Node Provider FAQ

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What is a node? Just one machine?


Sometimes "Node Machine" - a single server participating with the IC - is used to differentiate from "Node", which is sometimes used to refer to the software that runs the IC.

When purchasing node hardware can I deviate from the node hardware requirements?

The hardware components must meet the generic specification of the Gen2 node hardware. This is verified by the IC-OS installer. The installer will fail if the expected components are not found.

Small details are expected to be different between vendors such as SSD manufacturer, chassis model, etc., but it is strongly recommended for node providers to purchase one of the validated configurations listed at Node Machine Hardware.

Do I need to configure RAID on my node machines?

No. RAID (hardware or software) should not be attempted. The IC-OS installer will verify there are 5x independent 6.4TB NVMe SSD’s and prepare them appropriately - formatting all disks as it installs.

IC-OS uses a ‘striped’ LVM volume across all the disks (technically a software RAID 0).

What about redundancy? Replica nodes provide redundancy at a higher level than disk redundancy.

Why is the "no HSM" onboarding preferred to using an HSM?

The NitroKey HSM:

  • Has a single manufacturer — NitroKey. This is a form of centralization. Bad!
  • Is not well-supported anymore. The instructions for backing up the keys don't work.
  • Is unwieldy. Plugging it in and out of all the servers and keeping it around for redeployment is a pain.
  • Doesn't provide better security than a software key — the current recommended method.

See also