furion's new toy: A full RPC steemd node for SteemData

in #steem3 years ago (edited)

I've finally setup my own full-RPC steemd node on a 6 core Xeon server with 256GB of ECC DDR4 RAM, in a datacenter nearby SteemData (over private, 1gbit network with sub 1ms network latency).


Running a full node is an additional maintenance workload, but it seems to be no longer avoidable. I hope that this new deployment, in combination with @gtg's node as a backup, will improve speed and reliability of SteemData services.

Public Steemd Nodes

Steemit's official nodes have been rock solid in the past month, and served well as a backbone for many of my services. I have also used @gtg's nodes extensively, since they are hosted in EU.

Screenshot from 2017-09-26 13-02-00.png

I am really happy about the proliferation of full steemd RPC nodes by the community, however I haven't had a chance to extensively test them yet.

Why Private node?

I currently run 3 databases as a service, and attempt to maintain steemd internal state synced up to the main SteemData database. I'm also syncing up the new databases from scratch (hive, sbds). All in all I'm currently performing millions of requests daily to steemd instances.

Unfortunately, SteemData servers are located in Germany, which adds a fair amount of network latency to most of the public nodes I tested. The per-request network latency, as well as limitations on available throughput were causing some issues, as the database indexers could not catch up with the blockchain head.

Why 256GB of RAM?

It is possible to run RPC nodes on hardware with lower specs, but unfortunately my needs require the fully specced out setup.

Reducing memory usage by selectively enabling features
It is possible to run RPC nodes with lower requirements. For one, not every app needs all the plugins. An app like Busy or Dtube doesn't need the markets plugin for example.
Secondly, its possible to blacklist certain operations from being indexed in account history plugin, which can also drastically reduce memory usage.

The point of SteemData is to process and store all the available information, so these optimizations do not apply.

Using SSD instead
Without high throughput and low latency requirements, its possible to run the shared memory file on a SSD. By doing so, a full RPC node could be hosted on a server with as little as 16GB of ram.

SteemData is making a lot of arbitrary requests, and to stay near-real time in state synchronization, the throughput and latency are crucial. Which is why I need all of the state to be mapped out in RAM, and the node be hosted in the same datacenter as the rest of SteemData servers. This setup is an over-kill during normal operations, but very much needed when syncing up from scratch.


I've made a custom docker image, based on Steemit's. (Dockerfile, run-steemd.sh)

I've assigned 200GB of 'ramdisk' for shared memory file, using ramfs,
with the following fstab entry:

ramfs /dev/shm ramfs defaults,noexec,nosuid,size=210GB 0 0

I've adopted @gtg's awesome full node config as a base, and tweaked it a bit.

rpc-endpoint =
p2p-max-connections = 200
public-api = database_api login_api account_by_key_api network_broadcast_api tag_api follow_api market_history_api raw_block_api
enable-plugin = witness account_history account_by_key tags follow market_history raw_block

enable-stale-production = false
required-participation = false
shared-file-size = 200G
shared-file-dir = /shm/steem

seed-node =         # @krnel (CA)
seed-node = anyx.co:2001                # @anyx (CA)
seed-node = gtg.steem.house:2001        # @gtg (PL)
seed-node = seed.jesta.us:2001          # @jesta (US)
seed-node =        # @liondani (SWISS)
seed-node = seed.riversteem.com:2001    # @riverhead (NL)
seed-node = seed.steemd.com:34191       # @roadscape (US)
seed-node = seed.steemnodes.com:2001    # @wackou (NL)

Lastly, I run everything in Docker.

docker run -v /home/steem_rpc_data:/witness_node_data_dir \
           -v /root/fullnode.config.ini:/witness_node_data_dir/config.ini \
           -v /dev/shm:/shm \
           -p 8090:8090 -d \


This setup is fairly new (in production for less than 1 day), but the results are already promising. The syncing speed is more than 100x faster vs using remote nodes, and I haven't ran into any throughput limitations yet. As long as the node doesn't crash, things should be golden.


...6 core Xeon server with 256GB of ECC DDR4 RAM

Are you still working on Viewly @furion?

Yes, I am.

I've been recently taking some time to fix/improve my steem services and witness infrastructure.

I've been fortunate enough to have a small team helping me with Viewly, so things are still progressing.

Very pleased to hear all of that. ^

Holy s.it! 256gb RAM, thats quite a big server ur running there. Congrats. J

One could get away with a lot less, but I want it to be as fast as possible.

RAM on steroids :D

Well done and congratulations 256gb RAM is a very fast one!
Can you please let me know if there are any updates for Viewly... i did sign up for the newsletter but no news for now plus i did not notice on the site a way to create an account and start adding videos!
Thanks a lot and have a great day!😉

Maybe it went into spam. Feel free to join us on Telegram.

Maybe it went there...honest to be i never look at the spam section. I am using Telegram for a while so can you please let me know how can i join you there...
Thanks a lot!

Great idea. I would like to see more hopefully with an dumbed down explanation of what some components are. The scientific terms make it hard to follow, but from what I understood Im impressed!

thanks 4 sharing

Interesting set up .id like to set up something similar to this very soon . Good work :)

I have 12 core xenon work station 38 gb ecc is an dell t5500 can I run a node from Ireland?

Damn geekyou! I will respond to that... I just need my new 1TB RAM
Threadripper... X000$! Mostly in memory! Hehe!

Looking nice!

Great innitiative @furion ! #resteemed

Great. keep up the good work!

Thank you for the lovely post, wishing you all the best.:) information is sure to come in handy, but more than that, it gives me great confidence to know your hard work is being the useful.

that's where all the ddr4 memory is going >:( My rig is still stuck at 8gb because another stick is $50 :'(

Upvoted and resteemed, you are doing many cool and good things !

i am a quality control chemist but i love programming. i've been in bed with computers since childhood. its just awful that i turned away from ma dreams. But now im coming back to them. Some of these great projects excites my innermost zeal to pursue this God given talents. ive already made inquiries about IT education. And hopefully i will start in the next few months. Looking forward to learning from ya. And hey @furion, thank ya for sharing this great INSPIRATION!

I almost forgot. I'm following you from now.

Powerful hot machine lol ! 256 GB 6 cores ? :O Amazing i wonder how it would be for Bitcoin mining ? CPu mining ? :D lol

256GB RAM, there is a fairly large server url running. Congratulations.👏👏

You are always the best. I really like your posts.
I congratulate you on sharing so nice stuff.

im sorry i dont understand the Technical part of the post you have wrote. keep up the good work.cheers.

Thanks for keeping the engine room running. It's a witness vote well spent.

what a setup there!

well well
short story for a particular moment is really interesting to read
love this post because of unique content and photographs and of course love between them

@furion very Informative details of Steem data with nodes promising performance on private server.

the hardware and coding modes program quite very impressive.

love your work buddy

You have my respect and upvoted on your Very Great article.

I don't think you have enough memory =op

Oh wow , what a great article !!!

256GB RAM? Are you serious? @furion

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Thanks for sharing @furion .

256gb of Ram... Wow!! Keep it up, great job

Hi, great post ! To follow and upvote please reply to this message and follow and upvote my latest post @anggaarlianda

So steemy, love it when you talk nerdy to me.

Great work @furion. Hope you may do greater things in the future

This one is on Roids.

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Nice post

Really interesting stuff :-)

256 gb of RAM. Hell that huge one .... good for shared the information ... please keep on updating 😀

Furion, please, give us a 101 class on this. I dont even know what you meant when saying RPC, nodes and all those technical things.

informative upvote and followed :)

Pl upvote me i am new to steemit.your support will be highly appreciated.

That's a lot of firepower, but it's just the beginning as I see. Make it big and make it so!

Hi @furion. Do you have any plans of making some tutorials about accessing Steemit database or something like that? Or if you guide us where we can learn all this stuff? I'm actually very interested in get into this stuff, have started learning web development and keen to know what languages should I learn to access the database.

This interface reminds me of MS-DOS Norton Commander and Pascal..... Oh.. the memories 😊
How many procedure calls and functions call can your beast handle?

Congrats on the server.

PS: Just read a bit about RPC calls and how they work

wow ... now i know that you are the owner of steemd. this site really help me alot ... i'll vote you as witness ...
i hope i can read more article from you about how to setup server to be witness server, as i really want to build witness server ... gracias !!!

sorry my bad english ...

For those who might think that such private RPC node doesn't serve the network. Of course it does serve the network. It will reduce load on other public nodes leaving those resources to those who can't run their private nodes.
I've finally setup my own full-RPC steemd node on a 6 core Xeon server with 256GB of ECC DDR4 RAM, in a datacenter nearby SteemData (over private, 1gbit network with sub 1ms network latency).
SteemData is open and free to use, but unfortunately its not a HA setup (high-availability).
I do have ~200 active connections on MongoDB alone, from various users and apps.

The database has been rock solid so far, and there is a fairly easy scalability path:

add more RAM to database server for high-performance
create a replica cluster for HA & backup purposes
The weak points in SteemData right now are:

node stability/availability
bugs in my codeBut still impressive results as the systems has been stable and supporting so much application. I particularly like Steemdata as it helps me navigate my own feed just in case I miss anything and helps me monitor users active users...probably we can get more dedicated team on the nodes as it goes down something but this one has been lengthy, I am not to sure of the overall effect it has on the platform...apart from that fantastic work...

How to mine STEEM.

Thank you for sharing this info!

Thanks for sharing! A link to your post was included in the Steem.center wiki article about SteemData. Thanks and good luck again!

Thanks for sharing this. Also the list of public nodes is much appreciated as I could not find it until now.

To add to that: I also have https://steemd.pevo.science in my list of nodes.

Oh That's Informative, I am going to Resteem this piece. Thanks.

Impressive results....... 150000/1 .... Wwo

Good work!
Keep going

thank's for sharing..
This is very helpful at all

Thanks for sharing with us! Thumbs Up!

wow it's incredible.Thank's for sharing @furion

so amazed by all of this. I really hope it all succeeds for you!

thnx for sharing

Congratulations, your post received one of the top 10 most powerful upvotes in the last 12 hours. You received an upvote from @blocktrades valued at 102.54 SBD, based on the pending payout at the time the data was extracted.

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Great Job! Really Appreciated !!

Excellent work))) I wish you creative successes))))) Yes, there will always be internet)))) Best wishes from Ukraine)))

this is very cool! did you used any specific language to implement it? best

That's great news - thanks! I've been checking the sync status of the Hive DB each day, hopefully it might finish sooner because of this.

Probably today :)

The publication and content is great and very useful

Awesome - now the best web API for steemit will be back in sync! I can't wait to play with this :)

Wow! superior hardware for your node furion congratulations! you are running with OpenSUSE? or other distro?

i wish to contribute tangibly to this but the truth of the matter is i do not understand this. i know nothing about programming . i hardly know anything about computers. i would have just said nice post and left but i know that will be spamming. but i believe what you have put up will be for the benefit of steemit

Very helpful, thans!!!!!

another node! thanks for putting the effort and sacrifice to make the Steem Blockchain run smoother with alll the increasingly heavy traffic we're experiencing.

I think nodes are way underrated relative to the importance they serve to the network. Since nodes are the ones relaying all the blockchain traffic and no matter how much the witness signs, it all means nothing if there is no node to relay the data.

Appreciate the work you do for the benefit of everyone!

I would lie if I said I understand one word I just read. But it sounds like a mean machine. How many horsepower did u say it has?

sure you don't need a bit more RAM to go with that RAM !!


Looks like your setup is a BEAST ..