Welcome to the November progress review, a deep dive into the inner workings and developments of several departments in our team. With all the critical strategic decisions that recently took place, let’s look into what we have been up to last month.
Major topics include:
- A New Partnership
- SDN Network Optimizations
- Blockchain Update
- Development Update
- NANOG 2022
- Community Meetup
Our highlight of the month was the strategic partnership with Zenlayer and our newest addition to the ever-growing partners of Open bandwidth Exchange. Zenlayer will operate DARP nodes at strategic locations in their network, providing bandwidth and infrastructure access.
Zenlayer, ranked №3 on The Americas’ Fastest Growing Telecom Companies list, has the most robust infrastructure presence in the world’s fastest-growing economic regions. They’re operating more than 270 Points of Presence across 45+ countries in markets like Southeast Asia, India, China, and South America. They provide excellent edge cloud services covering industries such as gaming, media and entertainment, cloud computing, and blockchain technology. In addition, businesses utilize Zenlayer’s platform to improve their users’ digital experiences worldwide. Thanks to their innovative outlook and vested interest in providing clients with ultra-low latency and connectivity on demand, they’re the perfect partner for Syntropy.
Syntropy and Zenlayer engineering teams will collaborate on deploying and operating Syntropy DARP nodes across their network, enabling bandwidth optimization. Furthermore, Zenlayer will bring its edge infrastructure to the Syntropy network, giving Syntropy’s customers and users access to instantly scalable, high-performing network services in emerging global markets across Asia, South America, the Middle East, and Africa. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved in this exciting collaboration.
The FIFA World Cup is the biggest sporting event in the world, with an estimated 3.5 billion people tuning in in 2018, with the final being seen live by a combined 1.12 billion viewers worldwide. The World Cup also has the most significant surge in sports betting globally. An estimated US $155bn was bet worldwide in 2018 during the last World Cup. With the ever-growing popularity of this sport, this year is no exception to consistent record-breaking highs. The World Cup is crucial for our clients, like Entain, an eight-billion-dollar global sports betting & gaming giant.
Technical teams across Syntropy were collectively preparing the Syntropy SDN Network for increased performance and the bandwidth capacity needed for a smooth and error-free experience. We've concluded individual node effectiveness analysis, conducted stress, and bandwidth tests on our network. Based on the results we've upgraded nodes in popular locations, successfully optimized the SDN network to ensure stability, and reduced operational costs by slashing underperforming providers.
November saw significant updates for the validator staking program. It has been over a year since the start of Amber Chain. Due to our plans, we are pausing the Validator staking program until we migrate to a new blockchain ecosystem.
For validators, no immediate action is needed. The Validator contract is deployed and remains on the Ethereum mainnet, meaning that your tokens will remain secure until you decide to withdraw them. The Nominator staking program continues to stay open. We encourage and expect most of the current Validators to continue staking on the Nominator contract. Be wary of any potential fraud events conducted by scammers.
The Substrate framework presented significant stability issues for our use case and complicated the blockchain development process. Throughout extensive testing this year, we have realized it was time to shift blockchain networks and use a framework that better fits our needs. Syntropy has committed to a new blockchain network, with a public announcement following early Q1 2023. Once the Validator program is resumed on the new network, current Validators will have priority access to the revised Validator staking program.
Currently, the research and development team is highly focused on writing documentation, papers, and operating logic to support the upcoming shift to the new blockchain. This will translate to information available to the public, such as tokenomics, revamped validator & nominator staking programs, general documentation regarding the new ecosystem, and more.
Our product and development teams are focused on a Stack self-service launch which will open the Syntropy network for all developers to use, targeting early 2023 Q1. One of our main enterprise-focused products will become available to be used by individual developers with the intention that builders, tinkerers, and hackers will ultimately bring this technology to the broader masses. You can expect more details on the Stack revamp coming in due course, and now let’s do a quick rundown of what happened inside the Syntropy development department this month.
- Further network testing and optimization were done for the operating efficiency of SDN nodes.
- Topology functionality is now in the early stages of operability.
- The SDN has been entirely rewritten in the Go programming language and deployed in our sandbox environment. Production deployment to follow in January.
- Further traffic reporting and analytics improvement implementation.
- SDN can now work in two different ways, prioritizing cost-efficiency or performance. Previously SDN had custom threshold functionality, where it would only choose a more optimized path if latency thresholds were met, for example, a 10% and -20ms improvement both needed to hold true to switch to a more optimized path. However, this was not fail-proof from abnormal, single-time lag spikes, which would lead the SDN to choose and stick with the 2nd best path if the thresholds were again not met. Taking into account both SDN and public paths to make routing decisions enables the network to work more optimally.
- Possibility to forward TCP traffic without re-encrypting it. This helps optimize the efficiency of DARP, as there is no need to re-encrypt data with Wireguard if the traffic sent is via HTTPS for example. We understand that not all traffic needs to be encrypted, hence we've utilized eBPF technology to develop a TCP traffic forwarder that could be utilized by our agent and SDN node software.
NANOG is the largest Network Operators’ conference in North America, focused on empowering and educating the community to build a better Internet for tomorrow. NANOGs mission is closely aligned with what Syntropy is fighting for. It is always good to hear the opinion of fellow technologists about us and receive feedback on the technology we are working on. Bill Norton, our Chief Technical Liaison, and Mara Novakovic, Head of Network Architecture, represented Syntropy Network’s colors at NANOG.
Types of participants that attend the conference include:
- Cloud providers (Microsoft, AWS, and Google);
- Content providers (Netflix, Disney);
- CDNs (Akamai, Cloudflare);
- Internet Service Providers, such as PCCW and Zenlayer that work with us to address some of the current Web3.0 network challenges and help us tokenize bandwidth over the OBX platform.
Some of the most exciting topics on the agenda were:
- The 2022H1 DDoS Threat Landscape Report by John Kristoff from NETSCOUT. The panel dived deep into the global and regional DDoS attacks and other relevant information to network operators and their customers. The presentation covered how the threat of DDoS attacks is still growing in 2022 and how the attack duration varies depending on the targeted region.
- Internet Routing and Traffic Security – A view from Cloud and CDN Providers by Andrei Robachevsky from ISOC. The panel consisted of speakers from Microsoft, Amazon, and Google that spoke about the challenges of building a “silver bullet” solution to various threats and how we still need to work together in building and deploying RPKI as an industry-wide standard to protect the Internet.
Mara’s personal take on the conference:
Attending NANOG was very prosperous in multiple ways. We got feedback about our services and how they supplement the current traditional IP services that ISPs offer. One of the key takeaways was how easy it is to install the service and start using it. This resulted in multiple POCs on their way to being transformed into partnerships that will make our product’s ecosystem even more diverse and resilient.
Bill’s personal take on the conference:
The interest in the telecom field for DARP is spectacular - people quickly understand how it works and see the immense potential revenue in generation opportunities when combined with OBX. The “peering improves revenue” use case is a message the ISP and IXP community resonated with really well. If we continue to show progress there, we will have speaking engagements for 2023 at every peering event around the globe. As a cherry on top, I brought back a handful of leads that led to partnership follow-up meetings right after the NANOG.
This December, we want to invite our regular community members to meet-up in the metaverse, destination - Syntropy Dome. We look forward to not only interacting with our community but also getting to know each other better.
Breaking out of our usual AMA format, we will be hosting an event with a less formal and laid-back approach. If you’d like to ask Kasparas’ what’s his favorite sandwich, or Emilis’ current haircut - let’s meet in Spatial.io. Regular wen and Syntropy questions are still welcome. If you’re interested in participating, submit your application here and wait for a manual confirmation in your inbox. Surprise Syntropy team members guaranteed.
Note: This event is invite-only. Only long-term or active Syntropy Telegram and Discord community members are eligible to participate. The Syntropy team reserves the right to reject applications that do not fit our member criteria.
Syntropy Team Blitz is an initiative to bring the Syntropy team closer to the community. Every month, we interview someone from the team and ask several questions to understand their way of thinking and get insight into what keeps them busy.
This time, we are excited to kick this initiative off with Lukas Praninskas! Let’s jump straight into the Blitz interview.
Q: What are you responsible for at Syntropy?
A: As the Agent Team Lead, I manage the teams' internal processes and workloads. Our team is responsible for the Syntropy Stack Agent and SDN software. However, I spend a significant amount of time engineering software and working on various projects, like DARP and other undisclosed initiatives.
Q: How has Syntropy enabled you?
A: When I joined as a Senior Software Engineer, I was immediately given room and opportunity to explore the Syntropy ecosystem and contribute to where I deemed essential. It became clear early on that they needed me because of my experience and knowledge, not because of my backlog churning capabilities. I feel that I discovered my spot as part of the agent team. That was the main factor in how I was enabled.
Q: How's your experience building a Web3 product so far?
A: Challenging to say the least. Trying to figure out how Web3 networking should work requires a lot of creativity and engineering. Lots of trial and error with code and out-of-the-box brainstorming is an essential part of the job. Not every implementation works as expected, and not every idea is worth implementing. The earlier you can throw away faulty ideas - the better, ideally before you even start touching code.
Syntroopers, thank you for supporting us throughout the journey!