: September 03, 2019, 06:11:52 pm »
Thanks for providing price feeds for Hertz 👍